Fishing in Tasman

Fishing is one of New Zealand’s most popular recreational activities. This page explains the broad guidelines for fishing in the Tasman District.

Recreational Fishing      

Every year a large number of finfish, rock lobster and shellfish are taken by recreational fishers, which can seriously affect local fisheries. It is important for all fishers to act responsibly and help conserve the resource by following Ministry of Fisheries regulations, catch limits and other restrictions. There are penalties if the rules are breached.

The Tasman/Nelson/Marlborough fishing area is also known as the Challenger Fishery Management Area.

Freshwater Fish

Freshwater sports fishing is managed by Fish & Game NZ.

Prohibited Areas - Marine Reserves      

Fishing is prohibited in certain areas of Tasman and Nelson district waterways including Tonga Island Marine Reserve (Abel Tasman), Horoirangi Marine Reserve (Nelson) and Whanganui Inlet Marine Reserve (Golden Bay). Catch limits also apply for certain species.

Fishing from Wharves and Boat Ramps      

Wharves and jetties in particular are popular places to cast a line from. Please ensure that you dispose of your rubbish properly and clean up any mess left from your activities, so others can also enjoy the ambience after you’ve gone.

Try not to cast your lines near moorings, boats or directly under a wharf, as any hooks left behind after a snag may harm a boatie or swimmer using the area later. Even a light line wrapped around the propeller bearing of a boat or sucked into an intake could put that boat at risk.

If you are fishing and a boat looks like it will come near your line, you must remove your line from the water until the coast is clear again. Also, remember that harbours, wharves, jetties and boat ramps are intended primarily for boating, not fishing. It is illegal to place any fishing apparatus (including a casting line) in any waters of the district that is likely to restrict navigation, cause injury or death to any person, or cause damage to any vessel or property. An instant fine of $100 can be imposed.

The same rules apply with set gear, so avoid setting lines, nets or pots in ski lanes, channels or other places where boats usually navigate. If an access lane or reserved area (listed in the Navigation Safety Bylaw) is in use for its intended purpose, then it is also unlawful to undertake any other activity in that lane or area, including fishing from the shore.

Enjoy your fishing responsibly.

Related Links