13 Fishing Charters
Top Fishing Charters in Paihia
Fishing in Paihia
Fondly known as “the gem of the Bay of Islands,” Paihia is home to some of the finest fishing in New Zealand. This summertime tourist destination boasts a fine fleet of charter boats, with a wide variety of trips for visitors to choose from. You can spend a few hours dropping lines in the bay for Kingfish and Snapper, or head off on a multi-day excursion to battle some of the world’s largest Broadbill Swordfish. There’s no shortage of options in between, with 3 different Marlin species and plenty of other game fish swimming around here. The fishing charters Paihia has in store will give you a chance to have it all, from big game hookups to coolers full of eating fish.
Big Game Fishing
The waters surrounding Paihia are abundant with big game fish, ranging from Marlin, Tuna, Swordfish, and Mahi Mahi to Kingfish and Bluenose Warehou. Deep sea anglers will find opportunities here year-round, but it’s usually the summer season that draws people to Paihia. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin are in season from January through April, accompanied by Yellowfin Tuna. Swordfish reach their peak around the time that these fish start fading away, while other deep water inhabitants like Bluenose Warehou and Gemfish become more accessible in winter. Kingfish, Snapper, Nannygai, and Grouper offer good bottom fishing action throughout much of the year, both offshore and closer to the coast.
A full day trip out of Paihia will usually start in the middle of the Bay of Islands before you work your way out to Cape Brett and cast lines around the legendary Hole in The Rock. Some trips continue north toward the Cavalli Islands. This triangular circuit will put you in prime fishing territory for Kingfish, Kahawai, Trevally, Snapper, Grouper, Mahi Mahi, and Marlin when in season.
If it’s Broadbill Swordfish you’re after, you’ll need to book an extended day or overnight charter. A Swordfishing trip will take you roughly 20 nautical miles from shore, out to the Cavalli Seamout area.
Multi-day excursions are very popular in Paihia, and will give you access to some of the world’s finest big game fishing grounds. Spend several days on board and you’ll make your way north to the Cavalli Islands and Cape Karikari, or south to Tutukaka, Poor Knights Island, and the Mokohinau Islands.
You can also have a blast when you spend your time in Paihia fishing closer to shore. Casting lines anywhere from the coast to the continental shelf could have you hooking into 30 different species. Snapper, Grouper, Kingfish, and Kahawaii are among the most popular nearshore (or “inshore”) gamefish here. Novice anglers who are out for a bit of fun can join a shared trip for half a day, whereas a private charter allows you to fish all day without rubbing elbows with other anglers.
Pressed for time? You don’t even have to leave shore to experience the fishing Paihia is famous for! Head toward the Waitangi Golf Club (over the Waitangi Bridge) and make a beeline for the rocky outcrops nearby. Anglers catch Trevally, Kahawai, and even Snapper while casting lines from here, an excellent preview of the kind of fishing you’ll experience on a local charter. Come equipped with a heavy bait and abrasion-resistant line.
Need to Know
Recreational anglers don’t need a license to fish in New Zealand. Bear in mind that size and bag limits apply to many local fish species, and there is a daily limit on how many fin fish you’re allowed to keep (20 fish per person, subject to change). If you’re fishing on your own, make sure you stay up to date on regulations in the Auckland and Kermadec area.
Many charter boats encourage catch and release of big game species, and may limit each passenger to 3 keeper fish.
The fishing charters Paihia has to offer vary widely in price, which makes this a great place to fish no matter what your budget is like.
Nearshore bottom fishing charters range from NZD $600-$1,000 for a half day trip (4-5 hours), and $1,200-1,700 for a full day trip (8-9 hours). For travelers on a tight budget, shared trips are the most economical choice. These are usually limited to half day trips for $110-275 per person.
A standard big game fishing trip usually lasts 8-10 hours, and can range in price from $1,300-$2,000 or more.
Multi-day charters start at $2,000 per day and can cost significantly more, depending on the quality of the boat and your trip itinerary.
Paihia is easily accessible by car and coach. If driving from Auckland, can follow the east coast highway or the Kauri Coast route and reach Paihia in a little more than 3 hours.
Alternatively, you can catch a coach operated by GreatSights or InterCity, which both run daily buses to and from Paihia.
The closest airport is 23 km northwest in Kerikeri, just a 40-minute flight from Auckland.
Featuring numerous tourist attractions and some of the finest big game fishing in the world, Paihia is a destination that is sure to please everyone in your family!
Paihia Fishing Seasons
At the height of summer, you can expect average temperatures in Paihia to be a balmy 16-23°C. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin are in season, and many bottom fish are at their peak.
Marlin are at their peak in February, and local waters will be crowded with anglers who are after them. The nearshore bite includes Snapper, Nannygai, Kahawai, and Trevally.
March is an excellent time to head offshore for Marlin, Swordfish, Kingfish, and much more. Spend several days fishing to the north and south of Paihia and hook yourself a trophy!
As the season shifts, the Marlin bite is slowing down. Tuna and Swordfish will continue to provide heavy tackle action for the next few months.
As winter gets underway, average temperatures are hovering between 12-19°C. This is an excellent time to fish for Snapper, Nannygai, Bluenose Warehou, and Swordfish.
June is one of the coldest months of the year in Paihia, but it’s nowhere near cold enough to keep anglers off the water! Kingfish, Swordfish, Bluenose Warehou, and Hapuka are at their peak.
Few species are at their peak in July. The cold weather draws many fish from the deep closer to the surface, which makes this an excellent time to fish for Swordfish and Bluenose Warehou.
Winter continues in Paihia, with average temperatures as low as 10-16°C. Bottom fishing for Kingfish, Hapuka, and Bluenose is sill excellent.
Spring is on its way, and the fishing is about to change. For now, your time is best spent casting lines close to shore for Snapper, Kahawai, Trevally, and more.
Kingfish, Snapper, and Nannygai are biting more and should keep you busy until bigger fish start showing up in the next month or two!
Kingfish are at their peak once again, and you can expect fairly consistent fishing nearshore for Snapper, Nannygai, John Dory, and the like. Paihia’s big game fishing season is just around the corner.
Summer is in full swing and many bottom fish are at their peak! Spend a day fishing in the Bay of Islands for Trevally, Kahawai, Snapper, Kingfish, and so much more.