Bay of Islands

fishing report

Supplied by

Darren Knapping

Days Out Fishing Charters

Bay of Islands 16th December
Note: If map is showing it is created by LINZ / New Zealand Hydrographic Authority and made available by Creative Commons 3.0. Maps should not be used for navigation

A season of great summer fishing is shaping up well.

Now, at last, the water has started to get back up to a warm temperature and kick into life all the inshore fishing.

October and November were some of the best pre spawn months we have had for a while with good numbers of solid fish around pretty much everywhere, however, that water temp dropped end of November and start of December and we really noticed a lot less fish jumping on the hooks and the fishing slowed down a lot.

We even had temps getting down to as low as 16 degrees, way short of the ideal.

Out here today there were a lot of gannets sitting around on the water waiting for action, and with plenty of fish sign under them, we realised we had either just missed it, or it was going to all kick off on the change of the tide.  

The birds will always give you a clue what is going on, whether it’s that they are all heading in a similar direction, waiting it out, or hunting about just like we do.  They are built for it and a lot better than us at finding fish, so ignore them at your own risk!

Temps got back up to 19.3 (which was the warmest we’ve recorded for a bit) and there was a lot of sign out in the middle ground and off Roberton Islands.

Snapper fishing proved to be good and we’ve landed some big donkeys recently, both on bait and lures.

As we get into the holiday season there will be a lot more boats around so just remember to keep a good watch out for dolphins.  DOC will be patrolling the 5 knot area's and out in the middle ground so be aware to manage your speed for the good of everyone.

Out wide with marlin already being tagged and a few yellowfin hitting the decks, I'm picking it will be another great game season.  Last year was exceptional, we landed a nice blue just off the Ninepin as a season highlight, and this year all the signs are there for another great summer dragging plastic about the ocean waiting for that magical reel scream.

There are a lot of slimies and jack mackerel to be found in the middle ground and off the Black rocks in the 30 to 35 metre zone.  These make great live bait for snapper, kings and even marlin.

Some nice kingfish are starting to turn up in the bait schools more regularly, but have been a bit fussy on the chew, although jigging and a deep towed Rapala can get often get them stirred up .

Be safe out there, don't forget to get those boats serviced, plenty of fuel, log a trip report and check all your life-saving equipment before heading out to sea.

There’s a lovely pre-Christmas weather pattern next week, so look forward to getting out if you can swing it.

Have a very merry Christmas and all the best for New Year 2023 from the team at Days Out.

Regards Darren

This report provided by Darren Knapping, Days Out Fishing Charters


Stop Exotic Caulerpa!

Stop the spread of exotic caulerpa seaweed. If boating in the upper North Island, check your anchor and gear before moving location and if you find any seaweed, Bag it, Bin it! Legal controls are in place at Great Barrier Island, Great Mercury Island and Bay of Islands.


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