Bay of Islands

fishing report

Supplied by

Darren Knapping

Days Out Fishing Charters

Bay of Islands Feb 13 2024
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

Hot marlin season and good prospects for snapper and kingfish as the fishing moves to deeper water later this month.

Hi everyone, apologies for the delayed update; it's been bustling up in the bay, reminiscent of the pre-COVID days, with plenty of boats and people soaking up the sun this year.

The fishing was spectacular pre-Christmas and has continued into the new year, although I've noticed a decrease in anchovies and pilchard schools compared to last year, leading to fewer mid-water fish. However, with a reliable sounder and a bit of patience, there are still great catches to be had, especially in the shallows ranging from 8 meters to where you can touch the bottom with an oar. With three good estuaries around, there are plenty of spots to shelter from the wind if needed.

In the middle ground, using sliders and live bait has proven successful for both snapper and kingfish. With the jack mackerel schools moving closer, we anticipate the kingfish action will heat up.

Out wider, it's been a marvellous summer for marlin, with some boats reporting up to five or six fish a day, which is quite an achievement. We even ventured out on Waitangi Day and were rewarded with multiple strikes from striped marlin, releasing most except for one, followed by a quick drop for some quality puka and bass on the banks.

Looking ahead, this month's focus will be on fishing deep around the 50 to 60-meter mark and closer to shore if the wind and tide conditions are right. Expect some nice snapper inshore and, in the middle, bait schools for some solid kingfish action, or head out to the 71-meter reef, a spot known for holding a variety of species, making it an ideal place for targeting the elusive black marlin with a big live bait. Stay safe out there and enjoy the weather šŸ˜€


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