(A) Fishing The Southern End
The beach starts at the Muriwai township and rock fishing from a papa rock platform is accessible via a track near the car park at the southern end of the beach. If the surf is up, the waves sweep right across the platform, and it becomes too dangerous
to fish. Anglers are frequently swept off the rocks here so choose your days carefully!
Paul has fished a flexiwing dropper rig from the rock shelf in northwest winds in winter. The gear set parallel to Maori Bay and around 500 meters out. There is a lot of reef here but Paul only landed a small blue cod and a couple of kahawai.
Swimmers and other beach users usually congregate at the southern end of the beach and this area is best avoided by kite and kontiki fishers for safety reasons.
Kite fishers who insist on fishing this end of the beach often have trouble with the mat mussels offshore here. The hooks occasionally snag on the mussels and this can stall the gear just offshore. The only solution when this happens is to retrieve
the gear and try again.
(B) Fishing The Creek
For 4WD and walk-on access at the creek turn right at Golf Road just before Muriwai township , this puts you a couple of kilometers up the beach. This beach entry is fairly flat and it is an easy walk onto the beach.
If you are on foot then either side of the creek is a good place to set your kite rig out. If you have a 4WD then the area from 2 - 5 km north of the creek is better for snapper - there is a large bed of snapper biscuits (a flat type of sea urchin)
here and most of the snapper you catch are full of them.
(C) North of the Creek
From 7km up the beach to just south of the picnic area is very good for catching gurnard although the fishing is only average for snapper. Despite this, occasionally very good catches are taken.
(D) Fishing The Picnic Area
This is another good spot for those without 4WD's. Drive past the Muriwai turn off on Highway 16
and turn left before Hellensville at Rimmer Rd. A gravel road leads through the Woodhill forest to the coast road. Turn left at this intersection for the
Picnic Area or right for the 4WD access onto the beach. The short walk to the beach is signposted from the picnic area car park
This is a great kite fishing spot where many big snapper have been landed over the years. The area also produces good hauls of 1 to 5kg snapper plus the odd moocher, gurnard and kahawai year round and sharks and kingfish occasionally.
(E) Fishing Rimmer Rd Access to the Cliffs
The wreck of the "Kindern" lies scattered offshore around the Rimmer Rd 4WD access. Many kite longlines have been snagged and lost here so don't kite fish near this access point. Paul always turns right and heads north to allow those fishing
around the picnic area 2km to the south of the 4WD access a bit of space.
The first 6km of beach up from the Rimmer Rd 4WD access is great for kite fishing. The sloping dunes allow 4WD's to be parked above the reach of high water, so you can safely fish over the top of the tide in most conditions.
If Paul has limited time or is filming this is where he fishes. Usually he catches better than half a 40 liter chilly bin of fish and he often returns with the bin full. Lately, (January to November 2005), most of the catch has been snapper from 1 to
4kg with big gurnard and kahawai making up the balance.
(F) The Cliffs to the Bombing Range
About 7k's up from the Rimmer Rd 4WD access the lay of the beach changes. Instead of the dunes sloping down to meet the beach the sand is harder and the dunes have been eroded leaving a cliff face.
The tide comes right up to the cliff face in this area so there is no over the tide parking available. The cliffs continue until just before the bombing range near the top end of the beach.
The fishing in this area is red hot but it requires some planning to fish safely. The ideal is to get on at the Rimmer Rd 4WD access with the tide 2.5 to 3 hours out and make certain you get off the beach before the tide is 3 hours in. If you allow
half an hour traveling time each way, you will get in a good solid 5 hours fishing. The further north you go the bigger the snapper get. On the down side the same thing also applies to sharks, big school sharks and bigger bronze whalers can be in plague
proportions at the top end.
Extreme caution needs to be taken here fishing spring tides or when the swell is above 2 meters. Occasionally a huge sweeper or rogue wave occurs, these big waves can cover 50% more of beach than the average wave.
(G) From the Bombing Range to the Lagoon
The best snapper spot on the whole of Muriwai beach is from just short of the bombing range round to the lagoon. It's possible to park over the top of the tide in many areas at the top end of the beach but extreme caution should be taken once you start
coming around into the Kaipara Harbour.
The curve of the beach is very gentle, almost imperceptible, but you know you've arrived there when the surf drops to nothing. The sand in this area can be very unpredictable. Water from the lagoon seeps under the beach and patches of very soft sand
can quickly cause a 4WD to become bogged. At low tide there are deep ruts on the beach and driving over them too fast is dangerous.
It's a good idea to take some planks of wood and a shovel, or even better, a sand anchor and a winch.
The rip in this area is extreme, so it is more difficult to fish this end of the beach. The best time to fish the top end is right over slack low or slack high, although the low tide seems to be marginally better.
When the big snapper are in here you can get one on every hook. The deepest water is less than 500 meters out at low tide, many of the kitefishers that specialize in this area seldom let their hooks out more than 300 meters offshore.
This area is also the most productive surf casting area on Muriwai. Snapper, gurnard and kahawai can be caught year round. Large kingfish patrol the channel edges over the summer months. A small kahawai live bait on the back hook of a dropper rig is
an ideal way of targeting these kingi's and will occasionally yield a huge snapper.