Bay of Islands

fishing report

Supplied by

Darren Knapping

Days Out Fishing Charters

Bay of Islands 25th November
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

Before all this frontal weather arrived, the fishing had been great, with bag limits of snapper coming on board pretty quickly most days we do get out.

This week has been a write off with extremely hectic winds, so not a lot of action on the water but the long range looks promising.

Fishing in the shallower water has been great for big snapper, and what I really like is that these bigger breeding donkeys have suffered no barotrauma coming in from only 5 to 25 metres, and it’s easy to let them go.

Out in the deeper water (30 metres plus) there are a lot of good-sized fish right now and these are the ones that are going to start moving into the shallower reefs in the Bay over the next few months.

With the increase of boat traffic, we always see at this time of year, the fish can be a little bit shy on the bite, but a good early start can have you in the box seat and sometimes back by as early as 08.00 am.

Moocher snapper on soft baits providing some good action for our guests

This is one of my favourite times of year to teach clients new ways to fish, with a lot of aggressively feeding species around, it’s a lot easier to enjoy some success and enable them into experience the fun of catching good fish on lighter rods and reels.

In particular soft bait gear is awesome to use and extremely effective, and it always amazes me how many people have heard of it, but don’t really know how it’s done, or how successful and fun it can be.

Good areas to try for the snapper now are out in the middle ground, Mitas Foul, outside Whale Rock and the Ninepin foul, and naturally under any baits schools if they happen to pop up, especially in the middle ground.

The beauty of the Bay is that there are many nooks and cranny’s that offer good places to fish that will have less boat traffic if you are prepared to have a wander around 😉.  Especially probing in really shallow using soft baits, where you can fish right in to only a couple of metres deep.

Kingfish have been on fire at the Whale rock, Seventy-one Metre Reef, Waireri Rock, and up towards Rocky Point, but as usual the tax men are there in force on all these areas.

It can be best to get one kingfish on deck and move on before you lose the bigger fish.  At least there are a lot of kings spread about so there’s plenty of opportunity to try different locations.

It’s a shame these sharks are so prolific really, but some days you will have to do the miles to be successful and suck up the losses.

There are plenty of bait fish off Battleship Rock and Kemp Passage, and grabbing a tank of livies really increases your fishing options.

Big snapper and john dory love live baits, and we commonly get both as welcome bycatch when targeting kings with jack macks or slimies.

If the wind is up inside Roberton Island and off Mosquito Point are a great place to look.

Remember to stick to the 5 knot rule in the required areas over the summer month's, it will rightly be policed to keep it safe.

Tight lines and have a great summer feel free to come have a chat if you see us out there.

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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