Hawaii bones in October? Where to go and who to go with?

cms829

Active Member
#1
So my wife has a business "thing" going on...and it happens to be in Hawaii. Never thought I would have the opportunity to go, but here it is! We will be on Maui intially. I planned on taking a flight right over to Molokai and go out with Captain Clay the day that my wife has her meeting.

However - Now my wife is talking about jumping from Maui to Kauai after the meetings are over. I know that there isnt much opportunity for Bonefish on Maui....and it doesnt look like Kauai is much better. To me it seems like Oahu and Molokai look to be where to go. My wife doesn't want to head to Oahu because its the "touristy" thing to do.

We will be diving, hiking, and all the other good stuff...but I cannot go out there without trying for one of these bonefish. I failed on a short DIY trip to Turks and Caicos (only had 1 short shot on a dead calm flat). I will o nly likely get that one day to really fish for em. Unless were on an island with local flats that we can get to for quick visits.

Whats our best option for all the diving, hiking, sight seeing, and decent shots at one of these bullets?
 

porterHause

Just call me Jon
#3
I think you're going to have to make some tough decisions:

Diving - Big Island
Hiking - Kauai
Sight Seeing - Maui/Oahu
Decent shot at bones - N/A

Yes there are big bones, but they are few and far between. Having been out with Capt. Clay, and having been fishing with many other guides in different locales, I'm going to say fishing with him is not one of my favorite experiences. We found a couple of fish, but the whole trip was awkward. First, he was late. Then the trip started out with a minutes long prayer (I believe he's also a Pastor), which as a non-religious guy, was pretty awkward. Then he shamed my then girlfriend and I for not being married. Then the rest of the trip was just odd. I also had the distinct impression that he'd rather have been elsewhere on the day we fished. (he also fishes gear, and sells your fish for profit - standard Hawaii style). YMMV, just relaying my experience. HI is a fine time to fly fish other reef species for shits and giggles. As a noob bonefisher, I'd have serious reservations about spending $1k for a day of fishing, which realistically, results in 1-2 decent opportunities at a fish.
 

cms829

Active Member
#5
Yea I found Rob Arita on Kauai. Not a lot of info about the actual fishing though. Was hoping someone here may have fished over there.

Thank you for the honest report. It looks like Oahu is really the place to fish for bones, but was hoping Molokai would be a good option. I’ll continue to do some research and hopefully others here chime in!
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#6
Yea I found Rob Arita on Kauai. Not a lot of info about the actual fishing though. Was hoping someone here may have fished over there.

Thank you for the honest report. It looks like Oahu is really the place to fish for bones, but was hoping Molokai would be a good option. I’ll continue to do some research and hopefully others here chime in!
I get the sense that Hawaiian bonefish are a different game entirely. I spent 3+ days wading a very bonefishy looking Kauai beach last summer and saw exactly zero. Maybe they were there and I didn't see them, but I didn't have any problems spotting them in Belize or the Bahamas. That said, I have been told that Hawaiian bones are extremely difficult to see. Didn't spot any in deeper water when I was snorkeling either. I dunno, maybe that was just a lousy beach for oi'o, but it looked like damn good water to me. So yeah, I'd definitely hire a guide.
 

cms829

Active Member
#7
Only thing is, like Jon said - I really dont have the money to justify that much for 1-2 shots at fish. A day with Capt Clay is 600 bucks, plus tip, plus flight from Maui. It would be around a grand all said and done. I know a lot if left up to the weather and conditions, but if its a crap shoot from the start in even perfect weather, maybe my money is better spent on something else (like my damn medical bills). lol

Anyone else have any experiences?
 
#8
I fished with a guide that goes by Louie the Fish on Oahu. He was a great guy to fish with and even though I only booked a half day ended up fishing us a full day. I think he enjoyed my wife's company as I waded around on the flat, haha.

I felt like we saw a lot of bonefish, many that were of impressive size. Cool to watch salmon size bones aggressively tailing and eating in shallow water. I had a number of shots at these fish but couldn't convince any to eat. I did catch one blind casting into deeper water off the flat. Louie also told me of a spot to fish on my own which resulted in a trophy size bone.
 

WildBrookie

Active Member
#9
Only thing is, like Jon said - I really dont have the money to justify that much for 1-2 shots at fish. A day with Capt Clay is 600 bucks, plus tip, plus flight from Maui. It would be around a grand all said and done. I know a lot if left up to the weather and conditions, but if its a crap shoot from the start in even perfect weather, maybe my money is better spent on something else (like my damn medical bills). lol

Anyone else have any experiences?
Here's a previous thread on Kauai bonefishing: http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/threads/kauai-bonefishing.35168/#post-1257429
 

Mems

Active Member
#10
Hawaii bonefishing, big bones, tough to get to eat, and still difficult to land. Molokai has big bones that will eat. Clay is very religious, but a very nice guy. You need to fish on a low tide morning on Molokai, preferably on an incoming tide. The winds pick up by 10:30 am and it can be tough after that. If you want a 10lb bone I would go there. Oahu, lots of guides, Mike Hennessy is excellent, but many others to choose from over there. Louie is not guiding to my knowledge right now, over in New Zealand, and his son Jauquin is working on survivor in Fiji. Both are fun and cheaper to fish with. Oahu bones get more pressure than any other island. China man's hat area is productive, but a minefield of coral heads.
Maui has Jon Jon Tabon, and he takes you out on a kayak and fish some outer reefs.
Kauai is Rob Aritta and he fishes Anini beach. Again incoming morning tide best. Winds can also be tough.
I guide on the Big Island. We see bones all the time, but they are smart and tough to land. It is a trophy fishery a not the best place to learn how to bonefish. The challenge makes it that much more rewarding. Hope this helps, email me at [email protected] if you need more help, Mems.
 

Mingo

the Menehune stole my beer
#11
don't overthink this. all the advice above is solid and true. This is a tough place to bonefish on the best day. A buddy just returned from Oahu, he and his dad hit the Hawaii Kai flats and booked a guide for a day. They got blanked. On their DIY day, he counted 45 humans tromping around that flat in search of bonefish. That's insane, but the word is out. I would just pack your favorite stick and some flies and go out when your wife is doing her business "thing". You will probably not catch a bonefish....but you just might. And if the guide cost is an issue, then scratch it off your list and just have fun wading and blind casting. you'll definitely have a much BETTER chance at a bonefish if you book a guide. Bones come up onto the "flats" in the Kihei parks and they can be found at various beaches with sand on Kauai too. Make sure you have solid foot protection. If you want help with a basic fly/tackle selection PM me. Trevally and lots of other shit will attack bonefish patterns, so you could also tangle with some fun reef fish if you are in the right place at the right time. For what it's worth, I know of a guy who has invested over $15K in guided bonefish trips in Hawaii over the past two decades. He has caught zero. And he's fished with some of the best guides around here. I've never fished with him, maybe he can only cast 15 feet, but he is apparently great on trout so he knows the basics of the game. He just hasn't been in the right place...snakebitten bastard! Then look at Josh above....check out the massive trophy bone he DIYd in Oahu at a public beach. I've caught nice trevally and triggers right in front of Whaler's Village in Ka'anapali on the steep sandy beach while we were all taking a beverage break. Bring some gear, fish when you can, save the guide $ and have fun.
 
#12
So my wife has a business "thing" going on...and it happens to be in Hawaii. Never thought I would have the opportunity to go, but here it is! We will be on Maui intially. I planned on taking a flight right over to Molokai and go out with Captain Clay the day that my wife has her meeting.

However - Now my wife is talking about jumping from Maui to Kauai after the meetings are over. I know that there isnt much opportunity for Bonefish on Maui....and it doesnt look like Kauai is much better. To me it seems like Oahu and Molokai look to be where to go. My wife doesn't want to head to Oahu because its the "touristy" thing to do.

We will be diving, hiking, and all the other good stuff...but I cannot go out there without trying for one of these bonefish. I failed on a short DIY trip to Turks and Caicos (only had 1 short shot on a dead calm flat). I will o nly likely get that one day to really fish for em. Unless were on an island with local flats that we can get to for quick visits.

Whats our best option for all the diving, hiking, sight seeing, and decent shots at one of these bullets?
So my wife has a business "thing" going on...and it happens to be in Hawaii. Never thought I would have the opportunity to go, but here it is! We will be on Maui intially. I planned on taking a flight right over to Molokai and go out with Captain Clay the day that my wife has her meeting.

However - Now my wife is talking about jumping from Maui to Kauai after the meetings are over. I know that there isnt much opportunity for Bonefish on Maui....and it doesnt look like Kauai is much better. To me it seems like Oahu and Molokai look to be where to go. My wife doesn't want to head to Oahu because its the "touristy" thing to do.

We will be diving, hiking, and all the other good stuff...but I cannot go out there without trying for one of these bonefish. I failed on a short DIY trip to Turks and Caicos (only had 1 short shot on a dead calm flat). I will o nly likely get that one day to really fish for em. Unless were on an island with local flats that we can get to for quick visits.

Whats our best option for all the diving, hiking, sight seeing, and decent shots at one of these bullets?
So my wife has a business "thing" going on...and it happens to be in Hawaii. Never thought I would have the opportunity to go, but here it is! We will be on Maui intially. I planned on taking a flight right over to Molokai and go out with Captain Clay the day that my wife has her meeting.

However - Now my wife is talking about jumping from Maui to Kauai after the meetings are over. I know that there isnt much opportunity for Bonefish on Maui....and it doesnt look like Kauai is much better. To me it seems like Oahu and Molokai look to be where to go. My wife doesn't want to head to Oahu because its the "touristy" thing to do.

We will be diving, hiking, and all the other good stuff...but I cannot go out there without trying for one of these bonefish. I failed on a short DIY trip to Turks and Caicos (only had 1 short shot on a dead calm flat). I will o nly likely get that one day to really fish for em. Unless were on an island with local flats that we can get to for quick visits.

Whats our best option for all the diving, hiking, sight seeing, and decent shots at one of these bullets?
Kauai has big bonefish but they are very wary and it is much like deer hunting, you don't see many and you have to be a good shot.
Nigel Warrick at bonefishkauai.com or flyfishkauai.com is another guide you might want to make contact with.
 

DimeBrite

MA-9 Beach Stalker
#13
I've heard that there are now bonefish "derby" days in parts of Hawaii. If this hype and pressure keeps building, those fish will be even tougher for the NW fly fishing tourist to catch. I like the secret society feel to the Oahu fly fishing world, but have never fished during my brief visits. Once I feel more experienced I want to give it a shot.

Of course really big bonefish can be caught in other parts of the world. Bahamas, Keys, south Pacific.
14.6 pounds!.jpg

Unbelievable!
 
#14
+new name to the forum, I can't remember my old login.

Great advice above, do not expect many hookups. I fished Molokai with Clay, nice guy that knows the area and has his own way of doing things. I will say, on the way out around the reef, we saw a Tiger shark pop up over the reef that was almost the length of the boat, then it cruised up onto the flat. That gave us a certain amount of pucker... You can take the ferry over out of Lahaina, it's a nice cruise over and back.

Oahu has it's challenges. Depends on your timing with the tide, time of day, and sheer luck on location/people. There are a few great places that you need to access via boat, which means a guide but also weeds out the DIY's for the most part. Those locations seem to fish better.

I have a buddy that just got back from Kauai, he went DIY on a SUP, saw plenty of bones but getting quality shots with the wind spinning him around was tough.

I will still fish there every time I go, but I have very low expectations for the catching aspect.
 

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