The police have named the fisherman found dead in the Kawau area north of Auckland yesterday as 37-year-old Stewart Atutahi.
The local man and friend Nicholas Stubbs, left Martin's Bay in a 4m dinghy about 5pm on Tuesday to go fishing.
Coastguard operations manager Ray Burge said the pair did not give a return time when they headed out but said they would not be long.
The search is continuing today for 22-year-old Mr Stubbs, with the search being widened.
"Whist the area that was done yesterday was extensively searched, they just want to broaden that search a little through the south," he said.
A fair amount of debris had been found but they were yet to locate the dinghy.
Ms Stubbs' girlfriend, Carissa De Felice, said on her Facebook page she was praying for a miracle that he would be found alive.
Inspector Mark Fergus said the police launch was continuing to sweep the area using radar and thermal imaging.
He said he did not know if Mr Stubbs was wearing a lifejacket but they had not given up hope of finding him alive.