Q: How much does it cost?
A: The price is $159 per person for the four hour morning bottom fishing share boat. Private charter is $900 for the four hour morning bottom fishing combo or $225 per hour (min. 2hr.) Just remember that catching a big one while fishing on Maui could be priceless.
Q: What is the difference between the private charter and a share boat bottom fishing?
A: The boat can take up to six passengers so for the private charter you get all 6 seats. Same price if you come by yourself or bring 5 buddies. Share boat means in addition to the seats you reserve, you may be bottom fishing alongside a few other passengers. On a private charter you may also choose to skip the bottom fishing and try your luck sport fishing for the whole day.
Q: What is the difference between “sport” fishing and “bottom” fishing?
A: With a little bit of overlap in the species of fish, size of the fish, and style of fishing, sport and bottom fishing are fairly different. Sport fishing (also called trolling or big game fishing) usually involves dragging artificial lures on the surface behind the boat out in deep water for fish like Mahimahi, Ono, Tuna and Marlin. If a fish hooks up, one of the passengers is chosen to try to reel it in. If your number isn't called, all you get is to watch someone else reel in a fish. The stakes are high and although you are less likely to catch a fish, if you do it is likely to be bigger than the average fish caught bottom fishing. We will often try this type of fishing on our way to and from the bottom fishing spots ('cause we know we won't catch anything with the hooks in the boat) but mostly focus on the bottom fishing. Bottom fishing can also use artificial lures but we usually use bait like squid. Fishing is done with the boat stopped, sometimes anchored but usually drifting over “spots” where there is known to be concentrations of fish like snapper, jacks, wrasse, goatfish, and many others, in relatively shallow water (100-300 ft. deep). Once we get to our bottom fishing spots, each passenger is given their own rod and instructed on how to use it to drop pieces of bait (the crew is happy to help you bait your hook if you prefer), down to the bottom and each has a chance to catch their own fish from start to finish and we usually average at least three or four fish person. Most of the fish we catch are small but the tackle is relative light so its a better match. Plus, if you do hook into a big one on light tackle, you are in for a really fun challenge.
Q: Can we keep our catch?
A: Yes. Anything you catch on your rod is yours to keep or release or give away. If you get to reel in something on the bonus line or one of the trolling lines you have to share with the other passengers and sometimes the crew.
Q: Can we go whale watching?
A: The calm Maui waters we fish are the same ones the whales travel all the way from Alaska to winter in, so during whale season, our fishing trips usually come with a free whale watch, but if you are just into watching whales, just book a private charter. A good time for whale watching is usually from about noon to 2pm just after we finish our morning bottom fishing trip. Capt. Kelly worked for several years as captain of a whale watch boat here on Maui and Capt. Monroe has a degree in Biology so we can also tell you all about the whales while you enjoy your own private whale watch.
Q: What is the weather going to be like? / Is it going to be rough?
A: On the Marjorie Ann we always do our best to show you a good time while fishing on Maui, and that means finding calm water to fish. Even though Maui is generally a pretty windy place (especially at Ma'alaea Harbor) we can almost always find nice water just down the coast toward Wailea to the south or Lahaina / Olowalu to the west and have lots of “spots” in these areas to fish. If the captain gets to the harbor in the morning and he decides that the weather looks like it will prevent us from having fun, we won't go. We're Maui FUN Charters and have a reputation to maintain so if the captain decides to cancel we will give you the option of a refund or reschedule.
Q: How far out do you go? / How deep do you fish?
A: This depends on the weather and the crowd. We may end up going as far as 9 or 10 miles from the harbor down the coast to get out of the wind but usually stay within 3 or 4 miles from shore where the water is calm in the 100 to 300 ft. depth range.
Q: Can we bring the kids?
A: Bottom fishing on Maui is great for kids. We usually fish where the water is calm and with a maximum of 6 passengers and the captain and crew both available to help out, even young kids get a chance to bring in some nice fish.
Q: How far in advance should we book?
A: It depends on the time of year. In the busy season, which is usually when kids are on spring, summer, or Christmas break, many Maui fishing boats can get pretty booked up. You may want to call us at least two or three weeks in advance if your schedule is tight. If your schedule is flexible or you will be fishing when we have fewer visitors, booking a week or two in advance should be enough to give you plenty of options. Bigger parties might be harder to fit in closer to your desired date since we only have six seats, but don't hesitate to call, even at the last minute, we don't fill up every day and might be able to fit you in.
Q: What kind of fish will we catch?
A: Every day is different and although most of our fish are caught on the bottom, we can also catch some big game fish like Mahimahi, Ono, and Tuna while trolling to and from the bottom fishing spots. We even caught a 350+# marlin on the way out to the bottom fishing spot one morning. We get a much wider variety of fish on the bottom fishing gear. Most of our guests are interested in taking some fish back to the condo to grill up so we usually start by targeting the tasty ones. Snapper like the blueline (Ta'ape), and gray (Uku), are very tasty though the blueline snapper rarely exceed two pounds. Goatfish like the Moilua and Kumu are caught less often but are equally tasty. Several species of trevally (jacks) are also found here and we can catch any of them. Among the more common are the bluefin trevally (Omilu), goldspot trevally (Papa), amberjack (Kahala), and the highly prized giant trevally (Ulua). Some of these are very good eating especially when small but all are highly prized as game fish, especially the Ulua which is considered to be the most highly sought after inshore game fish in the state. We have caught over sixty different species of fish on our bottom fishing trips but if you don't come out and try your luck, you probably won't catch any of them.
Q: How many fish can we expect to catch?
A: Again, every day is different. I usually say that on at least 9 out of 10 trips, everybody catches something, usually several somethings, and since we target the tasty ones, it is usually enough for dinner. Our record is 59 fish in one 4 hour trip (mostly little guys).
Q: What if we catch a “Trophy”?
A: We catch a lot of really nice and interesting fish here on Maui and if you have room for one of them on your wall, the crew will be happy to set you up with a taxidermist, or if you prefer, a fish printer. For replica mounts we use Gray Taxidermy, the worlds largest marine taxidermist, and for the fish prints, a local Maui artist who can have your trophy ready in a couple of days. For more info on the fish printing, visit the artists web page at http://www.mauifishprinting.com/.
Q: What should we bring? / not bring?
A: We provide all the bait, tackle, and soft drinks as well as a cooler with ice so you don't need to bring one of your own. The weather is usually pretty nice but be prepared for sun with a hat and sunscreen. It can also get pretty windy on the way to and from the bottom fishing spot so a light cover-up like a wind-breaker might also be a good idea. If you are worried about keeping your fish cold on the way back to the condo then you can bring a cooler and leave it in the car.
Q: Is four hours long enough?
A: We usually tell people that four hours is plenty of time to either catch dinner or to get tired of trying. We've caught over 50 fish in a single four hour bottom fishing trip.