Fishing in New Zealand – The Best Places to Land a Big Fish

in New Zealand

Seasoned anglers and casual fishermen should make sure they pack a rod and reel when traveling to New Zealand.

With abundant coastline and countless lakes and rivers inland, it’s always easy to find a private place to cast off.

Stud farms and hatcheries replenish the fish in New Zealand’s waterways, so there is plenty of sizable seafood to catch. While some Kiwi fishermen prefer to guard the secrets of their favorite fishing spots, most locals are happy to share their knowledge.

The fish you’ll catch depends on the area you lay down your line. Lake Taupo is famous for trout measuring at least half a meter. While that will lure in serious fishermen, casual casters may be perturbed by the $30 a day fishing fee.

If you’ve got access to a boat, or want to join a tour, consider heading to the Bay or Plenty or The Coromandel. These are big game fishing areas, with yellowtail kingfish, marlin, puka, and snapper inhabiting the waters.

new zealand brown trout

A brown trout, commonly found in New Zealand waters

A few kilometers from Lake Tekapo you’ll find Mount Cook Salmon Farm. Free fishing is allowed along the canal, but if you’re happy to pay for a guaranteed catch you can fish inside the farm’s net.

Fly fishing is popular along Ngongotaha Stream at Rotorua Lake. The waters here are so clear, you can actually watch the trout as they swim past. Nearby Ohar Channel is another popular fly fishing spot.

The waters of Pohara Harbour, near Abel Tasman National Park, are brimming with seafood. Spotties and Australian salmon are particularly common here, but watch out for the manta rays. They’ll snap your line in a second, so you’ll need to carry some extra hooks!

Before setting out, it’s important to obtain a fishing license. These are available online from New Zealand’s Fish and Game website. Whole season and shorter 24-hour licenses are available for adults, juniors, and families. While at the website, make sure you familiarize yourself with the regulations of the area you intend to fish. These rules govern minimum sizes, bag limits, and the times and areas that fishing is permitted.

Of course, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t catch your dinner. With many seafood restaurants in every New Zealand city, you won’t miss out on tasting the local delicacies!

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