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“Great Fishing Experience with two top notch guides”

Deep Sea Fishing Kauai
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Great Fishing Experience with two top notch guides”
Reviewed June 13, 2014

My wife and I have been sport fishing in the ocean several times before but never for big game fish. We went out on the Marlin Monroe with captains Pat and Josh - these two are top notch fishing guides who want to make sure you catch fish.

We went on a 4 hour afternoon trip with another couple. The seas were pretty rough getting out to the fishing spot because of the late afternoon trade winds. However, when we got to the area to troll for big game, captain Pat knew how to maneuver the boat and smoothed out the ride. Very experienced captain. My wife and I have been in heavy seas before and never get sea sick. The other couple did well and didn't experience sea sickness.

We didn't catch any big game fish, however they want you to catch fish so you could bring some home. So Josh, hardworking as a deck hand cranked in all of the heavy game fishing poles and set up lighter tackle poles. They took us out to a buoy where the tuna were schooling. We caught a couple of yellow fin tuna (shibi) and one skipjack tuna (aku). It was great fun catching them.

There were only two light tackle rods to use between the four of us so we shared pole time so everyone could experience catching the tuna. The experience would have been great if all four of us had a pole. It worked out fine with two rods though as when the late afternoon swells got rough while someone was reeling in a fish, one of us was securing the person catching the fish. It may sound as if it was a dangerous situation, by all means it was not.

Once we got back to port, captain Pat fillet all of the fish for us to take home. What this trip gives you is a boat ride in the beautiful blue Hawaiian ocean, two experienced and very friendly crew who want you to have a good time and catch fish, and the beautiful Kauai scenery.

My suggestion is that the best fishing will be the morning trips. We took the afternoon trip. Just like fishing I have experienced everywhere I go, morning fishing was always the best.

***Note: The superstition for deep sea fishing in Hawaii is don't bring bananas on board! You won't catch any fish! We threw our apple bananas that we brought overboard***

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank 1funkybassplayer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“things you should know befor booking”
Reviewed June 9, 2014

1. You do not get to keep any fish over 100 pounds and they " go to the Boat" , Your will learn about this after you have paid as the boat is ready to depart.
2 Our boat had NO chairs to fight the fish and you could not hold the rod, but had only to turn the reel crank as the rod stayed in the holder. You could not work the fish with the rod and is extreemly difficult to do this, and not much fun..
3 The guides were good, but it was clear they were fishing for themsellves and their profit, searching for big fish and left behind chanches to catch smaller fish we would have been able to keep
4 If your trip was like ours, you will catch 340 pounds of fish and NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP ANY!!!
5 You pay for their gas and they have a ball making lots of money for themselves. FIGURE AT LEAST 10-15 DOLLARS PER POUND. THAT IS $4000-5000 FOR THEM--AND YOU GET NOOO FISH!!!
BUMMER and if you wanted to take home your catch, as I did, it is a REAL TRUE BUMMER!! WOULD NOT DO IT AGAIN UNER THESE CONDITIONS.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
14 Thank Fjkaram
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Second times a charm”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

June 2014, our 2nd trip with Captain J. Our first was November 2013. Both experiences were amazing. For both experiences we charted the boat for just our family and for each we returned home with amazing stores and pictures. Let's start with the most recent, June 2014. A 250+lb blue marlin. Caught it within 60 minutes of our 6 hour day. Captain J wouldn't give up after that making sure we caught some tuna to take home to eat. Let's look back at November 2013, he struck a chord in my youngest child and he's become this avid fisherman. He taught him the basics as well as how to fish in the ocean. We left that trip catching 3, 70lb yellow fin and 10 skip jacks. Again he made sure we went home with fish to eat. I strongly recommend Captain J's deep sea fishing experience.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Kim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandy Springs, Georgia
1 review
“Must Do!”
Reviewed June 4, 2014

Went out on the Big Ta Do with Captain Rob and Jeff, and had an excelent time. Both Capt Rob and Jeff were extremely knowledgeable about not only fishing and the fishing grounds, but also the island and some of its history. They did a great job explaining the equipment and how to operate it, to the point that even the newest fisherman can very quickly be ready to land a big fish. If you find yourself in Kauai and plan on doing some fishing do not pass up the chance to hang out with Capt J and the rest of his crew

Cody S

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank stapprc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Trophy fishing with the pro's”
Reviewed June 4, 2014 via mobile

***Summary at the bottom if you don't want to read the whole thing***

After a lot of homework and asking around my wife and I decided to book with Captain J and Deep Sea Fishing Kauai to do some sport fishing on our honeymoon. We loved it so much the first time we went out we booked another charter for two days later. Our experience was worth every minute and every penny.

Trip 1:
Or first charter was captained by Cpt Rob while Jeff ran the deck. For the entire 6+ hour trip neither one of them stopped working to get us into big fish. In the first 30 mins of our trip before we could finish going over gear, strategy, and technique we had "contak". 30 minutes later 35+ lbs ono (wahoo) was in the boat. Disappointing for everyone on the boat that was the only fish pulled in that day. Wen I say everyone I mean everyone, crew included. These guy's livelihoods depend on catching big fish. Ya the charter is expensive, but guess what is even more expensive. Fuel, gear, boat maintenance, and tackle. I'm sure even with 4 paying customers onboard and one really nice ono ready for market Rob, Jeff and boss man J didn't break even.

I bring all this up because a lot of people forget that no one on the boat is more motivated to catch fish than the crew. Period. So any reviews that say anything about lazy, disinterested, or disengaged crew can't possibly be true. Rob was on the radio constantly trying to talk to anyone on the water pulling in big fish while Jeff changed tackle the entire time we waited or that next big fish. Too bad it never showed up. Welcome to fishing!

Trip 2:
We booked our second charter for two reasons: 1. We had a blast just hanging out with Jeff and Rob on the ocean all day. Seriously! 2. I promised my wife we were going to catch a fish bigger than her, and I'm not about to start breaking promises right out the gate in our marriage. This time we went with Cpt Justin and we were thrilled to see that we got to work with Jeff on the deck again. I honestly can't thank these guys enough for helping me stay a man of my word. Mahalo!

About 90 minutes in we made some serious contak. BOOM! And line started flying off that reel like there was a torpedo on the other end. That's when these guys shine. Everyone onboard went to work. Cpt Justin worked the engines to keep us on the fish, Jeff helped the other customer work the rod (if you fish you know you can't just stand there and crank, it takes technique), while the rest of us cleared the other rods off the deck. 90 minutes later and with some real teamwork at the reel my wife got to help haul a 140# yellowfin onto the boat. Promise kept. Words can't describe what it's like getting this close to a fish like this. We are from the Midwest and love to fly fish. Anything over 2 lbs is a nice fish back home. If this isn't unforgettable vacation material I don't know what else is.

After Jeff and Justin got the yellowfin cleaned up and on ice we went back to trolling. After an hour or so of no luck things started to feel a bit like the first trip and we wondered if we would catch anything else at all. Without saying a word Justin and Jeff could tell we were getting anxious so we headed for a spot packed full of smaller tuna to either use as bait or bring home for dinner. Because seriously if your fishing in Hawaii you're going to want to eat it right?

We jigged for a couple hours and caught another 6 tuna and kept 3, one for each customer for dinner since they were all too big for bait. Hauling in 15# tuna on light tackle was almost as much fun as wrestling the big boys on the heavy gear. Afterward we tried our luck trolling for ono and mahimahi but it just wasn't in the cards.

Crew:
Top notch. Super nice guys to work with. Really know their stuff and worked their tails off. If we didn't catch fish it wasn't because these guys weren't working. They chased bird piles, worked the radio, threw every size, shape, and color of tackle onboard, all while taking care of us by making sure we were dry, comfortable, hydrated and fed. I can't recommend these guys enough. If you read this guys, huge MAHALO! I wish we could have bought you a beer when we got back to shore.

Boat:
We boarded the "Big Ta Do" for both trips, a '76 Bertram Sportfisher Cpt J restored/customized in 2006. All info available on their website that I suggest everyone checks out. Do your homework! Some reviewers complain about the boat. I don't know why. It floats. It catches fish. It had all the speed we needed to get the job done and it handled so well on our first trip out that my wife managed to take a 2 hour nap in 5' swells. They have a bathroom onboard that we never saw the inside of. They make it clear before leaving the dock it's for emergencies so use the restroom before you board. Hold it or take a leak off the side if the boat. I understand this can be difficult for people with bladder issues or women that are mortified at the thought of men taking a leak off the side of a boat in their presence or men terrified of the idea of ladies present while they do their business. If these are deal breakers for you then don't go. My wife couldn't have cared less and neither could I. The Big Ta Do is a commercial fishing boat, not a luxury yacht. There is a difference and if you are looking for the latter don't go. We loved the authenticity of the Ta Do. In my opinion this boat is perfect in both character and performance.

Fish:
In two days we caught 2 trophy quality fish and brought home more fresh ahi than we will be able to eat the rest of the week we are here. Mission accomplished. Do we wish we caught more? Look at it this way, have you ever finished a day fishing and told yourself, "we caught way too many fish today," no. Keep your expectations realistic and if you want to catch small 3-12# tuna until your arm falls off, tell these guys and they will gladly help you out. We came here to catch lifetime, trophy quality fish and that is always a gamble. God, karma, luck; call it whatever you want, but remember you are paying for the OPPORTUNITY to catch fish, NOT GUARANTEE.

Summary:
- Loved our first charter so much we came back two days later, even though we only caught 1 fish on day one, a trophy size ono.
- Second trip we caught a monster 140# yellowfin!!!! Caught 6 more smaller tuna.
- Cpt's Justin and Rob were very professional and great to work with. They know their stuff and did everything they could to get us where the fish were.
- Deckhand Jeff really made the difference on the trip. All-around awesome guy who didn't stop working once the whole time we were on the water. Should have bought him a beer.
- The boat, the Big Ta Do is my idea of a small commercial fishing boat. We loved it. A little rough around the edges? Maybe, but that comes with the territory. It made us feel less like tourists and that is what we were looking for. We personally hate being catered down to. We aren't interested in Disney World version of this experience. This is the real deal folks! She's an authentic Hawaiian sportfisher. Just make sure to use the bathroom before you head out on the water.
- No bananas allowed onboard.
- Watch for contak.

Bottom-line:
Worth every minute and every penny. My wife and I will never forget the time we caught that fish bigger than she is that I promised her. We are adventurous, outgoing people looking for the real authentic experience in every trip we take and Cpt J and all of his crew at Deep Sea Fishing Kauai really came through for us. There are no guarantees, so we feel incredibly fortunate to have caught some really amazing fish. When you book with Deep Sea Fishing Kauai we hope you are as lucky as we were. We will be back!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Marcus H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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