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Wellington, New Zealand
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Hunters Bank

On Hunters Bank

On Wellington’s West Coast between Mana and Kapiti Island. Pictured is the South Island taken while anchored on Hunters Bank on a beautiful evening’s fishing trip. Hunters Bank offers a large variety of fish that can be caught, from Kingfish, Snapper, Tarakihi, Groper and Warehou just to name a few. Hunters Bank is very tidal, the best time to fish is a couple of hours before the turn of the tide ie high water or low water. Light winds under ten knots provide the optimum conditions. Rods and reels should be a minimum of 15 kg and traces at least 40 kg.

One of the most sort after fish at Hunters Bank are Kingfish, these are best fished for early morning or late evening. There are many ways to catch Kingfish, ie trolling lures, jigging poppers or by using live baits. Most days we would start by trolling lures three or four at a time, and have a good look over Hunters Bank using the fish finder (depth sounder) to find schools of fish and marking the spots on the GPS.

When trolling make sure you troll over the high points of the Bank, if trolling doesn’t work then we go back to the way points we entered in the GPS and use 200 - 300 gram jigs dropped to the bottom then retrieved very quickly, a reel with a minimum of a 4 to 1 gear ratio is a must. It is important to ensure that the traces used on trolling lures and jigs is a minimum 100 lb - 50 kg as Kingfish are the best at finding sharp rocks to try and dislodge the hook or break the line.

When anchoring on the sides of Hunters Bank, getting the change of tide is a must, as the tide can run like a river which makes fishing very hard. Heavy duty tackle is required here as there are no rules, while you may target Cod and Tarakihi you are just as likely to catch a Kingfish or a Groper.

Wishing you big bites, and lots of hook ups!

Steve