There is a large degree of luck with Snapper fishing in the sounds, location can be important at times. I like to drift fish mudflats and similar areas on a incoming tide at dusk. I typically use softbaits and work them back to the boat. I have been on dozens of fishing trips down the sounds and have never seen a Kingfish. I would hook up one day.
I plan to be down in Kaikouria next weekend if the weather is good.