New trout season off to a flying start

  • 4/10/2018

New trout season off to a flying start

Thousands of keen anglers around the country have been enjoying success as they try to catch a trout for the family dinner table following the opening of the new freshwater fishing season.

Brent George shows off a weighty rainbow from Lake Tarawera.

The 2018-19 season began on Monday October 1, with lakes, streams and rivers re-opening after being closed over winter to allow trout to complete their breeding season undisturbed.

Reports from Fish & Game’s 12 regions indicate good success for many anglers.

In the North Island, Rotorua’s reputation for quality trout fishing has been reinforced with a trout of nearly five kilograms being landed.

The whopping 4.8kg brown trout - 10 and a half pounds in the old measure – was caught after dark at the Ohau Channel.

In Hawke’s Bay, there was a good start on smaller rivers and streams, with reasonable numbers of fish being caught.

In the Auckland/Waikato Region, there were mixed reports of how well anglers were doing but “staff saw fish everywhere they visited,” says Fisheries Manager Dr Adam Daniel.

AW Opening 2 MattaMarvinDaniel2

Matta and Marvin Daniel on the banks of a Waikato stream.

“Overall it was a good opener and my kids caught a beautiful rainbow on the Mangaotaki using a pink Berkley soft bait after helping out with a fish survey.”

The new fishing season coincides with the school holidays and Fish & Game has been encouraging parents to take their children fishing as great holiday activity.

In Taranaki, rivers rose on opening day and it rained in the afternoon, but since then they had cleared and are in “great nick,” says fish & Game Officer Allen Stancliff.

He says that lots of anglers have been out and have been pretty successful.

“Fly fishing is one of the most effective techniques for the current conditions,” Mr Stancliff added. 

Down south, Fish & Game staff say some good fish have been caught everywhere in the North Canterbury region, with some nice sea runs on the Waimakariri River. All the rivers appear to be “nice and stable” after a good winter.

The West Coast turned on some great fishing for junior anglers as the school holidays began. Local staff report that lake fisheries and river mouths around the whitebait stands have been popular spots.

West Coast Opening

Rico Taylor with his hefty West Coast trout.

A mild winter and warm spring have increased water temperatures so that prey food is in abundance for trout.

“The fish our rangers have seen are in good condition and good numbers,” staff say.

“Compliance with regulations has been superb and it has been pleasing to see adult anglers teaching our future anglers good ethics.”

In the central South Island, river flows and weather have been great for the opening week, providing opportunities on every waterway in the region.

“Anglers report rainbow trout in excellent condition having been caught near Kurow,” says Fish & Game Communications Advisor Richard Cosgrove.

“Most coastal Otago streams were relatively stable following a good winter and have fished well.

In Southland conditions were challenging for anglers early in the week with rivers running high, “but as the rivers have started to drop spin and bait anglers have been having the most success with the clearing conditions,” Mr Cosgrove says.


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