Fishing at Castlepoint - The Great Gurnard Hunt

They say the fish are always biting at Castlepoint, the Wairarapa’s most spectacular beach.

We’ve all heard the story about the one that got away? But guess what? This is a story about the one that didn’t. It’s a story about a bright orange Gurnard l hooked off the impressive limestone reef at Castlepoint.

Castlepoint Beach is a 50-60 minute drive from Masterton on a sealed country road that weaves through rolling farmland. It’s a spectacular beach famous for its 100-year-old lighthouse, lagoon and surf break. It’s also a terrific spot for gathering kai moana (seafood) including crayfish.

It is also where several fishing competitions are held each summer including one just for women and The Great Gurnard Hunt. I’ve never competed in it before but sitting there in the sunshine, fishing rod rigged and cast and the fish nibbling away I couldn’t help but think this is the best way to spend my time.

Despite reeling in several small kahawai, it wasn’t until I reeled in a 1.05kg Gurnard that I felt satisfied with the catch. My patience was further rewarded with  “the biggest Gurnard” prize for land-based anglers. No tall tales here.

The Wairarapa coastline is blessed with top notch diving and fishing spots and several fishing competitions are held from Cape Palliser in the south to Castlepoint in the north. Whether you’re a serious angler or not, the coast is always a great places to visit. The fish taste pretty amazing too.

For more information about the Wairarapa head to or contact one of our i-SITE Visitor Centres:

Masterton i-SITE Visitor Centre
Corner of Bruce & Dixon Streets
+64 6 370 0900

Martinborough i-SITE Visitor Centre
18 Kitchener Street
+64 6 306 5010



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