Kauai is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The oldest island in the Hawaiian archipelago has an incredibly beautiful landscape that includes the Na Pali coast, cascading waterfalls, a mini Grand Canyon, lush green mountain spires, jagged cliffs and more than sixty beaches. What most people who visit Kauai don’t realize is beyond Kauai’s dramatic beauty lies an excellent fishing destination, especially for ahi (big yellowfin tuna). Between March and October, the ahi bite off the south end of Kauai is off the charts, with ahi ranging from 130-220 pounds, and a few closer to the three hundred mark. A good blue marlin bite is also mixed in too from May thru September. Of course there are ono (Wahoo), mahi-mahi, spearfish and striped marlin bites in the same vicinity – but the great fish to target off Kauai is the ahi.
One of the factors that make ahi fishing in Kauai unique is there are thousands of birds that nest along Kauai’s magnificent cliffs. Unlike the Big Island (Kona) where there are fewer birds and most captains look for porpoise schools to find ahi, the captains fishing out of Port Allen on Kauai’s southern end simply look for the bird piles offshore. There are times in the channel between Port Allen and the tiny island of Ni’ihau that the water is literally boiling with tunas for miles. You can experience a surreal Blue Planet moment here- surrounded by ahi for a mile or more in all directions, with thousands of birds diving and screaming.
Statistically, it is best to fish out of Port Allen, located on the south side of the island. The family friendly Poipu area has plenty of places to stay and a variety of fun things to do for those of all ages. Even if you are staying in the Princeville area on the northern end of the island (highly recommended) it’s only an hour and fifteen minute drive down to the Port Allen harbor.
Getting to the fish from Port Allen is quick. The 40 fathom line comes within ¾ of a mile to the beach and 1000 fathoms is only 3.5 miles offshore. A Kauai captain I would highly recommend is Captain Darrin Auger who runs Nemesis Sportfishing and the 33’ Bertram Sportfish Nemesis. Darrin is an IGFA certified captain with over 26 years of experience fishing in Hawaiian waters, but noticeably cut his teeth in Kona, evident by his skill and techniques. Darrin prefers to release all his blue marlin and provides the right tackle for any species, using Fin-Nor tackle Santiago 130’s, 80’s, and 50’s for trolling and Van Staal spinning reels for great deep jigging for Ulua (big Trevelle), Kahala, (Amberjack )and Uku (Snapper).
So if you are ever planning a visit to Kauai, know that aside from the stunning beauty, the fishing is really good too. If interested – give Darrin a call.
Capt. Darrin “Dundee” Auger
Aloha, Capt. Mark Johnston