Tauranga Bay top spot

Lindsay regularly catches rig and gurnard at Tauranga Bay

Tauranga Bay on the West Coast, south of Westport, is becoming more well known with the opening of the 55km Kawatiri Trail. This bike trail will run from Westport to Charleston, with the sections to Carters Beach, Cape Foulwind, Tauranga Bay and Okari now open.

The seal colony at Tauranga Bay is a major tourist attraction, which now boasts a food caravan during the summer period. Tauranga Bay is also becoming a more popular fishing spot as it starts to return to its former glory.

Lindsay Stuart of Nelson has a holiday home at Carters Beach and enjoys great success fishing at Tauranga Bay, and also in the Buller River. Species he has caught at Tauranga Bay include rig, gurnard, elephant fish and kahawai.

Tauranga Bay can be fished from the rocky outcrops and the beach margins. In these areas, mussel beds attract fish, paddle crabs populate the beaches and rock crabs scuttle about in the cracks and crevices of the rocky shore. A long gaff is a handy accessory if fishing from the rocks, where landing fish is quite tricky with the surging water and slippery rocks.

An offshore wind makes the fishing at Tauranga Bay more pleasant, as it settles down the sea. Onshore winds suit the surfers better, as the rollers increase in size and make Tauranga Bay a top surfing spot.

Lindsay enjoys more success on the second half of a rising tide, particularly if this coincides with dawn or dusk. The Buller River provides him with kahawai for bait and the smoker.

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