Tauranga flats Kingfish summer season fires up

Recent report on the season to date in Tauranga Harbour. Ray riders, free swimmers and top water marker kingfish on fly.

popper, salt fly, bay of plenty, kingfish, fly fishing, new zealand

It’s hard to believe we’re already into the New Year. Early season has been one of the best yet, with great sightings of ray riders and many Kingfish tagged already for the season. Proliferations of baitfish have meant you only need to stick around them for a while until the thugs turn up.

Ray riders have been their usual self, either overly enthusiastic to inhale a well placed fly or shutting up shop after a a few careful presentations. With all the holiday pressure the kingfish see it’s a good bet to try some patterns that they don’t always get thrown at them.

kingfish, salt water fly, fishing, flats, tauranga
Aggressive visual take and a stubborn shallow water fight
manic tackle project, yellowtail kingfish, salt fly, flats, new zealand
Mr Manic himself Rene Vaz with a prime flats kingfish. Also offers free involuntary ear piercing
yellow tail kingfish, nz, salt fly, flats, ray rider, poronui lodge guide
P-Mac admiring a shallow water rat prior to release
king tide salt fly, fishing, bay of plenty, best harbour, flats, trophy fishery new zealand
Anthony from Australia enjoying some father son time recently

What has been a real stand out is the numbers of fish on some markers, not to mention the size. I just wish the smaller kingfish weren’t so eager to eat flies before the bigger ones hanging deeper.

topwater, baitfish, kingfish, salt water fly fishing, bay of plenty
American angler Joseph doing the damage on some marker fish
Marker fishing, salt fly, popper, kingfish, tauranga harbour
Poronui Lodge guide Dave Wood with a nice fish off a marker
Salt water fly fishing, kingfish, casting, baitfish, king tide salt fly
Cam Forsman and Josh Gibson sneaking in a dawn raid on the marker poles.
popper, salt fly, bay of plenty, kingfish, fly fishing, new zealand
Topwater takes get the blood pumping every time

As usual clients were treated to some stunning scenery with full red blooms of Pohutukawa. A recent king tide provided some exciting casting challenges tucking flies under their branches for cruisers chasing baitfish.

Tauranga harbour, pohutukawa, christmas tree, new zealand
Pohutukawa in full bloom just prior to Christmas
Sporting life outfitters, trout fishing, fly, salt water fly fishing, flats
The Mayor of Turangi Mr Andrew Burden laying down the law on some Tauranga thugs

I had a week of relaxation over Christmas with the family and some memorable fishing included. There’s a long road ahead yet but the look on his face says it all and is something to cherish for years to come. Definitely a proud Dad moment watching a good mate help your son catch his first fish.

First fish, father son, fishing rod, new zealand, salt water fly fishing
Quinn and his kahawai. A perfect first fish to fuel the fire
Boats, new zealand, beach, fishing, family
Christmas day park ups – Aotea Harbour
stick bait, kingfish, yellowtail, fishing, harbour, new zealand
Having a sneaky stickbait prospecting for kingfish at Aotea Harbour
Aotea harbour, new zealand, rock pools, fish
Aotea Harbour rockpools, perfect for little ones to discover all sorts of marine life

Coming home to a big storm and huge dump of rain meant trip rescheduling and a bit of relearning some spots as the sand bars have shifted in places. The holiday boat traffic, pesky winds and some dumb luck has kept kingfish captures down but the shots have been there. It pays to be proficient with a good accurate cast on a breezy day. That is reinforced even more so on the hard days when one quick money shot might be the difference between glory and heart break.

kingfish, new zealand, tauranga harbour, flats, fishing
Early morning free swimmers on a glassed out harbour
kingfish, catch and release, new zealand salt water fly fishing, flats
Kana with a quick kingfish cuddle before release
beer, fishing, salt fly, water, bay of plenty
Pre Christmas refreshments during a hot bite
hatch reels, fly fishing, kingfish, salt water, collingwood
The new Hatch Finatic Gen2 7+ has been doing the hard yards lately

A small bay flat I’ve recently been hunting at times has upwards of 20+ stingrays on it, mostly absent of ray riders but all it takes is for an unruly mob of kingfish to take up residence and it will be all on. Couple that with rumors of a 40kg fish caught in the entrance last week and things are looking good for the next few months of salt fly fishing in Tauranga Harbour.┬áThere’s loads of kingfish around, go out and enjoy them but remember to look after them. And don’t forget, if you want to be a part of the action this summer drop me a line via this link, you might just want to secure the last few days left of this month…

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