I am hoping to get to go on my first trip to Hawaii in the next year or two. The thought that there is some bass fishing to be done on the islands makes me want to go even more. Bass angler Kevin Lo shares with us how he catches bass on the Hawaii island of Oahu.
How long have you been fishing in Hawaii?
I have been fishing for as long as I can remember. I come from a family of fishermen, and fishing for my family over the years was more about survival and our way of life.
Looking back at how it first started, I’m glad that I can say now that it’s more so for fun, and I do it as a sport now. Some of my earliest memories of fishing was when I used to live in Kauai and Georgia. I was in Kauai fishing at Port Allen when I caught an Octopus on a bamboo pole. Then fast forward to all the way to when we moved to Georgia shortly after, I got my first largemouth bass off a dock, which is probably still my biggest one to date.
What do you love about bass fishing in Hawaii?
Bass fishing and Hawaii is not what most people think about when you put them together. But bass fishing on Oahu is a love/hate relationship. It’s not what I would consider easy on Oahu as there is only one lake “Wahiawā Freshwater State Recreation Area.”
If you don’t have a boat, there is limited bank access, making the area for bank fishing highly pressured. But nonetheless, I love the challenge! It’s got me hooked. I have fished on Oahu and Kauai for largemouth, smallmouth, and tucunare “butterfly peacock bass”.
How popular is bass fishing on Oahu?
I would say it’s not that popular for the amount of people that live on Oahu. The lake as a whole is not too pressured because of limited access. But it’s definitely a grind out here.
Which do you prefer to fish for, largemouth or smallmouth?
Out of the two, I would have to say smallmouth. They put up a better fight for their size, and catching a largemouth is rare. This year alone I have only gotten a hand full largemouth. But when I do go to the lake, I’m mostly there for the canaries “butterfly peacock bass”.
How big do Hawaii largemouth get?
Largemouth on Oahu from what I know don’t get that much bigger than 6 pounds, but on Kauai there have been some lake lunkers that got ripped out of the water. The state record for largemouth is 9.5 pounds. My personal best is 4.5 pounds for a largemouth, 2 pounds for a smallmouth, and 7 pounds for a butterfly peacock.
What are the main things that Oahu bass feed on in the waters you fish?
Oahu bass feed on threadfin shad, five star general cichlid, and the occasional crawfish. I’m always definitely trying to imitate just your basic shad.
What do you consider your 3 favorite baits to fish in Hawaii?
My three favorite baits to fish is Lucky Craft – Gunfish, Jackall – Squad Minnow, and Rapala – Husky Jerk. The key to success is “Beat The Bank”.
What advice do you have for someone visiting Oahu who may want to try freshwater bass fishing?
If your coming to Oahu to fish for bass I would suggest you get a guide to take you out on the lake. The last thing you want is to get skunked in paradise and with a boat you have access to the whole lake. But if it’s not in the budget, there is bank access at Wahiawā Freshwater State Recreation Area “Lake Wilson”.
Do you have any sponsors or pro staff companies?
Lunker Lab, Anthony and Linda are great people behind an awesome clothing and design company. I love the thought and creativity that they put into their designs, and I’m glad to be part of their Lab. I’m looking forward to the future with them. #LunkerLab
Thank you Kevin. Will be following on Instagram @_kevin.lo.