Shore Fishing in Kauai, Hawaii

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Kauai offers both saltwater and freshwater shore fishing, with plentiful streams and reservoirs, according to Hawaii Beachcombers, an online recreational information resource for the Hawaiian islands. Groups of people standing wait-deep in the blue waters of Kauai with simple bamboo rods are a common sight.

Types of Fish

Kauai waters are teeming with fish, including peacock bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish and bluegills, according to a Fine Fishing article. People shore fishing in Kauai may also land rainbow trout from the rainforest, or trout at Kauai’s Kokee Public Fishing Area.

Where to Fish

Scouting for wharves along the shore of Kauai as potential fishing spots is recommended. People shore fishing in Kauai can watch for dark splotches of water possibly indicating offshore baitfish. Party boats or charter boats cleaning out bait tanks near Kauai piers can be an unexpected boon, as this sometimes attracts fish for feeding. In Kauai, fishing is recommended in Wiamea and Ahukini Recreational Piers.

Bays and beaches protected by offshore reefs are another good bet for shore fishing in Kauai. Those bookended by rock pilings or reefs are more likely to host fish. Breakwaters offer another ideal outcropping for shore fishing in Kauai.

The Kokee Public Fishing Area is a 15-acre fresh water reservoir with 13 miles of streams and a daily maximum catch limit of seven fish, according to Wildernet, an online Hawaiian fishing guide.


Some tropical saltwater fish are vegetarian, according to “Easy, Affordable Hawaiian Fishing.” People shore fishing in Kauai might use bits of bread or banana as bait. Other bait options include shellfish, shrimp, squid, sand worms and small crabs.

It is recommended to bring a size six or smaller hook and sinker. People shore fishing in Kauai should also bring long-nose pliers for removing hooks. Locals often use light gear quite effectively, although heavier gear may help land larger fish such as tuna and barracuda. Shore Fishing, an online information resource for shore fishing, recommends starting out with moderately priced rods and reels. Recommended options include spin casting and spinning reels.


People shore fishing in Hawaii, including Kauai, always wear shoes to avoid being cut by sharp coral reef or fish scales, gills or spines. Polarizes sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat permit better visibility when scouting the waters for fish, and neutral-toned clothing adds some camouflage.

When shore fishing from protected bays and beaches in Kauai, individuals may choose to remain in one spot with a line cast, waiting for a bite. It’s also possible to walk along the beach or wade into the water. Since people who are fishing share the beach and ocean waters with others, including swimmers and surfers, take care to choose less crowded beaches. Children accompanying people shore fishing in Kauai should be carefully supervised, according to Shore Fishing.

Not all fish caught from shore are edible. Bonefish; for example, should be tossed back to sea. Buying an inexpensive fish identification chart, and keeping landed fish chilled in an ice cooler, are recommended.


Hawaii requires people to obtain fishing licenses only if they are fresh water fishing, according to Kauai Discovery, a online information resource for Kauai recreation. These are valid for one year and may be obtained through the State Division of Aquatic Resources.

Sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals and live coral are protected species, according to Wildernet.