Maui gamefish

The capt. and crew on “ACTION” will be happy to fillet a portion of the day’s catch for you at no cost, to enjoy during your stay on Maui. For more details on our fish policy, please email us.

bull mahi mahi dolphin fish dorado

Bull mahi mahi (dorado / dolphin fish)

mahi mahiMahi Mahi (Dorado / Dolphin fish)

Mahi Mahi ARE NOT ‘Flipper’!  They are, however, one of the most abundant game fish in Hawaiian waters. Though they don’t live more than about 4 years, but they reproduce quickly and prolifically. Mahi mahi (mahi means “strong” in Hawaiian) can put on quite a great show when they’re hooked, marked by high twisting jumps.

A mahi mahi’s skin color ranges from an iridescent golden yellow to brilliant green to silvery blue. They lose a lot of their color fairly quickly after being caught. The distinctions between the males and females is seen most clearly in the shape of the head, with the male/bull having a particularly large, bulbous forehead (as seen in the photo on the left).

Mahi Mahi are structure oriented, often congregating around any manner of marine debris, as well as “FADs” (Fish Aggregation Devices). They’re most often hooked trolling with either live bait or artificial lures. Mahi mahi is probably the most famous fish found in Hawaiian waters (next to the “humuhumunukunukuapua’a”). However, unlike the humuhumu, a mahi’s delicate white flesh is known world-wide for it’s subtle flavor. It is the most requested restaurant fish in Hawaii.

50lb. Ono (Wahoo)

ono Ono (Wahoo)

The Ono is a torpedo shaped fish averaging about 4-6 feet in length, and weighing to over 100 lbs.. The average ono caught off Maui is 25-35 lbs..

Ono have very intimidating looking, razor sharp teeth. They can swim at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, and hit both lures and bait with lightening fast strikes making them one of our favorite fish to hook up to.

Ono tend to be solitary, though they can occur in loose-knit groups of two or three fish. This usually occurs if there is an abundance of prey nearby rather than any possible schooling tendencies. In Hawaii, Ono are usually caught by trolling along the 40 fathom ledge, or, like mahi mahi, near a floating object such as an old log, net, or FAD.

Their diet consists essentially of other fish and squid. Ono means “delicious” in Hawaiian. The meat is firm white with a light, slightly sweet flavour, making it an excellent choice for ceviche!

Ahi (tuna)

102 lb. Ahi

ahiAhi (Yellowfin Tuna)

The word ‘ahi’ means fire in Hawaiian. The early Hawaiians fished for ahi from outrigger canoes, using rope hand lines. When a large ahi struck, the line would run over the canoe gunwale so fast that the side of the canoe would smoke from the friction.

Ahi over 100 pounds are generally caught in the summer months, but like all our other game fish, they may be caught year-round. Ahi are caught trolling lures and with live bait. In Hawaii, “shibi” is another name used for yellow-fin tuna and big-eye tuna, generally denoting a smaller one.

It’s high fat contact and deep red color makes ahi a premium fish for sashimi. Sashimi quality ahi  is in very high demand on Maui, especially during the Christmas/New Year season, and the ‘market price’ is often in excess of $30 per pound.  One of our favorite ahi recipes is the more modern “blackened sashimi”, a cajun spiced preparation.

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