Frequently Asked Questions


Sportfishing FAQ

No, fishing licenses are not required for recreational sport fishing in the state of Hawaii.

The most common fish caught are Tuna (Big Eye and Yellow Fin), Marlin (Blue & Striped), Mahi mahi, and Ono

These prices are not per person, they are cost for an exclusive charter for a total of 6 people. Any applicable taxes and fees are included in the price.

We are located in Keauhou Bay with some of the best fishing grounds around the island directly outside our harbor. This equals no lengthy run time to begin fishing, we start immediately.

Please feel free to call Captain Bill or Captain Nainoa if you have any questions or concerns you would like to address. Whether its to build and personalize your trip or to just inquire about the bite, we would like to hear from you.

We provide any required gear such as bait, tackle, coolers with ice, and back up drinking bottled water. All you need to bring is what you will eat and drink for your time on the water with us. Please remember to bring plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Please, no Aerosol Spray On Sun Block aboard the Nainoa, only lotions. If aerosol is all you have, leave it at home along with Bananas..!! We have plenty of various numbered sun blocks for you to use and Bananas are bad luck!! Don't forget your camera.

Gratuity - There is not much money to be made in the charter fishing business. Most of us are addicts to fish and are content with just getting by. The operational cost are far from what our guests understand and crew gets paid with papayas and coconuts. If you feel we have provided you the best we were capable of to make your trip the best it could be, gratuity is greatly appreciated.

I am happy to cut fish for you to enjoy eating while you are in Kona. In fact and in most cases, food fish are a priority for us to catch unless otherwise specified.

Please understand fish over 50lbs will be at the discretion of the boat to decide its fate. For example; I do not want to kill a 500 lb Marlin to hang upside down for picture purposes. I would rather involve you in the process of a clean release by assisting with making sure that fish will swim away strongly and with those action shots versus a dead fish. Another example would be big Yellow Fin Tuna. These fish are sold to maintain all my expensive gear and to keep Nainoa a perfectly fine tuned fishing machine.

We like to leave early and utilize are prime location to its advantage. No sense having boats from another harbor beating us to the desired fishing grounds - our front yard. We also like to leave early to catch our live bait. There is only a small window of opportunity in the early mornings to do this, and that also depends on how many people are in your party.

Most of our charters leave so early in the morning that there are usually parking spaces available directly adjacent to the main dock off Kaleiopapa Street. If those spaces should happen to be occupied, you can park on the street along King Kamehameha III Rd. on the opposite side of the bay. If that is the case you will need to drive back up Kaleiopapa Street to Alii Drive, make a left on Alii Drive, drive down Alii Drive until you come to the King Kamehameha III intersection, make a left onto King Kamehameha III and drive to the end near the bay. Park along the street where you can.

Manta FAQ

No, you do not need to be SCUBA certified, but:
  • You must be comfortable in the water.
  • You must be able to swim.
  • You must have familiarity with using a mask and snorkel.
You won't be going anywhere below the surface. You'll be floating on the surface looking at the manta rays below while wearing a mask and snorkel.
As you can see in these photos, you'll be lying in a prone position hanging on to our lighting rig that floats on the surface. This makes it comfortable to watch the manta rays ascend from below. You'll be given float noodles to keep your feet up so your body stays in a horizontal position, which is the perfect way to observe the manta rays.
Manta Image
A manta ray coming up to feed on plankton.

We currently have two time frames. The time frames' start times vary with changes of the time when the sun sets. The first time frame is generally just prior to sunset, the second time frame is about an hour and half after the first time.
Trips are subject to availability, so be sure to book your trip early.
Book Online Now!

We provide everything you'll need to watch the manta rays. This includes:
  • Mask
  • Snorkel
  • Wetsuit
  • Float Noodles
To watch the mantas you will be hanging on to our lighting rig that floats on the surface. You'll be given float noodles to keep your feet up so your body is in a horizontal position, which is the perfect way to observe the manta rays.

We suggest you bring the following:
  • A Towel
  • Dry clothing to change into after snorkeling
  • A Swimsuit
  • A GoPro or some other type of waterproof recording devise

There are two species of manta ray, the Giant Manta Ray (Mobula Birostris), and the Reef Manta Ray (Mobula Alfredi). Both varieties of manta rays can grow to a pretty large size. The manta rays you'll be encountering is the reef manta ray. The reef manta ray can grow to a disc size of up to 5 m (16 ft) but average size commonly observed is 3 to 3.5 m (11 ft).

The reef manta ray has a pelagic lifestyle and feeds by filtering sea water in order to catch zooplankton.

Like the Oceanic manta ray, it has the largest brain weight and ratio among cold blooded fish. Also, reef manta rays have been confirmed to form communities in specific populations. This shows that there is a sociality that builds friendship like human beings. The mantas of Kona are all named.

Manta Rays are very gentle animals. They have no teeth, stingers or barbs. They are plankton eaters, which is what they'll be doing as you watch them. The lights on our lighting rig, attract plankton which in turn attracts the manta rays. You'll be in awe of these gentle giants as they glide in swooping arcs collecting the microscopic plankton below you.

Although the water in Hawaii is relatively warm, it can get cold if you're not moving around much. We have wetsuits available free of charge.