13 Fishing Charters
Top Fishing Charters in Auckland
Fishing in Auckland
Some people might argue that the year-round appeal of Auckland fishing is not what gave the city the title of the third most liveable city of the world. But we disagree. It’s not just good weather, mouth-watering cuisine, and stunning nature that makes ‘The City of Sails’ stand out as one of our favourite destinations. It’s the fact that this city’s two coastlines and two harbours make for enviably appealing fishing both at the dock and offshore. Luckily, the fishing trips Auckland provides are more than good enough to put you in touch with the gateway of the Hauraki Gulf and beyond. Trust us - once you have gone there, you will be begging to go back.
It says a lot for a city when you can expect to be fishing within ten minutes of leaving the dock. It says even more when you can realistically hope to fill your bag limit of Snapper within the hour, at certain times of year, at least. And when you can combine all this with amazing views of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the city skyline, volcanoes and all, it can even get a little bit too much. Honestly, when the dolphins start swimming alongside the boat, some people on Auckland fishing charters have to pinch themselves to make sure they’re not dreaming.
Leave the Marina behind you and travel past the scenic islands dotted around the Harbour and Inner Hauraki Gulf. Traveling offshore, you will stop at some of the fishing spots Auckland has come to be famous for. Waiheke and Rakino Island, the Motuihe and Rangitoto Channels, the Ahaaha Rocks, and the Noises could well be some of your stopping points. Here, you will most likely find out what delicious Snapper looks like when it’s not wrapped in greasy newspaper at a fish and chip joint. It may not be pretty, but oh my, it tastes good when it’s been caught fresh that day. And it isn’t half enjoyable to catch, too.
But fishing Auckland and the surrounding waters means much more than just Snapper. One of the favourites in these parts is a real bruiser. Kingfish, or “Kingi” as they are known in these parts, are energetic sport fish that will give any angler a run for their money. Take a longer trip to the outer Hauraki Gulf and the Great Barrier, and you could be in with a chance of Blue, Black, or Striped Marlin, as well as Tuna. Of course, no Auckland fishing charter would be complete without the potential surprise of hooking one of the most ugly - and delicious - fish known to man. If you haven’t seen a John Dory before, look them up.
But don’t forget - Auckland does indeed have two coastlines, and it’s not all about the Hauraki Gulf. The west coast can also have some phenomenal fishing - but here, you have to be even more careful of windy weather than you do in the east. When conditions allow, you can find huge Kingfish and Snapper in these parts, as well as Albacore and Skipjack Tuna in the summer. Just make sure you are fishing with someone who knows these waters well.
Rules & Regulations
New Zealand does not charge a license fee for recreational fishing in salt waters, but strict rules apply regarding daily bag limits, size limits, and prohibited areas apply. All skippers aboard registered Auckland fishing charters should be up to date on the current regulations and they will make sure you are fishing according to the local regulations.
Types of Fishing
The main rule of Auckland fishing is never to go easy on the berley. Berley up, and you’ll be ready to tackle monster Snappers with bait or softbaits (lures,) with John Dory and Trevally also excellent targets.
If you’re looking for even more of a hands-on experience, you shouldn’t miss jigging for Kingfish - White Island, Three Kings, and the Ranfurly Banks are our top picks for trophy Kingis. Live baiting with Koheru or other bait fish is always a good option, while Kingfish can also respond to cut baits if they are presented well.
Time your trip right, and you could also head off into the bluewater to troll for Tuna, Marlin and Broadbill Swordfish in the summer months.
One of the most exciting aspects of fishing in these parts is seeing a work up in the Hauraki Gulf. This is when Whales, Dolphins, Kingfish, Billfish, and other predators chase a ball of bait fish from below, while Ganets and other sea birds attack from above. This is not a good time to be a bait fish, but is an excellent time to get in on the action and see the sea life of the South Pacific in its full glory.
Auckland Fishing Seasons
January is usually the beginning of the game fishing season in New Zealand. Warm waters of the East Auckland Current flow south from the South Pacific islands, bringing Striped and Blue Marlin to the offshore waters.
The offshore Marlin bite continues, with long trips to the fishing grounds worth it to see a tail-walking Striped Marlin on the end of your line. Remember that fishing in Auckland is always at the mercy of the weather.
The end of summer comes around, and hotel rates drop. Offshore, the Marlin fishing is as good as ever, while Kingfish and Snapper are biting as well as ever in the harbour.
Autumn means one thing for fish in Auckland: eating. And for anglers, that means action. This is a great time to jig for Kingfish over offshore pinnacles or softbait in the inshore shallow waters. Temperatures are cooling down.
May starts getting cold. The Snapper and Kingfish bites are very good. Often, Marlin will congregate in May and early June, creating the best fishing of the year. Don't miss the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show.
Watch out for workups of Kingfish for explosive fishing. This is officially Auckland's low season, so score a deal at a hotel before heading out on the water for some great fishing. But be patient with the weather!
Water temperatures drop to a chilly 12ºC, but don't let that stop you getting out on the water. This is one of the best months to hook a trophy Snapper or Kingfish. Look for Kingfish hugging the bottom and Snapper close to the shore.
With winds mainly coming from the west, August in Auckland means flat seas and few crowds. Make sure to be flexible, though - winds are always possible. Big breeding Snapper congregate in the gulf, ready to spawn.
Spring finally starts to arrive, and along with it comes changeable weather. Workup fishing gets better and better - but make sure to have a few possible days open, as it's not uncommon for wind and rain to stop play.
As if out of the blue, the fishing kicks in for real in October in Auckland. The fish are spawning and feeding up aggressively, with Kingfish coming up from the bottom to chase jigs, poppers, and stickbaits at the top of the water. Snapper fishing is as good as it gets.
Snapper close in on the harbours and estuaries. At this time of year, Auckland fishing charters can catch limits of fish in just a couple of hours. While you can never guarantee anything with fishing, you can expect to have fun right now.
The fishing remains on top form in the summer, with the possibility of Marlin now being added into the mix. Kingfish and Snapper are caught in shallow water and the harbours. How about that for a Christmas present?