How to Catch Mu Fish in Hawaii

How to Catch Mu Fish in Hawaii

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The bigeye emperor, or mu, is a type of snapper characterized by its large mouth and a flat spine on the gill cover. A reef-dwelling fish, it is considered to be both a very tasty catch and an extremely hard fighter, making it prized as a game fish. Mu are frequently caught via spearfishing, but can be taken with a heavy rod and reel using live bait as well.

Items you will need

  • Boat with depth finder

  • Rod and reel with heavy test line

  • Crabs

Step 1

Navigate your boat to a section of one of Hawaii's coral reefs that is roughly 50 to 70 feet deep at nightfall. This is the prime feeding environment for mu.

Step 2

Search for a sharp depression in the depth of the ocean floor with your depth finder. Mu like to feed along the shelves close to the reefs.

Step 3

Bait your hook with one of your crabs and drop it into the water until you feel it hit bottom. Wait patiently for a slight, sharp tug on your line and then set the hook with a hard upward pull on your rod.

Step 4

Begin to reel in your catch. Mu are notoriously hard fighters, so it may take a long time.


  • As always, exercise extreme caution when navigating a boat at night. Pay attention to channel markers and any signs of sandbars, and always wear a life preserver.
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