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Freshwater fishing

Freshwater fishing methods

Other fishing

New Zealand Saltwater Fly Fishing

New Zealand offers superb saltwater fly fishing in many coastal areas where there are great opportunities to hook into hard fighting game fish. One of the most rapidly growing area in fishing is saltwater fishing with several regions offering fishing equal to anywhere in the world.
Areas where sea fishing is popular include the the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Doubtless Bay, the Bay of Plenty, Golden Bay, Marlborough Sounds, and Southland. Though almost anywhere arond the coast of New Zealand offers good fishing.
  The catch

The range of fish that can be targeted with the fly are numerous and include snapper, kahawai, kingfish, tarakihi and even marlin. The two main sports fish that are of interest in NZ waters are the kahawai and the powerful kingfish.


Watch exciting action in Golden Bay


  Time of year
Saltwater fly fishing in New Zealand is usually best in late spring, summer and early autumn when the fish tend to be in close to shore. When whitebait are running they become a popular food source for both torut and kahawai and can often be caught around Septmeber to November at river mouths (though as you will also be ablt to catch trout in these areas you will need a freshwater licence when fishing in these areas).

There is no licence fee for sea fishing, but strict regulations apply to saltwater fishing methods, maximum catches, fishing seasons and prohibited areas. Specific rules also apply to gathering shellfish. It is forbidden to sell or trade your catch. Breaking the sea fishing regulations, including those governing the collection of wild shellfish, is totally unacceptable and can result in heavy fines and even imprisonment. See the Ministry of Primary Industries website for marine recreational fishing guidelines and regulations.

And as mentioned above if fishing in freshwater estuaries you will be deemed to be targeting trout and so will require a fresh water licence.


These need to be powerful and able to put some pressure on very powerful fish. 8 weight is really a minimum and 10 weight or above is recommended


The rod will help you hook the fish but it is the quality of the reel that is the most important piece of equipment if you are to land it!

You will require a large reel able to hold arouind 200 metres or more of backing with a very good drag system which is essential when targeting kingfish and kahawai. These fish hit with explosive force and can run hard for a long period of time. And as you will be fishing in saltwater, a rod that can resist the corrosion is important.

Line and backing

The type of line you use will be dependent on where you are fishing but most of the fish you will be targeting are surface feeders and so a floating to slow sinking line is usually adequate for most situations.

Lures and leaders

Most of the fish you will be targeting are feeding on small fish. Consequently the most effective lures are those that imitate a fleeing bait fish. Casting out and then a fast strip of the lure back will induce savage takes and ferocius runs. And unlike river fish such as trout - the fish are not restricted to any pools or runs. The ocean is a big area so ensure you have very strong leaders and plenty of good quality backing!

See what it is like from the experts


Salt Water Flyfish

Salt Fly Fish Auckland

Anton Donaldson

Anton Donaldson: Golden Bay

King Tide SaltFly

King Tide Salt Fly

John Gendall

John Gendall: Golden Bay

Julian Danby: Bay of Plenty


Rod and Reel

Rod and Reel:

For all salt water fly equipment

Bradley Smokers

Bradley Smokers


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