New Zealand offers superb
saltwater fly fishing in many coastal areas where there are great opportunities to hook into hard fighting game fish. One of the most rapidly growing area in fishing is saltwater fishing with several regions offering fishing equal to anywhere in the world.
Areas where sea fishing is popular
include the the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Doubtless Bay, the Bay of
Plenty, Golden Bay, Marlborough Sounds, and Southland. Though almost anywhere arond the coast of New Zealand offers good fishing.
The range of fish that can be targeted with the fly are numerous and include snapper, kahawai, kingfish, tarakihi and even marlin. The two main sports fish that are of interest in NZ waters are the kahawai and the powerful kingfish.
Watch exciting action in Golden Bay
Time of year
Saltwater fly fishing in New Zealand is
usually best in late spring, summer and early autumn when the fish tend to be in close to shore. When whitebait are running they become a popular food source for both torut and kahawai and can often be caught around Septmeber to November at river mouths (though as you will also be ablt to catch trout in these areas you will need a freshwater licence when fishing in these areas).
There is no licence fee for sea fishing,
but strict regulations apply to saltwater fishing methods, maximum
catches, fishing seasons and prohibited areas. Specific rules also
apply to gathering shellfish. It is forbidden to sell or trade your
catch. Breaking the sea fishing regulations, including those governing
the collection of wild shellfish, is totally unacceptable and can
result in heavy fines and even imprisonment. See the Ministry
of Primary Industries website for marine recreational fishing guidelines
And as mentioned above if fishing in freshwater estuaries you will be deemed to be targeting trout and so will require a fresh water licence.
These need to be powerful and able to put some pressure on very powerful fish. 8 weight is really a minimum and 10 weight or above is recommended
You will require a large reel able to hold a lot of backing with a very good drag system which is essential when targeting kingfish and kahawai. These fish hit with explosive force and can run hard for a long period of time. And as you will be fishing in saltwater, a rod that can resist the corrosion is important.
Line and backing
The type of line you use will be dependent on where you are fishing but most of the fish you will be targeting are surface feeders and so a floating to slow sinking line is usually adequate for most situations.
Lures and leaders
Most of the fish you will be targeting are feeding on small fish. Consequently the most effective lures are those that imitate a fleeing bait fish. Casting out and then a fast strip of the lure back will induce savage takes and ferocius runs. And unlike river fish such as trout - the fish are not restricted to any pools or runs. The ocean is a big area so ensure you have very strong leaders and plenty of good quality backing!