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Destination Mahurangi to Tawharanui including Kawau Island

By StaffNZ Fishing World
Destination Mahurangi to Tawharanui including Kawau Island

Kawau Island has no shortage of safe anchorages from most winds and with its geographical position in the Hauraki Gulf and its distance from Auckland, the island has been a Mecca for boaties as a stopover point for those heading north, to the Barrier or as a destination in itself.

For full map see bottom of page

1.Saddle Island – snapper, kingfish

The northern end is a great place for kingies on the low tide. On the incoming tide floating whole fish baits over the reef at the southern end can secure big snapper.  

2. Inner Channel – Scallops, snapper

This channel holds scallops, which snapper
love to feed on. You can anchor and bottom fish with berley or softbait. Just pick an area that will give you a good drift depending on wind and tide.

3. Motuora East – snapper

The eastern side with its reefs and coves can produce some great fishing in the evening when straylining with whole jack mackerel.

4. Motuora North – snapper

If the winds from the sou’west nose up into the bay then drift out with the wind softbaiting. If the wind is from an easterly quarter, anchor in the little bay and strayline back to the reef. 

5. Worm line – snapper

Draw a line from the northern end of Motuora Island to Challenger Island on the sou’eastern tip of Kawau. Fishes best in spring and autumn. 

6. Passage Reef – snapper

On an outgoing tide sit in the shallow water on top of the drop off and strayline. With an incoming tide anchor in the deeper water and cast back to the drop off. Fishes best on overcast days or evenings.

7. Twins Reef – snapper

If the wind is right you can drift down this same drop off from Brownrigg Point to the Twins. If not, anchor just out from the bottom of the drop off and cast back into the reef. Heaps of berley and big, fresh baits is key here. 

8. Iris Shoal – scallops, snapper

A good area for scallops and at the top end of the shoal in about 13m of water seems to be a place snapper feed.  

9. Maori  Rock – (36.23.070E, 174.51.650S)

This is a big lump of reef that continues well down into the north channel. It’s a lure caster’s dream and I love to softbait through here. 

10. Fairchild  Reef – kingfish

This reef has a reputation for kingfish. It is best from low tide up.

11. Takatu Point Boundary – kingfish
(not shown)

There is a large rock that marks the reserve boundary so don’t go past this point. Just inside the rock is a tiny bay set up for livebaiting. 

12. Deep  Pinnacles – kingfish, snapper

I was told about these pinnacles a long time ago. We found them only once before the days of GPS. The fishing was mind-blowing.

13. Slater Point – snapper

Generally has current through here. Sit up current of the offshore brick and fish back into it.

14. Eastern  Front – snapper

The long stretch of ocean-facing coastline between Slater Point and Kawau Point including Nelson Rock and Burgess Bay is snapper heaven. It’s true heavy strayline country.

15. Challenger Island – snapper, kingfish

A reef runs out sou’east from Challenger. Fish the drop off at the end of this reef with the first of the incoming tide. Anchor with bait or drift it with weighty lures. You’ll catch snapper and kingies here.

16. Bostaquet Bay – snapper

Try drifting down the coast into this bay using softbaits. There’s a good mixture of rocky reef moving into the flat-bottomed bay. 

17. Tarapunga Rock – snapper

It is best to fish around the edge of the reef rather than on top. You will need to slowly motor around the perimeter until you find them and then anchor up current and bottom fish back.

18. Flat Rock West – snapper

Anchor in about 34m northwest of the beacon. With the incoming tide and cast back into the drop off with big, fresh baits and keep the berley going. 

19. Flat Rock southeast reef – kingfish

There is a channel of sorts between the last two high points. It’s good place to have a crack at kingies if wind and tide allow. 

20. The Golden Triangle – snapper

Draw an imaginary line from Flat Rock to the top end of Moturoa Island then down and across to Tiritiri Island. From there follow the cable line back up to Flat Rock and you have created an enormous triangle and its within this triangle that a large proportion of our springtime schooling snapper have chosen to take up residence over the last five or six years. 

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