North Island

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Fishing in North Island

Even though it’s the smaller of the two islands, fishing on the North Island of New Zealand is anything but limited. With its diverse fishing potential, the island has something for just about every level of angling expertise.
 
Looking for an incredible fly fishing expedition? This is the place. Want to catch the biggest Striped Marlin of your fishing career? You’ve found your playground.
 

Types of Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

To say that the North Island is the hub of freshwater fishing, and especially fly fishing, is an understatement. With so many rivers, streams, and creeks perfect to cast your line, what’s not to love?
 
Rainbow and Brown Trout steal the show here, both because they’re plentiful and because they can weigh anywhere from four to 10 or more pounds. You get to explore gorgeous stretches of nature with crystal-clear waters that hide massive Trout waiting to gulp down your bait.
 
Because freshwater fishing is so popular, there are many fishing guides that specialise in taking people to the best Trout of their lives. While half day and full day adventures are excellent to get a taster of the local bite, there are multi-day expeditions for passionate anglers wanting to experience the full potential that freshwater fishing has to offer.
 
Rotorua, Tongariro River, and Lake Taupo are epicenters of North Island fishing, and if you’re after record-breaking Rainbow Trout, any of these spots will do nicely.
 

Saltwater Fishing

Now we’re in the “big boy” territory. The North Island is famous for its outstanding saltwater fishing and thousands of miles of productive waters. This a bucket-list-worthy fishery for every angler on the prowl for trophy Marlin (Stripeys are all the craze, but Black and Blue are just as popular), Pink Snapper, Yellowfin Tuna, and Yellowtail (called Kingfish in New Zealand). The Tarakihi, Hapuku, and Trevally bite is excellent as well.
 
With year-round fishing and skilled charter captains to lead the way, there’s no limit to what you can catch here. The Bay of Plenty and Bay of Islands are the most prominent fishing destinations on the island, with Hauraki Gulf and Waikato following close behind. If you’d like to explore remote bluewater, then head to the Three Kings Islands.
 
The best time to go fishing is usually from October–April, though some migratory fish like Tuna and Marlin come and go on their own schedule. Local fishing captains will know exactly when and where to take you so that you can land the catch of your life. 
 
The fishing North Island, New Zealand boasts is a source of spectacular angling opportunities that will handsomely reward your fishing skills. So the only question here is – what are you waiting for?
 
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North Island Fishing Seasons

It’s summer in New Zealand, which can mean only one thing – big game fishing is reaching its peak. On the freshwater front, Rainbows and Browns are biting left and right.

Go fishing for Striped, Blue, and Black Marlin, Pink Snapper, Giant Trevally, and Yellowfin Tuna – they’re all out there in February. Yellowtail fishing is excellent, and Swordfish are active further offshore.

In March, the loudest sound you’ll hear on the water is the screaming of the reels. Marlin and Tuna fishing are in full swing, and you’re likely to catch just about anything you drop a line for now.

Pink Snapper and Yellowtail are the most popular catches closer to shore, while the bluewater is the playground of Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, and hard-fighting Swordfish.

As autumn takes over, Marlin and Tuna are leaving the waters around the North Island, but you can still hook them on their way out. This is a great time to focus your fishing efforts on giant Swordfish, Pink Snapper, Yellowtail, and more.

Chasing majestic Swordfish is the way to go in June. If Billfish aren’t your cuppa tea, Hapuka, Tarakihi, Giant Trevally, and Yellowtail are very active and ready to bite.

Swordfish are the only representative of the Billfish family in July, but going after these bad boys will be a test of strength and skill. The Tarakihi and Hapuka bite is superb right now, and Yellowtail aren’t far behind.

Winter is here, so the weather can be unpredictable. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good Yellowtail and Hapuka fishing, or chase Tarakihi in the nearshore waters.

As you’re waiting for the spring to come, spend several hours on a boat and come home with delicious Hapuka on ice. With each passing day, the fishing action is getting better for both freshwater and saltwater fishermen.

Rainbow and Brown Trout are the center of attention in the North Island’s rivers and lakes, and on the offshore stage, Pink Snapper, Hapuka, and Yellowtail are the most prized catch in October.

As water temperatures are rising, you can almost smell the anglers’ excitement in the air. Pink Snapper fishing is superb right now, and chasing Yellowtail is very productive as well.

Head out to your favourite freshwater fishing spot to get your fill of the premier Trout action. Alternatively, set your sights on Giant Trevally, Yellowtail, and Pink Snapper offshore.

North Island Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in North Island

Yellowtail Amberjack

Yellowtail Amberjack

Snapper (Pink)

Snapper (Pink)

John Dory

John Dory

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Blue)

Marlin (Striped)

Marlin (Striped)

Hapuka

Hapuka

Tarakihi

Tarakihi

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)