From Farewell Spit in the west to Stephens Island in the east, Tasman in the South Island of New Zealand has it all for the avid fisherman and holidaymaker. As local Troy Dando points out, you can fish one day and if the weather is not so good enjoy hundreds of landlubber attractions the next.
1. Wainui Bay – snapper, kingfish
Try around the mussel farms for a hungry snapper. Patient popper fisherman are likely to find a kingfish.
2. Scallop beds, Tarakohe – scallops, snapper
A short motor out into the bay puts you on the local scallop beds where a limit of 50 per day, per person can be harvested. Snapper and gurnard roam the beds as well.
3. Old coral reef, Separation Point – blue cod, kingfish
Work the reef running east of the point for blue cod. Closer in to Separation Point the current holds kingfish around the headland.
4. Wide of Separation Point – albacore
Albacore tuna are caught out in this area during the summer months.
5. Bark Bay Reef – crayfish, snapper, blue cod
Bark Bay reef can be fished and dived with some great crayfish and blue cod to be taken. Snapper can be caught
6. Adele Island / Fisherman’s Island – kingfish, crayfish
Hapuka Reef and Six Foot Rock on the northern end of Adele Island are good places to throw a line and also look for a crayfish. An evening tide and live baits drifted back onto the reef should produce results.
7. Kaiteriteri – snapper, kingfish
Land-based enthusiasts should try Kaka Point at the north end of the beach for a night fish, or the headland between Little Kaiteri and Stephens Bay. Mussel farms out from the Motueka river hold kingfish and snapper in summer. Stickbaits, jiggers (depth is between 17 and 25 meters) and spearos should all get results.
8. Mapua Channel, Rabbit Island – snapper
Tides around 9am and 9pm are best. Use plenty of pilchard and bonito berley and strayline a half pilchard. Turn off all electronics and keep noise to a minimum as the water is shallow and the fish spook easy.
9. Tahunanui Beach - snapper
This one of the few places in the world you can take a car’s windscreen out while casting your line. It’s not uncommon to have 30 anglers lined up in several different areas along Rocks Road all vying for a chance to land the big one.
10. Boulder Bank – snapper, kingfish
The 11km long Boulder Bank is the place to try trolling for kingfish. Around the radio mast there are good spots for the spearos to have a go at kings, snapper and squid at the right time of the year.
11. Pepin Island – blue cod, terakihi, gurnard, snapper
This areas hold blue cod, gurnard, terakihi and snapper in big numbers
most of the year.
12. Okiwi Bay – scallops, gurnard, snapper, albacore
Like Pepin Island - plus albacore tuna straight out in front of Okiwi Bay on the 40m.
13. French Pass – kingfish
Legendary South Island kingfish spot. Jigging is the best bet although topwater techniques work at times. Take extreme caution in this treacherous stretch of water.
14. Stephens Island pins – kingfish, hapuka, snapper
Jigging works well in summer. It is well worth putting a livebait on the bottom for a hapuka.
15. Trio Islands pass – blue cod, snapper
Numerous spots to catch a blue cod dinner. Ledger rigs seem to work best on the snapper in summer.
16. Eastern edge of Stephens Island – blue cod
Plenty of bigger blue cod to be caught when the weather allows access to this area.