New Zealand has great sea fishing from North Cape to Stewart Island. In the north, the main game fishing is to be found with the Bay of Islands as the most popular base. Other popular game fishing bases are Whangaroa, Tutukaka, Tauranga and Whakatane. There is good fishing also on the West Coast in the Kaipara Harbour and Manukau Harbour. Access can also be had from beaches in the Far North, Hokianga, Raglan and Taranaki areas. But local knowledge is required as there are many dangerous bars to cross when launching from the West Coast. Same applies to West Coast South Island too.
The fish that are caught in New Zealand are:
Albacore, Antarctic Toothfish, Black Oreo, Blue Cod, Blue Moki, Blue Warehou, Bluenose, Butterfish, Gemfish, Ghostshark, Giant Stargazer, Grey Mullet, Groper, Hake, Hoki, Jack Mackerel, John Dory, Kahawai, Lemon Sole, Ling, Sole, Orange Roughy, Porae, Red Cod, Red Gurnard, Rig, Salmon, Sand Flounder, Scampi, Shortfinned Eel, Smooth Oreo, Snapper, Squid, Tarakihi, Trevally, Yellowbelly Flounder, Yellowtail Kingfish
The most commonly targeted fish in the North Island is the snapper, a great eating fish that goes as big as 15kg.
Fishing techniques are hugely varied - from the old handline to modern techniques like soft baiting, micro jigging and dropshotting.
My favourite technique, and one of the most productive, is straylining. That simple technique produced the lovely fish below.
A good sized snapper - around 4kg
And, an even bigger one around 7kg caught when straylining in the Waitemata Harbour. The key to successful straylining is to catch fresh bait like koheru (Yellowtail) and then to 'butterfly' the bait so blood and juices flow from the baitfish. Easily done by cutting into the fish from the tail up and then sliding the knife up to the gills on both sides. Then just cut out the backbone and you have a butterflied baitfish. Just hook through the top of the head and cast well clear of the boat with a small ball running sinker, if a little weight is required.
The use of lures and jigs has become very popular, maybe even overshadowing the use of softbaits, which were all the rage for several years.