Reel Life December 2020

  • Eastern
  • 16/12/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Reel Life December 2020

Summer is in the air

Warm, breezy conditions have hit the region (as predicted by NIWA) and this is already affecting fish behavior.

The surface temperature on local lakes has increased several degrees over the last fortnight.

Trout have an upper-temperature tolerance of just over 20 degrees which means when things get warm on the lakes they need to move into cooler, tolerable water to be comfortable or to survive.

Rotorua tributary streams fire

The Lake Rotorua stream mouths are one of the first locations to see the change when things get warm.

Early in November, we saw some browns starting to ascend the Ngongotaha stream.

Now, with surface temperatures exceeding 20 degrees, big numbers of browns are running every night including some hefty specimens.

The stream mouths of the Ngongotaha, Waiteti, Awahou and Hamurana are excellent places to target these big fish before they enter the stream.

Above Right: Stephen Flint with a well deserved Hamurana summer brown

Cruising the sandy flats in the lake they chase smelt and bullies whereas in the stream they can be taken on nymphs, but are much more selective and spook easily.

Tarawera improving

We were disappointed in the size and condition of Tarawera’s fish on opening day but are pleased to report that they have packed on some good size since then.

The lake’s fish have been through a series of ups and downs in recent years so it’s encouraging to see some improvement just as we come into the busy summer period.

Rotoiti on the other hand continues to produce the best and most consistent fish of the region. We have just received a tag return of a two and half-year-old rainbows reaching 3.1kg!

New brochure

Watch out for our new Waikato river and hydro lakes brochure due out in the new year.

Eastern’s region goes from Huka Falls in the south to Lake Maraetai at Mangakino with over 20 access points, boat ramps and camping areas in between.

This system of hydro lakes and tributary streams is highly productive yet under utilised as a fishery so will make for a great exploration trip this summer.

Boat Fishing talk, Tarawera January 2nd 2021

We are again running our popular boat fishing talk at Tarawera on January 2nd at 10.00 am.

It’s a simple how-to explanation to make you more successful fishing for trout from boats.

It’s provided free and runs for about 2 hours. See here for more information: or contact

Tight lines

Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game Officer.

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