Coromandel Hot Spots

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Forsythe Thompson
09 January 2018

NZ Fishing World contributor Forsyth Thompson has fished the length and breadth of New Zealand. Part One of this series covers some of his best spots in the Coromandel. Opening image: courtesy Aaron Levian

Coromandel map - Navionics

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Cobra Rock, Coromandel

36 40.745S 175 58.834E

Target species: Kingfish

Hot tip: This deep reef rising from 60-70m to 35m is often the home to schools of kingfish.

Keep trying with jigs and livebaits until they come on the bite and you will be in for some good action.

Matarangi Spit

36 43.520S 175 38.477E

Target species: Sharks

Hot tip: Take a wire trace and barbless hooks to give the big gear a run off the sand. Not for the faint-hearted, paddle a bait out safely beyond the breakers on the beach and wait for bronze whalers to come across it in the summer months. Can provide great sport, ease of release with the barbless hooks makes it that much safer for you and the shark.

Northern Most Point, Coromandel

36 28’07.04S 175 22’03.36E

Target species: Snapper, kingfish, kahawai

Hot tip: Take care climbing down the ropes to this well-known spot on the top coast (many anglers bring their own in case the ones in there aren’t in great condition). Predominantly a great spot to livebait for kings, plenty of good snapper are taken from here straylining too. Like much of the top coast, fishes best for kings one or two hours each side of low tide.

Port Jackson Reef

36 27’59.30S 175 20’24.15E

Target species: Snapper, kingfish, trevally, kahawai

Hot tip: Fish off the reef using the current to run the berley back into the reef and draw the fish out. Plenty of kingfish through the famous top coast so make sure you’ve got a livebait out too. For snapper, straylining unweighted or with a small ball sinker is best. Plenty of sand here around the reef so you can fish a little lighter than normal but if the fish make it to the reef you’ll be glad of heavier trace.

Square Top Island/Pinnacles

36 27’42S 175 24’24E

Target species: Kingfish

Hot tip: From Square Top Island through to the Pinnacles and Sugar Loaf is a great area for kingfish.  Lots of foul with small pins right through the area combined with big currents and a lot of kahawai mean lots of kings.  Slow troll kahawai or livebait under a balloon and bring the jigging gear and topwater gear too. Reliable area for kings from Spring-Autumn.

Coromandel Mussel Farms

36 45’10S 175 25’30E

Target species: Snapper, John dory, kingfish

Hot tip: The ever-popular mussel farms are an easy spot to fish (tie up to the ropes) and a regular source of table-size snapper. Flasher rigs and small cut baits are the best fishing in
the farms. Lots of mackerel so drop put them down as livies for the many JDs that live in the farms too. Plenty of kings come through but difficult to land here. Alternatively, for the XOS snapper and kings fish well outside the farms and berley back into them using the tide.

Red Mercury

36 37’17.65S 175 56’32E

Target species: Snapper

Hot tip: Through this bay in 6-15m plenty of big snapper in the kelp and foul. Straylining back down the berley trail works well and you’ll often see lots of macs and koheru in the trail. Make sure you bring sabikis and use them for fresh bait! Otherwise pillies and macs are best.

Stony Bay, Coromandel

36 29’24.20S 175 25’20E

Target species: Snapper and kingfish

Hot tip: A bait and berley spot (in 15-20m) which has fished well at different times of the year. Snapper to 8kg and smaller kingfish all taken from the boat. Fishes best when the current runs and
you’ll need weighted baits to stay in touch with the bottom. Anchor up and let the berley do its job!

Click to view how to tie the AG chain knot - great for serious kingfish jigging

The Puddle, East Coromandel

36 37.942S 175 41.284E

Target species: Snapper

Top tip: This large expanse of sand interspersed with reef can provide snapper in those summer months when fishing is hard in the usual shallow water spots. Fish it like you’d fish the 30-40m marks in the Hauraki: with softbaits, slowjigs or ledger rigs to pick up snapper over the sand or low foul. Keep an eye on the sounder!

Needle, Mercury Bay

36 43.988S 175 50.660E

Target species: Snapper, kahawai, kingfish

Hot tip: Not hard to see why this is called the Needle when seeing the large eye (hole) in the rock. Surrounded by a mix of deep water and shallow reefs, it gets hit by strong current meaning an abundance of baitfish. Either berley up and use bait, with livebaits under balloons, tow lives for kings or cast lures. You will be surprised at what can turn up.

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