Wellington Fishing Information


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The water boils with a thousand kahawai all gobbling up the densely packed baitfish, we cruise up to the edges of the activity eagerly assembling tackle. The sea erupts as 20kg kingfish streak through the pack sending fish in all directions.but not everyday

Yes we can see this out from Porirua City and many other fishing experiences are out there.

I have written this page as an outline of what fishing opportunities are to be had around Wellington, mainly for the benefit of visitors to the region or anyone not already familliar with sea fishing. focusing mainly on the west coast (Makara through to Kapiti, we are based near Porirua City which is central to this area) and the south coast from Palliser bay to Karori light as shown on our fishing and diving pages.

The Wellington fishing marine habitat has canyons, huge pinnacles, reef areas, sandy and muddy areas etc.
All create different opportunities for a variety of fishing methods and the depths vary from shallow down to 300+ meters. Water temperature varies from 18 - 20 deg C in the summer on the west coast of Wellington sometimes down to 11 deg C in the winter, each season giving us different species to target.

We always achieve a catch, tides and wind sometimes restrict our choices but some fantastic catches of groper snapper trevally tarakihi can be achieved when conditions are right

The main catch would be tarakihi and blue cod, fish of up to 2kg and a first class eating fish, lighter tackle gives better sport with these but we tend to use mid range tackle as you often hook something bigger during the course of the trip. We could get snapper turn up, trevally, john dory,shark, conger eel,or warehou a powerful cooler water fish We get these on the south and west coasts with the snapper more common on the west particularly during summer / autumn.

We usually anchor up near an underwater structure or reef and sometimes use berley, (groundbait, chum) to attract the fishes attention or not if there is plenty on the sounder. From here a variety of approaches can be taken, in deeper water typically a sinker attached to the bottom of the line with a couple of hooks on loops or flasher rigs (flies) above. in shallower water a trace attached to a swivel with a running sinker threaded on allowing the line to pass through. both fished on the bottom. This can account for tarakihi, snapper, blue cod, trevally, kahawai usually along with a host of reef fish.

Kahawai can be fished for as sport with flies, small spinners and jigs cast with light tackle. On a calm day you can often see their noses breaking the surface all over the place, readily taking a cast lure.
A powerfull and lively fish to play on a light rod, keep or release it then cast out for the next and the next. Kingfish can be caught from time to time using the same method but on heavier tackle, they are very powerful and will instantly break unsuitable gear.

Out to the deeper reefs in search of groper or hapuku, these are the prime fish of Cook Strait, fishing in depths of 100 to 300 metres over reefs or drop offs we use heavy tackle with a large sinker and strong hooks with big baits, the above photo is of groper. A lot of winding up involved, sometimes only to have a reef fish, shark or barracouta but when the groper pops up everyone gets real keen, they grow up to over 50kg if you are not that fit and not used to this you will find it hard work even just winding up tackle groper are usually around the 10 - 20 kg mark and of course are delicious fried or even raw in a fish salad or kokoda (see our recipes page).

Off the south coast of Wellington fishing for bluenose off the trench, a steep drop off down to 300 metres. again lots of winding, bluenose are groper like and have large eyes for seeing at depth. Also ling, groper and bass can show up here.

Sharks often turn up around the boat in the summer and can be fished for, we get Mako and blue shark mainly, the mako can be up to 200+ kg and there is a wire trace handy if you want some serious sport.

Westcoast Charters fishing trips are priced on going a fair distance to the better spots they dont overcrowd the boats and they have time to look after you.
I must point out though that everything I have just said is true but fishing is fishing and occasionally the fish are off the bite and can be harder to get and sometimes if wind and tide are not right or we have had trawlers or other fishing pressure we may have to fish where we can which might not have good fishing, usually it is good or reasonable fishing.

For Fishing in Wellington

Contact Neil on:

2000 Westcoast Charters Ltd.