Tarakihi in New Zealand

Tarakihi in New Zealand Tips and Tricks for Catching this Species

Tarakihi, scientifically known as Nemadactylus macropterus, is a popular fish found commonly in the beautiful waters of New Zealand. With its slender body, distinctive markings, and silvery-grey color, tarakihi is a sight to behold.

So, how can you increase your chances of catching tarakihi? We’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll share some valuable tips and tricks for catching tarakihi in New Zealand. From their habitat and feeding habits to the best techniques and gear, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to reel in these impressive fish.

Targeting this prized species will surely be a rewarding experience.

Habitat and Feeding Habits of Tarakihi

Tarakihi, also known as Nemadactylus macropterus, is a schooling fish species commonly found in New Zealand coastal waters. They prefer clear patches adjacent to foul and reef areas over sandy or muddy ground. Tarakihi are typically found in depths of up to 100 meters, although they can occasionally be found in shallower waters. It’s important to note that they tend to avoid areas affected by freshwater runoff or dirty water after a storm.

Habitat

When it comes to their feeding habits, tarakihi primarily prey on crustaceans, invertebrates, and occasionally small fishes. Their diet includes crabs, shrimp, worms, brittle stars, and other shellfish. They are often found in the same areas as hapuka, which prey on them. Spawning for tarakihi usually occurs during the summer-autumn months in specific areas such as Cape Runaway-East Cape, Kaikoura-Pegasus Bay, and Jackson Bay. Juvenile tarakihi can be found in various locations along the coast, including the southwest coast of the North Island, Tasman Bay, Kaikoura, Pegasus Bay, Canterbury Bight, Otago, and the Chatham Islands.

Fishing Spots

If you’re looking to catch tarakihi in New Zealand, it’s recommended to fish over foul ground using baited hooks or flasher rigs. They are commonly caught along weed lines or reef edges over sandy or muddy ground, so targeting these areas can increase your chances of success. Tarakihi can be found in different regions around the country, with popular fishing spots including areas south of East Cape and around the South Island. Remember to check local fishing regulations and obtain the necessary permits before heading out to these fishing spots.

Habitat

Feeding Habits

Fishing Spots

Tarakihi prefer clear patches adjacent to foul and reef areas over sandy or muddy ground. They avoid areas affected by freshwater runoff or dirty water after a storm.

Tarakihi primarily feed on crustaceans, invertebrates, and occasionally small fishes such as crabs, shrimp, worms, brittle stars, and other shellfish.

Tarakihi can be found in various regions of New Zealand, including areas south of East Cape and around the South Island. They are commonly caught along weed lines or reef edges.

Catching Tarakihi in New Zealand: Tips and Techniques

When it comes to catching tarakihi, there are a few tips and techniques that can help increase your chances of success. Anglers often find that fishing over foul ground using baited hooks or flasher rigs is effective when targeting tarakihi. These fish have soft mouths, so it’s important to use a net when landing bigger specimens to prevent the hook from pulling out.

For tarakihi fishing, size 2/0 hooks are recommended due to their relatively small mouths. Popular bait options include cut bait, squid, and shellfish like tuatua. These baits have proven to be enticing to tarakihi and can help attract them to your line. Additionally, using attractants like berley or chum can also be effective in luring tarakihi to your fishing spot.

When it comes to cooking tarakihi, there are various methods you can try. Tarakihi has medium to firm white flesh, which makes it versatile in the kitchen. You can bake, fry, barbecue, poach, curry, marinate, or even use tarakihi in soups or chowders. If you enjoy sushi, tarakihi can even be served raw as Sashimi. The choice of cooking method is up to your personal preference and taste.

Fishing Gear for Tarakihi

Having the right fishing gear is essential for a successful tarakihi fishing trip. Here’s a list of recommended equipment:

  • A sturdy fishing rod and reel combo that can handle medium-sized fish
  • Monofilament or braided fishing line with a breaking strength of around 10-15 pounds
  • Size 2/0 hooks for tarakihi
  • Sinker weights appropriate for the fishing depth and current conditions
  • A landing net to safely land bigger tarakihi without risking the hook pulling out
  • Tackle box with a variety of hooks, sinkers, and swivels
  • Cutting board and knife for preparing bait
  • Measuring tool to ensure catch compliance with local regulations

By using the right fishing techniques, selecting the best bait, and having the appropriate gear, you’ll be well-prepared to catch tarakihi in the coastal waters of New Zealand. Remember to adhere to local fishing regulations and be mindful of catch limits to help maintain the sustainability of this valuable fishery resource.

Join in on the Fun

Tarakihi fishing in New Zealand is an exciting activity that attracts both recreational and commercial fishermen. This popular fish species, with its distinctive features and widespread distribution, is highly regarded among anglers. However, it is important to be aware of the fishing regulations and catch limits that apply to tarakihi in New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries manages tarakihi fishing using the Quota Management System (QMS) to ensure sustainable fishing practices. Regular stock assessments and scientific studies are conducted to estimate the size of the fishery stock and set appropriate catch limits. Staying updated on the fishing rules and regulations for tarakihi in your area is crucial to preserve the fish population and maintain a healthy marine environment.

When planning your tarakihi fishing trip, it is helpful to consider the habits and habitats of these fish. Using the right fishing techniques and gear, as well as selecting the appropriate bait, can significantly increase your chances of a successful catch. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, the coastal waters of New Zealand offer a rewarding experience for anyone interested in tarakihi fishing.

So, grab your fishing gear, abide by the fishing regulations, and head out to enjoy the thrill of tarakihi fishing in the beautiful waters of New Zealand. Remember to respect the natural environment and practice responsible fishing to ensure the sustainability of this prized fish species for generations to come.

FAQ

Where can I find tarakihi in New Zealand?

Tarakihi are mainly found south of East Cape and around the South Island, with some exceptions. They are commonly caught in shallow reefs as juveniles but tend to school over open seafloors in deeper waters of 50 to 250 meters.

What do tarakihi eat?

Tarakihi feed on a wide range of crustaceans, invertebrates, and occasionally small fishes, including crabs, shrimp, worms, brittle stars, and other shellfish.

What is the best bait for catching tarakihi?

Cut bait, squid, and shellfish like tuatua are commonly used as bait to attract tarakihi. Size 2/0 hooks are recommended due to their relatively small mouths.

How should I cook tarakihi?

Tarakihi can be cooked using various methods, including baking, frying, barbecuing, poaching, currying, marinating, and using them in soups or chowders. They can even be served raw as Sashimi. Tarakihi is known for its medium to firm white flesh and is considered excellent eating, especially when smoked.

What fishing regulations should I be aware of when catching tarakihi?

The Ministry for Primary Industries manages tarakihi fishing in New Zealand using the Quota Management System (QMS) to ensure sustainable fishing practices. Catch limits may vary, so it’s important to stay updated on the fishing rules and regulations for tarakihi in your area.