Reel Life November 2023

  • Eastern
  • 23/11/2023

Reel Life November 2023

Anglers have been making the most of generally warmer weather and calm spring conditions to get onto the lakes and streams of the Eastern region. 

A variety of methods have been productive on the Rotorua lakes. Good smelting activity has been evident from first light through to mid-morning and again in the evening. Grey Ghosts, Jack’s Sprats in sizes 6 and 8 and Tassie Devil lures (Brown trout #46 and Xmas tree #44) shallow trolled or harled have been most productive with fish hitting and fighting hard. 

Fish are also being caught from mid-water, trolled and on softbaits and at depth to the jig or downrigger. With surface water temperatures currently sitting well below 20 degrees Celsius trout are well spread out through the water column. With warm days forecast, we could reasonably expect to see a thermocline form by December.          

Rotoiti (pictured above) has been producing some excellent fish and high catch rates with a variety of methods. Tarawera has at times been less consistent but the young 2-year-old rainbows are looking in good condition there. 

Lake Rotorua’s stream mouths are attracting some big brown trout which can be targeted sight-fishing with fly or spin/softbait techniques over the light sand. Get out there at the change of light and after dark too as the browns get on the feed. 

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.  

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, 

Streams Opening 1 December Much Anticipated 

The upper part of local streams are set to open to fishing from 1 December. The Ngongotaha, Waiteti, and Utuhina streams remain closed until December to protect late-spawning trout. The opening is much anticipated and the early season fishing doesn’t usually disappoint. 

Upstream indicator nymphing and the use of glo bugs is normally the most popular and successful method. The streams usually contain some post-spawning, recovering rainbows and some good-condition browns. 

Waikaremoana’s Mokau and Hopruahine Streams also open on 1 December. 

The Ngongotaha above SH5, and the Mokau and Hopuruahine streams upstream of the landmark pole are fly fishing only. The Utuhina will open above Devon St, but not above (upstream of) Pukehangi Rd, which remains closed waters.

Anglers are reminded to carry their licences at all times when fishing.

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

Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game Officer.

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