Sometimes the hardest thing about going on vacation is the overdose of downtime. You want to find enough things to do to keep you busy, but not too much to where you feel overloaded. Chartering a fishing boat has its advantages, but on the island of Hawaii, it is a day trip that you do not want to miss. There are certain basics when chartering a boat, but since Hawaii is not just a hop, skip and jump away, you want to make your plans ahead of time while having all of your questions answered.
First of all, you will need a boat. Hawaii has hundreds of charter boats throughout the islands, so availability will not be an issue. The companies that charter boats have certain criteria that they have to follow in order to run their business. The boat must be inspected for proper gear, maintenance, and repair history. They are also inspected for their experience level. No one wants to pay for a charter and catch a fish that the crew cannot handle.
The charter trips are typically broken up into various price categories. Prices will vary depending on where you are staying and where you want to fish. For instance, Kona has the lowest prices but the most competition for marlin fishing while Lahaina is the most expensive.
If you are concerned about the fish, do not worry. Most of the charters will succumb to whatever you want to do with your catches. If you want to take them home or if you want to cook them for dinner, it should not matter as long as you make your requests up front. Hawaii does have a deep-rooted tradition of selling Billfish and this concept offends many anglers. Today, many charters are willing to throw the Billfish back (at the customers request), but dont be surprised if this is not the case.
You should also know that when you charter a boat, you are not chartering fish. A charter is to allow you to have an experience out on the water enjoying the scenery and trying to catch a fish. Fishing is a sport where there are no guarantees and there is no way of predicting where fish will be and when. If you charter a boat with the expectation of a refund for a bad catch day, you will be disappointed. There is no charter trip that will refund your money for a lack of fish on a given day.
Some of the things that you will need when you charter a boat for the day are not what you may expect. Most boats will provide you with tackle and equipment, but that is it. You are expected to bring your own snacks and drinks. You should also invest in some Bullfrog sunscreen, which is waterproof and commonly used on boats. Another good tool essential to fishing are sunglasses. Your sunglasses should be polarized so that you can see the fish clearer than other glasses. Lastly, bring an extra towel and t-shirt because you will probably get wet.
Make sure to leave your bananas behind. Hawaii, as well as many other fishing places, has a strict policy against bananas being onboard. They are thought to bring bad luck, so do not try to test this theory or your day may be extremely unpleasant.