Black Rock, Taylors Mistake, Banks Peninsula
Looking for somewhere to go fishing during the holidays? Here is a good spot. It is Black Rock. One of my old favourite haunts. Back Rock juts out into the sea at Taylors Mistake just over the hill from the suburb of Sumner. Just follow the walking track around towards Boulder Bay.
I once used to fish from here almost every week and have had some good fish over the years. What I really wanted was a yellow-tail kingfish. I had seen them just off here when fishing from boats. For a time I targeted them from Black Rock with yellow-eyed mullet live-baits fished under a balloon. This is all a great deal of hard work because you have to carry all your gear on your back around the hill track from the car park behind the beach. Several rods, tackle, buckets of berley, and so on can get very heavy carried for several hundred metres up and downhill!
Anyway, I never did catch a kingfish. But I did manage to hook one. This area seems to attract plenty of barracouta over summer which can be frustrating if you are after kingfish. They don’t like cut bait on hooks that much. I have only caught one or two from here on baited hooks. But they sure love yellow-eyed mullet suspended under a balloon!
I have caught plenty of red cod from here at times – especially in the late evenings. You can catch yellow-eyed mullet at Black Rock effortlessly. I’d say it is the best place in Canterbury for them. I have heard of moki caught from boats on the other side of the bay but I never caught any at Black Rock.
Other species I have caught at Black Rock include banded wrasse, southern bastard red cod (that really is what they are called), spiny dogfish, spotties, plenty of kahawai, and one large sevengill shark. I caught this below spot “B” about 30m around on the other side of the point on baited hooks.
The bottom is foul all along here. Sharp rocks, kelp, and barnacles on the bottom can “eat” sinkers. So you need to take along a good supply. Take at least a dozen just in case. I reckon the best sinkers are the flat spoons designed for rock fishing. These plane quickly upwards towards the surface if you wind flat-out. You don’t seem to lose as many.
Otherwise old spark plugs and such is the way to go. I suspect there is a lot of old fishing line trapped on the bottom around these rocks. You can also try fishing your baited hooks below a bobby float. To do this you need to tie a small stopper knot about six metres above your rig for the float to slide up to.
This area can be quite dangerous to fish. You have to climb down rocks and fish from rock ledges. There is always the possibility of a serious fall. You need to be reasonably fit. It is probably not a good place to take younger children under ten years of age. Don’t take your dog. There are sheep on the hills. Be very careful fishing at Black Rock.
Once I was fishing at spot “C” I had my back to the water for a moment when a seal surfaced and suddenly let out a spine-chilling bark! Well to say I got a bit of a fright would be an understatement. Do you know how loud a seal is from a range of two metres!
The way I fish from Black Rock is as follows: setup rods in rod holders; cast out one rod with baited hooks as far from rocks as possible. Then: mix berley for mullet; catch mullet on small size 8 trout hooks on a light rod; place several live mullet in a rock pool. Bridle rig a big mullet and set out under a balloon. Cast a spinner or small popper for kahawai with the third rod. Catch more mullet.
Then re-bait the first rod with fresh mullet. It was on the baited hooks rod that I caught the sevengiller. In this way, you cover your options. Sometimes you may get few takers on you larger baited hooks, but get kahawai on a spinner. Be sure to wind your spinner flat out for the kahawai. Other times you will get plenty of action on the baited hooks. You just never know what you’ll get.
During the summer these rocks are a popular place to fish. If you find someone else on the point just move around a bit. It is very rude to climb down and start fishing right next to them without asking.
Finally, if you are fishing around this area from a boat over summer always have a rod ready with a jig or a popper in case yellowtail kingfish show up. I have been boat fishing here and seen them suddenly appear several times. They race about on the surface for a few seconds and then they are gone! If you are bait fishing on the bottom they will be gone before you can retrieve your gear and tie on a jig. Whereas if you have a rod with a popper or jig just sitting unused in a rod holder you can grab it, cast, and wind full speed as soon as you spot kingfish.
Kingfish caught from Black Rock in 2017
I have been told that a yellowtail kingfish was caught from Black Rock back in 2017. There may have been more caught since. Snapper have been caught recently in several of the bays on the north-eastern side of Banks Peninsula during the summer of 2021 – 2022. If you have caught any good fish from here please send us a picture. We would love to see it.
This is one of the more accessible shore-based fishing spots close to Christchurch with the potential for anglers to land snapper and kingfish.