Large snapper

Boat Fishing

Leigh has a concrete boat ramp for launching trailer boats up to 6m (except at low tide). At Omaha there is a larger concrete boat ramp suitable for launching on all but the smallest spring low tides. The ramp enters the Whangateau Harbour. Other small boat ramps are at Point Wells, Big Omaha (both all but low spring tides) and Whangateau Domain (high tide).

Check the details for the no-take marine reserves at Goat Island and Tawharanui, which are displayed by the ramps.

Tell someone where you are going and make sure you are aware of the fishing regulations that set limits for the numbers of fish you can take and the size limits.

Leigh Reef

This substantial reef system, just out of Leigh Harbour is marked on charts. It is a haunt for big kingfish in summer and is very popular for fishing and diving. Snapper and John dory are also caught there.

Cape Rodney

Be aware of the boundary of the marine reserve to the west of Cape Rodney which is marked by large yellow, triangular markers. Outside the reserve you may catch a big snapper, kingfish or John dory.

Rodney Reef

This reef, two kilometres north of Cape Rodney is marked on charts and is a great place for big snapper, tarakihi and blue cod.

Pakiri River Mouth

Good fishing for snapper, kahawai and gurnard out from the river mouth at Pakiri. The holes at lower tides are also good to cast a line into for mooching snapper.

Fish HQ Fishing Charters

Daniel’s Reef

Reef area between Leigh Harbour and Matheson Bay. The best fishing is on the outside edge of the reef where it drops away to 20m. Snapper, trevally and John dory.

Ti Point

Lots of large boulders line the coast here, but then it drops off to a sandy bottom. Snapper, trevally, and blue cod are often caught here.

Takatu Point

Big snapper, big kingfish. Be aware of marine reserve to the northwest.


Little Barrier Island

Excellent fishing in close and out wide all around this beautiful island although going ashore is strictly prohibited without a permit. Try fishing at Hingaia Point or Ngamanauraru Bay for kingfish or Te Hue Point for snapper. There are  kingfish in summer and trevally and tarakihi.

Horn Rock

Big snapper, big kingfish and trevally. This large area of foul between Little and Great Barrier Islands can produce some amazing catches when sea conditions allow.

Simpson’s Rock

Fishing may produce some snapper, big kingfish, trevally, tarakihi  and hapuku. Simpson’s is a small rock that extends 5 m above the sea several kilometres south of the Mokohinau Islands. It is surrounded by deep ocean water and on the right day this spot has it all. You must pick your weather before venturing out there.

Mokohinau Islands

Numerous good reefs surround the islands of the Mokohinau group. Snapper abound over the shallower reefs close in with kingfish around the pinnacles and headlands. Groper Rock to the north of the islands can produce big kingfish and marlin have been seen there.

Fishing from the shore

The Leigh Coast is surrounded by rocky reefs and there are many good places to fish. Just check local signs and make sure you are well away from any marine reserve. When fishing from a wharf, anglers must remove their lines when boats are docking. Think about your safety while fishing from the shore and be aware of any swell or wave action.

Photo by Jenny Enderby

Fishing at Sunset

Leigh Wharf

This is a busy working wharf where commercial fishing and diving boats load and unload. It’s a great place to take the kids fishing. Main catch is sprats, piper, squid and small kahawai.

Leigh Coast

Numerous tracks offer access to the coast with Penguin Street being easy to access from the road.  Snapper up to 9kg have been caught here and you never know your luck. You might also hook up a kahawai or two.  On low tide the Matheson Bay channel can produce a snapper or two.

Ti Point Wharf

This little wharf looks out over Whangateau Harbour, towards Omaha Beach. There is a good depth of water and can be a strong tidal flow. Catches can include snapper, trevally, kahawai and John dory.

Grant – local fishing expert

Pakiri Beach

This beautiful long white sandy beach is ideal for surf casting especially near the river mouth. Catch may include snapper, gurnard and kahawai.

Omaha Beach

Try surf casting off the beach at the northern tip or Te Kie Point rocks at the southern end. Best times are at dawn and dusk. There are mainly snapper and kahawai, but maybe kingfish too in summer.

Takatu Point

It’s a long walk out here but you may be rewarded with a kingfish, snapper or kahawai. Make sure you don’t fish inside the marine reserve which is marked with large triangles.

Fishing Regulations

Check out the local fisheries regulations at

Marine Reserves

Two marine reserves in the area are Cape Rodney to Okakari Point Marine Reserve (Goat Island) and Tawharanui Marine Reserve. To find out more and check the boundaries visit the Department of Conservation website on

Go to the Activities Page to find a fishing charter

Leigh is home to Leigh Fisheries Ltd:

Leigh Fisheries was established in 1957 by pioneering families in the coastal village of Leigh. Today the company is predominantly owned by private shareholders. Together with its sister companies in Europe, the United States, and Asia, and the Lee Lobster, the Lee Group markets and distributes seafood to wholesalers, restaurants, and supermarkets.

The Lee Fish brand is recognized around the world as a prime source for premium-quality chilled seafood.