Saltwater Fly Fishing For Kingfish In New Zealand

Hi there, I’m Lucas Allen, New Zealand’s specialist saltwater flats fly fishing guide based in Tauranga, the sunny Bay of Plenty. I offer guided saltwater fly fishing trips for ray riding Kingfish based mainly around the Tauranga harbour flats. These “Ray Riders” are our primary target and are hard fighting, super aggressive feeding Kingfish that sit on the backs of Stingrays as they look for easy pickings while they cruise the vast saltwater flats. Our day is spent searching out these big rays which in turn lead us to the Kingfish and from there it’s over to you to make the cast. No pressure!

Ray Rider Kingfish In Tauranga Harbour

It’s the ultimate shallow water sight fishing challenge and is sure to get any fly fishing enthusiasts heart racing when a big green back peels off the ray and just obliterates your popper fly. I can promise you, it doesn’t get any better than that. Another species that we are fond of here is the humble kahawai. These fish fight hard, get aerial and school in massive proportions at times. An excellent light tackle opponent and sometimes so selective you can throw your entire fly box at a football field of them with minimal luck.

There are plenty of kings to be found on the saltwater flats Of New Zealand


Spring through to Autumn (October-May) is the prime time to target the many exciting saltwater fly species available. Kingfish, snapper, kahawai, trevally and tuna all present great saltwater flats fly fishing targets. The main draw card being the shallow water flats style fishing chasing kingfish. It’s visual, challenging and really tests the anglers mettle.

Lucas Allen Tauranga Flats Saltwater Fly Guide


Top end fly fishing gear and equipment specifically for the harsh salt water environment is provided. Scott fly rods, Hatch and Waterworks Lamson fly reels equipped with Airflo fly lines are used daily and stand up to the punishment saltwater species hand out regularly. Hand tied salt flies like poppers and clousers are picked for their local specifics are provided but can be purchased for future use. For more information and “How To’s” on equipment and rigging techniques look through the blog page for posts to help you out. There are no secrets here.

Searching for Ray Riding kingfish on the saltwater flats of New Zealand.


King Tide is an aluminium 17.5ft custom build by FC Boats, responsible for many New Zealander’s recreational fishing. It is fully surveyed to stringent commercial requirements and provides a safe, stable and uncluttered saltwater fly casting platform. Fitted with a bow mounted Minn Kota electric motor and Talon shallow water anchor spike we can stalk fish in shallow water with no issues. King Tide has changed the way kiwis look at shallow water vessels, so much so that the crew at NZ Fishing News had to cover it off in a great article recently.


For all bookings saltwater fly fishing and further information on what to expect from chasing the ray riding kingfish of the Tauranga flats you can contact me here. I look forward to getting you on the water and into the action.

Take a look around to find out more about the exciting aspects of saltwater fly fishing in New Zealand and check out the video below for a taste of New Zealand salt fly action.