Northland Must-do: Catch a Fish

Just before Christmas, a group of international students from Kerikeri High School chartered the May Marie in the Bay of Islands to tick off one of Northland’s must-do activities – catching a fish.


“The Maymarie is a nice sized boat with plenty of room for everyone to fish.  There is inside cabin space if you want to get out of the weather. Dave the Skipper and Trent the Deck hand really made our fishing trip.  They were friendly, helpful and fun, nothing was a problem and they were determined to get us catching fish.  Dave filleted all the fish, Trent packed it for us and lent us a chilly bin.  We could not have asked for better service 😊  Dave put up with our music and even joined in the singing and dancing.  Trent and Bill dared each other to eat a raw fish! “


Students’ Comments…

What did you learn about fishing?

We can catch small bait fish (we caught yellow tail, stripped mackerel, slimy mackerel and pilchards)   on a sabiki lure so that we did not have to buy bait.  We used these bait fish to attract snapper.

What did you catch?  

Snapper and Kingfish.  We were targeting Snapper and were lucky enough that a school of Kingfish must have been swimming through.  Trent said that he had never experienced catching Kingfish on cut up bait before (usually they only go for live bait).

Did you eat your catch? How did you cook it? How was it? 

Yes we all took some Kingfish and Snapper home to our host families.  The Kingfish were cut into steaks to pan fry.  Some of us took snapper fillets and some of us took whole snapper and baked them in the oven.  Some students convinced their host families to deep fry the snapper.  It did not turn out as well as pan frying it.

Fishing Charter Options in the Bay of Islands

Half Day Snapper Fishing (5 Hours)

Depart Paihia, Waitangi or Russell Wharf
7am-12pm or 1-6pm

We head out to some of our Skipper’s favourite spots, stopping to catch bait fish along the way.  Once there, it’s lines over and let the fun begin!  On the half day trip, we target snapper but often catch kahawai, John Dory, skipjack and even kingfish.  At the end of the trip, we’ll fillet and bag your catch for you ready to take home.  There is tea and coffee on board and you’re welcome to bring drinks and snacks with you.  There is full flush toilet facilities, as well as plenty of shade to ward of that harsh sun! 

More about May Marie Charters…

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