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Try for trout in the rivers, surfcast from the beach or head into deeper waters, particularly around Kāpiti Island.
The Waikanae and Ōtaki rivers hold reasonable numbers of brown trout. Both are challenging to fish, however, the rewards are there for the determined angler, while also enjoying fantastic scenery that varies from coastal dunes to native bush.
A fishing licence is required before setting out and these can be purchased on line from Fish and Game or from the Hunting and Fishing shop in Ōtaki.
The river is easily accessed from the local arterial road bridge at the town's south entrance, riverside walkways or via Elizabeth Street and Reikiorangi Road. At the lower reaches, the river becomes an estuary area where you might try for trout, both fresh and sea run, kahawai, mullet and even flounder.
In the middle and upper reaches, you will find short rapids interconnected by small pools and here you will need to use floating lines or very light spin tackle targeting the drop offs into the pool areas. Because the water is clear and shallow, you will need to actively hunt and stalk the fish for best results.
This river is located at the south entrance into the town of Ōtaki and can be accessed from the state highway road bridge, riverside walkways or Ōtaki Gorge Road. As with the Waikanae River, the lower reach is an estuary area and holds various fish species depending on the season. It is, however, a much larger river overall.
The middle reaches transit across the coastal plains and consist of fast flowing rapids and large pools. Here you might try heavy tackle and for fly fishers especially nymphs and lures. The upper reaches are sub alpine flowing through scenic native bush. You will find that the river narrows and forms very fast flowing rapids interspersed again with deep pools.
The Kāpiti Coast is a continuous area of shallow, sandy beaches. Deep holes develop close to shore on most beaches and these are the main areas targeted by anglers. Long-casting gear is required if you want to succeed, however, the best times to try your luck will be the change of light and change of tide when the fish tend to frequent shallower water. Electric Kontiki lines are also becoming popular.
While fishing on the coast isn't easy, genuine trophy snapper - the main drawcard on the coast - are taken every year and bags of pan-sized fish are not uncommon when the conditions are good. Other species include gurnard, kahawai, rays, spotty sharks, red cod, flounder and the occasional trevally.
The best season to surf fish is autumn, which brings more settled weather and easterly winds.
The area around Kāpiti Island provides good fishing as does Hunter Bank to the south and most of the Kāpiti Coast. From the boat, you can expect to catch all the fish you might encounter from the shore as well as terakihi, blue nose, kingfish, tuna, grouper and bass.
There are two marine reserves: one at the north east end of Kāpiti Island and the other on the opposite north west end. You must stay clear of the reserves, which are there to allow the fish to breed. Landing on Kāpiti Island without permission is also forbidden.
Spear fishing and scuba diving are mostly carried out around Kāpiti Island where crayfish and paua are also to be found.
You can launch boats from the beach at either the Kapiti Boating Club or Waikanae Boating Club or there is a ramp onto the beach at Raumati. Ideally you would need a tractor for this, however, many people use four wheel drives or launch their boat manually. The boating clubs have tractors available to members.
There are two boating clubs on the coast: the Kapiti Boating Club is located near McClean Park on the esplanade at Paraparaumu Beach and the Waikanae Boating Club is located at Waikanae Beach and is accessed from Tutere St.
Both clubs provide similar facilities:
· Beach launching areas
· Tractor use for members only
· Information on weather and sea conditions
· Coast Guard information
· Fishing competitions
· Fishing for youth
· Bar and café facilities