Bay of Islands

fishing report

Supplied by

Darren Knapping

Days Out Fishing Charters

Bay of Islands June 2023
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

Given the crazy weather patterns in recent times, even getting out on the water is a win at the moment.

There's been a lot of dirty water in the harbours, but that has not deterred the snapper that have come right up into the shallows.

They don't seem to mind the colour at all, and we have snared several fish hitting that magic mark of nine kilos plus, that's twenty pounds in the old book.

The live bait seem to have moved into the inner bays, with the odd kingfish hot in pursuit, but in general, it has been a pretty quiet month for this species, and we have struggled to get them consistently up on the bait.

Further up the coast towards Rocky Point, there are some nice fish on the 45 and 60 metre deep reefs. Particularly good to see, or not see as the case may be, is an absence of bronze whalers. This means getting your kings up in one piece to then make a decision whether to keep or release, and not have that choice made for you by the grinners.

We've had some joy both jigging and using live bait, but in winter I find livies are the preferred option if you can, and there's always a good chance of picking up a good john dory or monster winter snapper as well.

With the water temp starting to drop, even in close, things start to slow down a bit.

Fishing right in close, and I mean in real close, where you wouldn't even think there are fish, has really been working a treat for us, with some days firing off the charts.

It's definitely worthwhile spending some time prospecting on those foul and weedy areas, and the east coast all the way from the bay to up towards the Cavalli Islands has some of the best soft baiting and live baiting locations you could hope for.

As many of you that hit the water on a regular basis here will know, you definitely don't put the fishing gear away yet!

It's just going into winter, fish are in dynamite condition, and the best fishing is yet to come.

Out wide, we have snuck out for a couple of deep drops recently.

When the cold snap first hit us a while ago, we found bass, puka, and bluenose to be about in good numbers.

There's also some monster gemfish in the mix, which are popular with some people for eating, although they can be a bit oily.

With the best few months for out deep coming up, I'm rather excited to get back out and do some more exploring.

It's so rewarding to find a new mark, where the fish sign lights up on the sounder, that can be your next go-to spot X.

Lots of fishermen are put off thinking the deep water species have been fished out, but it's all about time spent looking. There's plenty of fish there for those invested in a decent effort looking for them.

With the amount of navigational aids available, there are plenty of spots that hold fish.

Even today, not every rock or rise has been fished, and as long as you have a suitable weather window you've got a good chance of finding and marking your own honey hole. These spots can be a one off, but more often than not return visits will turn up fish there again.

I reckon it's going to be a good season out wide this year, based on our results so far anyway.

Just remember the new limits on bass and hapuka as they have changed to two per person.

More info here:

Be safe

Tight lines


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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