Deep-sea Rod & Reel
This hook-and-line method of fishing uses a heavy mainline that is lowered and raised with electric, hydraulic or hand-powered reels. Four to 10 circle hooks, baited with squid or fish, branch off the mainline using monofilament lines. A “chum” or bait bag containing chopped fish or squid is sometimes suspended on the mainline above the hooks to attract fish. Fishermen target deep-sea species, including Opakapaka, Onaga, Hapuupuu, Ehu, Kalekale, Gindai and Lehi, along reef slopes, seamounts and banks. Fish are hauled aboard by hand.
The Hawaiian bottomfish fleet consists of a mix of vessels from 15-foot recreational boats to 70-foot commercial fishing vessels. The distinction between recreational and commercial vessel is unclear since some recreational vessels are permitted to sell their catch to cover trip expenses. Approximately 58 non-commercial vessels and 450 commercially licensed vessels make up the bottomfish fleet. Vessels typically have one to three crewmembers aboard. Fishing trips typically last a day or overnight, but can range up to seven days.