Hawaii Shark Fishing - Honolulu Oahu
My wife knows how much I love fishing so she went ahead and did some research on the deep sea fishing adventures available in Oahu. Turns out a lot of them are very expensive and some of your most affordable trips are bottom fishing and SHARK FISHING!!! The Sportfish Hawaii operation offers night fishing for sharks out of Oahu for $125 a person. They pick you up at your hotel and take you out at 10PM till 1AM.
We were flying into Oahu for a short 4 day vacation, so we had to make every moment count. We arrived in the evening of our first day and got settled into the hotel. Shortly after we were headed back to the fish wharf on the shuttle that picked us up from our hotel. We signed in at the dock and boarded the boat that would take us out into the darkness.
Once everyone was loaded on board the captain gave us the itinerary for the evening. He then delivered the news that the average catch rate was approximately three sharks per night. On board there were about 12 fisherman. Right then I started to do the math... Three sharks divided by 12 fisherman... that doesn't leave much chance for us to catch a shark. Oh well, I was still excited to go out with my wife on this little adventure with the chance of catching a big shark. Plus I had a slight suspicion that my lucky fishing history would pay off tonight!
The bait was defrosting on the boat... it was huge. I'm talking small tuna sized bait. They cut it into two inch thick steaks that was then threaded onto a large single hook. The rod and real combos were huge, super duty! When we arrived to the fishing grounds they set out the sea anchor and we dropped our heavy waits a few hundred feet down with the large chunks of bait to lure in the predators.
The gentleman fishing the back corner of the boat was fishing a fly-lined chunk of bait that was drifting along with the current. It wasn't long and his rod started to scream. Now I was thinking... man just my luck, should have tried that corner bait. After a good fight the fish was lost at a distance before we could see it. Now I was excited that the fish were biting and I had a shot at catching one.
Then the guy on the back corner gets nailed again! Drag is clicking, he's cranking and getting worked like I've never seen before. After an amazing fight the 5 foot Pacific Gray Reef Shark is beside the boat. Everyone crowds around to see the magnificent creature. After a few snapped pictures the crew on board uses large bolt cutters to cut the hook and set the shark free.
Wow, now I was really excited! What a fish!
We moved to a different spot to see if we could find some more willing sharks and then the back corner went off again! This time it was the guys wife. I'm thinking these two should buy a lottery ticket since they are the only ones getting into all the fish. She pulls in another nice Pacific Gray Reef Shark which is soon released after a few pictures. My wife was fishing right beside her and I'm thinking maybe she has a chance... but judging by this picture you'll see I wasn't too hopeful.
I was standing at my post as we drifted along doing exactly what the crew said. Drop the weight to the bottom then crank it up ten cranks and wait. I did this diligently, over and over and over.... to no avail. THEN IT HAPPENED!!! I got the sensation that something was pulling on the end of my rod! Click, click, click the drag started to be pulled out. Ok, something definitely has taken the bait. Do I wait? Do I set the hook? So I start cranking as fast as I can and set the hook! I feel the resistance and then the fish starts pulling drag. I crank with all my might, but it takes everything I have just to hold onto the rod. With some help of the crew I'm able to get the fish beside the boat for some pictures. It is another Pacific Gray Reef Shark. After some pictures the bolt cutters come out and set the shark free.
I was absolutely thrilled to have been lucky enough to hook up and land one of the sharks of the night.
The rest of the night had some more action with a few bites that didn't stick and one more hook up off the bow of the boat. This turned out to be the largest shark of the night. A 6 foot Gray Reef shark that probably went 150 pounds. What an amazing looking fish. After the release of that fish it was pretty much time to head back in.
It was a fabulous adventure and I was glad we took the few hours to go out at night for the experience. If you enjoy fishing I recommend you check out night shark fishing on Oahu. If you'd like more information I'm just volunteering these websites of the charter I went with. Good luck on catching the big one if you get to go out!