Depending on the season and mother nature there are a number of species that you could catch on Auckland's coastal waters when chartering a boat with us. They include...
Whether they’re on our dinner tables or wrapped in some greasy newspaper at a fish n’ chip shop, Snapper is arguably our most popular fish to eat . They’re found mostly in northern parts of the country, though they’re present all around New Zealand. Snapper live on a diet of almost anything – shellfish, crabs, shrimps, snapper don’t have a particular preference.
Average sized snapper range from 25 to 38 centimetres long, but the odd example might weigh up to 16kg in and measure over a meter long! This fish is somewhat silver in colour, with hints of bronzy red and a bit of pink. You may also notice blue spots along their silvery sides. Contrary to popular belief, New Zealand’s variety of snapper isn’t part of the tropical snapper family, but is part of the sea bream family; as such it’s closely related to some Australian fish.
Studies have shown that Red Gurnard are one of the most common species caught in inshore areas in New Zealand. Red Gurnard can be found along the entire New Zealand coast, with the exception of southern fjords. Higher concentrations of this fish dwell north of the Chatham Rise in shallow waters, over muddy or sandy seabeds less than 55 meters deep.
This fish will usually live to be around 16 years old; over the span of their lives they’ll grow to reach an eventual maximum length of 42 centimeters long (on average). Females grow faster and larger than males, but growth also varies by location; Red Gurnard off the east coast of the South Island seem to grow faster than in other places. Red Gurnard use their pectoral fins for “walking” across seabeds, or to scare their prey into open waters – they typically eat crabs, shrimps, small fish and worms.
Kahawai are spread all throughout New Zealand’s waters, all the way to the outer islands. This fish will average between 40cm and 50cm in length, with a regular fish weighing in between 1kg and 2kg. They can be caught in most of New Zealand’s inshore waters; they’re often found in schools near the water’s surface. As a general rule of thumb, if you see a group of birds diving into the water, the Kahawai are likely to be near. However, catching one is not likely to be an easy task – Kahawai are renowned for their strong fighting abilities, and regarded as a top light-tackle game fish.
The John Dory is a strange-looking fish; they’re very thin, but appear large from the side. They’re a very popular fish at the dinner table; there’s very little that can beat a good John Dory fillet! They are found mainly in reefs, and also estuaries and harbours; anywhere up to 150m in depth. John Dory are a slow swimming fish, and rely on confusing other fish with their unusual shape and ambushing them to survive. John Dory can be caught all year round, but tend to fluctuate in spring.
A typical John Dory will grow to around 45cm in length and feeds largely on small fishes and shrimps. Another interesting trait of this fish is that they’re known to make “curious grunting noises” when caught!
Trevally are fish normally found in large schools, and dwell in the warmer waters in the upper portion of the North Island. Although their preferred food is plankton, they’ll also eat anything that’s available; whether from a rocky shore or a muddy seadbed to depths around 100m, Trevally will feed on the smallest of fish. This fish will average around 38cm in length, but larger females can reach up to around 90cm. They’re known for firm flesh, being suitable for frying or smoking to eat. Trevally are normally caught by spearing or shooting.
The blue mackerel is one of the smallest fish in the tuna family. Larger specimens might measure 55cm but most fish average between 30 and 45cm in length. It is a slim-looking fish, and could easily be mistaken for the Kahawai at a first glance. They’l eat krill (shrimps), small bait fish, or squid. This fish is abundant all-year round, found normally around the North Island and parts of the upper South Island in deeper waters; they’re often caught in mixed schools with other species of fish including Kahawai. They’re an oily fish with a high fat content; this makes them an excellent choice for smoking.
Interested in catching any of these fish? Call us now on 021 179 9238 or email us about fishing in Auckland.