KAWHIA, KING COUNTRY
With this being not just the first time I’ve fished from Kāwhia, but the first time I’ve travelled to this beautiful part of the country; I thought it only right to get some local insights as to what makes this place a great fishing location.
Venturer skipper Rob Fitzgerald:
Being on the West Coast, the fishing is often dictated by Mother Nature; if we’re lucky we could probably get in 180200 fishing days a year. This gives the fish stocks plenty of rest time in between biting our hooks. Also we don’t have the same big recreational fishing populations that other destinations like the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Plenty have.
The West Coast bar seems to put a lot of people off from fishing here. While it can be dangerous, if you give it the proper respect it deserves as well as playing to the conditions, fishing here can be very rewarding.
The best time to fish is September all the way through to July. As the water temperature changes the best spots change too. September to December in 40 – 60m holds some tremendous snapper specimens. It isn’t unusual to get four 20 pounders in one trip. It’s pretty awesome to see the punters getting their PB’S. January to July we like to move to some of the in shore reefs such as Aotea Reef or head south to Taharoa or Marakopa for some shallow water fishing.
With West Coast fishing being so versatile its good to try different rigs and baits. What works one day might not be so successful the next. We rig most of our hire gear with ledger or flasher rigs with 8 to 10 oz sinkers.