Fishing Around For Family Fun

Kaimana Joaquin and cousin Callum Nicholson at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden TANNYA JOAQUIN PHOTO

Kaimana Joaquin and cousin Callum Nicholson at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden TANNYA JOAQUIN PHOTO

We’re blessed to live in paradise with so many options to explore in the great outdoors.

Pick your pleasure: gorgeous hikes, surfing, beaches, parks.

With so many choices and so little time, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface after living in Hawaii for 12 years.

One gem that we’ve enjoyed as a family is in Windward Oahu. If you haven’t spent time fishing at Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden, I highly recommend it.

Just be sure to come prepared. Essentials include good walking shoes, umbrellas and jackets in case of rain (it is in Kaneohe, after all), sunblock, bug spray and white bread.

Take it from me, all of those items are must-haves. Our rookie outing, we made the mistake of forgetting rain jackets. You know what they say. Necessity is the mother of invention. No jacket? No problem. We made a poncho for our son out of a Macy’s bag that was in my trunk (and made a mental note to bring a jacket and umbrella next time!).

We first learned about this beautiful fishing spot when my son was in preschool. The children had the day off so parents planned an outing for Kaimana’s class to Ho‘omaluhia.

It was fun to see each child light up as they reeled in fish after fish, took a souvenir photo, then released their catch. I was surprised to learn that white bread was the best bait. Who knew?

We decided to go fishing again when my sister-in-law’s family was visiting from California. This time, we knew exactly what to do and, more importantly, what to bring.

The result was a fun, free family memory that will stick with the kids. The only possible downside: my son caught 10 fish so now he might expect great things every time we fish.

Ho‘omaluhia is translated as “to make a place of peace and tranquility.”

You can learn more about Ho‘omaluhia Botanical Garden from the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Parks and Recreation website under

Here’s information from their page:

Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

This catch-and-release program is fun for the whole family. We provide bamboo poles with barbless hooks and you bring the bait — fresh white bread works great! You may also bring your own poles with barbless hooks. Fish commonly seen: tilapia and midas cichlid.

Please check in at the Visitor Center. It is a 15-20-minute hike to the fishing area. No casting allowed. Recommended: walking shoes, insect repellent, rain gear.

Call 233-7323 for more information.