The pristine waters and rugged coastlines of the Coromandel Peninsula are not just havens for beauty seekers and beach bums but also for avid fishing enthusiasts. This region, known for its abundant marine life and diverse fishing opportunities, offers an adventure uniquely characteristic of New Zealand’s angling spirit. From the tranquility of estuaries to the challenge of open sea, Coromandel spoils anglers with spots that promise a good catch and memories to last a lifetime.

If casting your line amidst some of the country’s most stunning backdrops alongside the Pacific Ocean sounds like a dream, then read on. We’re about to embark on an angling expedition, uncovering the best-kept secrets and top fishing spots in the entirety of the Coromandel region.

The Rich Tapestry of Coromandel Fishing

Before delving into the specific spots, it’s essential to understand what makes Coromandel such a hotspot for anglers. The region is renowned for its diverse marine life, with fish species ranging from snapper and kingfish to trevally and even the mighty billfish in certain seasons. Whether you’re a novice looking for a casual fishing experience or a seasoned pro seeking a serious challenge, Coromandel offers a patchwork of options to cater to every angler’s aspirations.

The Coromandel Advantage

Coromandel’s unique geography provides an edge in the world of fishing. The peninsula’s long eastern coastline is sheltered by numerous islands, creating a string of inshore fishing paradises where the waters remain calmer, even during adverse weather. The west coast, on the other hand, offers rugged conditions for a more daring catch.

The Coromandel Cauldron

Dubbed the ‘Coromandel Cauldron,’ the mixing of warm currents from the north with cooler waters from the south results in a nutrient-rich environment teeming with marine life. Anglers often capitalise on this biodiversity, with a fantastic variety of species to be found year-round.

Land-Based Fishing Gems

Many anglers swear by the thrill of land-based fishing—nothing between you and the catch but the strength of your line. The Coromandel Peninsula is a treasure trove of rewarding spots for those keen on the shore-based approach.

Whitianga’s Rocky Outcrops

The rocky shores of Whitianga provide excellent opportunities to land a variety of species, particularly snapper and kingfish. As the sun sets, casting into the moving shadows can lead to spectacular encounters with larger predators. Be sure to bring along strong gear as the terrain is unforgiving and the challenges are not for the faint of heart.

The Majesty of New Chums Beach

This pristine stretch of coast offers more than just beautiful scenery. The rip tides here attract trevally and kahawai, while nearby gutters can yield the occasional snapper or even a bronze whaler. Remember to be wary of the tides and swell, but if timed right, New Chums Beach can be one of the most fulfilling land-based fishing experiences of your life.

Estuarine Euphoria at Matarangi

Matarangi’s estuary is a haven for kayak anglers and bait fishers alike. The variety of fishing opportunities within a small area is staggering, with flounder and mullet in abundance. This is a serene and accessible option for family fishing days, offering an easy experience that doesn’t compromise on the satisfaction of the catch.

Offshore Islands and Seamounts

Venturing offshore from Coromandel’s coastline leads to a domain of islands and seamounts known for offering unforgettable offshore fishing adventures.

The Mercury Islands’ Magic

Numerous hotspots around the Mercury Islands cater to game fishers, particularly blue and striped marlin and yellowfin tuna. The islands also provide shelter for those looking to hook snapper, kingfish, and trevally among the reefs. With their proximity to the ‘Cauldron,’ the Mercury Islands are a regular haunt for the country’s biggest species.

The Seamount Spectacle

Off the coast, underwater seamounts create upwellings of water and nutrients that attract a wealth of pelagic species. These are the hunting grounds of the ocean’s most prestigious predators, and they offer the ultimate challenge for deep-sea anglers. When the conditions align, a trip to the seamounts is a pilgrimage that every enthusiast should undertake.

Navigating Local Secrets and Tips

A person holding a fishing rod, surrounded by calm waters

The art of fishing is not just about knowing where to cast your line but understanding the nuances of each location. Here are some insights from local experts to help you navigate Coromandel’s waters and increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable fishing trip.

Following the Cues of Currents and Tide

Tides play a significant role in the movement of fish, particularly in estuarine and intertidal fishing. Understanding how tides affect the distribution and feeding patterns of fish can be the difference between a fruitful day and a quiet one. Similarly, learning to read current changes can help you predict the best times to fish offshore or along the coast.

Gear and Lure Advice

When it comes to selecting the right gear for Coromandel fishing, local advice is crucial. Different spots may require different tackle strengths, and matching your gear to the species and environment is critical. Similarly, the choice of lures plays a key role in enticing a bite, with some local favorites including soft-baits, jigs, and poppers for saltwater fishing.

Conservation and Ethics

Fishing is not just about the catch; it’s about the experience and the environment. Many local spots are conservation areas, and understanding the regulations and ethical principles of angling will ensure that the enjoyment of fishing in these places can be sustained for generations to come.

The Coromandel Fishing Calendar

Coromandel’s fishing scene is not static; it ebbs and flows with the seasons and the migratory patterns of the marine life. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect during the year, and the highlights of each fishing season.


Spring heralds the return of warmer waters and the beginning of the northern game fish season. It’s a time of abundance with schools of baitfish attracting larger predators. Land-based fishing remains consistent with the added possibility of snapper in the mix.


The summer months are the peak of the fishing season in Coromandel. The seas are calm, and the reefs and islands come alive with all species. Offshore, this is the time for sports fishing with marlin and tuna heading south. Onshore, snapper and kingfish fishing hit their stride, offering easy and rewarding catches.


As the temperatures cool and tourists depart, the Coromandel coastline becomes a more tranquil and contemplative place for anglers. Snapper continue to grace near-shore waters, with the potential of good kingfish catches. This is also the time for surfcasting, with mussel and toheroa season commencing.


Winter marks a quieter period in terms of tourist numbers, but the fishing doesn’t stop. Winter is prime time for land-based anglers, with tarakihi and gurnard thriving in the deeper waters. Even offshore enthusiasts can find good fishing, particularly on the calmer days, with decent snapper and blue cod to be found.

Where is the best fishing in Coromandel?

The best fishing spot in Coromandel is largely dependent on the type of fishing experience one seeks. For those chasing big game, areas off the coast near the Mercury Islands offer prime opportunities for marlin and tuna. Land-based fishers may find the rugged terrain and changing tides of New Chums Beach ideal for a rewarding catch. Families or novice anglers might prefer the calm waters and rich biodiversity of the Matarangi estuary. Each location holds its own charm and potential for a memorable fishing adventure, and visiting local bait and tackle shops for up-to-date information can also lead to the discovery of hidden gems throughout the Coromandel peninsula.

Where can I fish Whitianga?

Whitianga provides ample fishing opportunities for both amateur and serious anglers. You can venture out into the Pacific from the Whitianga Marina to chase big game species, or simply cast a line off the Whitianga wharf for a more laid-back experience. The waters around the Whitianga Harbour entrance are plentiful with snapper, especially during the ebb and flow of the tide. For those preferring estuary fishing, the nearby Kuaotunu and Simpsons Beaches are local favorites for an array of species including flounder and kahawai. Boat charters are available for those looking to explore the deeper waters, where the vibrant underwater topography means kingfish, snapper, and trevally are common catches.

Can you fish at Hahei Beach?

Hahei Beach’s breathtaking landscape is complemented by the rich marine life it supports, making it a picturesque spot for anglers. Fishing here is permitted and can be rewarding, particularly in areas around Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) Marine Reserve boundaries, where the fishing is done responsibly to preserve the ecosystem. Boat launches are conveniently located nearby, and the beach provides ample opportunities for surfcasting. It’s essential, however, for anglers to observe local regulations and be mindful to avoid fishing within the marine reserve itself where marine life is protected. For a successful outing, checking with the local Department of Conservation office or fisheries management is advisable to ensure compliance with protected area limits and seasonal guidelines.

The Final Cast

Fishing in the Coromandel is an experience that extends beyond a mere pastime. It is a communion with nature in one of its most bountiful forms, and a connection to the cultural heritage of the local area. Whether you seek the challenge of a game fish, the tranquility of an estuary, or the excitement of a wilderness seamount, the Coromandel Peninsula has a spot that will speak to the angler in you.

Prepare well, do your research, and perhaps more importantly, listen to the advice of the region’s seasoned hands. After all, it’s not just about the catch; it’s about the journey, the connection, and the adventure that comes with every cast. With this guide in hand, you are now armed to explore and conquer the waters of Coromandel, one angling escapade at a time.