Frequently Asked Questions
Is there an optimum or best time of year to fish for bonefish on Molokai?
The trade winds that blow out of the East and ENE tend to be generally lighter between November and March which can make fly casting somewhat easier. However, Molokai can be successfully fished year round, as the prevailing winds are normally to your back.
Is the fishing done from a boat, wading, or both?
Because of the predominance of coral, rock beds, and blue holes, a boat is the optimum way to bonefish the Molokai reef. It makes spotting cruising bonefish and delivering accurate casts easier, and being mobile provides the opportunity to cover a large amount of water.
If I'm not an expert flycaster, will I still have an opportunity to hook fish?
Fly fishing for bonefish on Molokai is not for beginners, but you don't need to be a world-class flycaster to have success. This is sight fishing and the majority of casts you'll need to make will be in the 25-30 foot range, with occasional casts north of 40 feet. If you can control distance and accuracy within this range, you will give yourself multiple opportunities to hook fish.
I've heard about the Hawaiian trade winds. Can windy conditions negatively impact the fishing?
The prevailing Hawaiian trade winds blow from the East or ENE direction, typically 10-15 mph, and are occasionally interrupted by a Kona wind which blows out of the South or SW. While the wind can have some effect on casting accuracy and distance, most anglers quickly make the necessary adjustments. And because most of the casts you'll need to make will be in the 25-30 foot range, the impact of the trade winds on casting is minimal.
What fly fishing equipment/gear will I need?
The Pacific bonefish of the Molokai reef average 6-8 pounds, are in pristine condition, and are extremely strong. We recommend a 9-ft 9-weight saltwater fly rod, a reel configured with a saltwater floating taper line, and 200 yards of backing. We also recommend 10-ft 20-25 lb. saltwater tapered leaders. As far as flies, we like a variety of traditional bonefish shrimp patterns, weighted and tied on #2 hooks. While anglers will need to furnish their own equipment, Joe always carries a supply of both saltwater leaders & go-to flies on board.
What additional travel items should I bring?
There are several additional items that are essential for a successful & safe bonefishing experience. These include a good pair of polarized sun glasses, sunscreen, lip balm/ChapStick, a good hat, several light-weight, light-colored long sleeved shirts, a pair of sun gloves to protect your hands and wrists, and a pair of flats wading boots or tennis shoes.
Do you practice catch and release?
The Molokai reef is a unique and precious resource. As a native and life-long resident, Joe Kalima is committed to environmental sustainability and protecting the future of this great fishery. Joe encourages and actively practices catch and release fishing with all of his clients.
How do I get to Molokai?
Getting to Molokai is easy. You first fly into either Honolulu or Kahului, Maui. Both airports are served by American, United, Delta, Hawaiian, and Alaska. From there you catch a short inter-island commuter flight over to Molokai (25-30 minutes). For this segment we recommend Mokulele Airlines, which offers multiple daily departures and arrivals from both Honolulu and Maui.
What are my accommodation options?
Lodging on Molokai is somewhat limited. There are two properties we recommend. The first is Hotel Molokai, a full service hotel with 46 rooms, restaurant and full bar, pool, concierge, and free Wi-Fi. All rooms are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves & coffee makers, and a third of the rooms have kitchenettes.
The Wavecrest Condominium Complex is also a good option. It contains 144 privately-owned one and two-bedroom condos, a number of which are available for short-term rental. All rental units are fully furnished with complete kitchens, satellite or cable TV, and Wi-Fi.
Both properties are located east at the town of Kaunakakai on the Kamehameha V Highway, and right on the shores of the Molokai reef.
What are my meal/dining options?
The restaurant at Hotel Molokai serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. If you have a rental car, there are also several restaurants in the town of Kaunakakai. If you're renting a condo at Wavecrest Condominiums, all rental units have full kitchens, and you can pick up groceries (including beer and wine) at two full service markets (Friendly Market and Misaki's) in Kaunakakai.
Can I rent a car?
Renting a car during your visit to Molokai is a good idea. Alamo operates out of the Molokai Airport. You can also rent from locally owned and operated Molokai Car Rental, which maintains a large fleet of vehicles and provides pick-up and drop-off at the airport.
My family will be vacationing in Hawaii soon. Is it possible to book a 1-day over-and-back trip to Molokai to fish with Joe?
If Joe is available that day, absolutely. You can fly over-and-back to Molokai from both Honolulu & Maui, and get in a full day of fishing. If you're interested in this option, give Joe a call and he'd be happy to help coordinate.
What are Joe's guiding rates?
Joe Kalima Guiding Rates: Full Day, 1 or 2 anglers is $600. Half-Day, 1 or 2 anglers (4 hours) is $400.