Back to "School" with Maui's Best Snorkeling
"Back to school" has us thinking of something we love to see when we're snorkeling Maui – "schools of fish!" It's not every day you'll spot a large school, but if you know where to look there are several areas around Maui where you'll likely have the good fortune of seeing them. One spot we always encounter a school or two is Honolua Bay in West Maui. Honolua Bay is a marine preserve and home to wide variety of sea life, including a huge school of Bigeye Scad. We can always tell when snorkelers new to Honolua have spotted the bay's "resident Bigeyes" by their excited shout-outs to nearby friends. We usually hear something like, "Whoa!!! Get over here quick!" We can't blame them, it's truly a sight to encounter this huge mass of silvery scad swimming in synchronization along the north side of the bay. If you quietly glide over to the shallows, just below the boulders, you just might see them too!
While you're at Honolua it's also worth a bit of a swim to check out the reef toward the center-right of the bay. We often see large groups of striped Convict Tangs here interspersed with a wide variety of surgeonfish as they feed over Honolua's extensive coral reefs.
Another great area for spotting large schools is off the shores of Olowalu in West Maui. If you're up for a kayak-snorkel trip, you can join one of the frequent kayak tours here where you'll see pristine coral, large schools of fish, and numerous sea turtles all awaiting your discovery at this beautiful spot!
One small reminder... never feed the fish. Years ago it was a common practice for snorkelers and divers to feed fish in the hope of getting "up-close and personal" with sea life. We highly discourage feeding any sea creatures. It creates aggressive behavior and can change the types of creatures that frequent an area. It's bad for marine life and can be detrimental to people too. ...Consider the diver who lost his thumb when a moray eel became "overly eager" for the hot dogs the diver tried to feed it! We can't emphasize it enough—feeding wildlife is a seriously bad idea.
For more information on the best snorkeling spots in Maui and where to snorkel once you get there, pick up a copy of Mask, Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui's Best Snorkeling. Best of luck to the new year of school and in seeing your first "school of fish" while you're snorkeling in Maui! Happy Snorkeling!