Northland Reel Life Jan 2017

  • 27/02/2017

'Fish smart' to hook up in summer heat

N 1 Harkling northland style2We hope everyone has had a good summer break...or are still enjoying your holidays.

The rest of us will be looking forward to the long Anniversary Weekend coming up.

Conditions are now very dry with a lot of catchments reaching mean annual low flows.

Top right: Harling Northland-style on Lake Taharoa.

A total fire ban is also in place so be careful how you smoke that trout from now on!

We’ve heard of good success spinning on Lake Manuwai. a popular Northland destination, with visitors going home with good condition trout.

Unfortunately we’ve had reports of fish dying in the Waitangi River as the summer heats up.

A lack of dissolved oxygen and prolific weed growth puts stress on fish in the lower reaches at this time of year. I recently recorded water temperatures of up to 24.3°C.

N 2 Waitangi River Weed Growth 10.01.17Weed growth on the Waitangi River this January - the water was 24.3°C (Photo Andrew Kirk)

We recommend fishing in water below 20°C, and due to the high temperatures it may be prudent to go exploring for your fly fishing.

Start looking in back country bush-clad areas of your favourite river stretches where shade and good habitat are keeping water temperatures lower and reducing weed growth.

Some examples with good sections are the Kahikanui, Waiotu and Kaimamaku streams.

Remember to go easy on your fish and don’t over play it before landing.

If you are intending to release your catch allow more time for the fish to recover.

If the fish is overstressed it’s important you utilise it for a feed.

With the heat comes an increase in insect life. The hotter it gets the more crickets we have around or you can hear.

Try an imitation black field cricket fly to increase your chances of success.

N 3 Black Field Cricket Tetogryllus commodusTrout field cricket on Kikuyu grass (Photo Phil Bendle).

Kai Iwi Lakes

The Kai Iwi Lakes Reserve Management Plan has been approved by the Kaipara District Council and can be viewed here.

We appreciate everyone’s support during this process.

To help implement this plan, over the summer Northland Regional Council and the Kaipara District Council are seeking feedback on a draft concept map for managing the Kai Iwi Lakes area.

This includes making changes to the way power boats operate on the lakes and other land- based activities. This may have implications for some of our less mobile anglers.

Please provide feedback on the Draft Kai Iwi Lakes navigational bylaws here and the other land-based activities bylaws here. Comments are due by 24 February, 2017.

In spite of temperature increases and the rain dances not working, we’re still getting reports of well-conditioned fish being caught.

As water levels drop a bit most fish are being caught harling, trolling and using well positioned downriggers.

During this busy holiday period remember to be courteous to each other, try and fish the lakes early in the morning before things get crowded with other water users.

For information on summer freshwater fishing techniques and places to go don’t hesitate to contact your local fish and game office or check out the website.

Enjoy the sun on your back and good luck exploring this summer.

Tight lines!

Andrew Kirk

Fish & Game Field Officer

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