Clarke Gayford counts down the best places to take your father fishing . . . whatever kind of dad you have.

As a fishing enthusiast, and host of Fish of the Day, I was tasked with listing the top 10 places in New Zealand to take your dad fishing on Father's Day, but, this is a tricky one, because I don't know what type of fisherman your dad is. I mean is he an "off the rocks" type of pops? Or perhaps he's more a cruise boat bloke? The variables here are as broad as the beam on that 50ft Jeaneau Prestige he gazes wistfully at.

With that in mind, I've gone one better and created a list of fishing scenarios to match to your dad, because dads can be quite particular when it comes to fishing . . . as you probably know.

DAD TYPE: DAD off the rocks
FISHING LOCATION: Lottin Point, East Cape

My number one spot would be the area around East Cape's Lottin Point.


I discovered this place quite young, because my dad took me here from Gisborne, via Ruatoria and the infamous Highway 35.

Here, raw ocean currents send up all sorts of finned treats, and you'll find epic fishing set-ups off every point in this almost unspoilt wilderness.

Huge kingfish regularly cruise the shoreline, in fact my mate Ross speared a 41.4kg one just last summer.

A sack of burley will bring in all sorts of life, from snapper to big blue cod.

I once caught a huge tarakihi from the rocks in just 4 metres of water.

Dad requirements: Sturdy shoes and a bit of fitness; good chat for the loooong drive with no cell reception.

DAD TYPE: in the Fiords DAD
FISHING LOCATION: Milford to Dusky Sound, Fiordland

Does dad like crayfish? Of course he does, and here, thanks to the thick layer of tannin-stained water that seeps out of the glacial carved valleys, sits a surface layer that acts like a dark pair of sunglasses.

And just like someone wearing sunnies at night, it's a literal party underneath, where the crays - thinking it's perpetually twilight - dance out in the open.

In fact, so big and bold do the big bucks get, that they will often march towards you like a Viaduct club bouncer who has just spotted you in jandals.

The fishing here is amazing. It's a place where blue cod get so big you'll swear you've caught a hapuka, and hapuka swim so shallow I once speared one while freediving.

Dad requirements: Thick wetsuit; military grade insect repellent.

DAD TYPE: Extreme Dad
FISHING LOCATION: Three Kings, Cape Reinga

Situated 54km off the tippy tip of New Zealand, with a deep body of water between the islands and mainland, this place is like nowhere else on Earth. Even fishermen so salty their bodies remain preserved years after their deaths are known to weep openly at the mere whisper of this hallowed locale.

It's the place where all marlin and offshore pelagics travelling to and from New Zealand must go to clear Customs, congregating in obscene numbers while getting stuck into duty free Kiwi baitfish.

Dad requirements: A stomach for big seas (a big puku doesn't count); at least one tattoo.

DAD TYPE: Small boat Dad
FISHING LOCATION: Hauraki Gulf, Auckland

We are so very, very close to my favourite time of year to chase snapper out in the Gulf.

The incredible spring work-ups, where they arrive en-masse, hungry, and horny. Watch that sea temp like a hawk, because as soon as it nudges 18C, that's when it becomes a party in their pants, and you and your dad - with his new softbait rod - are invited.

Dad requirements: Good knees to handle sharp harbour chop; A braid-filled soft bait rod and lots of squidgy lures with cool names like "nuclear chickens".

DAD TYPE: Dad abroad

I know it's supposed to be New Zealand spots, but technically Niue is in the "realm", and besides it's just a 3 ½-hour flight to this fishing mecca.

Here you get to chase exotic sounding fish with names like: dogtooth tuna (named for its, yes, dog-like teeth); wahoo - named by early explorers after miss-hearing the island of Oahu in Hawaii, and mahi-mahi, otherwise known as dolphin fish.

Here local fishermen consider marlin a pest - and they can catch them just 100m from the wharf.

Dad requirements: Suntan lotion (SPF 1000); steel trace - because everything has sharp teeth.

DAD TYPE: Freshwater Father
FISHING LOCATION: Lake Kuratau, Turangi

There are currently so many rainbow trout in Lake Kuratau, they've removed the bag limit.
Dad requirements: Fishing licence; being there in season (starts October 1).

DAD TYPE: Charter Father
FISHING LOCATION: Off the Whakatane Coast

Hire any boat that goes to White Island.

Dad requirements: Mates to split costs; strong arms for unstoppable kingfish.

DAD TYPE: Big Boat Dad

If your dad has a big boat, please, pass my details to him so I can "show him" specifically where to go. You're. Welcome.

Dad requirements: Me; beer.

Clarke Gayford is the passionate host of Fish Of The Day, Wednesdays, 8.30pm on Choice TV. The locally-produced show has won international awards, and has been picked up to screen in more than 35 countries around the world.