Advice for Marlborough Sounds xmas

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    Hi everyone

    Have been reading here for a while now, haven’t done much fishing since last year mainly due to the earthquake repairs etc. BUT i’ll be heading to picton over xmas and I’m looking for some advice before I go.

    Have only fished Karaka point, lots of fun with kahawai on my trout set, managed a pannie sized snapper on accident (was snagged for the 50th time so I left it there, then the snap took it). Would like to know where else I can go, which baits are suitable and the best techniques to target whatever there is worth catching. pretty new to all this but i’m getting there.

    Would really like to have a proper go at targeting snapper, is it too early? I’m pretty happy catching anything that fights well or eats well (or both!) would love some advice on anything worth catching!



    Karaka is pretty good. Can get kingis there and always kahawai about. Have seen a guy catching squid there too. He’d spot them from up by the seat,and rush down the steps and cast squid lures at them. Caught bout 5 while I was there.

    Shakespeare Bay, You can walk around the perimeter fence and get near the corner light on the wharf at night. Usually heaps of piper and I’m sure theres snapper in there, Just yet to catch one.

    Bobs Bay. Walk around from the sailing club by the picton marina or walk down the track from the top of the snout lookout. A few snapper have been caught here but I never seem to be the one catching them. The beach by the sailing club is supposed to be ok as well.

    I’d try find somewhere quiet over in kenepuru sound for the night. All my snapper have been caught in kenepuru/pelorus sounds. Hard to find a quiet spot this time of year though.

    Fresh yellow eyed mullet or kahawai for bait, Caught them on squid too.


    Snapper been on the feed since September, already gotten two over 20lb and a 14lber this year and about 9 smaller ones. Have not been out snapper fishing for a few weeks so no current info. I suppose you are land based?

    Whatamango Bay can be worth a fish, drive to the eastern most entrance then walk to the end of the point, or head towards Grove Arm. There are plenty of access tracks down to points, espically between Ngakuta Bay and the Grove (The small grove wharf is also good). Access tracks are fairly easy to locate, most places where a Car can park would have a hidden track nearby. Or like Vip_yo said head to the Kenepuru or even the Mahau Sounds.

    Big hint. The best fishing is around change of light. After dark the spotties stop stealing baits so things become easier.


    Ok thanks guys really appreciate the input. Yep mostly landbased, we usually go to picton as we have friends and family there, usually get out on a boat a few times too, but the family have it sorted on the boat.

    You got me really thinking about checking out the other sounds, haven’t seen much of them at all apart from the pelorous bridge area. Any hints on fishing spots around these sounds? Don’t mind a bit of driving but need to find a camp ground with showers and toilets (for the other half) which is my biggest problem.

    Will try change of light too, thanks Miliwolf and I guess just a running rig is used? Have used the baits vip_yo mentioned as well as pilchards so I’ll keep trying with these yea?


    Should be possible to fish Kenepuru or Pelerous as day trips from Piction, probably would only take 25-30 minutes to reach the start of the Kenepuru. Can not think of any hot water shower campgrounds in the Kenepuru, although these coldwater showers at titirangi.


    Elephant point in Moetapu Bay is nice small beach and point for relaxing fishing. These a small DOC campground there so could be crowded this time of year.

    These also 2-3 access points down to the beach just before Ohingaroa Bay. One of them is by a large tree, these a second safer climb a few meters west of the track which goes down near the tree.

    Island point. Park at the top of the point and a steep track leads down to Island point. Wet access at high tide.

    Plenty of easy to access points between Black rock and Kenepuru Heads.

    These one in Te Mahia Bay, buy 95% certain it would be occupied by freedom campers this time of year. The same applies to the cutting near Portage. These also a track down into Broughton Bay, these a needle covered parking spot towards the top of the hill. then a short walk down to the beach. Another option is to follow the road to the beach but probably occupied by campers this time of year.

    Bait. I have had most of my luck on Pilchard and Anchovies. But they do not last for long during the day, then freshly caught bait is better. At this time of year I would probably aim to arrive at the fishing spot around 7:30pm and might fish until 10-11pm. Fishing outside that period is generally very slow.

    My rig is very simple, just a 8/0 hook snelled onto 2 meters of 40lb trace. I then tie the trace straight onto the mainline. I never use sinkers and just strayline.


    awesome info mili, very much appreciated.

    Just looked on google earth, had no idea how close Kenepuru is driving wise, will definitely head over for a fish. Nice to know of some other spots, I usually find there’s a lot of people at Karaka point and crowded fishing isn’t my thing, will try a few other spots and see how I get on.


    Back from Picton today, the snapper hunt was successful – landed 3 last night off Karaka, will chuck some photos up on the latest catches thread soon. Thank you both for the advice!

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