“Young and Fearless”

Captain Tad Luckey started out in 1972 running a dive shop in Lahaina and met his wife Cindy while teaching a Scuba Diving class at the age of 18.  They were introduced to the famed “Black Coral Divers” that dove in the channel between Maui and Lanai harvesting Black coral at depths of well over 200 ft. using conventional Scuba gear.  

Tad & Cindy got the “bug” to dive deep after a few dives with the coral divers, and discovered some of their “secret” spots.  These spots included incredible structure ranging from lava caves, undercuts, ledges and seamounts that were teeming with sea life and big fish.   “Why not try fishing some of these spots?”   Fish like structure all over the world and fish eat fish!  That was the start to his unique style of fishing. 

“The long road to learning how to use bait”

By 1978 the dive shop had closed down and Tad & Cindy started “Luckey Strike Charters.  They had acquired a second boat and were now operating two boats, both mainly surface trolling.  There were still plenty of surface fish but the bite was always in a state of flux.  Tad started trying out slow trolling with bait (usually “Scad” Mackerel”) and using a downrigger to get one bait down deep.  

He was told “Downriggers don't work in Hawaii!"  When he asked “Why not?” he was told ”Well, nobody's tried them!"  He started using them around his old Black Coral spots and what do you know.  Not only was he getting Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna on the surface but big Trevally, Snappers, Amberjacks, Sharks, Barracuda’s and other fish down deep.  He had one thing figured out.   Downriggers do work in Hawaii but it was all about location.  If you are not in exactly the right spot, forget it! It took another 25 years and the invention of the GPS to get good at it!

“Hooked for Life”

Tad and Cindy still run two boats with Tad specializing in the use of live or rigged natural bait, both on the surface and down deep on his 38ft. Mediterranean, “Reel Luckey”.  He has over 50 spots within 10 miles of the harbor and by working different spots at different times of the year he maintains an incredible success rate. 

This style of fishing is what has kept me going for so long as I’m always finding new spots and trying new techniques.  The success rate is so good it’s hard to change something that is working so well!”                   

“Not for everyone, especially if you’re looking for one big Marlin”

Tad’s style of fishing is not for everyone, as he doesn’t see as many Blue Marlin as the surface trolling boats.  With so few Blue Marlin being caught these days he world rather try and get a shot at something exciting with lighter tackle than maybe not seeing anything at all.  Cindy continues to crew from time to time and takes all the bookings. If you call for a reservation you will probably get her on her cell phone and don’t be surprised if she says,  “just a minute, I’m out on the boat and we are hooked up to a big fish!”