This information is presented to acquaint sport and commercial fishermen with State laws and rules pertaining to fishing in Hawaii. It is not to be used as a legal document. Failure to include complete statutes or administrative rules in this summary does not relieve persons from abiding by those statutes and rules. Any discrepancies between this summary and the statutes or rules from which it was prepared will be enforced and adjudicated according to the official statutes and rules in effect on the date the activity took place. The full text of the statutes and rules is available for review at most public libraries in the State and at DAR and DOCARE offices. Administrative Rules can also be downloaded from the Administrative Rules page on this site.
The provisions apply to all areas of the State, unless exempted or modified for certain specific management areas. There is no marine recreational fishing license in Hawai‘i for residents, and although one is in the works for visitors it hasn’t been implemented yet. So you don’t need to worry about a fishing license as long as you don’t sell your catch. A Freshwater Game Fishing License is required for the taking of certain freshwater fishes.
Fishermen are advised that many marine shoreline and freshwater areas of the State are private property, and that permission of the landowner is required for access. This publication does not imply or endorse the public’s right to enter into or fish in such areas.
If questions arise concerning these regulations, please contact the nearest office of the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) or the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE).
This information is current as of July 2019 and subject to change.
A pdf version of the current fishing regulations booklet can be downloaded.