My next bonefishing trip… Maui?

First off, let me tell you I always heard there weren’t bonefish in Maui. There aren’t the big flats where anglers can target them and so, while they might technically be, ya know, in the area, they weren’t really something you could target.

Well, guess what? I’m (most likely) going bonefishing in Maui come September.

I’ve made most of the travel plans since I married my wife 4 years ago and there has been one pretty decent constant… fishing. We honeymooned in Belize, visited Florida and the Bahamas twice. So, she said she wanted to go to Hawaii and, with a track record of things going pretty much my way to date, I said “sure.”

My history with Hawaiian bonefish is not glamorous. I’ve pretty much had my ass kicked by the O’io (Hawaiian for bonefish). The first bone I ever saw was on Kauai and it was massive, well over 10 pounds. I didn’t catch it. I haven’t caught any of the bonefish I’ve seen in Hawaii (a number I’d put at about 20). I’ve caught bonefish in the Bahamas and Belize and Cuba and I even managed the world’s smallest Florida Bonefish, but Hawaii has been another story.

Thinking there weren’t even bonefish there and with the poor history, I was surprised to find a guide in Maui, who, it sure looks like, catches bones in Maui (Captain Jon Jon).

So, I’m booking him for a trip when we are there for Labor Day. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m game.

I think they deal with a lot of novice bonefish anglers. Captain Jon Jon’s wife handles his bookings and she told me that, if I’d like, Captain Jon Jon can do the casting. Not being a really prime bonefish location, I’d imagine he gets a lot of people who haven’t done it before, can’t cast in the wind and have no idea what a double haul is and so, in that situation, you might do the casting. These guys are probably not the same guys who go to Andros or Los Roques. These are the bait guys from Tennessee who have never picked up a fly rod before and instead of starting at the beginning, are jumping right to the top.

I let her know I’d do my own casting and that I’ve cast in the wind before and that I’d do a half-way decent job of it.

Looking forward to seeing exactly what this game is about in a place I didn’t even think it was possible.

I’ll try to get an interview with him and put it up as well.

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  1. Wow! You’ve seen 20 Hawaiian bones?!!!! Never been there but I suspect they are hard to see. My experience with big bones is that that are difficult to see at a distance, show up on your optic radar just in time to spook. I’ve heard Hawaiian bones are often seen over turtle grass, the hardest bottom to see them on! But that’s just me in my nube-ness. Keep us posted!

  2. I have been trying to convince my husband of this possibility for years! Can’t wait to read your report.

  3. bonefishbjorn

    I remember each one. The first bone I ever saw was in Kauai and I saw 7 that day. 4 years ago I was on Kauai again and I saw three individuals and I saw one small school of about 10 fish in really skinny water. That trip four years ago went like this… the three individual fish were all in deeper water, waist deep, and I saw them kind of close. I got one cast at each of those and they were gone before the fly hit the water. The school I managed two casts, but as I was walking, 50 feet away, the rubble flat crunched underfoot and the fish exploded off the flat.

    It has been tough. Hoping to find some luck. My luck with Hawaiian bones is even worse than my Florida tarpon fishing luck… which is saying something.

  4. really caught a lot of bones over there and seen heaps ! and a a lot of double diget fish even fish in the range that people think your ful of it when you talk about it ! get over there and get in to them but don’t think those little crazy Charlie flys will work take big ass flys !

  5. I had a great day on the water last year in Molokai. Captain Clay ( has the fishery wired and is a pleasure to fish with. If the tides are in your favor, you can take the ferry over from Lahaina to Kaunakakai in the morning, fish with Clay, and take the afternoon return ferry back to Maui. Clay fishes the south shore flats for a a few hours on both sides of low tide.

  6. Did you end up going? I’d love to know what you thought of the guide!

  7. I did go. You can read that story here:

    No bonefish were harmed in the making of that post. It is an interesting place, but hard to do on your own, hard to bonefish. You really do need a kayak or boat. I’d love to get another few days at it, but, I’ll likely go somewhere the fishing is a bit easy next trip.

  8. I will try to help you find fish when you are next on Maui. And if you fish on Lanai I can help there as well. Please feel free to email me at
    We can then share cell phone numbers. Aloha Terry

    I live here on Maui and have fished Oio for fifty years with fly rod

  9. I will be going to maui in may. I’ve never been to hawaii, but I’ve grown up fishing salmon and steelhead in the pnw. I’ve since been to the Caribbean a couple of times and had a blast catching bonefish and other inshore species. Most of what I see online are offshore fishing. Are there many inshore opportunities? Can they be done from a kayak? Any information you can provide me would be greatly appreciated.



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