Biggest Fish of Hawaii: Say “Aloha” to Water Giants

Biggest Fish of Hawaii

Hawaii, known for its stunning beaches, vibrant marine life, and captivating landscapes, is home to an array of remarkable aquatic creatures.

Among the diverse marine fauna, Hawaii boasts some of the largest fish species in the world. From the awe-inspiring whale sharks to the powerful Pacific blue marlin, these magnificent giants inspire wonder and admiration among locals and visitors alike.

In this article, we embark on an exciting journey to discover the biggest fish that roam the waters of Hawaii.

1. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)

Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)
Source: earthtimes.org

Topping the list of Hawaii’s colossal creatures is the magnificent whale shark. Despite its enormous size, the whale shark is a gentle giant, known for its docile nature. Reaching an average length of 30 feet (9 meters) and weighing up to 20 tons, these colossal fish captivate the imagination of marine enthusiasts.

These migratory giants can be found in the warm waters around Hawaii, particularly during the summer months, when plankton and small fish are abundant.

2. Pacific Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans)

Pacific Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans)

Considered one of the most prized game fish in the world, the Pacific blue marlin is another impressive resident of Hawaiian waters. Known for its incredible strength and acrobatic displays, this apex predator can grow up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) in length and weigh over 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms).

Anglers from all over the globe flock to Hawaii’s deep-sea fishing grounds, such as Kona, to test their skills against these magnificent creatures.

3. Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)
Source: thoughtco.com

While not as massive as the whale shark or the Pacific blue marlin, the tiger shark deserves recognition as one of Hawaii’s largest predatory fish. Known for its distinctive dark stripes and formidable reputation, the tiger shark can reach lengths of up to 18 feet (5.5 meters) and weigh over 2,000 pounds (907 kilograms).

These apex predators inhabit the coastal waters of Hawaii, and their diet includes a wide range of marine animals, earning them the nickname “garbage cans of the sea.”

4. Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis)

Giant Trevally (Caranx ignobilis)
Source: en.wikipedia.org

The giant trevally, or “Ulua” as it is known in Hawaiian, is a formidable fish that commands respect in Hawaiian waters. Growing up to 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) in length and weighing over 100 pounds (45 kilograms), these powerful predators possess incredible speed and strength.

They inhabit nearshore and offshore environments and are highly sought after by sports fishermen due to their aggressive nature and thrilling fights.

Hawaii Fishing Practices

Hawaii, with its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning landscapes, is a paradise for anglers from around the world.

Some of the biggest fish only add to the potential. Seasoned sport fishermen seeking trophy catches or casual anglers looking to enjoy a relaxing day, Hawaii offers a diverse range of fishing opportunities. Here is some info on unique fishing experiences, popular fish species, and prime fishing locations.

Fishing Experiences

Deep-Sea Fishing

Deep-sea fishing is a popular pursuit in Hawaii, offering anglers the chance to target large pelagic species. From the adrenaline-pumping battles with powerful marlin and tuna to the thrill of reeling in mahi-mahi and ono (wahoo), deep-sea fishing adventures in Hawaii are unforgettable experiences.

Charter boats equipped with experienced captains and crews are available throughout the islands, providing anglers with the necessary equipment and local knowledge to navigate the deep waters.

Shore Fishing

Hawaii’s picturesque coastline offers ample opportunities for shore fishing. Anglers can cast their lines from sandy beaches, rocky shores, or fishing piers, targeting a variety of coastal species.

Popular catches include ulua (giant trevally), Papio (trevally), bonefish, and a variety of reef fish. Shore fishing allows anglers to enjoy the beauty of Hawaii’s beaches while engaging in a relaxed and accessible fishing experience.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing enthusiasts will find Hawaii’s diverse ecosystems and flourishing streams ideal for their pursuits. The islands boast numerous freshwater streams and reservoirs where anglers can test their skills against species such as rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and peacock bass.

Additionally, saltwater fly fishing provides opportunities to target bonefish, trevally species, and other nearshore game fish.

Most Popular Fish Species

1. Pacific Blue Marlin

Hawaii is renowned for its Pacific blue marlin, attracting anglers from all over the world. These magnificent creatures, known for their size and fighting ability, can exceed 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms).

Kona, on the Big Island, is especially famous for its marlin fishing, with the annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament drawing participants eager to test their mettle against these mighty giants.

2. Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna, locally known as ahi, are prized for their speed, power, and culinary value. These highly migratory fish can be caught year-round in Hawaii’s waters, with peak seasons varying by island and region.

Anglers often target them while deep-sea fishing and the thrill of hooking a large tuna is an experience to cherish.

3. Mahi-Mahi

Mahi-mahi, dorado, or dolphinfish, are vibrant and acrobatic fish that offer exciting battles for anglers.

Known for their striking colors and delicious flesh, mahi-mahi is commonly found in Hawaii’s offshore waters, particularly during the warmer months. Their aerial displays and strong runs make them a favorite target for sports fishermen.

Prime Fishing Locations

Kona, Big Island

Kona is renowned for its exceptional deep-sea fishing opportunities, particularly for Pacific blue marlin. Its calm waters, close proximity to deep drop-offs, and abundance of baitfish make it an ideal location for sport fishing charters.

The annual Kona Fishing Tournament attracts anglers seeking to showcase their skills and compete for impressive prizes.

North Shore, Oahu

Oahu’s North Shore is famous for its world-class surf breaks, but it also offers excellent shore fishing opportunities. Anglers can target species like ulua (giant trevally) from the rocky coastline, with winter months being particularly productive.

The combination of stunning scenery and thrilling fishing makes the North Shore a popular destination for shore anglers.


Maui provides a diverse range of fishing options, including deep-sea fishing, shore fishing, and freshwater fishing. The island’s coastal waters are home to various game fish, and charter boats depart from popular ports like Lahaina and Maalaea.

Freshwater enthusiasts can explore the island’s scenic streams and reservoirs, which hold an abundance of trout and bass.

Conclusion: Plenty of Big Fish and Fishing Opportunities

Hawaii’s waters are teeming with an extraordinary variety of marine life. What else to expect from tropical islands? This includes some of the largest fish species on the planet.

The whale shark, Pacific blue marlin, tiger shark, and giant trevally are just a few examples of the magnificent creatures that grace Hawaii’s seas.

Whether you’re an avid angler, a snorkeling enthusiast, or simply a lover of nature’s wonders, encountering these colossal fish in their natural habitat is an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your memories.

Exploring the waters of Hawaii reveals a world where giants roam and where the boundaries of nature’s grandeur seem boundless.

All Posts


Related Posts