Blenheim/ Picton are basically the same place. There is only a 25 minute drive between them. Decent fishing can be had in the sounds around Picton. Gurnard and Snapper should be on the menu. Maybe head around to Karaka point or Whatamango Bay. In saying that anywhere you can access the water in the sounds could produce a Snapper, Gurnard, Kahawai, Eagle ray or Trevally.
Bait depends on target species…
For Moki I would use prawn.
For Rig I would favor prawn or paddle crab.
For anything else I would favor Pilchard or Squid.
For surf fishing I would go for a 12ft+ rod and a reel capable of holding several hundred meters of 20lb line. Best all purpose hook size would be 4/0 or 5/0. Would drop down to 2/0 for Moki and up to 8/0 for sharks.
On the east coast beaches around Blenheim I do not read the surf for gutters. I am fairly convinced that all the fish swim parallel to the beach anyway. Others have different theories.
For Sights, the drive out to French pass is cool and the pass itself is fairly impressive. The sounds themselves are fairly scenic.
Apart from the city Nelson is fairly standard compared with the rest of the ‘bay’, but I feel further west towards Able Tasman, Golden Bay, West-haven inlet have more to offer. Golden Bay offers the Te Waikoropupu Springs which my childhood memories thought were amazing. When I visted them again last summer they did not live up to my expectations.
I found the scenary around North west nelson (south of Westhaven-inlet) to be fairly spectacular.. All kinds of stange limestone formations and its a bit off the tourist track.
On the westcoast the Punakai Blow holes are suppose to be a spectacular site. But the sea has always been calm and its low tide when I visit so never seen them working…
The franz Joseph and fox glaciers are worth a visit.
You would see heaps of Spectacular mountains and lakes around Wanaka, Queenstown ect.
Around the Kaikoura coastline (mainly north of the town) you would see heaps of Seals. There is a small stream a few hundred meters to the south of Ohau seal colony, there is a walk to a waterfall or something. But much more impressive then the waterproof is that often heaps of Seal cubs swim up there to play in the plunge pool. I often find myself within touching distance of them.
Most of the pengiuns are further south then my knowledge stretches. I did find myself surrounded by pengiuns one night while fishing the titirangi beach. They waddle up to rest in the grass covered sand dunes I suspect.