Targeting Kingfish Taranaki

I’ve been fairly lucky with catching and spearing kingfish in Taranaki and a lot of people have asked what I do to target these freight trains that give you a run for your money and can feed a family for weeks.

Taranaki has some incredible pinnacles and drop offs that these fish hunt and its just a matter of finding them.

The only way you are going to be able to do this successfully is to USE YOUR SOUNDER!

Our first sounder was an old Furuno that took up most of the room in our little boat but boy oh boy it lit up like a Christmas tree when we went over some kingfish. It took me a good 3 months to learn how to use it properly. I really recommend you take time and learn to use what you have, they are all a little different.

When I locate some interesting reef structure, I am able to drop down with the diving gear and have a good look around. This helps me identify what is shown on the sounder and what is actually underneath the boat, makes a big difference to my fishing.

Pretty much all the spots where we dive for crayfish have fish life and kingfish circling.

Once I locate the kingfish then it is a matter of what time of day and how deep they are, this will make a difference to what technique you use.

In shallow water use lures that look like yellow tail mackerel or have colors that are similar i.e. yellow, greens, blues, silver and troll FAST over the top of them, I think this annoys them and activates their chase reflex. In deep water drift over them and work the jigs.

Kingfish on Catch Fishing stick baits

For me time of day counts big time, in the morning they will pretty much take anything, lunch time they are full and usually hard to catch, then the evenings they are actively hunting again.

Some locations I recommend in and around Taranaki are..

When leaving the port take your time and tow a couple of lures around the end of the break water, kayakers always do this and its really effective.

Around the back of Motumahanga, use a pusher type lure and troll fast enough that the lure is making a splash and long bubble trail, deadly when the blue water is in.

Behind the Bell Block Reef and Ahu Ahu reef off Oakura (around the 20 metre mark,) early in the season I have dived with huge packs of kingfish here.

Oakura New Plymouth Taranaki

Off Fort Saint Gorge if you manage to get down that far, but troll from 12m out to 25m.

Once you hook the kingfish get the spearos get ready, when the hooked kingfish gets reeled up the rest of the pack will come up and see what is going on. Keep the fish on the lure and play it slowly and the schools of kingfish will stay around longer. This lets the spearos have fun as well.

Drop us a line if you have any questions about what types of lures, speeds, or any other queries.

Thanks Tran


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: