The Bay Of Islands in New Zealand has for years and is still known today as one of New Zealand's best fishing areas for Yellowtail Kingfish.
Kingfish abound all year in the Bay Of Islands and there are many charter boats including us that specialize in targeting this species which is often rates as the hardest fighting fish in the ocean pound for pound. Incidentally on the pound for pound thing, New Zealand boasts the largest Yellowtail Kingfish in the world and holds pretty much all the world records so be prepared!
Kingfish can be caught in a multitude of ways. We predominantly utilize mechanical jigging, live baiting and salt fly, depending on the type of charter and what the customer would like. Please don't worry if you don't understand the technical jargon below as many of our customers don't. For those that do then we like to let you know that we carry quality equipment and can cater to your needs as well as those who have never been fishing before.
Live Bait Fishing For Kingfish
Live bait fishing is sometimes the best the way to target Yellowtail Kingfish. With people who have not fished before or even if you have fished before this is a great method and allows the use of a gimbal belt and harness for those who need it - a gimbal belt and harness hold the rod for you and makes life a lot easier with a marauding New Zealand Yellowtail Kingfish on the other end. The boat is 29' long and we will generally fish 3 at a time when live baiting to avoid tangles and hence catch more fish. This normally means taking turns and as we come to the end of a drift fish over a spot which normally takes 15 minutes we swap around. The exception to this is when some have caught fish and others not then those who have caught are effectively subbed out to allow those who haven't more opportunity
The setups we use for kingfish live baiting are Shimano Tiagra's. And we have gimbals and harnesses so young and old, big and small are able to give it a go!
Since the introduction of Mechanical Jigging by Chris Wong, Mechanical Jigging has taken off in New Zealand. Anyone is welcome to mechanical jig on any of our trips but we do need to charge unfortunately for any jigs lost which are not cheap unfortunately at around NZ$30 -NZ$40 each. The setups are also more expensive and less indestructible than the live bait outfits we have and whilst breakages are rare you need to know that you are liable if you cause the damage or loss through mis-handling (up to NZ$2000 per setup!). Mechanical Jigging is great fun and is often more effective than traditional live bait fishing. We love introducing new people to this sport and carry 3 soft bait sets - spooled with 80 pound rainbow braid. The boat can comfortably handle 6 people mechanical jigging simultaneously. For more information on Mechanical Jigging, see our Mechanical Jigging page under our Technical section for more information