Kariotahi Beach Area Report by Bruce Thomson
I put out two sets with my dropper rig on Wednesday the 13th. With 18 hooks baited up with squid the gear headed dead straight offshore, it was a perfect set each time.
The winds were a light northeast and I fished over the incoming tide. While I didn't catch any fish on this particular day, I still had a great day and thought I'd drop you line to tell you about the area I fish.
Kariotahi Beach is on the west coast south of Auckland and about one hours drive from Auckland City. It extends from the South heads of the Manukau to the Waikato River mouth. The beach is accessed from Waiuku and is clearly sign posted.
Generally the beach is hard packed sand with access possible by all vehicles although cars will not navigate it above half tide. The beach features very high almost mountainous hills behind it adding the option of some sturdy climbs resulting in fabulous
Exposed to the west this beach generally exhibits rough surf conditions and if the forecast is for two metre swells or greater then the surge and rip will conspire to prevent effective sets.
Kariotahi will yield great fishing in good conditions with medium to very large snapper, gurnard, terakihi and many other species, including elephant fish which I believe are very much underrated by northerners.
Gummy sharks or rig, which are possibly the best frying fish when they are fresh and are handled well, are also available here.
The features of Kariotahi are its accessibility and it proximity to the Southern Auckland suburbs. Kariotahi is well used, probably the most fished beach in New Zealand, and often finding room to launch a serious kite assault can be difficult.
An additional hazard close to the access are the number of drivers who want to show off their driving skills, or lack of them, in stolen cars.
Nevertheless, Kariotahi Beach offers a wide range of fishing options from the rocks at the northern end to the fresh water river mouth at the south.
Be ready to move a bit if your first set is unsuccessful. Sometimes just moving a hundred yards up or down the beach can make all the difference. The beach is generally snag free but sets should be limited to about 20 minutes as the sharks are all starving.
Dropper rigs are definetly the way to go at Kariotahi Beach.
Ed : Thanks for the great beach report, I will put it with a map in the area section of the site when time allows.