Introduced Sport Fishes

Freshwater Game Fishing License required; unlawful to sell.

Largemouth BassLargemouth bass

Micropterus salmoides

Description Coloration varies with location, generally dark green above fading to white below; may have faint horizontal band along sides (more distinct in young fish); jaw extends back beyond posterior margin of eye; dorsal fin deeply notched between spiny and soft portions.
Size Weight ranges up to 10 pounds in Hawai‘i; state record 8 pounds (1977); world record 221/4 pounds (Georgia).
Distribution Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i.
Habitat Usually found in sluggish waters, occur primarily in reservoirs in Hawai‘i; prefer submerged logs, weeds or other cover near banks.
Feeding Young feed on crustaceans, insects and small fishes; adults feed on live fishes, crayfish and frogs.
Life history In Hawai‘i spawning season occurs during the winter and spring and is limited to reservoir habitats; male builds a circular nest in 3 to 4 feet of water; male guards the nest and defends eggs and young until they leave.
Fishing methods Light spinning or baitcasting gear is recommended, with surface or deep running lures, such as plastic worms, crankbaits or spinnerbaits; effective live baits include puntat, tilapia, crayfish and worms.
Note Introduced to Hawai‘i in 1896.

Smallmouth BassSmallmouth bass

Micropterus dolomieu

 
Description Coloration varies with location, generally dark green to olive brown above lading to white below; sides marked with vertical bars and dark mottlings; jaw does not extend back beyond eye; spiny portion of dorsal fin lower than on largemouth bass, and not as deeply notched.
Size Weight ranges up to 4 pounds in Hawai‘i; state record 5 pounds 11 ounces; world record 11 pounds 15 ounces (Kentucky).
Distribution Kaua‘i and O‘ahu.
Habitat Found in cool flowing streams and reservoirs fed by such streams.
Feeding Young feed on crustaceans, insects and small fishes; adults feed primarily on live fishes and crayfish.
Life history In Hawai‘i spawning season occurs during the spring and is limited to stream habitats; male builds a hollow nest in sand and guards the young, viciously attacking any intruder.
Fishing methods Small spinners or poppers are effective lures; live baits include crayfish or worms.
Note Introduced to Hawai‘i in 1953.

Rainbow TroutRainbow trout

Oncorhynchus mykiss

 
Description Bluish or olive green above fading to silvery below, with broad pink lateral stripe; back, sides, dorsal and caudal fins marked with small dark spots.
Size Generally under 3 pounds, but have unofficially reached 8 pounds in Hawai‘i; state record 5 pounds 10 ounces; world record 42 pounds 3 ounces (Alaska).
Distribution Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i.
Habitat Prefers cold water streams with moderate flow.
Feeding Young feed on small insects and crustaceans; adults feed on fish eggs, minnows and other small fish (including other trout).
Life history Limited spawning occurs in Hawai‘i because water temperatures are too high; what spawning does occur takes place from about November to February; annual stockings of the Koke‘e region on Kaua‘i are accomplished with eggs from California, hatched and raised at Sand Island, O‘ahu.
Fishing methods Small spinners or flies are effective lures; salmon eggs are used with good success.
 Note Introduced to Hawai‘i in 1920.

Channel CatfishChannel catfish

Ictalurus punctatus

 
Description Bluish olive to gray above fading to white below, with dark spots scattered along sides; older males become dark in color and lose spots; long barbels surrounding mouth; deeply forked tail.
Size Generally under 10 pounds, but have unofficially exceeded 50 pounds in Hawai‘i; state record 43 pounds 13 ounces; world record 58 pounds (South Carolina).
Distribution Kaua‘i and O‘ahu.
Habitat Occur primarily in reservoirs in Hawai‘i.
Feeding Feeds primarily on small fish, crustaceans, clams and snails.
Life history Spawning occurs in late spring; eggs are laid in jelly-like masses in holes and crevices, and guarded by the male; hatching occurs after about a week, and the male continues to guard the young.
Fishing methods Crankbaits or large spinnerbaits are the most effective lures; a catfish weighing 51 pounds (unofficially) was taken from the Wahiawā Reservoir on a spoon; other baits include tilapia, crayfish, aku belly, liver and various stinkbails.
Note Introduced to Hawai‘i in 1958.

Bluegill SunfishBluegill sunfish

Lepomis macrochirus

 
Description Coloration varies somewhat with sex and age, generally olive green above with blue or purplish sheen along sides; breeding males may have more blue and orange on sides; faint vertical bars along sides; opercular flap is dark blue or black, and prominent dark blotch is present at posterior base of dorsal tin.
Size Generally 4 to 6 inches in length, may reach 14 inches; state record 8-1/2 ounces; world record 4 pounds 11 ounces (Alabama).
Distribution Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i.
Habitat Usually found in lakes, ponds, reservoirs and sluggish streams, occur primarily in reservoirs in Hawai‘i; prefer deep weed beds.
Feeding Young feed on crustaceans, insects and worms; adults feed on snails, small crayfish, insects, worms and small minnows; feed mostly in early morning and late afternoon and evening.
Life history In Hawai‘i spawning season occurs in winter and spring; male builds a circular nest in sandy areas 3 to 6 feet deep; after fertilizing eggs male chases female away and guards the nest until fry disperse.
Fishing methods Worms are the most effective live bait; lures include flies and small spinners.
Note Introduced to Hawai‘i in 1946.

TucunareTucunare

Cichla ocellaris

 
Description Yellow with a green back and white abdomen; vertical bars along sides; during spawning season yellow color intensifies, and males develop a large hump above the head; prominent black spot on caudal fin.
Size Weight averages about 2 to 3 pounds; state record 8 pounds 13 ounces; species known to reach 12 pounds in South America.
Distribution Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i.
Habitat Generally found in the larger reservoirs of the state.
Feeding Feeds exclusively on small fish, especially threadfin shad, mosquito fish, tilapia and bluegill.
Life history Spawning in Hawai‘i occurs from about March to September; eggs are laid on rocks or other hard objects and guarded by one or both parents; hatching takes place within four days, and parents guard the young; presence of at least one parent is essential for survival of young, so fishermen are urged not to disturb spawning fish which are often visible near shore.
Fishing methods Lures include jigs and torpedo-shaped lures that resemble minnows; the only effective live bait is mosquitofish, mollies or tilapia.
 Note Introduced to Hawai‘i in 1957.