Hawke's Bay Reel Life December 2019

  • Hawke's Bay
  • 18/12/2019

Hawke's Bay Reel Life December 2019

Fishing report – Blair Whiting

After no significant rain for the past month the rivers are low and extremely easy to find fish in.

This also makes them harder to catch in the clear waters.

A 4lb tippet and 12 ft + leader are essential for a lot of the smaller waters.

Presentation is key, we have just had a good dump of rain which will help freshen up some of the rivers and improve the fishing.

As the rivers drop the fish will begin to move around and find new spots to feed, so it is a great time to get out there.


There is some epic fishing to be had in the mid sections, water clarity has been quite good especially in the Whanawhana cable stretch.

Above Right: A nice conditioned Ngaruroro rainbow.

The rainbow trout aren’t big (3lb) but in great condition and keen to feed on mainly lightly weighted nymphs.

The river is holding a decent amount of water, so some tungsten is required to get down into the deeper pools where the larger fish reside.

Keep your eyes open because fish can be lying very shallow.


The Tutaekuri has become quite low and fish are moving into the deep pools to avoid the heat.

The river has been getting a fair bit of pressure, but lots of fish are being caught.

I have landed a few over 5lb and many over 4lb, mostly on deeply sunk nymphs.

Water that is above waist height is the right sort to be fishing.

The more you walk up the better the fishing will get.

If you can’t find an area to yourself in the mid sections, try down in the urban areas, there often won’t be anyone fishing even near main road bridges.


Up north in the Mohaka system, fishing has been slow but steady in some places.

There are plenty of browns to be caught over a range of sizes.

Rainbows have been in good numbers too.

Try sinking heavy nymphs deep into pools or through the shallower riffles, fish will be out and about feeding.

In the tributaries set up a long 12 ft + leader with a dry dropper combination.

They tend to get very spooky after some anglers have been through.

Central Hawkes Bay:

With many Tuki Tuki tributaries holding low flows, the trout will be extra wary to any anglers walking past.

A long leader and small flies will do the trick.

There are both good rainbow and brown trout present in water less than knee deep.

A good light presentation is key to getting a bite from these fish, especially when they are holding near the willows.

Christmas/summer break

Summer is a busy time of year with plenty of people on the roads.

We urge you all to take care while driving to your fishing spot as roads can be dangerously busy, especially on some of those narrow backcountry roads which lead to popular camp grounds, fishing and swimming holes.

Summer is also a time where people let their hair down, relax and at times forget about a few basic rules when using a public resource such as our wonderful rivers.

Three rules to remember are to always; Check, Clean, Dry to avoid spreading any unwanted pests between waterways, to respect other users whether swimmers, rafters or trampers and to take care and always tell someone where you are going, especially if you are heading off alone.

You can expect to see our Rangers out and about over the Christmas break, feel free to have a friendly chat when you see them out on the water.

Finally from the team here at the Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

Nick Page, Hawke's Bay Fish & Game Officer

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