8-Hour Napali Fishing Charter with Kids?

Old Feb 7th, 2016, 12:08 PM
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8-Hour Napali Fishing Charter with Kids?

Hi there!

My husband and I are taking our two young boys (ages 5.5 and 8.5) to Kauai next month (March) and we're currently busy planning our trip! It has led us to this question... My youngest son is turning six while we're gone and he's dying to go deep sea fishing (he's actually been asking for a couple of years!). We were looking into fishing charters and we'd like some opinions on our 3 options:

1) 2-hour private charter with Lehela Sport Fishing. They offer a 2-hour fishing tour. I thought that this might be a good option because 2-hours is good for keeping the kids' attention/focus and also hopefully to mitigate against seasickness. But is it enough time to actually catch any fish? : )

2) A regular 4-hour charter. From Port Allen or the other side?

3) 8-hour private fishing charter to the Napali Coast with Captain J's deep sea fishing. My hubby and I are dying to see the Napali Coast, but likely aren't going to take a helicopter tour. We thought that taking this charter -- that literally allows us to fish along the way to the Napali Coast -- would allow us the best of all worlds. They leave from Port Allen and so they claim that the waters are much calmer.

http://www.deepseafishingkauai.com/dsfknapali.html

But is 8 hours WAY too long to expect the kids to be on a boat? Anyone have experience with this? Also, since we're going in MARCH, I know that we can expect rougher winter waters, but how rough? Is it crazy to even think about taking the kids on such an adventure?

I know that the possibility of seasickness is very personal of course, but would love to hear back from anyone who knows the conditions in March on that west side, and also any experience with kids on these long charters in winter conditions.

Thanks all!
Jenn
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 12:37 PM
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You need to know with most deep sea fishing excursions in Hawaii, the boat owns the catch. It could be a huge bummer if your son landed a fish and had to leave it behind for the Captain to sell. And note that dramamine does make you drowsy, so 8 hours could be a lot for the kids. Just my opinion.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 12:48 PM
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The best alternative to Dramamine is TransDerm Scop which is a Rx but I doubt that doctors prescribe for children that young.
Even worse than getting sea sick would be for someone to drop a pole and rig overboard whether it had a fish on or not.
I think some boats have a minimum age since there is usually alcoholic beverages on board.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 01:12 PM
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Children as young as yours -- the 2 hour private one is the ONLY one I'd even consider. Since it is private and if the kids don't do well, the skipper can bring you back in early.



I wouldn't even take an adult on an 8-hour trip unless I already knew they liked fishing, and are OK/can cope with seasickness.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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Do the 2 hour trip with kids that young. I would also make sure everyone takes Bonine or Dramamine.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 04:15 PM
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Not sure 6 year olds are allowed to take bonine. Do NOT give them dramamine, since it can make a child VERY sleepy.

And agree that a 2 hour trip is the most I would do - but I would be sure first that they both can handle the sea. Unless you are chartering a private boat that can turn around immediately if they don't feel well.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 05:29 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you for your thoughts and opinions - greatly appreciated. I think we will likely stick with the 2-hour charter (even though we're dreaming of the 8-hour Napali one!). My husband and I once did a sailing trip through the San Blas Islands in Panama and so I think we have a very different impression of sailing on the ocean : )

I'll be sure to write a trip report once we're home (and likely one or two more topics before we leave : )).

Jenn
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 05:49 PM
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Jenn, have you asked the private charter operator if a shorter term is possible? If business is slow maybe they can negotiate a shorter excursion, especially if you explain your circumstances.

I agree that eight hours is probably too long for kids that age, but I also think their jaws will drop along with yours when you guys see the Napili Coast. It's one of the most stunning and fantastic sites in the entire world, and fishing I think will quickly be relegated to the bottom of their priority lists.
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 03:56 AM
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fdecarlo, interesting point. In fact, there was a part of me that wondered if we should just put fishing to the side until he's older, but nonetheless try to take part in one of the offered shorter tours (albeit not private) to the Napali Coast). I think there are 5 hour tours by other companies on a large catamaran and maybe that's the way to go. Would a large catamaran be much smoother than a 32' fishing boat? (I"m showing my ocean ignorance here!).
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 04:15 AM
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Am not expert on boats, but I am on seasickness.

Have very limited exposure and have never gone on a fishing boat - the party boats are just way too small for me.

Did go whale watching after taking lot of dramamine - but the boat was more than 65 feet long with 2 decks and indoor seating area. We were out about 5 hours and I was OK with the dramamine - and we saw several whales as well as other sea life. BUT, many people on the boat refused the Dramamine offered by the crew before leaving and a bunch of them were very ill - hanging over the back of the boat to be sick repeatedly.

Now I don;t know how the seas are around Hawaii (we were off Montauk which is the north atlantic, but the weather was sunny and the seas calm). But still so many people got sick. I think signing kids up for a long trip on a small boat without knowing how they handle being on the water is not a great idea.
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 10:18 AM
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What inakauai said, the fish belongs to the boat. We went fishing and my husbamd caught an ono, the skipper gave us two filets to keep.
Also a shared charter will NOT return to the dock if anyone gets seasick.
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 10:48 AM
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I let myself get talked into two 8-hour fishing trips on the Big Island last June. What a waste of precious vacation time! Fine when you get a fish on, but otherwise, it's hours of motoring around looking for fish. If I *ever* do another, it'll be a maximum of 4 hours. (That said, however, I'd bet that if you did a private charter the captain would be willing to make it more of a sightseeing excursion, whether or not you're catching anything, and maybe even take you snorkeling. I know ours offered to do that, but I was outvoted.)
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 11:24 AM
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jamie99 - it's a bit like a Tom Sawyer white washing the fence ponzie scheme.
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 12:24 PM
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Thanks everyone! I know that it's a hard question to answer - about whether someone else will get seasick! That said, I really appreciate hearing about other's experiences here. FaceInTheCrowd, that's why I was thinking that the fishing/Napali tour, albeit much longer, might be better because it's also about seeing the gorgeous Napali Coast, rather than just fishing. My hubbie and I talked about how devastating it would be for our son if we went out fishing for his birthday and we didn't catch anything at all! Or even if someone else on the boat caught and he didn't! I think we're leaning towards no fishing tour. Maybe we'll wait until we're somewhere where the waters are calmer to give it a try...
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 12:38 PM
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"...how devastating it would be for our son if we went out fishing for his birthday and we didn't catch anything at all!"

Yeah, it's hard enough on a middle-aged guy, so I can't imagine how a 6 year old would feel. We were on the water for close to 16 hours, and the total catch was two fish. No fun!
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 07:23 PM
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AlwaysAfrica, I recently took my kids to Kauai and I specifically decided against a boat tour due to the rough surf at the Na Pali coast. And we went in summer. You're going in March when the surf is even rougher. If you really feel strongly about the boat, I would do 2 hours and no more. The waves are really rough and there's a lot of bouncing around.

If it were me, I would go for a hike on the Kalalau trail which lets you see the Na Pali coast in just the first 1-2 miles. Much safer. No seasickness.

Or I would do the helicopter. I've done all 3 and liked the hike the best. Bring lots of water and get there early.

Also be very careful with your kids in the ocean. I only let my kids swim in the bay or in very shallow water. Rogue waves are common. Make sure you swim where there are lifeguards.

Don't mean to scare you- just want your kids to be safe. Have a great trip!
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 01:37 AM
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One more data point: I know several charter captains, albeit not in Hawaii. None of them would take kids on an eight hour trip. It would be like introducing your children to opera by taking them to "The RIng" at the Met.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 03:57 AM
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My decision has definitely been made - thanks guys! No boat tour. I really did need to hear just how rough the waters would be... brubenow, did your kids have lifejackets on at all times while in the ocean or no? Due to what I've read about the strong riptides and waves, I'd already told them that the pools can be lifejacket-free, but that they will be wearing a lifejacket at all times in the ocean...

We were already planning to do the first bit of the Kalalau Trail and so I'm glad to hear that it's the best option to see the Napali Coast anyway : )
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 05:07 AM
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I let them swim in Hanalei Bay and at the bay in front of the St. Regis in Princeville without life jackets. But all other times I made them wear them except in the swimming pool of course. Waters near Poipu are calmer I've heard but waters on the north and west side can be very dangerous. Glad you're skipping the boat!
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 11:00 AM
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Jenn, if it's in the budget you might want to price a helicopter tour of this area. IMO it's the fastest and best way to get an overall view, and the trips don't last long enough for kids to lose interest at any point.
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