The Hauraki Gulf is one of New Zealand’s best fishing areas with sheltered reefs to deep water spots at the offshore islands. Shore fishing is popular including many local wharves.
Must dos at
• Catch a snapper off one of the wharves
• Cast your line out in the surf at Pakiri Beach
• Take a boat or kayak to one of the many rocky reefs
Leigh Fishing Contest
This yearly event raises money for the Auckland Rescue Helicopter with donations also to Leigh School and Leigh Volunteer Fire Brigade. The top prize is usually a boat and outboard which goes to the entry with the average-sized snapper. www.leighfishingcontest.org.nz
Fishing from the Shore
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.
Pakiri Beach is ideal for surf casting especially near the river mouth and in the holes along the beach. Catch may include snapper, gurnard and kahawai.
Leigh Reef is a substantial reef system, just out of Leigh Harbour and 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 is on the boundary of the marine reserve which is marked by large yellow, triangular markers. Outside the reserve you may catch a big snapper, kingfish or John dory.
Rodney Reef, two kilometres north of Cape Rodney is marked on charts and is a great place for big snapper, tarakihi and blue cod.
Daniel’s Reef between Leigh Harbour and Matheson Bay has the best fishing at the outside edge of the reef where it drops away to 20m. Snapper, trevally and John dory.
Ti Point has lots of large boulders lining the coast, but then it drops off to a sandy bottom. Snapper, trevally, and blue cod are often caught here.
Takatu Point has big snapper, big kingfish, deep dropoffs and reefs and often workups of gannets on the kahawai schools. Be aware of marine reserve to the northwest. Look for the marine reserve signs.
Little Barrier Island has 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.
Check out the local fisheries regulations at www.fish.govt.nz
There are two marine reserves in the area where no fishing is permitted – 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 www.doc.govt.nz