Welcome to fishing in the Coromandel.
A trip to the Coromandel offers not only some of the most unspoilt, inherently beautiful scenery and coastline in the country, you’ll also be surrounded by one of the world’s most thriving marine environments and abundant fisheries with an array of species from Orcas to Dolphins, Swordfish to John Dory. It’s nothing less than fishing and boating paradise.
Pound for pound, nothing fights harder than a Coromandel Kingfish! These green and gold “bullets” grow to over 30 kilos in the Coromandel and the challenge of doing battle with a Kingy is one that is highly sought after. An adventure that should be experienced by everyone at least once… It’s not something you forget! The biggest Kingfish are usually found 20 to 30 nautical miles offshore around the offshore islands and underwater pins on the eastern side of the peninsula. If you’re lucky you can find smaller Kingfish (also great fun to catch) in the shallows and close to the coastline.
Fishing for these beauties is the quintessential NZ fishing experience. Snapper numbers are abundant in the North Island of New Zealand and around the Coromandel is no exception. Delectable eating, it’s no wonder that it’s the most sought after fish in the country. If you’re after THE BIG ONE or just keen for a relaxing trip out to fill a bin to feed the family, you’ll find it all in the Coromandel.
New Zealand is home to the biggest Striped Marlin in the world. They pass through the waters on the western side of the Coromandel in decent numbers from late November to mid February. If you find the right charter boat operator in the right season you’ll increase your chances of landing one of these elusive and powerful fish. Generally you’ll have to specifically target Marlin and Broadbill but they can sometimes be an exciting bycatch while livebaiting for other species.
If you haven’t got your own boat and gear there are a few options available to get you and the family out fishing.
To make your fishing adventure extra intrepid, add a rock hopping adventure to some of the islands on the eastern side of the Coromandel or navigate some of the rugged coastline to access some thriving fishing grounds.
The Coromandel is home to dozens of charter boat operators, they’re in almost every township and settlement on the peninsula. You’ll find everything from barge fishing for Snapper around the Mussel farms to luxury launch charters and everything in between. In the peak holiday and summer season be sure to book well in advance as the better operators will be the first to be booked out.
A peaceful and stealthy way to get out on the water and on top of some Coromandel fish. There are a few operators around that can offer guided adventures or set you up to get out on your own. Kayaking is a great change of pace and a highly recommended way to see and experience the Coromandel.
Wherever you go on the Coromandel peninsula you’ll never be far from the water and the fishing action. From Tairua and Pauanui to Whangapoua on the eastern side of the Coromandel and from Thames to Coromandel town and Amodeo Bay on the western side, there are great opportunities to get out and catch the big one.
Once over the Kopu – Hikuai Road you soon reach Tairua, where you really start to get the sense that the holiday has begun. Tairua is dotted with holiday homes, there’s a small local super market, a handful of funky shops, cafés and the local pub all bordering the western side of the estuary. Two minutes down the road is Tairua beach, 2 kilometers of sandy surf beach. The quieter winter months are far removed from any sort of hustle and bustle and over summer holiday periods the Tairua population increases by almost 10 fold and there’s a real buzz of excitement around this time of year. A new marina in the estuary is a great addition and everything combined makes this seaside town a great playground for visitors all year round.
Whitianga is the tourism centre of the Coromandel with some world class accommodation and attractions such as the Lost Spring day spa complete with thermal fed pools with waterfalls and massage rooms perched up in huts amongst the trees (great for the ladies while the boys are out on the boat!). There is lots of fun around town for the kids too, including fun zone, animal parks, mini putt, swimming holes and paint-ball all close by.
Whitianga is in Mercury Bay, the hub of recreational fishing activity on the Coromandel peninsula. Its position half way up the peninsula makes it an attractive base to reach a vast range of pumping fishing spots and puts you in short driving distance of world famous beaches and bays such as Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove, as well as some world class bush walks. Whitianga boasts a bit more night life with restaurants and bars open late.