It was almost a year prior to my brother-in-law’s retirement celebration and he was already calling me about going on a sport fishing trip with his three adult sons (my nephews). I suggested he might want to wait until a couple of months before their scheduled arrival to start contacting companies on the island. When that time arrived, I checked with a few of my fishing friends and they suggested Captain Don’s Kauai Sport Fishing. I knew this was super important to my brother-in-law, so I hoped my friends were not leading me astray.
Captain Don, and his boat the Happy Ryder, leave out of the Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor in Lihue. The company offers specialty sportfishing charters and whale-watching expeditions. On their website they claim you can catch mahi mahi, dorado ahi, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, ono, marlin, sharks, amber jacks, barracuda, giant travalie and much more.
My family arrived on Saturday in July and the guys were checking the weather hourly in the hopes that Monday would bring clear skies and calm waters. Leaving the north shore in the wee hours of the morning, they headed to Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor. By sunrise they were motoring four to five miles away from the Kauai coast to look for ahi. It wasn’t long before the wives started receiving photos like this on their phones:
I was quite relieved that fish was apparently being caught by all four of them. The smiles indicated they were having a great time. Phew. In fact, over 50 creatures of the sea were caught by these guys during the course of that day!
Once home, “the best fishing day ever” was heard more than once. One of my nephews experienced a bit of sea sickness at first but once the fish started biting, he was back in action. It was exactly the Kauai sport fishing day my brother-in-law had been anticipating for over a year. Happy Retirement Chris!
Generally, most fish caught on a boat belongs to the captain. Fortunately for us, there was plenty to go around and the captain sent home enough protein for all of us to have several dinners during the week. There is nothing like FRESH fish, sushimi or cooked. It was yummy!
Rates for all of Captain Don’s Kauai Sport Fishing and Ocean Adventure Tours:
Private Charter (per trip)
- Half-day trips (4-4 1/2 hours) are $750.
- ¾-day trips (6 hours) are $950.
- Whole day trips (8 hours) are $1250.
Shared Charter (per person)
- Half-day trips (4-4 1/2 hours) for $150.
- ¾-day trips (6 hours) for $225.
- 2 hour adventure for $350.
Prices do not include Hawaii taxes, harbor fees, fuel surcharges or gratuity for the crew members.
Cancellation Policy Notice of cancellation is due 48 hours before the scheduled trip. After that, there is a 50% fee (of your charter cost) for the late notice. For no shows or cancellation within 12 hours of the trip, full fare will be charged.
For an unofficial guide to what fish you will catch each month of the year, click on Captain Don’s Kauai Offshore Fishing Calendar.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What do I wear?
Generally, you should dress like you are going to the beach. A T-shirt, shorts, shoes, sunglasses and maybe a hat are great. They usually have some sunscreen on the boat, but be sure to pack your own. They provide rain jackets if needed.
What is provided?
They provide all of the fishing gear and lures that you will need. They also provide a cooler with ice and sodas. They have rain jackets on the boat.
What should I bring?
All you need to bring are snacks, food, and beer if you’d like. Captain Don always appreciates a bad joke or two as well.
More answers to commonly asked questions here.
Captain Don’s is located out of Nawiliwili Small Boat Harbor, 2494 Niumalu Road. The harbor is on the southeast side of the island, five minutes south of Lihue International Airport. Click here to view the Google Map Directions to the boat.
Directions from all points north of Lihue (Wailua, Kapaa, Princeville, Hanalei)
Take Kuhio Highway, Route 56, south until you reach Rice Street, Route 51, in Lihue. Turn left on Rice Street and follow it all the way down to the ocean until you split off at Wilcox. This meets up with Waapa Road, which you should take right (West) along the waterfront. The Parking for the Small Boat Harbor is there.
Online Contact Form here.
Good luck and have fun! You can thank me at dinner. 🙂
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