Bottom Fishing

bottomfish species

Bottomfish species covered by these rules include: a) ‘ula‘ula koa‘e or onaga (Etelis coruscans); b) ‘ula‘ula or ehu (E. carbunculus); c) kalekale (Pristipomoides sieboldii); d) ‘ōpakapaka (P. filamentosus); e) ‘ūkīkiki or gindai (P. zonatus); f) hāpu‘u (Epinephelus quernus); and g) lehi (Aphareus rutilans). These species are often referred to as the “Deep 7.”

See how to distinguish between ‘ōpakapaka and kalekale.

Closed season

Unlawful to fish for, possess, or sell bottomfish species listed above during the announced closed season, except by permit.

Gear restrictions

Unlawful to take bottomfish with any trap, trawl, bottomfish longline or net. Unlawful to possess, while on board a vessel, both bottomfish and any trap, trawl, bottomfish longline, or net other than scoop net or Kona crab net. Scoop nets may be used to bring on board a vessel any bottomfish that has already been caught. Kona crab nets may be used to take Kona crabs.

Trip reporting

Commercial fishers must report all “Deep 7” bottomfish catches within five days after the end of a trip.

Minimum size

Onaga and ‘ōpakapaka minimum size for sale is one pound.

Non-commercial bag limits

Unlawful for any person without a current commercial marine license to take or possess more than a combined total of five “Deep 7” bottomfish per day.

Bottomfish restricted fishing areas

All bottomfish restricted fishing areas are now open.

Bottomfish fishing vessel identification number

Unlawful for any person to take or possess bottomfish while on a vessel without registering the vessel with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and obtaining a bottomfish fishing vessel identification number. You can register the vessel online or with this downloadable form. Upon registration, the vessel will be assigned a bottomfish fishing vessel identification number, described below. This number, followed by the letters “BF”, must be displayed on the sides of the hull or superstructure. For HA numbers, the “BF” shall not be displayed next to the HA number. Letters must be no less than six inches high and three inches wide in black or a contrasting solid color to the background. (Download a diagram showing how to display the vessel identification number and BF letters.)

  • The bottomfish fishing vessel identification number shall be the same as the current HA number, US Coast Guard documentation number, or NMFS Federal fishing permit number. If the vessel has not been assigned any of these numbers, DLNR will assign the vessel a unique number.
  • The bottomfish fishing vessel identification number shall be valid from Sep 1 to Aug 31, and must be renewed annually.
  • Fishing for deep-7 bottomfish may be closed during the valid registration period and all fishing for bottomfish would be prohibited, even if the registration is valid.


Bottomfish News

pdf files
Vol 15, March 2013
Vol 16, November 2013
Vol 17, August 2014
Vol 18, June 2015
Vol 19, July 2017
Vol 20, June 2018
Vol 21, August 2019