Reel Life October 2023

  • Eastern
  • 19/10/2023

Reel Life October 2023

Season of to a Cracking Start! 

Sunday, October 1st saw thousands of anglers hitting the water and celebrating the opening of the season. Most conditions were reasonable, with moderate winds and light showers. Some Eastern region rivers were discolored but many remained fishable. 

The Rotorua lakes saw some excellent fishing and lots of happy anglers. We surveyed 520 anglers for the day and weighed and measured 409 fish. Breezy conditions later in the day forced anglers into sheltered areas, rather than the areas they perhaps wanted to fish. 

Lake Tarwera’s 2-year-old fish were slightly longer than last season. Autumn released rainbows were heavier by just 4g, and spring release fish were 19g lighter – so not a lot of change to the fish were measured on opening in 2022. The heaviest fish for the day was a 2.8kg, 640mm, 4 year old rainbow caught shallow trolling. 

Lake Rotoiti fish averaged about the same length as opening day last year. Spring liberated fish were heavier (140g), and autumn releases 37g lighter. The best fish was a 3.1kg, 655mm, 4 year old rainbow caught trolling with a downrigger. 

Fishing on both lakes has been good since opening with fish being taken with most methods. There is good sign of smelting activity especially early in the day and later afternoons and fish are being successfully taken shallow trolling with smelt flies. 

The Ohau Channel was tough on opening morning mostly due to the high winds but some nice fish were taken. Tauranga’s James Fuller bagged the best fish of the day with a stunning 4.1kg brown. The section in front of the channel continues to fish well with good browns and rainbows being taken. 

We have received promising reports from Eastern streams including the Ruakituri, Waioeka and other streams, especially as rain in the build-up to opening threatened to hamper fishing. Anglers report reasonable fish numbers and generally good condition factors, with a few fish still recovering from late spawning. Many streams were carrying colour for opening, and likely will for some time into summer but fish have been taken on nymphs and an evening rise has occurred on several sections. 

Okataina Closed by Biosecurity NZ 

Biosecurity New Zealand has closed access to Lake Okataina, issuing a Controlled Area Notice (CAN) and closing access to all users for one month effective 1 October 2023 due to the risk from Freshwater Gold Clam, currently located in Lake Karapiro. Wash stations are currently being installed at key locations. 

We ask that anglers continue to be vigilant with their Check, Clean and Dry processes to ensure the spread of all freshwater pest don’t occur.   

Further information from Fish & Game New Zealand can be located here, and we will endeavor to keep anglers updated as events unfold. Also see here for information from MPI on the Freshwater Gold Clam.

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

More Posts