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Trolling is the most popular pelagic fishing method in Hawaii. Hundreds of boaters participate in this fishery, including full and part-time commercial fishermen, charter boats, and recreational fishermen.

The troll fishery targets blue marlin, striped marlin, yellowfin tuna, mahimahi, ono and skipjack tuna and also lands incidental species such as spearfish, kawakawa and rainbow runner.

Up to six lines rigged with artificial lures (or live or dead bait) may be trolled when outrigger poles are used to keep the lines from tangling. Trolling gear usually consists of short, stout fiberglass rods and lever-drag hand-cranked reels. Trollers frequent anchored fish aggregation devices (FADs), drifting logs or flotsam, and areas where the bottom drops off sharply that may aggregate fish.

Hawaii Trolling
Hawaii Trolling – Illustration by Les Hata