C-MAP Hot Spot: Middlesex Bank

Score striped marlin, kingfish and more at this North Island hot spot.
FishTrack Staff
Middlesex Bank and the nearby King Bank represent two of the most coveted fishing areas for northern New Zealand's top offshore crews. The banks provide ample opportunity for striped marlin, swordfish and giant bottomfish. Crews that make the trek to these banks must rely on quality cartography such as these charts provided by C-MAP by Jeppesen.
The Three Kings are a group of uninhabited islands about 35 miles offshore of the northernmost point of New Zealand. These islands provide a safe anchorage for the crews who come to fish King Bank and Middlesex Bank. Most boats fish this area for multiple days before heading back to Bay of Islands or other ports south. Hi-res bathy charts provided by cartography on board such as these charts provided by C-MAP by Jeppesen help find an ideal anchorage in this formidable environment.
This  C-MAP chart shows how the banks rise up from 4,500-plus feet to less than 300. This structure can hold massive amounts of bait. To cash in on the striped marlin bite, crews will pull lures or run live baits, working along the rips and temperature breaks.
Striped marlin are the big draw during the daylight hours in this part of the world. Nearly all of the world-record striped marlin catches were caught in these waters. According to reports over the last few years, King Bank seems to out-fish Middlesex Bank, but the potential for a world record is always there.
Striped marlin prefer water from 70° to 85° F. Before making the run to fish the waters of King Bank and Middlesex Bank, crews will consult the latest sea-surface temperature charts to find temp breaks and color breaks along the bank to help them pinpoint the pelagics.
These banks are also home to some of the best New Zealand kingfish spots because they do not receive much pressure. Pinpointing the best dropoffs really depends on using your sounder and a hi-resolution bathymetric chart. The prime season for bottom-fishing here is March through July. Photo courtesy of   Enchanter Charters.
Weather can come up very rapidly is this portion of the world where the Tasman Sea meets the South Pacific. Navigating through these waters is highly dependent on quality cartography. C-MAP by Jeppesen provides mariners with a full array of charts for the North Island.
When the sun goes down, the swordfish gear comes out. Some of the largest swords in the world are found here, but there are only a handful of operators that specialize in landing these giant fish. Photo courtesy of Mike Harris of Primetime Charters.

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