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Fishing > Salt Water

New Zealand has a coastline stretching from the sub Tropics to the sub Antarctic. Naturally this creates very diverse fishing opportunities und puts itself on the list of being one of the world’s top sport-fishing locations.

There is access to a wide variety of fishing options and these apply to all forms of fishing techniques and skills.


Fishing Techniques:
Big Game Fishing

  • New Zealand’s game fishing is world-renowned.
  • Although certain game fish can be caught throughout the year, it is the warm summer currents that attract glamour species.
  • Many world record striped marlin have been caught
  • Kingfish (Southern Yellowtail) run to world record sizes around the coast of the North Island
  • Species present are; blue marlin, black marlin, broad bill swordfish mako shark, dolphin fish, yellow fin and big eye tuna
  • Most fishing is by trolling artificial lures or live baiting.
  • There are many centers from which to base a big game fishing holiday, such as the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa and Whakatane. 
  • The Three Kings islands, located 37 nautical miles northwest of Cape Reinga, consist of a scattering of small, exposed islands and rocks and is one of the most productive marlin grounds in the world.

Ultra Light Fishing

  • There is some great spin fishing available for anglers around our coast.
  • Season is year around.
  • Fish such as Kahawai, Trevally and Snapper are great sport on lines of one or two kilogram breaking strain.
  • Fishing with bait or small lures is the best approach.
  • Shallow bays, around river mouths and around other structures like wharves, jetty’s or rocks tend to be best fishing spots.


  • This is one of the most exciting fishing methods used in New Zealand.
  • Season is year around.
  • John Dory, Kahawai, Kingfish, Trevally and Snapper are caught in the northern waters.
  • In the southern waters you will also find a lot of blue cod.
  • Jigging is done from boats located over reefs or foul ground.
  • Lures can weigh from a few grams in shallow waters to over half a kilo in deep water.

Salmon Fishing

  • Most fishermen do not catch many per season, but it is the most thrilling way of fishing for some anglers
  • Salmon begin returning to the river in mid November to start their migration up to their spawning grounds
  • The King Salmon run in rivers of the South Island
  • You can either use spinning or fly-fishing rod

Further fishing techniques:

  • Surfcasting
  • Land based Game Fishing
  • Heli fishing
  • Fly Fishing

Fish Species:

  • Tends to be our countries most sought after fish.
  • Occurs in New Zealand in a variety of depths and habitats, from surf to offshore reefs around both Islands.
  • Biggest numbers are available through the early part of December.
  • Grows to eighty centimeters and average around a kilo.
  • Best eating fish.


  • Is an abundant and tenacious fighter and strong swimmer.
  • Mostly restricted to areas north of Christchurch.
  • During the winter months some great surfcasting can be experienced in northern waters.
  • Trevally average around three kilos and can weigh in up to 10 kilos.
  • They are a great sport and popular for salt water fly fishing.

Hapuku (NZ Bass)

  • Is one of New Zealand’s popular game fish.
  • Most common in most waters of the continental shelf around NZ.
  • Grows to over one hundred kilograms.

Yellowtail Kingfish

  • Kingfish grow to world-record size in New Zealand.
  • Mostly caught north of Cook Strait, although found as far south as Canterbury.
  • This fantastic game fish are caught with a variety of techniques including trolling, jigging, live baiting from shore or boat and fly fishing.
  • Kingfish are usually found near deep rocky shores, offshore reefs and islands.
  • Growing to 1.7 meters, nearly all world records are held here.

Striped Marlin

  • These game fish grow to their largest size in New Zealand.
  • Most common around the Northland Coastline.
  • Huge numbers of Marlin can be found during early December to April each year.
  • Most fishing is done by trolling artificial lures or live baiting.
  • Beat eating and best fighting marlin.


Equipment & Supplies:

We recommend layered clothing suitable for sudden weather changes, and some waterproof outer layers. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat especially during the summer months.

Fishing license

A license for saltwater fishing is not required


Feel free to bring your own fishing equipment. However, all of the fishing lodges and most guides also provide it free of charge. Local sporting shops will rent equipment if you want to fish on your own.


We recommend employing guides for obvious reasons and there are numbers of full time professional fishing guides available. Experienced guides know the moods and weather of their regions, will provide transport and can help you to adjust your technique to the different conditions or tackle.

Boat Charters

There is a wide range of charters boats available in New Zealand. Boats range from 14ft to over 100ft launches and can cater for any size groups, from one to 50 or more. Most game fishing boats offer three or seven day fishing tours. The skipper and their “deck hands” are very experienced and will supply all the fishing gear and give you expert advice and knowledge of the area.


  • Charges for a guide vary depending on the service and normally include transport, equipment and refreshments. Most guides offer half day or full day experience.

Charges for a boat charter depend on the size of the vessel, the service included and the actual time spent on the boat.


Aroha New Zealand Tours chooses only the best fishing guides in this country.

Go Fishing - Whangarei:


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