Destination Inner Hauraki Gulf

By StaffNZ Fishing World
Destination Inner Hauraki Gulf

Auckland’s inner Hauraki Gulf is almost certainly the most productive fishery in the world, so close to city of this scale. Even though it is under constant pressure it consistently delivers results for those who understand its secrets. A medley of our best fishing journalists have provided the following tips.

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1. Motuihe Channel – snapper

Subject to enormous current flows but very productive once you figure out its vagaries. Does get crowed though. 

2. Home Bay – snapper

Fish in depths of between 7m and 12m. Usually most productive at change of light in the morning, although it does produce good fish on the outgoing tide during the day at times. Straylined pilchards and squid or lightly weighted softbaits usually deliver the best results. 

3. Rangitoto Channel - snapper

Once autumn kicks in, bigger fish are regularly caught in this area. The zone around Rangitoto Lighthouse can be particularly productive in the evening. 

4. Battleship, Auckland Harbour – snapper 

In the summer months when the snapper come in close to spawn, drift with softbaits or bait along the banks of the Auckland Harbour. Often either side of high or low tide will work. 

5. Castor Bay - snapper

Can produce some big snapper in autumn, especially at the change of light. Anchor around 500m from the cliffs with bait and berley or drift slightly further out when softbaiting. 

6. A buoy – kingfish, snapper

While not deep it does hold kingfish in the morning and evening during the summer months and on into autumn. Use lighter jigs and target a time when there is still a little bit of current that allows the jig to get to the bottom.

7. Tiritiri Island - snapper

Tiritiri holds large quantities of good-sized snapper. Most methods can prove successful but casting large softbaits into the wash around the island is especially good. 

8. Awash Rock - snapper 

Great area to softbait through during the summer. Plenty of table fish and the odd bigger one to be taken, especially in spring. Fishes best mid-tide when the current is running. 

9. Sandy Bay - snapper, kingfish 

Just off the reef can fish well using bait and berley. Straylining with unweighted baits or a very small ball sinker is best. Also produces kingfish in summer.

10. Rakino and the Noises – snapper, kingfish 

Softbaits worked hard in the shallows and big baits straylined around the islands can prove to be dynamite here in autumn. Fishes well at various times but first light is usually best. 

11. Gannet Rock (Horuhoru Rock) – snapper, kingfish

Gannet Rock can be productive all year round but especially in autumn. Look for bottom structure and try ledgers or flasher rigs with thinly cut baits. 

12. Bottom end of Waiheke – snapper

Lots of areas to target around and in Hooks Bay. This rock also holds kingfish from time to time in summer. Kauri Point can fire as kingfish chase bait around the mussel farm. Heavier jigs of 200-250g or slow pitch jigs 150-200g would be a good tactic. 

13. Te Whau to Matapihi point – snapper

Good snapper can be caught when the conditions allow the boat stern to face towards the shore. Straylining un-weighted baits plus plenty of berley.

14. Owhiti bay – scallops

A quick snorkel can well be worth the effort as scallops can often be found anywhere from close to the beach in three meters out to twelve meters deep. 

15. Ruruwhango Bay – snapper

Given the right conditions this spot can really fire especially on the change of light and approaching the top of the tide.

16. Matiatia, Waiheke Island – snapper

Softbaiting across this bay at first light gives you a good chance of pannies and the occasional bigger snapper too. 

17. Musick Point - snapper 

Best fished on an incoming tide. Distance is key at this spot as there’s a lot of foul ground just metres off the main rock. Pilchards tend to work best at dusk.

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