One problem I’ve found in the sounds is a lack of areas to get down to the waters edge! Alot of people have batches and you would have to get their permission to surfcast off their beach, which is a pain!
However, I have found a few nice little spots while up there.
The first is along from Te Mahia Bay, keep driving until you get to Tara Bay Rd and go down that. It says (did when I was there last year) “4WD only” however you can get down there, I did in my 1999 VW Golf so you’ll be fine. It’s actually a sealed rd (a little steep) and at the bottom you just pull off to the side and park. Perhaps they say 4WD only to try keep people away? LOL. There’s a jetty there in the bay which was just built last summer so is relatively new. I asked a bach owner if it’s ok to fish there and if it was private or anything and he said that it’s open to the public so go ahead as it was built by the local council.
Prob I’d go there in the evening or when it’s getting dark as by day there may be a bit of activity on the water from locals. Incomming tide of course about 2 or so hours before high tide. The end of the jetty is one of these ones that floats up and down with the tide, it’s quite big so take a chair, sit back and relax! Take some warm clothes to.
Me and my mates went down there and we all got snapper runs but bad luck meant none of us got one in, I was soo close but my fish snagged on something just before I saw it and it got off. Very gutting! Another friend had something big on and when it got to the edge of the wharf we realised it was a small eagle ray, not snapper but still fun and put up a big fight!
We all used running rigs with two hooks with some squid or pilchards, I think a really good bait though is a slice of freshly caught spottie! about 1 to 1.5 m of line then a swivle, then above that a ball sinker running freely above it. When you cast it out beyond the end of the jettie it’s a bit awkward with the sinker and all above your hooks but just do the best you can. Use a bait runner real or loosen the drag then tighten it up if you get a run.
Second place which I haven’t fished at but had a look at and looks good is just round from Portage Bay called Take in Bay. There’s almost an island there but there is a narrow bridge of land connecting the mainland. Depending on the weather you could fish either side to get the best sheltering from the wind, that would be a nice surfcasting snapper spot.
Two maps below.