• HTC - Bluenose

M?ori name:


Scientific name:

Hyperoglyphe antarctica

All-tackle NZ record:


Eating quality:




Bluenose are a deepwater species with chunky bodies, snub noses and extremely large eyes to see their favourite prey – squid – in the dark depths they inhabit. They are dark blue-grey on top with silver blue bellies and flanks.  

Bluenose can weigh up to 50kg but are more commonly caught in the 5-15kg bracket. They can be pretty aggressive fighters, often battling to the surface or succumbing to the pressure change further into the scrap than h?puku or bass.

Due to their high oil content and white flesh, bluenose are prized for their eating qualities, producing thick, white fillets that remain juicy and tender once cooked.

Where to catch

Found right around NZ, Bluenose are almost always associated with reef structures or drop-offs and generally school in water depths over 250m. Offshore seamounts or pinnacles, such as those found around Mayor and White Islands in the Bay of Plenty, and the Garden patch off Cape Karikari, are well-known bluenose hotspots.

If you can’t find anyone willing to part with their GPS coordinates, have a good perusal of the nautical charts and focus around the 300-400m contours. Any noticeable lump or drop-off around this depth is worth a prospect because that’s where there will be upwellings and prey for bluenose.

Although they can be found hard on the seafloor, they commonly school 30-50m (or more) above the bottom, unlike h?puku and bass.

When to catch

Bluenose can be targeted year-round but are easiest to find en-masse during late autumn when they school over seamounts to spawn. Once located, fishers can often enjoy a bluenose bonanza over these dense spawning aggregations; however, it’s only for a short period between April and June before they spread back out onto the various areas from where they came. Time of day or tide doesn’t matter much over this period – it’s simply a case of picking a calm day and getting your baits in amongst them.

How to catch

A sturdy two or three-hook ledger rig adorned with lumo or lights is the go-to for bluenose fishing. Given the depths bluenose reside in, a non-stretch braided line is mandatory, and a 32oz sinker is normally required. Most modern-day anglers fish for bluenose with electric reels – handy not only for conserving your precious energy but also because they feature a line counter that allows you to target where they are schooling in the water column. A decent sounder with a 1kw transducer should easily be able to pick up bluenose sign in 300-400m.

Bluenose have a varied diet, so many baits will do the job, although fresh squid and skipjack tuna strips are the best. There is no need for big baits; often a small bait like you might use for snapper will work better than a large one. Hook your bait through only once to ensure plenty of hook exposure for rolling into the corner of their mouths.

It is a long way down to bluenose schools, so you need to pick your drift and time it right to hit the zone. Using the boat engine in and out of reverse, or an electric trolling motor, certainly makes things easier.

Bites are generally indicated by a bouncing rod tip. At this point, begin winding firmly (or push up the retrieval lever if you’re going electric) to set the hook. Now, it’s simply a case of winding in your catch from 300m down or cracking open an Export while you watch your electric reel do the hard yards!


Similar Articles

Fast and spicy Bluenose recipe
20 October 2019

From Sea to Sizzle columnist Bea Bagnall developed this spicy bluenose recipe... Read More >

Bluenose with sun dried tomato crust
29 May 2019

Bea Bagnall shares a recipe for bluenose with a sun-dried tomato crust... Read More >

How To Catch Bluenose
4 June 2020

Winter is a good time to fish for bluenose, one of New Zealand's best-eating deepwater table fish.... Read More >

How to catch bluenose and bass
2 June 2020

Autumn is one of the best times for fishing, especially for the deep-water species like bluenose and bass. Keep an eye on the weather, get a... Read More >

Rate this

Fishing Reports Visit Reports

Manukau/West Coast Fishing Report - 30/11/23

Sharks, sharks and more sharks It’s been a while since my last report so it’s... Read More >

Inner Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 30/11/23

Post-spawning snapper moving in shallow Despite the constant strong equinox winds in the last two... Read More >

Canterbury Fishing Report - 30/11/23

Saltwater and freshwater fishing firing It’s December, and Christmas is almost upon us again! I... Read More >

Hauraki Gulf Fishing Report - 30/11/23

Evolution of softbaits - your advantage During a presentation last week, the past, present and... Read More >

Fishing bite times Fishing bite times

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Major Bites

Minor Bites

Recent Posts Visit Forum

350 Active Users online, 350 Guest(s), 0 Member(s)
High end Softbait rod and reel combos for sale
in Buy Sell Trade or Exchange
7 hours ago

Wayne, I will send you a private message...

tauranga fishing
in Fishing Reports
10 hours ago

Well that's a cool catch, I've never caught one but from what I've seen of fish pics my call is a blue moki....

Manukau Harbour & West Coast fishing
in Fishing Reports
20 hours ago

Hell yeah, come on over. Sam managed to do a trip last year and caught some good fish. I’m keen to check out your side. I’ve...

Kawakawa bay ramp
in The Briny Bar
21 hours ago

Wow that looks amazing...

Freezing salt water
in Hints,Tips and How To's
25 hours ago
Mc Tool

 yeah but  its the temp thats important  not the state  freezing point is as cold as you can get water,  so the fresh ice is colder , and...