South Island locations With the main fishing season moving on now, it’s time to look at late autumn and winter fishing destinations. While the fishing does get a little more challenging, with decreasing water temperatures slowing the fish down, Peter Lang
Kaikoura is a hard-to-beat destination, with its huge canyon and associated productive upwellings producing a food- and fish-rich environment.
However, while there is always something to catch, the main challenge in winter is avoiding the spiny dogfish; fishing with soft-baits and jigs around shallow reefs will help you do this to some extent.
Kaikoura offers by far the best deepwater fishing option relatively close to shore, with the combination of braid and electric reels enabling anglers to explore a wide range of angling opportunities and species in 150–500m water over the winter months. Areas such as the edges of the canyon and Conway Ridge, along with off Conway Island, are good bets. Groper and ling are the mainstays, but bluenose are taken, too.
The charter boats are well worth looking at; if you are an experienced angler, ask for a deepwater fishing option and experience the true diversity of fish species on offer.
The area’s a good option for kayak fishing too, with lots of small reefs close inshore and few anglers around (those with boats tend to head out to deeper water, so the shallow reefs often get overlooked).