Where To Fish in New Zealand
New Zealand is basically two large and several smaller islands, surrounded by sea and broken by rocky rivers, dreamy lakes and placid streams. It's a fisherman's wish come true.
Many people are drawn to New Zealand each year to fly fish for trout, both brown and rainbow, and chinook (aka quinnat or king) salmon. New Zealand is known to have some of the best brown trout fishing in the world and the glass clear water offers quite a challenge to even the best fishermen. You can choose a stay/fish package at a comfortable lodge and enjoy the pleasures of world-class fishing and fine hospitality, or we'll find you a guide and the accommodation of your choice and put the two together. Due to the impressive water clarity fishing for trout is usually sighted fishing.
Coastal fishing is also very rewarding in many places and you can once again stay in a fabulous coastal lodge and fish each day, or we'll find you accommodation to suit. Exclusive or shared charters leave from many ports and harbours around the country. Sport fishing is also a very exciting option in the top half of the North Island.
Below is a summary of some of the great options in New Zealand to fish. But no matter where you are planning to go there will be options available, even in or near most cities - email us for more info. Or visit our specialist fishing website - www.newzealandfishinglodges.co.nz - for more detailed info.
Fly Fishing for Trout
Trout were only introduced to New Zealand less than 150 years ago, and they are now spread through many of the country's wild rivers and hydro canals. Brown and rainbow trout are found in both the North and South Islands, and there are many places available to stay and fish from. You can stay in a lodge just 5 minutes off the highway and have access to 30 different fishing spots by road and as many again by helicopter. Or you can heli in to a remote lodge and fish in an enviable selection of wilderness spots during your stay. We have a big selection of lodges, guides and fishing destinations for you to choose from. Parts of the North Island and a few spots in the South Island are open for fishing all year, but most of the country opens for fly fishing season from 1 October through to 30 April. With a few areas not opening till 1 November. A guided day of fishing is usually between $NZ 750 - 850 for up to 2 people, and guides will provide all your gear and tackle, lunch and transport on the day. Heli-Fishing is usually extra unless included in the package. Guides can book out well ahead so start planning ahead of time.
The South Island also has several areas to fish for salmon - these are chinook salmon - also known as king or quinnat salmon. These wily fish are found mainly in the stony braided rivers of the Canterbury area, and some land-locked lakes in Otago. Local guides know the spots where you're likely to land these beautiful fish and they'll also provide your transport, lunch and fishing gear as well. Salmon can be fished from the rivers from November to April, and the lake fishing is open all year. A guided day of fishing is usually between $NZ 750 - 850 for up to 2 people, and guides will provide all your gear and tackle, lunch and transport on the day.
There are options all around coastal New Zealand to get out on the water and go fishing. From the top of the North Island to Stewart Island in the south you can join a shared or exclusive charter for a single or multi-day trip and enjoy some excellent seas fishing. Main target species in the north are kingfish, snapper, hapuka (northern name) and terakihi. Further south the options include kahawai, blue cod, snapper, kingfish and grouper (southern name). You can also fly fish for kingfish on the sand flats in an area of the upper South Island. Although the cooler waters of winter slow things down a bit there is good coastal fishing available around New Zealand throughout the year. The cost of charter trips varies widely depending on the size of boat and the length of the trip.
As Zane Grey famously found when he fished in New Zealand back in the 1920s, the sport fishing out of the Bay of Islands and surrounding coastal areas was amazing. And it still is today. Target species vary throughout the year but in general you can fish for marlin and other billfish from late December to June, yellowfin tuna from December to March, shark species from November to May and yellowtail kingfish all year. Day and multi-day charters are available, and the boats can book out months ahead so start planning well ahead of your trip. We have a number of skippers and boats available to choose from. And there are several excellent lodges nearby to provide you with a quality stay around your fishing.