Kona #1By Lee Cochran

Charter fishing in Kona isn’t just for adults anymore, with Kona Family Fishing Charters the whole family can get in on the action. Want to introduce your children to the sport but are worried about long waiting times between trolling bites? Try your hand at shallow water bottom fishing.  Where the focus is on providing children with hands on fishing action.When the bite is really on it is difficult for even the parents to leave the reef in hopes of catching something bigger.

Kona2Just a short 5 minute boat ride from Honokohau Harbor to a secluded bay is all the traveling it takes. Smaller spinning rods that are rigged with several small hooks and baited with squid can easily be managed by kids. A quick drop to the bottom always produces some immediate strikes. Often there is a fish on the line before the weight even reaches the ocean floor.  Because the rig usually has between 4 and 6 hooks it is very common to catch more than one fish at a time.

Kona3When you are fishing on the reef you can catch all sorts of different fish that you wouldn’t find out trolling. Some of them are quite beautiful like the very colorful Tableboss, also known as a wrass. One very common catch is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaii’s state fish) or the bright red and yellow Moana (goat fish). One of the best fish to catch while on the reef is the the prized Uku (Grey Snapper). Uku are wonderful eating and great fighters. These fish are rarely seen in restaurants or markets because fishermen hardly ever sell their Uku, preferring to share them with loved ones.

Kids are kept entertained with coaching from the captain and first mate on how to set the hook, reel in the fish as well as education about the various fish that they bring in. Strong emphasis is placed on the ecology of the reef, and how important it is for fishermen to practice “catch and release” for any fish that are not going to be eaten.

A later start time is always an option, giving children time to properly wake up and be more alert.  All ages are welcome, captains provide all tackle, bait and even include a continental breakfast. This Big Island adventure is a “must” for anyone vacationing in Kailua-Kona with children.

About the Author

Lee Cochran is a resident of Kailua Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. He writes about ocean adventures with the Kona Family Fishing Charters fleet.

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