Bay of Islands Fish Species
This is a very popular eating fish in New Zealand. It is found throughout New Zealand but has large numbers in Northland. An average size of 30-50cm, but can reach over 90cm. Weight to 18kg (40lb). Found over any kind of sea bottom to about two hundred metres. Snapper enjoy shellfish, kina (sea urchin), crabs, shrimps, and small fishes, with apparently no particular preferences. Snapper can be caught on real bait, soft bait or by jigging small lures
This is an excellent fighting fish, found around New Zealand, where most world records are held.
These can be an average of 900cm. to 1200cm. and as large as 1700cm. and weighing up to 70kg. Found at the bottom or near the surface depending on food source and current. Kingfish diet includes bait fish including piper and mackerel. They can be caught on live bait, mechanical jigging and fly fishing. Even trolling has been successful.
This is a highly sought after eating fish in New Zealand. Hapuku fishing is seen as more of a food-gathering exercise than just sport fishing.
These can be an average size of 80-100cm, but reaching up to 200cm. Weighing up to 100kg (220lb). It is found lurking in caverns and around reefs in deep water. It will eat smaller fish, crabs and crustaceans. They can be caught by drop line fishing. They are distinguished from Bass by their protruding jaw.
This is a tough fighter. A renowned pack hunter. When there is one around you may find the pack not too far away. It can reach a maximum length of over 4 metres and weigh 190kg.
Their favorite food is tuna, squid and other bait fish. Once hooked this fish will fight until the end, often making acrobatic leaps in an effort to evade capture.
Although very similar to the black, she is far more aggressive and will not give up the fight easily.
Her traditional technique to evade capture is to run deep then spring through the surface only to run back down deep again.
The female of this species is the largest, weighing in at 461kgs, with the male rarely attaining over 300 kgs.
They can reach weights of 450 kgs plus.
This fish will take a lot of work and effort to land and is the largest of the Marlin species.
This cold blooded hunter is by far the hardest to land. It is extremely territorial. Make no mistake, these are not as large a fish as the blue or black marlin but will give you one hell of a battle. Recent developments for catching these, are at night, with the use of night sticks tied to the lure.
This is a firm favorite with big game fisherman. The fastest of the big game fish and has been recorded at speeds up to 110kph / 68 mph.
It is a tough fighter but the energy it expels in fast runs and acrobatic jumps means that it tires quickly.
Other Species caught
These are a colourful species that are a popular table fish. It can be found in depths from just a few metres down to about fifty metres.
Its food is mostly bottom animals living in sediment. They are caught from shore or boats fishing shallow sedimentary bottoms. They will take cut baits and jigs.
This is mainly found in the North Island, frequently occurring in large schools in coastal waters. They can be eaten but are more often used as bait.
Trevally grow up to around 50cm but can get bigger. Trevally are a strong fighter and move with great speed. They can be taken with cut baits, on jigs or flies.
Normally this species moves in schools of similar sized individuals, chasing small fishes such as sardines and pilchards, although many other small fishes, crabs, shrimps and squid are taken when available. They are still one of the most common recreational catches. These fine light-tackle sport fish will take a wide variety of lures and baits, and frequently jump when hooked. This is a gamey fish that improves in taste if the fish is bled on capture.
This is a popular table species. Tarakihi are targeted by boat fishermen using small hooks and shellfish, squid and small cut baits.
They grow up to 70cm. They can be found on muddy bottom areas. Their diet consists of shrimps, small crabs, mud worms and other small animals.
John Dory are delicious eating, and although they fight poorly, are a welcome catch to both shore and boat fishermen. It grows to about 50cm. in length and feeds largely on small fishes and shrimps which it engulfs by a sudden bellows-like extension of the mouth. It makes curious grunting noises when captured. They will sometimes take small cut baits, but are most easily targeted by using any small fish as a live bait fished on the bottom. They may also be caught by jigging, with soft plastic lures which is particularly successful