Reel Life December 2023

  • Eastern
  • 21/12/2023

Reel Life December 2023

Rotorua Lakes Ready to Fire Over Summer!

All is set, it seems for excellent fishing over the Christmas and New Year period on the Rotorua Lakes 

Water temperatures are a full degree cooler than this time last year, and this is affecting the location of trout presently, but with hot weather on the horizon, we are sure to see some great fishing. Surface temperatures are sitting about 18 degrees at the time of writing which isn’t forcing trout into the thermocline or to the stream mouths just yet. 

Trout on the deeper lakes are nicely spread throughout the water column and are being taken shallow trolling, especially early in the morning, jigging and downrigging in a range of depths but especially between 15m and 22m, and soft baiting by working lures vertically through a range of depths. 

Traditional smelt flies in sizes 6, 8 and 10 have been working well as have darker patterns such as Ginger Mick and Parsons’ Glory. Tassie Devil trolling lures in a variety of colours including the #04 Clown and #46 Brown trout are also taking fish. 

We often consider the trigger temperature for brown trout running into the Rotorua tributary streams to be 19 degrees so that can’t be too far off now. There are a few big browns cruising the sandy flats now but rising temperatures will improve the sight fishing later in December and January and push a few fish into the streams themselves. 

The Ngongotaha and Waiteti have fished well since their opening at the beginning of December with a mix of recovering rainbows and some fresh and well-conditioned fish present. Small nymphs including pheasant tails and hare and coppers have been taking fish throughout the day and caddis dries in the evenings. Again, the browns are yet to enter the river systems in any numbers. 

With insect activity on the increase, we are still receiving promising reports from Bay of Plenty rivers and streams.      

Boat Fishing How-To

We are again putting on a boat fishing how-to, talk and demonstration, from our premises at 1130 Paradise Valley Road (the trout hatchery) on Saturday, January 6th starting at 10.00 am and running for about two and a half hours.

The event will provide information on how to be more successful trout fishing from boats, cover some basic trout biology, various methods of fishing, lots of tips and tricks and finish with a demonstration on how to fully de-bone a trout and hot smoke it. It’s all basic, non-technical stuff – so if you want to be more successful fishing for trout from your boat then come along. 

No bookings are required, it’s all free, plus we’ll be giving away a few spot prizes! For more information contact Mark, 

Keep them wet!

A reminder if you intend to catch and release this summer keep fish wet one hundred percent of the time to maximise their survival. The use of a quality landing net is an important tool. If you want a photo, make ready with the camera first before lifting the fish from the water, and only have it out of the water for a few seconds at the most. As water temperatures increase trout are prone to increased stress. 

Lake Okataina

Lake Okataina is now partially open to boating access. An MPI (Controlled Area Notice, CAN) is in place, but the lake can be accessed between Friday and Sunday, between the hours of 6.30 am and 7.00 pm. All boats wanting to use the lake need to comply with MPI’s wash-down rules. Anglers are encouraged to check out full details of the requirements here

Datawatch tagged Trout

Tagged trout can now be entered online. Entries go into the draw to win one of 20 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

The Team at Eastern Fish & Game

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