For me there are family vacation and fishing vacation and the two generally don’t meet, not in the middle or the margins. However, one of the best bonefishing-meets-family vacation possibilities out there comes in the form of Hawaii. Sure, the initial airfare can be steepish, but, if you end up in Oahu or Kauai (or Molokai, the Big Island, etc.) for a week’s worth of family vacation, you might as well look into the fishing… I mean, couldn’t hurt, could it?
Bonefishing in Hawaii… I had been to Kauai two times before I realized there even WAS bonefishing there. Hawaiian sport fishing seems mostly of the deep blue and cooler-filling variety, which has never really been my thing. So, I was surprised to find out that not only are there bonefish in Hawaii, but on average, they are just monster fish.
As with most monster fish… what they have in size they lack in numbers. This isn’t the Bahamas where schools of smaller bones will be cruising… the Aloha bones seem to be freakishly big.
If you are familiar with the Islands, you’ll know that there just aren’t a TON of flats in Hawaii, but they are there and where there are flats, there are bonefish.
There are a growing number of guides in the islands. On Kauai there are, or were, two guides. I heard from several folks that only one of them was worth booking, Rob Arita. The other guide came with significant warnings about busted trips and general crappiness (I couldn’t find the other guy’s website, so maybe he gave up). My dad and I fished with Rob and while we didn’t catch any bonefish on our one trip (our first bonefishing of any kind), we did catch a few Bluefin Trevally and what I learned from Rob on that first bonefishing trip has stayed with me and, to a certain extent, filled me with the passion I now have for bonefish.
The day after fishing with Rob I was out on my own and that is when I saw my first bonefish… 7 in all, none under 8 pounds and a couple well, WELL into double digits. I even saw, close to shore, a Mahi Mahi, lit up electric blue in 2 feet of water. Crazy sight.
Rob has teamed up with Coach Duff, who guides out of Oahu and also books Captain Chris Asaro. Duff has the only flats boat on Oahu and seems like a real no-B.S. kind of character. Check out his gallery for some real jaw-dropping bones.
The possibility of adding a day of serious angling for serious fish makes the Aloha Bones one of the best bargains out there.