Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations – Page 1

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations
Top Fishing Gadgets – Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations

Some Interesting Fishing Locations in Hawke’s Bay (New Zealand)

Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations – For all you sportfishing enthusiasts who feel like fishing somewhere in Hawke’s Bay. Here are a few locations.

Ahuriri Estuary (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

A Transformed Landscape: The Ahuriri Estuary

The Ahuriri Estuary, once a vast lagoon, experienced a dramatic transformation in 1931. A powerful earthquake uplifted the land by over 1.5 meters, significantly altering the landscape. Consequently, subsequent land reclamation and drainage projects further reduced the area, resulting in its current size of approximately 470 hectares. Today, the estuary stands as a “tidal river mouth,” where the freshwater channel connects to a shallow lagoon.

Tidal Rhythms and Habitat Diversity

The Ahuriri Estuary experiences a substantial tidal exchange, with almost 500 million liters flowing in and out each cycle. This constant movement creates a dynamic environment, with a seawater to freshwater ratio of around 10:1. At low tide, the estuary’s water recedes, revealing an expansive intertidal zone. This exposed habitat features a mix of mud, coarse sand, and shingle, providing unique niches for diverse species.

A Haven for Wildlife: A Refuge of Significance (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Recognized as a nationally significant Wildlife Refuge, the Ahuriri Estuary sustains a rich tapestry of life. A variety of habitats, including conservation wetlands, terrestrial areas, and native fish spawning grounds, support a diverse array of flora and fauna. Twenty-nine fish species utilize the estuary during different stages of their life cycles, finding refuge and sustenance within its waters.

Wetlands: A Vital Resource for Birds

The wetlands bordering the Ahuriri Estuary provide essential habitat for migratory bird species. These areas serve as crucial wading and breeding grounds, attracting a range of feathered visitors. Among the notable residents are the majestic royal spoonbill and the elegant white heron, showcasing the estuary’s importance as a vital stopover point and breeding ground.

Aropaoanui/Waikoau (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

The Aropaoanui River: A Journey Through Landscapes

The Aropaoanui River traces a winding path through diverse landscapes. It begins its journey in a valley cloaked in forestry, flowing for approximately 4 kilometers before emerging into open farmland. This pastoral stretch continues for another 3 kilometers until the river finally reaches the sea. Along its course, a marginal strip runs alongside the river, starting approximately 250 meters upstream from the Aropaoanui Road Bridge. The Aropaoanui closes to fishing in its upper reaches during the winter season, but anglers can fish year-round in the lower stretches, below a landmark pole opposite Wareham Road.

The Waikoau River: A Tributary’s Tale (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

The Waikoau River originates from the Maungaharuru Range, flowing southeastward past the southern edge of Lake Tutira. The river meanders through a patchwork of farmland, scrub, and forestry before flowing beneath State Highway 2. Here, it converges with the Tararere Stream, forming the Aropaoanui River. The Waikoau River remains closed to fishing during the winter season, from July 1st to September 30th.

A Blend of Species: Rainbow and Brown Trout

These rivers, the Aropaoanui and Waikoau, primarily harbor rainbow trout, though the occasional brown trout can also be found. The lower reaches typically yield trout averaging 0.5 kilograms. In contrast, the trout residing upstream of the highway exhibit superior condition, averaging around 1.5 kilograms, with some reaching even greater sizes. Given the relatively small size of the river catchment, conservation efforts encourage catch and release practices to ensure the health of these fish populations.

Clive River (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

A Legacy of the Ngaruroro: Te Awa o Mokotūāraro River

The Te Awa o Mokotūāraro River, formerly known as the Clive River, holds a fascinating history. The river represents a remnant of the Ngaruroro River’s original course, dating back to before the completion of flood control diversion works in 1969.


This river acts as a vital link, connecting with the Raupare and Karamu Streams, and boasts a vast tributary area spanning the Heretaunga Plains. Its drainage network extends to encompass rainwater from the towns of Hastings and Havelock North.

Access and Exploration: A River for All (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

The Te Awa o Mokotūāraro River offers multiple access points, inviting visitors to explore its banks. Anglers can find convenient entry points at the Clive Bridge, between the two bridges, and along the HB Cycle Trails, which connect to the Hastings i-Way. Horseback riders can also enjoy a dedicated trail leading to East Clive.

A Shared Estuary: A Haven for Birds

The Te Awa o Mokotūāraro River, along with its neighbors, the Tutaekuri and Ngaruroro Rivers, converge at a common estuarine river mouth. This shared estuary serves as a valuable feeding and nesting area for migratory birds, attracting birdwatchers from far and wide. The gravel beach surrounding the estuary offers a prime spot for birdwatching, but visitors should tread carefully as the terrain can be uneven.

Esk River (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

The Esk River: A Journey Through Diverse Landscapes

The Esk River originates at the southeastern end of the Maungaharuru Range, traversing a landscape primarily composed of forestry and scrub. As it approaches State Highway 5, the river opens up into farmland, continuing its southward flow.


The river then gracefully bends eastward, with forestry lining its left bank and a medley of farmland, vineyards, and orchards bordering its right bank. The Esk River maintains a course parallel to the main road before passing beneath the State Highway 2 road bridge and ultimately reaching the sea.

A Trout-Rich River: Abundant Fishing Opportunities (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Anglers recognize the Esk River for its healthy trout populations, with rainbow trout being the most common catch. These trout typically average around 1 kilogram and exhibit excellent condition.


However, the Esk River has a reputation for producing some truly impressive specimens, with anglers occasionally reeling in double-digit fish. Adding to the fishing diversity, sea run brown trout can also be targeted in the Esk River, as they migrate upstream from the sea, following the seasonal whitebait runs from August to October.

Access and Regulations: A Year-Round Destination

Upstream of the Waipunga Road bridge, fishing is restricted during the winter season, from July 1st to September 30th. However, anglers can enjoy fishing in the lower reaches of the river year-round. The Esk River offers a variety of fishing experiences, from pursuing rainbow and brown trout to casting lines for sea-run trout during the whitebait season.

Lake Waikaremoana (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

A Pristine Paradise: Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana, nestled in the southeastern corner of Te Urewera National Park, is a true gem. Although accessible by road, this stunning lake remains largely surrounded by untouched native bush, creating a sense of wilderness.


Despite its use for hydroelectric generation, Lake Waikaremoana retains its pristine beauty, showcasing clear waters nestled amidst towering hills and native bush. The lake’s numerous feeder streams contribute to a thriving population of wild fish, offering exceptional fishing opportunities.

A Legacy of Stocking: From Trout to Smelt

Trout were first introduced to Lake Waikaremoana in 1896, but it wasn’t until the release of smelt in 1948 that the fishery truly flourished. This event transformed Lake Waikaremoana into one of New Zealand’s premier fishing destinations. Today, the lake boasts a healthy population of wild brown and rainbow trout, many reaching impressive sizes, often exceeding 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms). Brown trout tend to be larger than rainbow trout, adding to the allure of this diverse fishery.

Two Distinct Fisheries: Shoreline and Deepwater (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Lake Waikaremoana offers two distinct fishing experiences. Anglers can target large brown trout cruising the shoreline, casting lines from the lake’s edge. Alternatively, boat anglers can explore the deeper waters in pursuit of rainbow trout. Lake Waikaremoana, a deep, cold lake, derives its name from the Maori words “wai” (water) and “karemoana” (rippling waters). However, this seemingly tranquil beauty can be deceptive. The lake’s weather conditions can change rapidly, creating potentially dangerous conditions for boaters.

Tagged Fish: A Conservation Initiative

While Lake Waikaremoana primarily supports a wild fishery, some tagged fish are released into the lake each year. Anglers who catch a tagged fish are encouraged to return the tag, with details of the catch, to the eastern fish and game office. This initiative provides valuable data for ongoing conservation efforts, ensuring the long-term health and prosperity of this remarkable lake and its diverse fish population.

Mahia Peninsula (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

The Mahia Peninsula: A Land of Legends and Adventure

The Mahia Peninsula, a dramatic, hilly promontory, extends southward into the sea, forming a natural boundary between Poverty Bay and Hawke’s Bay. According to Māori legend, this peninsula is known as Te matau a Maui, the legendary fish-hook of the demigod Maui. This captivating land offers a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike, with its diverse array of landscapes and activities.

Coastal Delights: Beaches and Recreation

The Mahia Peninsula boasts an array of beautiful beaches and tranquil holiday villages. The peninsula beckons those seeking adventure, offering a natural playground for surfing, fishing, diving, kayaking, and swimming. This diverse coastline presents a captivating mix of sandy and rocky beaches, some exposed to the invigorating ocean swells, while others provide serene, sheltered havens.

Exploring the Peninsula: Beaches, Forests, and History (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Visitors can explore the black sands of Black’s Beach, bask in the tranquility of Poutama and Mahia Beaches, or ride the waves at Mahanga Beach and The Reefs. For those seeking a more immersive experience, the Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve provides a haven of natural beauty.


This expansive reserve, covering 374 hectares, represents one of the largest remaining tracts of lowland coastal forest on the North Island’s east coast. A 3.5-kilometer loop track winds through diverse native vegetation, showcasing tawa, kohekohe, rewarewa, karaka, rimu, matai, and kahikatea. The track, while steep in places, rewards hikers with a serene picnic area nestled amongst nikau, rimu, and rewarewa, offering a peaceful escape from the sun.

A Place of Significance: Piko O Te Rangi

On the eastern side of the peninsula, a special place of interest awaits: Piko O Te Rangi, also known as Coronation Reserve. Within this reserve lies a rock with a naturally formed basin, which played a significant role in early settlement times. It was used as a baptismal font by Bishop William Williams, as he introduced Māori to the Christian faith. Nearby, a hole in a wall of rocks is believed to have served as a storage place for bibles, adding a layer of historical intrigue to this remarkable site.

Mangateretere River (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

The Mangateretere River: A Vital Waterway

The Mangateretere River, located at State Highway 2, marks the lower reaches of the Mangatarere Stream. This stream originates in the foothills of the Tararua Range, flowing eastward towards Carterton. The Mangatarere Stream serves as a tributary of the Waiohine River, which in turn flows into the Ruamāhanga River, creating a complex network of interconnected waterways. Access to the Mangateretere River is restricted, requiring permission to traverse private land.

Monitoring the Health of the Mangateretere: A Scientific Approach

The Mangateretere River site is included in a comprehensive program designed to assess the health of rivers and streams within the Wellington Region. This program involves meticulous monitoring of water quality, evaluating key scientific indicators such as clarity, nitrogen and phosphorus levels, dissolved oxygen, pH, and the concentration of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. The program also examines the aquatic invertebrate communities, analyzing the diversity and abundance of insects and bugs inhabiting the riverbed.

Measuring the Health: A Monthly and Annual Process (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Water quality monitoring is conducted monthly, encompassing a range of variables. The Macroinvertebrate Community Index (MCI), a measure of macroinvertebrate health, is assessed annually. The MCI classifies the site based on the diversity and abundance of macroinvertebrates, providing valuable insights into the overall health of the river ecosystem.

Reflecting the Landscape: A Mixed Picture of Health

The water quality and macroinvertebrate health at the Mangateretere River site are deemed “okay” but not exceptional. This condition reflects the surrounding land cover, which is primarily pastoral, potentially influencing the river’s health. Continued monitoring provides vital data for understanding the river’s ecological status and guiding efforts to protect this valuable water resource.

Mohaka River (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

The Mohaka River: A Journey from Mountain to Sea

The Mohaka River, originating in the Kaweka and Kaimanawa ranges, embarks on a winding journey of approximately 124 kilometers before reaching the Pacific Ocean near the town of Mohaka. This journey transforms the river from a mountain torrent to a powerful, flowing waterway, offering a diverse range of fishing opportunities.

From River Mouth to Remote Reaches: Angling Adventures

Anglers can start their Mohaka adventure at the river mouth near the town of Mohaka, where sea-run trout can be targeted during the whitebait season in November. Further upstream, anglers can access the river from various points along State Highway 2 and 5, challenging themselves to conquer deep pools and strong currents.


For the adventurous, the remote upper reaches offer an opportunity to pursue trophy-sized fish. These upper reaches, along with the challenging middle sections, have propelled the Mohaka River to international fame.

The Pursuit of Trophy Fish: Guided Adventures and Unique Access

The Mohaka River draws anglers from around the world, seeking a chance to catch a coveted Mohaka trophy. Experienced guides operate on the river, offering their expertise to help anglers land a prize catch. Some guides and adventure operators provide access to unique fishing spots through inflatable rafts and even helicopters, enabling anglers to reach previously inaccessible areas. These innovative methods provide an exceptional opportunity to target trophy-sized fish.

A Variety of Methods: Matching Techniques to Conditions

The Mohaka River, like many others, welcomes a variety of fishing techniques. The key to success lies in choosing the right method for the specific conditions. Wetlining, using flies that mimic smelt and whitebait, proves especially effective around the river mouth, particularly during the whitebait season.


Spinning provides a productive option for beginners or anglers fishing in high flow areas. Dry fly fishing shines during warmer summer months when trout actively feed on the surface, particularly during caddis hatches. However, nymphing reigns supreme as a highly versatile method, allowing anglers to target both deep and shallow runs with precision. By mastering the art of choosing the appropriate method for each situation, anglers can significantly increase their success on the Mohaka River.

Ngaruroro River (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

The Ngaruroro River: A Journey Through Diverse Landscapes

The Ngaruroro River, a powerful and expansive waterway, offers over 100 kilometers of fishable waters, catering to a wide range of angling preferences. The river’s diverse landscape encompasses a deep, single-channeled section near its mouth, transitioning into vast, braided middle reaches and culminating in pristine backcountry areas characterized by clear waters, large fish, and a sense of solitude.

Pristine Backcountry: A Paradise for Anglers

The Ngaruroro River’s backcountry offers an alluring destination for anglers seeking a wilderness experience. Access to these remote areas is granted through Crown land, ensuring ample opportunity for eager anglers. Hikers can traverse walking tracks to reach these pristine waters, while rotary and fixed-wing aircraft provide a more adventurous mode of transport.

Navigating the River: Diverse Access Options (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

The Ngaruroro River’s middle and lower reaches exhibit a braided, gravel-bed character, offering wading opportunities. However, the river’s strong flow can make crossing challenging and sometimes dangerous. Alternative access methods, including rafting and jet boating, provide alternative options for exploring the river. Road access points are readily available throughout the river’s length, providing ample opportunities to experience all aspects of Ngaruroro fishing.

Success Through Methodical Approach: Embracing Nymphing

The Ngaruroro River welcomes a variety of fishing techniques, from spinning to nymphing. However, due to the river’s depth and strong currents, nymphing with heavy traces generally proves most productive. Anglers can tailor their approach to the specific conditions, utilizing the most effective techniques to maximize their chances of success on this iconic river.

Northern Hawke’s Bay (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

Hawke's Bay Fishing Locations

A Landscape of Diverse Terrain: Northern Hawke’s Bay

Northern Hawke’s Bay, a region of rolling farmlands, extensive forestry, and pockets of native bush, presents a picturesque backdrop for outdoor pursuits. The Maungaharuru Range serves as the primary source for the area’s rivers, which often flow through steep terrain and deep gorges in their upper reaches.

River Systems: From Mountain Streams to Coastal Flows

The rivers of Northern Hawke’s Bay showcase a gradual transformation as they descend from the mountains towards the sea. The upper reaches feature large boulders and rocks in their riverbeds, which gradually decrease in size as the rivers approach the coast. During average flow conditions, these rivers are generally easily waded, although deep pools, large boulders, and gorges can pose challenges in certain sections.

A Stable Environment: Consistent Fishing Opportunities (Hawke’s Bay Fishing Locations)

The rivers of Northern Hawke’s Bay are known for their stable courses, rarely changing significantly even after major floods. This consistency ensures that favored fishing spots, such as pools and runs, remain accessible year after year. The region also boasts a network of large lakes, with Tutira and Waikopiro being particularly popular due to their proximity to State Highway 2.

Managed Landscapes: Public Access and Resources

Much of the land surrounding Tutira and Waikopiro Lakes is managed by the Department of Conservation, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, and Fish and Game, providing ample public access for fishing, camping, and scenic walks. For comprehensive information about trout fisheries in Hawke’s Bay, anglers can contact the Hawke’s Bay Region office at 06 844 2460.

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