Reel Life October 2021

  • Eastern
  • 30/08/2021

Reel Life October 2021

With the new trout fishing season just around the corner, anglers all around the country are busy preparing for a big day out.

Boats and all manner of fishing tackle are being readied for what many trout anglers considerer the ‘Christmas Day’ of fishing!

The Rotorua lakes are a hot destination, especially Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera, where traditionally hundreds of people descend to spend time with friends and family and pursue trout.

Above Right: Joshua Spalding with a 4.2kg Lake Rotoiti rainbow.

This season comes with a change in the start date for Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera.

The Eastern Fish & Game Council has opted to commence the season on the first Saturday in October - Saturday, October 2nd.

The council hopes this will enable people to fish the opening who wouldn’t usually get that opportunity when the opening falls during the week and create a carnival atmosphere of the day.

Other waters will open as usual on the 1st of October, so anglers are recommended to check their regulation guides.

“On the lakes, shallow trolling with a ‘Tassie’ and a smelt fly is often a successful way of beginning the day”, suggests Fish & Game’s Mark Sherburn.

“If it’s sunny and there’s lots of boat traffic, expect the fish to move a little deeper in the morning but initially begin in the shallows with mono or spin fishing gear and over the sandy areas where smelt can be found.

Marcus Riefler Opato

Marcus Riefler on the Opato River.

A calm dawn can be an advantage because you can see the fish ‘smelting’ at the surface.”

Later in the day, adopt a deep fishing method such as lead line, wireline or a downrigger.

It’s hard to beat orange as a lure colour early in the season or something with a touch of red, and don’t forget to try the ‘old faithful’ black and gold toby!

Jigging too can work well early in the season with three flies- something darker on the bottom with two smelt flies above it is ideal.

Successful anglers are often those that try a few different methods and locations, maintains Mr Sherburn.

“Don’t spend a long time doing the same thing if you aren’t successful; try another location, method or even simply another lure.

Change things around until you find what’s working at any time, and that applies to fishing right through the season.”

Eastern rivers and streams have been rested nicely, and spawning is mostly over.

Winter conditions have been mild, and we haven’t had a lot of habitat damaging floods again this year, so expect fish populations to be excellent.

Nymphs and wee wets should be productive for a few months until terrestrial activity enables us all to get the dry flies out.

Fish & Game remind anglers that it’s worth investing time in some pre-trip maintenance.

Checking the boat and trailer is all ship-shape, life jackets are ready, perhaps a Personal Locator Beacon if you are going backcountry (they are becoming more affordable).

Don’t forget to pick up your new season fishing licences, which can be purchased online or from a local retailer.

Anglers and other lake users also need to think about the Check, Clean and Dry message as we roll into summer.

Ensuring we keep waterways pest-free is critical to our continued enjoyment of the resource, and everyone needs to do their part.

Opening dates set to change for lakes Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera

The traditional opening dates for lakes Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera are set to change for the new season.

While the new fishing season will commence on the 1st of October as always, lakes Rotoiti, Okataina and Tarawera won’t be open until the Saturday following, which this year will be Saturday the 2nd.

This regulation excludes the winter shoreline areas which remain open all year.

The Eastern Fish & Game Council has introduced the change so that anglers who normally work weekdays will be able to enjoy the opening more often, and by having it on the weekend hope that it will create more of a carnival atmosphere for all.

The rest of the Rotorua lakes will open on the 1st (Friday) as normal, as will many rivers and streams throughout the country.

Anglers are reminded to check their new season regulation guides provided with their licence or available online from the Fish & Game web page.

Datawatch 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.

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