Destination Cape Kari Kari, Rangaunu Bay and Garden Patch
14 May 2015
Northland’s best-kept secret lies within a ring of snow-white beaches and Pohutukawa trees. In the author’s opinion the Cape Kari Kari, Rangaunu Bay and Garden Patch area offers the most diverse and productive fishery that is accessible with a moderate level of experience by a trailerboat owner.
For full map, see bottom of page.
1. 141 outside 12 mile markers – marlin
One of the quirky places that often holds fish for no particular reason. Work the water here and try to stay in the blue stuff but near the green stuff. If bait is present, either visually or on the sounder, it is worth ploughing this paddock.
2. Inside edge of the Tongue – marlin, swordfish, bluenose
Great marlin country but most notable for the number of swordfish pulled from this spot. The writer has taken two in a session here twice. Bluenose also school here, although it is a very deep drop.
3. The 209 – marlin, hapuka, terakihi
Famous fishing mark, which has produced numerous notable blue marlin. Always worth a pass if you have the time. The bottom fishing is quality provided you can handle a long wind.
4. Henderson Bay – snapper, trevally
Famous landbased spot with equally good boat fishing. Best fishing with more traditional methods such as straylining. Look for rubble on the bottom holding fish.
5. Houhora Bay – anchorage
Really nice quiet anchorage in most weather except easterly. Sneak in behind the mussel farm and put your anchor deep in the mud.
6. Houhora Harbour – safe haven
Houhora Harbour is a fantastic bolt-hole to weather out a storm. The Houhora Big Game & Sport Fishing Club puts on good meals when open with fuel and supplies available at the Commercial Wharf.
7. The Shallow Patch – kingfish
Interesting reef structure close to deep water. Great spot for jigging.
8.Staffa Rock – snapper kingfish
Often holds snapper when the bay is quiet. Not the first place to try but a good fall back position on quiet days.
9. Moturoa Islands – snapper, kingfish, crayfish
Fishing back onto the reef structure has produced many exceptional snapper sessions. The diving is also excellent and productive.
10. Rubble adjacent Mt Puwheke – snapper, scallops
Scattered areas of low foul fish well at times. Your sounder will show the way. Scallops also common.
11. Scallop grounds – scallops
Trying diving between 12 and 16m for scallops. Look hard as they can be hidden but once you have your eye in there are plenty to fill your quota.
12. Bird Rock – kingfish
Very consistent kingfish spot, particularly when a swell is running. Blue koheru can be caught in the adjacent channel.
13. Kari Kari Beach – anchorage
An excellent anchorage in most conditions. Be wary of the reef ground when approaching from the north and make sure the anchor is well set and not fouled with weed.
14. Waipapa Bay – anchorage
An excellent anchorage in most conditions. Respect the locals.
15. Mt Puwheke in the middle of Matai Bay – marlin
A famous marlin fishing landmark, especially from 130 to 150m. Line Mt Puwheke in the distance up with the middle of Matai Bay. When gannets are present in numbers marlin are likely. Livebaiting with skipjack tuna is a good plan.