Black Rock, Taylors Mistake, Banks Peninsula – Sevengill Shark – Kingfish 2017

Black Rock, Taylors Mistake, Banks Peninsula

The author with a sevengill shark taken at Black Rock.

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.

The sevengill shark caught at Black Rock, Taylors Mistake. It was a lot lighter after being gutted.

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!

A group of anglers fishing at Black Rock. At Spot “A” I hooked and lost a yellowtail kingfish when it hit a yellow-eyed mullet live-bait under a balloon. It went like a freight train for about 20 seconds. I was fishing with hopelessly inadequate gear at the time but you live and learn I guess. You also need a bit of luck! Also had live-baits hit here by barracouta on at least five occasions when targeting kingfish. Which although very annoying at the time looking back it was all good fun! If you are targeting kingfish off here you really need to use 24kg gear with a short boat rod. You would have a much better chance of catching them from a boat. Spot B is where I landed a sevengill shark. The ground is foul so expect to lose sinkers.

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!

Above: You will recognise this view as soon as you come over the hill from Sumner.

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.

Above: Huge breakers crashing against Black rock following a storm.

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.

Fishing at Black Rock, around from Sumner on Banks Peninsula. Berley tossed on the water will bring in huge numbers of yellow-eyed mullet to be used for bait.

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.

Rough sea at Taylors Mistake two days after a storm. No good for fishing!

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 spoon is the best shape of sinker to use from the rocks because it planes quickly to the surface avoiding the snags.

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. 

More Canterbury Surfcasting and Rock Fishing Spots

Black Rock, Taylors Mistake, Banks Peninsula, Canterbury. Map: Google Earth, DigitalGlobe, and TerraMetrics. Click on the map to enlarge.

Surfcasting Guide Ebook

The Complete Guide to Surfcasting by Allan Burgess ISBN 978-0-9582933-0-3.  Improve your surfcasting? Learn how to catch more fish? Get greater casting distance? Make up your own rigs?

Many will have tried surfcasting over the years with mixed results. Perhaps you caught a couple of small ones! Perhaps you got a dose of sunburn but didn’t even catch a single fish. While that guy just up the beach has been hauling them in all day! Don’t worry; we have all been there. Some anglers seem to catch good fish consistently while others appear to be wasting their time? The reason for this can be summed up in one word: knowledge! More info

All colour ebook with 144 pages. There are over 198 photographs in The Complete Guide To Surfcasting, most of which have never been published before. Order you own .pdf version now for just NZ$11.99 Instant Download. 

This post was last modified on 19/02/2022 12:03 am

Leave a Comment
Published by

Recent Posts

How to Catch Fish and Where

How to Catch Fish and Where - The Complete Kiwi Beginner's Guide By Mike Rendle…


Fishes of Aotearoa by Paul Caiger

Fishes of Aotearoa (includes both fresh and saltwater fishes) By Paul Caiger New Zealand has…


Fishing the Tongariro – A History of Our Greatest Trout River

Fishing the Tongariro - A History of Our Greatest Trout River By Grant Henderson  Since…


Porare – Girella tricuspidata

Porare - Girella tricuspidata - How and Where to Catch Porare By Allan Burgess Although…


Jack’s Sprat Trout Fly

Jack's Sprat Trout Fly - An old favourite for targeting rainbow trout in the lakes…


Counting on it – Fish & Game staff checking on wildlife numbers to manage species

Counting on it - Fish & Game staff checking on wildlife numbers to manage species…