A review of options would not be complete without a West Coast location. Jackson Bay is a good choice when a southerly or southeasterly pummels the east coast.
This bay is ideal for all types of boating, including kayaking, offering a wide range of environments for near-shore fishing. The long wharf at Jackson Bay is also a top surfcasting spot.
The west coast typically has warmer water than the east coast, so you are likely to encounter a wider range of fish species actively feeding. Elephantfish and rig can be caught here in the winter, along with school sharks in deeper water. Copper moki and tarakihi live around the reefs and headland, along with trumpeter.
The West Coast can be a magical place in the winter: fishing close to river mouths will likely result in sea-run trout; kahawai are usually available all year round; and gurnard can be caught over the open sand, along with some big red cod. Large flatfish, such as the turbot, for which the West Coast is well known, are also worth targeting.
For those after some land-based fun, the steeply shelving beaches are good for seven-gill sharks – if you can get a brave friend to tow out the bait!