Big Fish Bay of Islands Limited

Is a MOSS (Maritime Operator Safety System) certified provider of specialised fishing charter services.  We are family owned and operated, we captain our own purpose-built 6.5m boat.  Our boat carries, generally, 4 customers at a time and fishing tuition is provided.  Our charter boat may also provide other services, such as transportation to or from destinations for up to six persons only.

Booking & Deposits

For shared charters (Snapper and Kingfish) payment for each person must be made in full before the day of charter via our online booking system at by clicking here

For Full Day Private or VIP Fishing Charters, a non-returnable 25% deposit is required in advance. Please contact us directly to book your Full Day Charter.

A deposit is required to secure each booking.  The deposit is usually 25% and bookings can be made online by clicking here

Or by contacting our office in NZ: +64 (0)9 402 6965, or NZ Mobile +64 (0)27 569 6067, or by emailing us at info@bigfishbayofislands.co.nz

Credit Cards

We accept Visa & Mastercard and use PayPal as our secure payment provider. Big Fish Bay of Islands Limited does not store your credit card details but they are retained by our provider and relate to your booking. Following the provision of our services, we reserve the right to obtain any unpaid monies using the PayPal system.

Direct Credit

If you prefer to transfer monies into our account via direct credit please contact our office to arrange payment. Booking will not be confirmed until the required deposit amount has been received by us.

Refunds & Cancellations

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your booking at any time either by phone call to our office (021 569 6067) or by email.  Cancellation will be effective the day it is received by us, we require notification no less than 48 hours prior to the departure time.

We will attempt to give you as much notice as possible of a cancellation due to weather, and will send notification to the email address used for booking and a text message to the number entered when making the booking online – it is your responsibility to contact us prior to your departure to see if your charter is still going ahead. If you paid with PayPal, refunds will be automatic if your payment was made less than 60 days prior. For all other payments, you will receive an email with a PayPal link to click to receive your refund to your bank account.

Confirmation of departure

We will make all efforts to contact you the day prior to your trip.  However, experience shows we often have difficulty reaching some customers. This is especially common with overseas customers.  Please make sure you have given us a working contact number for New Zealand or your accommodation providers number in the Bay of islands.




Cancellation by the Operator

If, due to circumstances beyond our control (which includes the following) we find it necessary to cancel the trip/trips, we will notify you as soon as possible and will refund your money in full.

We reserve the right to make any changes to, or cancellation of, your trip, that we deem necessary, at any time up to, and following, departure.

These may be caused by, but are not limited to;

  • unsuitable/unpredictable weather conditions
  • mechanical issues
  • skipper unavailability/sickness
  • insufficient customers booked (a minimum of 2 persons required for shared charters)

Cancellation after departure

Unfortunately, there may be occasions due to sudden changes in conditions when we are forced to cancel directly before the trip, or even shorten the trip while in progress. If we must shorten your trip due to bad weather or boat malfunctions, we will refund a proportion of the cost of the trip, based on the remaining trip time. It is up to you to ring our office to arrange the refund if this is the case. Refunds will not be given on board.

Alcohol, Smoking & Drug Policy

We have no issue with alcohol consumption or smoking on board except when interfering with the safety, or the comfort of other passengers. Where excess consumption of alcohol does jeopardize safety, Big Fish Bay of Islands reserves the right to terminate the trip with no refund due – or to safely remove any affecting passengers wherever we see suitable. We have a strict no DRUGS policy.

Share the Catch Policy

When you come on a charter with us, the catch will be shared amongst all the customers on the boat. We are responsible for allocating this.

Sustainable Fishing Policies

We love fishing, and we want to preserve the enjoyment of New Zealand’s fishing for future generations. That’s why we whole-heartedly support sustainable and responsible fishing, and encourage ‘catch and release’ as much as possible on our charters.

Our Sustainable Fishing Policy

At Big Fish Bay of Islands encourage all our customers to release what they catch if they are not going to eat it, especially the large breeding stock.  Should you wish to keep a kingfish we have a limit of ONE KINGFISH PER PERSON/DAY.

We want to make sure you get a photo of a big kingfish in your arms and it’s a good feeling letting them go to fight another day. For snapper, it is 3 snapper/person /day and we encourage putting the large breeding stock back unharmed. The releasing of fish does not come of your daily limit, only killed fish count.

We comply with all the Ministry of Fisheries New Zealand regulations for all species. Any fish under the minimum length MUST be released. When Big Game fishing we strongly encourage Tag and Release and any fish deemed to be under 80kg will be let go.

Fish Filleting

Fish filleting is free of charge and the days catch will be portioned out to each customer to ensure everyone goes home with some quality fish for dinner. We can arrange for your fish to be smoked and vacuum packed by one of our local smoke houses at additional cost.

Photos and Video

Big Fish Bay of Islands staff may take photos and/or video of you fishing.  These are the property of Big Fish bay of Islands and we can use them on any medium to promote our business such as on our web site or in social media.  You will need to contact us in writing prior to the trip if you do not want pictures of yourself used on any medium.

We are not responsible for photos and/or videos taken by our other customers.  You will need to manage this circumstance yourself should you not want your image recorded.

You are welcome to take as many photos/videos as you like for your own collection.

Damage and Loss to our gear

You must pay for any damage you cause to the boat or its fittings, or any rods and reels that you damage or lose overboard, even if accidentally. You are not liable for any normal wear and tear or gear failures, such as reels jamming etc.


You must follow the skipper’s instructions always while onboard. Our primary concern is for your safety, and you must comply with any instructions from the skipper immediately and without argument. This includes donning lifejackets when asked to due to unsafe weather conditions.

Please notify the skipper immediately when you feel unwell and cannot continue with your trip, as a courtesy to other passengers and your own wellbeing. If you think you are prone to sea sickness we recommend your purchase seasickness tablets from the local pharmacy prior to departure. This is your responsibility. We are not legally allowed to provide any such medications to clients.


Make sure you prepare for a range of weather conditions and bring enough clothes to stay dry and warm.  In winter thermals, rainproof jacket and beanie are recommended.  In all seasons, be SUN SMART New Zealand sun is fierce, bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

Food and Drinks

Although trips are not catered food and drink can be arranged at the time of booking, we have a range of lunch options available from $20-25 per person.  If you have not arranged this you should bring your own, especially to drink and enough food for the time you are away from shore for.  We will provide tea, coffee and some light snacks.

Limitation of liability

Notwithstanding anything else expressed or implied in these terms and except where a statute requires otherwise, Big Fish Bay of Islands limited shall not be liable whether in contract, tort or otherwise for:

(a) any injury to persons or damage to property; or
(b) any direct, indirect, consequential, financial or economic loss or damage to property arising out of any act or omission of Black Pearl Charters.

On booking with Big Fish Bay of Islands Limited the Customer shall be deemed to have read, understood and accepted these terms, conditions and policies.

Big Fish Bay of Islands Limited reserves the right to review and change these terms, conditions and policies at any time.


These Terms and Conditions (“Our Terms and Conditions”) apply to any charter booking (herein referred to as “charter” or “trip”) made with Big Fish Bay of Islands Limited and must be carefully read and understood.