Reel Life December 2022

  • Eastern
  • 12/12/2022

Reel Life December 2022

Arggh – the weather! Rain by the Olympic swimming pool load has been testing everyone’s tolerance, especially those wanting to fish the streams and rivers of the region.

A look at a few Bay of Plenty waterways this week has revealed recovering conditions and stream beds that have been scoured by persistent high flows. That said, when the sun does come out, and we get a little warmth, the insect activity is high.

The rainy conditions have held water temperatures back, and as we write this a week out from Xmas, some of the region's lakes are still sitting around the 18 Celcius surface temperature. Others peak during the middle of the day and are closing in on 20 degrees. Comparatively cool temperatures will enhance trout growth in the lakes.

The Lake Rotorua tributary streams haven't had a large influx of migrating fish yet because of the reduced temperatures. This does, however, have the effect of creating good fishing at the stream mouths, where browns and rainbows start to congregate and feed before eventually moving upstream. We often say that the trigger temperature is 19 degrees for the browns, so it won’t be long now.

The summer Rotorua stream mouth fishing that has become legendary will likely begin to hot up in the New Year. As long as we see long, calm days of heat, we’ll see big numbers of fish congregating off the Ngongotaha, Waiteti, Awahou and Hamurana mouths.

On the topic of hot days, it’s worth remembering that trout don’t do well when stressed in warm conditions so take care if you intend to practice catch and release this summer. Keep fish in the water constantly. If you have to take a photo, make sure it’s set up first, then only lift the fish from the water for a second or two. A landing net fitted with a floating rim helps with this, and it gives you a free hand to remove hooks etc. Ultimately, if the water is really hot, don’t fish unless you intend to catch and kill.

Our deeper lakes have continued to fish well since the start of the season. Fish are being found about the 20m mark, with some as deep as 35m. Deep trolling, jigging, soft baiting, and downrigging are all producing quality fish.

Boat Fishing How-To

If you are new to boat fishing for trout or are having difficulty with your success rate, why not come along to our tuition morning here at Eastern Fish & Game? The event covers some basic trout biology and looks at the methods and tackle needed to be successful.

This year it will be held on Saturday 7th of January at our property at 1130 Paradise Valley Road, Ngongotaha. The start is at 10.00 am, and it will run for about two hours. We’ll finish with a demonstration on boning and hot smoking (tasting) a trout. Bring a fold-out chair and suitable clothing for the day.

Spot prizes awarded from Kilwell. It's FREE, and there is no need to book.

Contact us here for more information:

New opening dates for lakes Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera

At a recent meeting of the Eastern Fish & Game Council, it was resolved to change the opening date of the trout fishing season for lakes Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera back to the original date of 1 October.

Back in 2020, the Council made a change to the regulations, moving the 2021 opening day from its traditional place in the calendar on the 1st ofOctober to the first Saturday in October.

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:

We are reproducing this water safety message from Mercury Energy here as a timely summer reminder:

Safety Message from Mercury

Kia ora

As we head into summer, it’s a timely reminder to share some River safety messaging in respect of the Waikato river system and Lake Taupo.

If you haven’t already got some messaging planned for your social media and/or newsletters, here are a few key messages which you may find helpful in crafting your messages.

  • Rivers change
  • Rivers are powerful
  • Rivers can be unexpected
  • There’s a big beautiful river and lakes out there. Stay away from dams and other hazards.

You may also wish to include some messages specific to the Aratiatia Rapids if appropriate for your audience:

  • Keep clear of the Aratiatoa Rapids spillway and downstream at all times.
  • Never enter, swim, or kayak in this area.
  • Stay alert for the signs, siren and safety warnings.
  • Spills may happen at any time, even when there is no siren.

Tight Lines

Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game.

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