Boiler Point an Otago oasis

Yutong Wu with the first fish he caught. A spiny dogfish
Yutong Wu, a university student, passes on the valuable information he has gathered about fishing in Dunedin.

I am a postgrad student from Otago Uni and use all my spare time fishing, so allow me to share my experiences at Boiler Point in Dunedin. This fishing jetty can be extremely productive at times, especially during summer, with a variety of species to target.

Gear: this place is suitable for all kinds of fishing gear, from hand-lines to surf rods, and robust rod holders are provided. An ideal length of the rod would be 5-10ft; anything longer will create inconvenience for other anglers and yourself. For your line, it is up to you to decide what the weight should be depending on the species targeted, but I bet it would be fun to fight a barracouta with 10lb braid. The most common rig is a bottom rig with two or three hooks but remember to change the weight of sinkers depending on the current, which can be very turbulent beneath. Sabiki rigs usually demonstrate exceptional success. Just use the ones from Black Magic or Hayabusa—I have caught quite a bit of legal-sized table fish with those.

Measurement tools: two metal measurement plates are installed at this jetty, so please use them. It even labels the legal minimum length of the common catches there. It is quite upsetting to see always a few people taking undersized ones, especially the blue cod.

Summary of fish caught at Boiler Point, Dunedin

Bait: always bring more than just one type of bait! I have tried many different types: fresh mussels, tuatua, cats eye snail, salmon belly, cut baits of kahawai, barracouta, salted bonito and jack mackerel, frozen and salted squid, pilchard, mullet, and crabs, chicken and so on. It depends on what species you are after, but chicken, squid, and pilchard cubes demonstrate consistent success.

Lures: this place drives me mad when lure fishing; I have tried at least 20 different kinds of soft bait, and other types of hard body lures, and every single time, a barracouta is hooked. It was a good sport on light gear, but eventually, I’m just tired of it, so I have moved my lure fishing to freshwater. My mate has caught some decent kahawai with the silver spoon spinning lure from the Warehouse, so there are possibilities other than a bloody barracouta.

Crayfish: many people catch crayfish on a fishing rod at Boiler Point. I have caught a few, and those crays love squid. Sometimes there are so many of them, your bait might be gone before a fish bite it! Catching them is not an easy job, but the people who specifically target them all used multiple treble hooks baited with squid and chicken and heavy sinkers. Those anglers strike very hard when the cray gets on top of the bait. Do not forget to measure them before putting them into the chilly bin!

Blue cod: this place is famous for catching blue cod in shallow depths. I have caught a few of them—the go-to bait is usually squid and shrimp. Blue cod can sometimes be very picky about bait, so again, it is a wise choice to bring multiple types of bait.

Big monsters: if you are after big game fish, clearly this is not the place to be, but do expect some heavy bites at times. I have encountered big sharks before but there are better places in Dunedin for such purpose.

Opening time: this jetty is usually open 24/7 but if the wind gusts are too strong, Port Otago will close it without notice. If you still want to fish under big winds, it is a good idea to give harbour control a call to see if the jetty is open to avoid disappointment.

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