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Fish Species found at White Island:
- Yellowtail Kingfish 15 – 25kg average with occasional 30kg
- In season Marlin – Stripies 90 – 150kg
- Deepwater fishing – hapuku 15 – 20kg, Bass 20 – 30kg, Bluenose 15 – 20kg
- Common Terekihi – good table fish caught in good numbers
- Other common fish – Trevally, gemfish
- Other gamefish – Tuna (skipjack, albacore)
Fishing Techniques: Mechanical Jigging, some popping&stickbaiting, Trawling, live and dead – baiting, deepwater fishing (time dependent), scuba diving
Recommended Tackle: Heavy for reefy structures
Minimum Overnight Trip: Recommended for work groups, birthdays, mates weekends, family trips or a quick fishing fix
Season: June till January
Location: 27 Nautical Miles North of Whakatane
Nearest Port: Whakatane
Time to get there: 3.5 hours
Departure times: 7.30pm the night before the trip Return: 4.30 pm the next day.
Trip Length: Recommended overnight 1 – 3 Days
Cost: $3400 per day for up to eight people, recommendation six
Food: fully catered $60pp per day
Bait and Tackle and Rods supplied: $50pp per day
Whakaari (White Island) is a live volcanic Island situated off the Whakatane coast. It is the closest offshore destination that Enchanter Fishing Charters does fishing trips to. The volcano is a privately owned island and is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, and has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years.
In and around White Island and to the west of the Island, a small rocky outcrop called the volkner rocks is home to a healthy fishery. The star of the show is the yellowtail kingfish. It is here that the world record kingfish was caught in 1982 of 53kg!
Fishing at White is easily accessible to the recreational angler and regularly frequented by boats from Whakatane and Tauranga especially on weekends. However the fishery has stayed reasonably strong with an accord / agreement by local fishers to take only one kingfish per day per person. Most catches being tagged and released.
Jigging, popping and stickbaiting are good ways of targeting the White Island kingfish with regular catches of fish 12 – 20kg with the odd fish going 30+kg. It is a good place for the beginner or those that don’t like travelling long distances. Numbers are reasonable to expect with each person usually getting a good kingi to take home for the day.
White Island also often produces some deep water hapuka, bluenose and bass, as well as plentiful terakihi and trevally. The White island trevally often features in local competitions and record books being larger than the usual inshore trevs
Our 24 hour overnight trips are popular with work groups, birthday bashes and family trips departing Whakatane at 7.30pm at night and travelling out to the island arriving around 11pm. Night fishing for kingfish is an exciting summer time option as well while anchored in the bay at White Island catching livebait, the action under the lights is thrilling as flying fish gather around and the kingfish will come right up to the back of the boat chasing their dinner. Hang on tight if you managed to hook one as they are fresh to the fight and fight like freight trains… This is what we call the White Island Express!
Some of our longer extended trips will include a night at White or may spend some time here if the weather is not fishable at Ranfurly. It is still after many years a healthy fishery for kingfish producing some excellent results. Still fish in the 40 + bracket are landed here most years and maybe that next world record maybe lurking the depths of the marine volcano!
Diving is also a great option at White with the Volkner Rocks Marine Reserve to the north of the kingfish grounds and also in and around White island scenic dives of underwater vents and caves. Also the odd pack horse cray from October onwards can be seen escaping along the ocean floor.
In summertime stripped marlin frequent the White Island area due to the plentiful food chain, as well as skipjack tuna, the odd yellowfin tuna and albacore.
We recommend making the most of a White Island trip by staying two days and capitalizing on the offshore ocean mounts and puka fishing, some excellent catches of bluenose and bass can be found not that far from White Island. Two nights gives you enough time to target a few different species and fill up on food for the table and experience the best White has to offer.
So close to home White Island is still producing the results and a very popular trip for any type of fisherman or group.