Tauranga Fishing Charters
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Top Fishing Charters in Tauranga
Blue Ocean Charters - Te Kuia
Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere
Blue Ocean Charters - Te Kuia (Shared)
Cruise And Fish Rotorua
Fresh Water on Rotorua Lakes
Fishing in Tauranga
Tauranga, NZ is a harborside city that lives to fish. When you’re not busy basking in the local hot springs or hiking the extinct volcano Mount Maunganui, take some time to see what’s biting offshore. You won’t find the most dazzling of New Zealand’s big game fish in these waters, but you will find some of the tastiest. From Snapper, Trevally, and Kingfish to gargantuan Hapuka and Bass, the Bay of Plenty certainly lives up to its name. Tauranga fishing charters are all about making the most of this fishery, whether you love catching your own seafood or simply love eating it!
Tauranga Fishing Spots
Shallow Water Reefs
You can bring home quite a haul after a day on the Bay of Plenty’s nearshore reefs. It’s common to head toward Moiti Island, roughly 16 km (10 miles) offshore, where the relatively shallow water hosts some of the area’s most iconic species. Bottom fishing produces John Dory, Kingfish (Yellowtail Amberjack), Pink Maomao, Tarakihi, Porae, Trevally, and Pink and Golden Snappers. Trips typically last 6-9 hours and make a great introduction for kids and first time anglers who want to see what fishing in Tauranga is all about.
Mayor Island/Tuhua Island
Mayor Island (or Tuhua Island) sits roughly 35 km (21 miles) from the harbor entrance. This is where more serious fishermen come to experience Tauranga fishing at its finest. The deep water surrounding Mayor Island is home to one of the Bay of Plenty’s most cherished species: Hapuka. This member of the Grouper family is a popular food fish, which is targeted more for its taste that its game qualities. When hooked in shallow enough water, however, these brutes can put up a good fight. Hapuka easily reach up to 80 kg (over 175 lbs), but that’s nothing compared to the giant Bass in these waters, which can top 200 kg (more than 440 lbs). Full day and overnight charters to Mayor Island will give you the perfect opportunity to hook into these brutes as well as Bluenose Warehou, Snapper, Kingfish, and other bottom dwellers.
If you’re looking to mix things up a little, consider a trip to Lake Tarawera, located a little more than an hour’s drive away from downtown Tauranga. Here you can catch Rainbow Trout and spend a delightful day on the water. For light tackle and fly fishermen, this lake offers the perfect complement to all that bottom fishing happening off the coast. Some guides will even include a stop at the local hot springs. Depending on the trip and the guide you hire, you may be required to purchase a fishing license.
Need to Know
Recreational anglers do not need a license for saltwater fishing. A NZ fishing license is required for many lakes and rivers, but some guides offer trips that do not require customers to buy a license. Always check with your guide ahead of time if you have questions concerning local regulations.
Many Tauranga fishing charters run out of the Tauranga Bridge Marina. It’s worth noting that charter rates don’t usually include tackle. You can bring your own gear or rent from the boat (20-30 NZD per rod). Hapuka gear usually costs more than regular bottom fishing gear. Some boats also charge extra for bait (10-20 NZD).
Reef fishing trips range from 1100-1700 NZD, depending on the length of the trip and the quality of the boat. You can expect to pay 80-100 NZD per person for a shared charter.
Trips to Mayor Island last 11-12 hours and can range from 1400-1700 NZD in price, or 120-150 per person for a shared trip.
Overnight Hapuka fishing charters start at 1600 NZD and work their way up to 2000 NZD. A shared trip costs 200 NZD per person and upwards.
Tauranga Fishing Techniques
Hapuka, Bass, Bluenose Warehou, Tarakihi, and many other fish are caught while bottom fishing in water anywhere from 80-250 meters deep. This can be done with handheld rods as well as electric reels, depending on how deep the water is and the size of the fish you’re targeting.
Jigging produces fish like John Dory, Trevally, and Snapper. Kahawai make for great light tackle action and will take a wide variety of baits and lures.
Getting to Tauranga is relatively easy, whether you’re traveling by car, bus, plane, or cruise ship.
Air New Zealand offers daily flights to Tauranga, with direct connections from Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. As the largest cruise port in New Zealand, Tauranga is also frequently visited by cruise ships passing through the country.
If you’re up for a road trip, this city is an easy drive from any location on the North Island. Tauranga is a 6-hour drive from Wellington and a 3-hour drive from Auckland.
Alternatively, you can catch one of the region’s regular buses connecting Tauranga, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, and other destinations. Tauranga’s main bus station is located just outside of the i-SITE Visitor Centre and Tauranga City Council headquarters.
No matter how you make your way here, rest assured there’s no shortage of game fish waiting for you in the Bay of Plenty!
Tauranga Fishing Seasons
Summer is at its height at the start of the year, with average temperatures ranging from 16-24°C. Fishing for Snapper, Pink Maomao, Kahawai, and Kingfish is excellent.
The peak season for Pink Snapper continues, and anglers can still expect good action from other bottom fish, too. Craving light tackle action? Try for Kahawai on the reefs or Rainbow Trout in the lake.
As temperatures start to cool, Hapuka, Tarakihi, and Bluenose Warehou are biting more. Pink Snapper season is still going full force in the Bay of Plenty.
Kingfish are at their peak again, as Bluenose, Tarahiki, and Hapuka grow bolder by the day.
Average temperatures are dropping to 10-17°C, but the fishing offshore is hot! Tauranga’s most popular fish are biting as much as ever, from Kingfish and Snapper to Hapuka.
Hapuka and Tarakihi reach their peak in June, which makes this an excellent time for an overnight excursion to Mayor Island. On the reefs you can expect to catch Kingfish, Pink Maomao, and more.
Temperatures reach their lowest in July, hovering between 7-14°C. Hapuka, Tarakihi, and Bluenose are all at their peak. Weather permitting, it’s a great time for bottom fishing!
Winter fishing continues in Tauranga, with the bulk of the catch including Hapuka, Bluenose, and Tarakihi.
It’s all about Hapuka in September. Head offshore for a productive day of bottom fishing and then take a dip in the hot springs to warm up!
Kingfish and Snapper are at their peak again, as average temperatures start creeping back toward 20°C. Hapuka fishing is still good, though the peak season has passed.
Summer is just around the corner! You can expect lots of action on the reefs in November, as Snapper, Kingfish, and other species start biting more.
Summer is well underway come December, and so is the peak season for Pink Snapper and Kahawai. Head to the reefs for a day and beat the heat!
Tauranga Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Tauranga
"Day trip on the maniateri ( cant spell name of boat)"
Know that it is winter on a boat with a few people on board with various experience so if sport fishings you thing then probably not the trip for you but they do offer this option on different bookings. you will catch fish with this boat and captain
"2nd Trip with the Manutere"
fishing during summer/ autumn before June
"Day out on the Manutere "
Wear warm layers so you can remove and add if needed. Rain coat, beanie, gumboots.
"Full day with Brett on Manutere"
Talk to the skipper first before going out to find out more details.
Top Targeted Species in Tauranga
- Size 0.5 to 1.5kg
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Low
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore
- Size 0.5 to 1.5kg
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Low
- Habitats Nearshore
- Size 15 to 25lbs
- Food Value Good
- Game Qualities Good
- Habitats Offshore, Reef
- Size 30-40 cm
- Food Value Average
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Inshore, Nearshore, Reef, Wreck