Hapuka Fishing

Plan your next fishing charter aboard the MV Manutere out of Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, NZ.

Hapuka Fishing for the dwellers of the deep

Hapuka fishing for the deep water species is a very interesting form of fishing, with many different species available to be caught. The deep water knolls out of Tauranga have caught many trophy fish over the years, and are continuing to produce these beautiful eating, hard fighting monsters of the deep.

The main target species when hapuka fishing are hapuka, bass, bluenose and gemfish. These are the most common species caught but the by catch consists of a very interesting mix of species. rays brim, ling, frostfish, tarakihi, and spotted gurnard are just some of the weird and wonderful creatures to be caught out of Tauranga.

Hapuka and bass have a similar looks and colouration with the Hapuka tending to be slightly longer, with a more distinct colour separation on the fishes skin. Hapuka don’t grow to the same size as bass and therefore a 35kg Hapuka is a big fish. Bass however, can grow well over this weight, with the current world record sitting at around 80kg.

Winter is generally the time of year fisherman start readying their gear for some serious hapuka fishing. Though there is good hapuka fishing year round, winter time can often provide cold but settled periods of weather which allow us to get out to the deeper grounds where the bigger fish tend to congregate. The fish tend to come into shallower water to spawn over the summer months.

Most of our hapuka fishing takes place between 180m-450m. Often the bigger fish are caught in the deeper water, but this is certainly a trend rather than a rule, as there have been some big fish pulled up recently from under 200m.

The tackle generally used for hapuka fishing is a 15kg - 37kg rod and reel, with a kidney harness and gimbal to ease the pressure of fishing such deep water. Ledger rigs with 32oz sinkers, and circle hooks are the main rigs used when targeting the deep water fish.

Hapuka fishing can be hard work, but is an extremely rewarding form of fishing and can produce some of the finest eating fish New Zealand has to offer. Quite possibly the most enjoyable aspect of the fishing is never knowing what is going to come up next! Get out there and give it a shot. Hapuka, bass, bluenose and gemfish are all likely targets when fishing the deep water knolls around Tauranga.

What You Need

+ Lunch
+ Drinks
+ Chilly Bin
+ Ice
+ Rod and reel (optional)
+ 32oz Hapuka Bombs, cirle hooks, 200-300lb trace
+ Gimbal (optional)
+ Bait (optional)


  • Hi Brett,

    This was a trip to remember , the company, fishing , and the way we were looked after was second to none . and I have done  a lot of  trips ,

    I would like to thank You Brett and your Son Ben  , Ben was an AWESOME deck hand , we didn’t need to do anything but fish  and  no matter where you took us there was fish there ,

    The jigging for Kingi’s was un-real most of us have never seen this done , only on TV , but to do  Jigging,   hell yes it was fun.

    Once again  Brett thank you and   son Ben for a trip that we will talk about for a long time

    This is from the… BPT pig  hunting  Whanau



  • 5.9.2009

    Hi Brett,
    I enjoyed my fishing during my last trip to Tauranga. The fishes caught was really delicious...Taratiki. I couldn't wait to eat them, so, I cooked a few fillets at the Bay Palm Motel where I stayed. I brought the rest back to Perth and my family just loved them.
    Just a note that you should be aware of so that you can advise all future Australians who fish with you and want to bring the fishes home. The fishes MUST be headless, gilled and gutted. Remember, must not have heads. I decleared my fishes and the first questions asked was whether I removed the head (which I did) and since my fishes were also gutted and gilled, I could bring in ALL(including the fillets).
    Best wishes for the season and happy fishing.


    Melvin Wee
    JAS Sushi, Perth

  • Thanks Brett for taking us out yesterday, most had a great day especially Peter who caught the big king fish.

    Di Watts

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