Zealand has the finest trout fishing in the world, accessible for 12
months of the year. And, apart from the rivers, lakes and streams, NZ
also has a coastline longer than that of the United States for fantastic
saltwater and game fishing.
From a boat, from
a jetty, from the shore, from a willow-lined bank or wading in a freshwater
stream, the fishing is fabulous. There's snapper, tuna, shark, salmon,
kingfish, blue moki, marlin and many other fine fighting fish as well
as the ultimate angling challenge of snaring the big, wily rainbow and
The uncrowded bays,
beaches, bluffs and streams offer solitude, serenity, scenery and, of
are no fishing fees apart from the initial licence to cover trout and
salmon fishing. No licence is required for saltwater fishing. You can
get a trout licence (which also covers salmon) from sports stores or
fishing guides. Adults pay NZ$65 for the season, $37 for winter, $25
for a week or $25 for a day. Children under 16 pay NZ$12.50 for the
season, $7 for winter, $5.50 for a week and $3.50 for a day.
rivers are densely populated with trout, others have few but very big
fish. A visitor, with no local knowledge, can sometimes be disappointed.
Special tactics or techniques can apply to individual spots or times
of year. Free advice can be gained from the Visitor Information Centres
(look for the green i sign). Alternatively, you could enlist the services
of a local fishing guide. Trout or salmon guides charge NZ$400 - NZ$600
per day. Chartering a boat and skipper for big game fishing costs NZ$700
- NZ$1000 per day. While this sounds expensive it can be quite economical
when shared with a few others.
We have contacts for 21 guides for saltwater fishing and more than 50
trout guides. Simply email us, obligation free, if you'd like a guide
as part of your itinerary and we can arrange it for you.
are a number of excellent lodges that specialise in hosting anglers.
These vary from wilderness lodges set in mountain grandeur to intimate
retreats where you will be the only guests. Either way, the cuisine
will usually be exceptional (and have fish on the menu), the welcome
will be warm and the fishing advice superb.
Kingfish Lodge, Whangaroa Harbour.
Okiato Lodge, Russell.
Inverness Estate, Papakura
Fantail Lodge, Katikati
Moose Lodge, Rotorua
Muriaroha Lodge, Rotorua
Huka Lodge, Taupo
Lake Taupo Lodge, Taupo
Tongariro Lodge, Turangi
Mangapapa Lodge, Havelock North
Wharekauhau, Palliser Bay
Motueka River Lodge, Motueka
Timara Lodge, Blenheim
Lake Rotorua Lodge, Murchison
Lake Brunner Lodge, Kumara
Moonlight Lodge, Murchison
Braemar Lodge, Hammer Springs
Grasmere Lodge, Canterbury
You can bring your own tackle but it must be declared at customs on
arrival. Gear should be clean and hand-made flies won't be allowed in.
Guides and Lodges will have gear for hire and there are numerous sports
and tackle stores. Also, pack some sunscreen and a hat for summer and
some insect repellent.
Zealand offers you the best chance in the world of catching a big, trophy-sized
trout along with the unique experience of fishing in solitude in beautiful
surroundings. In many of the clear, clean streams you will actually
be able to see your trout before stalking and casting.
Some rivers can hold many fish weighing a bit over 2lb, other may have
few trout but they'll be big (7 to 9lb).
Catch and release was introduced to NZ by visiting American fly-fishers
and is widely practised.
While fish can be caught year round, the trout season is generally considered
to be October 1 to April 30. Depending on conditions, some rivers and
lakes are open to anglers all year. Regulations do vary from region
to region so it's wise to check with a guide or your lodge.
(late December to March), chinook salmon (also known as quinnat) ascend
the rivers of the eastern South Island. The official season is from
October 1 to April 30 and a trout licence also covers salmon. A 3-year-old
New Zealand salmon will average 12lb and a 4-year-old around 16lb. Guides
operate mainly on the Rakaia, Rangitata and Waikati Rivers and gear,
transport and refreshments are provided. Often jet boats are used to
gain access to pools where salmon may have paused.
may be good in winter when still sunny days follow a crisp frost at
first light but it is usually at its best in summer and autumn when
warmer water and a profusion of bait fish inshore entice feeding schools
of larger fish. There are no closed season restrictions and no licence
plus! You'll find a variety of fighting fish including yellowfin tuna
and the striped marlin, the largest marlin in the world along with many
types of sharks including the mako which has a streamlined body making
it a powerful fighter and a spectacular leaper.
In old, established sport fishing bases charter boats (link to 'Guides')
are readily available and will supply tackle, bait and refreshments.
Both day and overnight trips can be arranged. Catch and release with
tagging for monitoring fish movement is an increasing trend.
7 3876 4644
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