9 Fishing Charters

Tauranga Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Tauranga

Top Fishing Charters 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.

Lake Tarawera

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 There

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!


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

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March fishing trip
David H. fished with Blue Ocean Charters - Te Kuia (Shared) on March 19, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Book with a reputable and experienced charter and try to find a spot on the boat at the rear.
10 hr trip with Capt. Brett
Scott S. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on December 4, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
I would recommend you go with Tauranga marine charters as the capt. is very active at chasing the fish.
August fishing trip
Angela G. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on August 31, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Have the correct weights and line no flashers and cushion for your comfort
Shane M. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on April 20, 2019
Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good
Fishing with Brett
Eru B. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on April 13, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Recommend Captain Brett and his deckhand and their boat Motutere. Every thing i expected of a charter was carried out. They were both extremely helpful whether preparing bait, asking everyone how thy were faring and more importantly, untangling lines during the numerous tangle ups. Lastly i would recommend that people always take warm gear regardless of weather
Fishing with Brett
Mick C. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on March 18, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Take along seasick tablets if your not use to boating
Full day bottom fishing
Lewis M. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on January 4, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Contact Tauranga marine charters. Awesome they know where and how to fish.
reef fishing on the manutere
Mike P. fished with Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere on December 31, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
food and drink . sunscreen and warm jacket. fish by the toilet. and go get sum tuatuas for bait.

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Tauranga

According to customer reviews, Blue Ocean Charters - Te Kuia, Deepstar Charters, and Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere are some of the most popular fishing charters in Tauranga. Full list of top fishing charters in Tauranga.

Blue Ocean Charters - Te Kuia, Deepstar Charters, and Tauranga Marine Charters - Manutere all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Tauranga.

The best way to experience fishing in Tauranga is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Tauranga.

The top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Tauranga are:

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. Check availability for local fishing charters in Tauranga.