Rotorua Trout Guide


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 Kingfish on the Fly

The last few years have seen the emergence of a true world class saltwater fly fishery in New Zealand. Its hard not to get excited about sight fishing for kingfish in skinny water. Known for their intelligence, power,explosive speeds and guile in combination with the beauty these fish possess, the kingfish are a true trophy for the fisherman.

The key interaction that makes this fishery something unique is the relationship between the kingfish and the stingrays that inhabit the coastal harbours and inlets of the New Zealand coastline. Kingfish follow the stingrays along the tidal flats of the harbours using the disguise of the slow swimming bottom feeders to ambush the bait fish. Popular baitfish found on the flats include mullet, herring, piper, jack mackerel, juvenile kahawai and flounder find  relative  safety of the shallow water on the flats until the low tide pushes them back to the dangerous channel waters for small fish. Its when these baitfish are on the tidal flats they become the target of cruising kingfish. The tidal flats characterised by eel grass beds, shellfish beds and eagle ray diggings, at a distance these flats look barren and featureless. Its not until you spend time wading the flats you begin to understand and notice the feature that make this environment to unique.

Kingfish can be caught on wet fly bait fish imitations and on top of the surface using popper and crease flies. Just like in the freshwater environment a fish taking the fly on the surface is the ultimate experience, now combine this with the explosive power and fighting ability and you have something very special.

Kingfish turn up in the harbours in the region by November and hang around into early May with good opportunities throughout the season. Please make contact if you would like to experience some fantastic fishing we have in our nearby saltwater.


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