Tom with 8kg Snapper
Tom with an 8kg snapper he caught on a trout line at Kawau.

I’m Tom Lusk and I’ve been a teacher at Languages International since 2004. My hobby is fishing, and New Zealand has some of the most fantastic fishing in the world. If you enjoy fishing, I can give you lots of help and advice so that you have an unforgettable time while you’re studying and staying in NZ.


New Zealand is most famous for its trout fishing. Our rivers and lakes are very beautiful, and the trout grow extremely big by world standards. Where I learned to trout fish, the Tukituki River in Hawke’s Bay, there are a lot of rainbow and brown trout. It is very common to catch fish of about 3kg in weight, and sometimes they reach 6-7kg. I have never caught them this big, but I have seen them. They are very clever when they get to this size.  The best part is that there are a lot of rivers and not very many fishermen, so there are a lot of trout!

Trout fishing licences are cheap in NZ, just $116 to fish anywhere except Lake Taupo for the whole year. You don’t need to buy a licence to catch fish in the sea, but you can’t keep small fish.

My favourite way to catch trout is fly fishing. I especially like fishing when you can see the fish feeding and cast a fly to them. This is a very exciting way to catch them. I also like to cook trout, and the best way is to smoke them. This method uses wood smoke to flavour the fish. It’s very easy, and once you have smoked the fish, you can make it into many different kinds of dish: Pies, mornays, mousse, pate, salads etc.

If you are interested in trout fishing, you should talk to Yoshi at Rod and Reel in Newmarket. He can give you expert advice. He is also a professional fishing guide.

Sea fishing

Auckland doesn’t have many rivers (you have to drive about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to good trout streams), but it does have excellent sea fishing.

Shin FisihingSnapper
The most popular fish is the snapper. This fish is a relative of the Japanese Tai and the European Sea Bream. The maximum weight is about 22kg, but usually we catch fish between 1-5kg.

Snapper are very common around Auckland, and they are absolutely delicious. There are many ways to catch them, and I can give you all the advice you need. Most people fish for them from a boat. The best season to catch them is from December until about June, but you can catch them all year round.

I have recently started fishing for snapper with my fly fishing equipment. This is an extremely exciting way to fish. If you are interested in fly fishing for trout, you should also try to catch some snapper using this method.

Tom with Yellowtail KingfishYellowtail kingfish are my favourite fish to catch. They are a relative of the tuna, and New Zealand has the biggest kingfish in the world. The world record is 54kg, from the Bay of Plenty. They are big, strong predators that eat other fish. They are also delicious, especially raw as sashimi, or barbequed.

Kingfish are often caught right in the centre of Auckland. I have caught two near the city centre, on Tamaki Drive, and one near the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Tom with Kahawai

Other species
There are many other fish that we catch in Auckland. The three most common species apart from snapper and kingfish are kahawai, trevally and gurnard.

When you come to Languages International to study, I can give you all the advice you need to catch a lot of fish. In the summer you can even go fishing every night after school.


Written by Tom Lusk. Tom is a teacher, Assistant Learning Centre Manager, and the resident fishing expert at Languages International.