Magic is one of the best-kept secrets in the sportfishing world.  At 50 feet and incredibly well equipped, this sea-worthy, air conditioned Pacifica is the queen of the Oahu Charter boat fleet and is what most people imagine when picturing themselves fishing in Hawaii.

The reason she has been a secret until now is because the charter rate is about half of what she would command in other fisheries around the world.  

The boat is immaculate, the gear is perfect, and there is no detail left unattended.  Captain Russell Tanaka with over 35 years experience, is one of the hardest working anglers you will ever meet, and his methodical attention to every excruciating detail is reflected in the boat, the gear, his crew, and in his fish production.  Russell usually leaves early and stays out late, and he carries bait for the times when situations dictate.  Capt. "Toots" with over 40 years of experience, who also runs the Magic when Capt. Tanaka is off, is Capt. Tanaka's mentor and taught him most of what he knows about fishing.  So whether you get Capt. Tanaka or Capt. "Toots" you are getting years of Hawaii fishing experience.  

Though the Magic is well appointed, luxurious, and capable of days if not weeks of uninterrupted cruising, this is a fishing boat first, second, and last.  Magic doesn’t offer sunset cruises, whale watch trips, overnighters, or spend time targeting bottom fish.  In fact, half and three-quarter day trips are very rare, with those shorter trips usually passed along to another boat when requests for shorter trips come in.  

Russell feels his expertise is in the area of Hawaii Big Game fishing, and his goal is to catch a four-digit Marlin beginning with a two (that’s right, 2,000 pounds).  Will he ever make that goal?  Who knows, but the gear is ready for the day the challenge comes along.  So far he has had three over a thousand (1174, 1106, and 1032), and if not for the hundred or more pounds of flesh removed by a shark from the side of the 1174, that fish may have challenged the IGFA world record of 1,376 pounds.  

Russell has also had some amazing days others just dream about.  65 Mahimahi in one day in March 1999, and 16 Ahi (yellowfin tuna) between 104 and 179 pounds only a few weeks later, to name a couple.  Looking through the pages of the album on board makes one wonder how someone could possibly hold such a track record, but he does.

In case you are wondering why someone with these credentials continues to fish out of Kewalo Basin on the South shore of Oahu and not some other destination, it’s because he believes his best shot on a day in, day out basis to achieve that goal of a 2k fish is right here in Hawaii.  Don’t forget that largest Marlin ever caught on rod and reel, an 1,805 pounder caught by the late Cornelius Choy, was caught off Oahu in an area Russell passes by almost every day.

What about Magic’s fish disposition policy?

Because the boat is chartered for much less than it should be (competition in the harbor is the big reason), Magic must sell fish to help with their costs and continue operating.  When you see the boat, you’ll understand what we mean.   Furthermore, Russell’s upbringing was one of fishing for sustenance, and for him, playing with food is not part of his demeanor.   While everyone who fishes on the Magic will have a wonderful time with Russell and his crew, the ultimate goal is to bring fish on board for sale to pay the bills.  It’s part of their motivation to perform for you on a daily basis.  If you would like to release your billfish, something Sportfish Hawaii does support, it is important to recognize a few key factors.  First, the fish could be injured and will become food for the sharks the moment it is released.  To all of us in Hawaii that is a great waste, and releases should only be done if the fish will have a chance to survive.  Second, if a fish is 500 pounds or more, it could mean the difference between the crew paying rent for the month, thus compensating the crew appropriately is the best way to show your support for the future of the fishery and for the outstanding efforts of the crew.  The boat will cut individual fish under 100lbs and give you up to 40lbs to take with you on a private trip (2-3 servings per person on a shared trip).  There are no services to package and ship so most people just take enough to eat while on the island. 

So, if you’re looking for a boat ride with some nice scenery and hors d'oeuvres, hit the back button on your browser. However, if you are looking for a hard-working angler who will bust his tail catching you fish and a large, comfortable, fish-catching boat, charter the Magic for a day or two.  You will not be disappointed.  

“Monday’s fishing trip was fantastic, very professionally managed and run with a total focus on catching fish, so much so that trolling went on for 10 hours! I landed a tuna (tasted good) with the others landing 4 more and also a blue marlin - amazing to see it jumping. In all, a never to be forgotten experience - thank you Hawai’i!”

"Thank you very much for getting us on the Magic! Russell was the most serious and dedicated charter captain I have ever fished with. He was constantly using the binoculars, monitoring the lines, checking with other charter captains, studying the waves, currents, birds and their flight patterns, etc., etc. etc.. When the other boats came back, he stayed out and we caught a 152 lb. Tuna, as well as hooking a Marlin and three Mahi Mahi....." Email comments from Terry of Oregon who chartered Magic.

"Thank you very much for your help in setting up out trip on the Magic. This was a first for us at this type of "big game" fishing. We had a great day out with Capt Russell and Peter the Aussie (I think). We would of caught all the fish for the boat that day but felt bad for the other anglers and let them reel in some of our poles. The 160lb Tuna was the highlight of out trip not to mention the smaller 30-45 pound fish. A great day and great memories. We will defiantly be back." Email Comments from Robert & Robby who went on a shared trip on the Magic.

"We just returned from our trip to Hawaii and I had to write you to let you know what a great fishing trip we had. Toots and Chris onboard the Magic are top notch guys. My son, my Dad and a friend went with me on Thanksgiving day and we caught 3 Mahi Mahi and a 415 lb Blue Marlin. I caught the Marlin and it was a lifetime dream realized. I have caught just about every fish that swims and that was the reason I booked the trip. Toots and Chris got the 3 guys the Mahi at HH early, then were relentless in their pursuit of a Marlin for me. Words could not describe my feelings after fighting the fish for 1.75 hrs. We will be back!!!!!" Email comments from Kenny, who chartered the Magic

"Wow!!! What a trip. Russell and Gary were the best. We caught 5 different kinds of big game fish. These guys worked their guts outfor us. My 83 year old dad was thrilled when he pulled in his stripped marlin. Thanks for a great trip. I cannot wait to get back to Hawaii to fish on the Magic." Email comments from Luther who fished on the Magic

For further information or to make reservations please call toll free 877-388-1376 or email