Top of the South Fishing Report - 07/03/24

20lb-ers off the beach, in the kayak, and out deep

As we officially move from summer to autumn and the days grow shorter, don’t get despondent - there is still some really great fishing to be had out there.  In Tasman Bay, the snapper are certainly back on the feed and appear to be right throughout the bay, with large fish over 20lb being caught surfcasting off the beach, in the kayak and all the way out to the deeper water and D’Urville for the bigger boats.

The snapper are in very good condition at the moment and the colouration in them is great.  Since spawning stopped, the snapper have been feeding up hard, trying to put that condition back on that they had lost.  This is great timing for the Snapper Cup fishing competition being run by Dawnbreakers Fishing club, with fishing allowed in Golden Bay and Tasman Bay from 5pm Friday 8th March to 5pm Sunday 10th March.  With the fish that are around at the moment, I expect there will be some great fish caught over those days.

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I managed to get out this morning for a quick fish before a later start at work and was lucky enough to fish with someone I would call fishing royalty – Grant Dixon. We had a very good morning and caught some nice snapper and it was great to show Grant what the South Island can offer.  Keep an eye out for his story in an upcoming issue of NZ Fishing News.

Grant Dixon enjoying the spoils of an early-morning fish with Top of the South reporter Dan.

As we approach winter, the snapper will move out to deeper waters and can be caught right throughout winter up at D’Urville Island.  I have heard reports already of snapper on the western side of D’Urville, which further shows how healthy the snapper fishery is here at the moment if they are up at D’Urville during the summer months as well.

There are still a few kingfish being caught around the region.  The boulder bank is still proving a reliable place to troll some rapalas early in the morning.  Top of Pelorus Sound will also start producing some kingfish soon and there have already been a few caught within the sounds as well.  The mussel farms are a great place to try in the outer sounds, again casting stick baits, towing live baits or trolling rapalas all work well.  Heavy gear is a must here though as are the dirty fighters, and they will do anything they can to take you into the mussel lines.

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The odd albacore tuna is still being caught out in Tasman Bay but it is certainly not like it was last year.  A number of boats from Nelson have made the trip across to Kaikoura, and some have been rewarded for this effort with nice south bluefin tuna.   Unfortunately, the weather has not allowed me to go and have a look for a marlin, but my fingers are crossed that March will be more settled.

So don’t let the darker mornings put you off. Get out there and have a crack, there are still some really good fish to be caught.


Dan Govier 

[email protected]  

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