Reel Life April 2024 - Eastern

  • Eastern
  • 26/04/2024

Reel Life April 2024 - Eastern

All Change!

A cold snap back in March and a couple of unseasonal frosts seem to have kicked off winter conditions here in the Eastern Region. The trout have responded accordingly, and as mentioned in the last issue of Reel Life, spawning is well underway.

Shoreline fishing. This is the time of year to get into the shoreline (shore-based) fishing at the Rotorua lakes. Spawning rainbows are returning to their liberation points and any small stream mouths as they mature. The fish are in prime condition, hard fighting and ideal for the table.

If you’ve never fished the winter shoreline before, here are some key tips for success:

  • Pick your time. Early morning or late after dark are best. That half-hour either side of the change of light, morning and evening, is also very productive
  • Pick your weather. Spawning fish are stimulated by rain, a falling barometer, turbid (discoloured) water and cold. Rain after a clear spell is very productive.
  • Floating or intermediate lines work well for most locations. Fast sink lines or fast wet-tips if you are fishing a Booby fly or Heave’n leave glo bug.
  • Traditional night flies, such as Craig’s Night time are popular, but after dark try charging up a Lumo Doll-type fly with your headlamp – turn away from the water when you turn on your headlamp.
  • Wading usually isn’t necessary, and it’s often better if you don’t as this will encourage the fish in much closer.
  • Slow jerky strips of a wet fly or Booby, with a few seconds of pause in between are good, but change it up if the fish aren’t responding.

Here are some suggested locations for winter shoreline fishing around the Rotorua area:

At Tarawera; The Landing area including the Te Wairoa stream mouth (open until the end of June), Stoney and Rangiuru Points off Spencer Road, the Waitangi Stream Mouth and the small stream mouths at Otumutu Lagoon

At Rotoiti; From SH30, Ruato Bay, The whole Hinehopu shoreline (Eastern end of the lake), especially the stream mouths and The Pipe off Tamatea Street.

Okataina; all along the main beach area.

While the areas listed above are popular, if you want quieter locations check out key shorelines along all of the other Rotorua lakes for good fishing from April through to August.   

The browns are running! Good runs of large brown trout are underway at all of the Lake Rotorua tributaries streams and that provides opportunity both in the streams and at the stream mouths at night. Lake Rotorua rainbows are ever-present, but peak runs are yet to occur.

Be Aware – Duck Hunting Season! Duck hunting season kicks off on Saturday, May 4th. Many of the Rotorua and Waikato lakes are hunted. The opening weekend will be the most busy, but some hunting continues until the end of June.

Woman’s Introduction to Fly Fishing Course – May 2024

Tauranga Anglers, in association with ‘Women on the Fly’, and aided by Eastern Fish & Game will be hosting a tuition weekend for women interested in taking up, or learning more about fly fishing.

This two-day event will cover everything you need to know about tackle, casting, wader safety, caring for your catch etc and you’ll likely meet up with some like-minded women. Both classroom and on water sessions are included.

Contact Jill Sweeney for more information. Limited spaces will fill fast so don’t delay.

New Zealand Fishing, Hunting and 4X4 Expo

It’s on again! The highly successful NZ Fishing, Hunting and 4x4 Expo will run again in Rotorua on 23-25 August 2024. This year it’s going to be bigger and better. Follow their social media to keep in touch:

Datawatch tagged Trout

Tagged trout can now be entered online. Entries go into the draw to win one of 10 free whole-season fishing licences:

Eastern Region Fishing Diaries – All lakes and streams

Fill in your fishing diaries here to help us manage the Eastern Fish & Game region. Participants go in the draw to win a $100 voucher from Kilwell:

Tight Lines

Mark Sherburn

Easter Fish & Game


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