Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 16 November 2023

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 16/11/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 16 November 2023

Pictured - Michael Bakker sent us this photo of a wonderful ringplain brown he caught and released this week (Credit: Michael Bakker).  

Mixed Bag Of Weather This Weekend  

An ex-tropical cyclone well out to the east of the North Island is dragging a moist nor-westerly airstream over the region. 

While the weekend weather doesn't look too bad for most parts of Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game, it's the rain coming through tomorrow that is creating a headache for fishing forecasts. 

At time of writing it doesn't look like enough to affect all river reaches, but having said that the smaller streams might be the best bet certainly in the lower part of the region. 

Before heading out please check the live flows by clicking the links we've provided below, and potentially scout out some still water options as a fallback. 

We're hoping the run of fine weather will return next week because if last weekend is anything to go by the fishing is really heating up across the lower North Island. 

Look no further than the amazing action on the lower Ruamahanga River (read more below) and the fine Taranaki ringplain brownie on our feature image above.              

The crazy festive season is creeping up quickly so grab your season licence before it gets too busy. 


Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River and tribs - the Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakarutahi - are in fine shape this morning. Anglers wanting to hit the Hutt should do so today because there is a heavy rain warning for the Tararua Range will certainly bring a fresh through. Being sourced in the Remutaka Range, though, the Pakarutahi and Mangaroa might escape the rain but be sure to check flows before your outing. It is supposed to be a brief pulse of weather so Sunday could be fishable.                        

The Hutt River at Gibbons Street this morning (Credit: Al Markham).


Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

With heavy rain forecast for the Tararuas tomorrow, the situation for the Kapiti Coast rivers is much the same as the Hutt catchment. The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are looking great today so get in ahead of the weather, otherwise look to the smaller streams or put your outing off until Sunday, by which time the fresh should hopefully have pushed through.              

The Otaki River at SH1 this morning (Credit: Phil Teal).



Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga and it's main tributaries - the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - are stunning again today but that won't last with the weather hitting the ranges tomorrow. If the Tararuas hold the rain off, however, the eastern feeder streams cold be worth a shot - look at the Huangarua, Kopuaranga and Tauweru which are running clear at time of writing.             

The Mangatarere River below the gorge this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).



Click here for live weather updates.  

All the Manawatu catchment rivers are running clear and fishable this morning. Seldom this season have the riverbeds in the Oroua and Pohangina been visible but today they're looking pretty good. We're still awaiting details on how these fisheries have fared after the cyclone last season so if you've scouted them out we'd love to hear how you got on. Rain in the Tararuas will make angling in the Mangatainoka and Mangahoa tough until at least Sunday - a shame because reports suggest they've fished well.                                             

The Pohangina River at Mais Reach this morning (Credit: Horizons).



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River is finally fishable in the middle reaches. It still has high flow and a hint of colour at Mangaweka but should fish very well for spin anglers under these conditions. The Hautapu River has been looking great too. Anglers are going to have to get in today or early tomorrow before the front arrives Friday. However, Wellington Fish & Game has a big fish release going into the Marton reservoir so there will be plenty of hungry trout to catch there over the weekend if you feel like wetting a line (see details below).

The Rangitikei River at Mangaweka this morning (Credit: Horizons).


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

All streams and rivers are currently at low flow, but they may not stay that way, with rain on Friday and rain or showers for much of the weekend. Conditions may still be suitable for spin and bait fishing – a worm suspended under a float in a backwater can often produce a fish when flows are elevated and discoloured where bait fishing is permitted. If the rivers are too high, the Taranaki region has some great still water fishing available - see our Tip Of The Week below. Check out the latest live flow data for Ringplain rivers before heading out.

The Waingongoro River this morning (Credit: Allen Stancliff).



Click here for live weather updates.

All rivers and streams are at low flow and in great condition for angling at time of writing. However, like the ringplain fisheries there is some rain forecast for Friday and occasional showers through the weekend. It may not be enough to produce a fresh, so rivers like the Mangawhero River and Manganuioteao may still be worth a visit if you are up that way, just check the latest flows before making a big trek.      

The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road this morning (Credit: Horizons).


'Rewild' Yourself, Your Friends and Your Family

Want to find out what our Re-wild campaign is all about?

Click the screenshot above to watch our short video and learn how you can take part, enter some awesome competitions we're running, and generally get involved.    

Lower Ruamahanga River Firing

Peter de Boer brings a feisty lower Ruamahanga River brown to the net (Credit: Andrew Harding).  

If you didn't catch it on Facebook, Andrew Harding and Pete de Boer had an epic outing on the lower Ruamahanga last weekend.

Fish were everywhere, feeding hard, and couldn't resists a tantalising Green Wooly Bugger lobbed their way. 

Andrew fishes this stretch of river every year in spring and reckons this is the best he's ever seen it - so many trout around and the average weight a very impressive 4.5lb!

Plenty of kahawai found their way to the net too.  

While the pair were casting from a boat, most of the trout were hooked in the shallows - less than a foot of water while sight fishing. 

There's plenty of public access along the river banks in these reaches so don't feel you need a boat to get amongst the action.        

Go to our cool online access maps and look at the information for the 'Ruamahanga River' and 'Lake Wairarapa Moana' to find a spot.    


Tip Of The Week - Fishing Opportunities When The Rivers Are Flooded

Lake Mangamahoe is a great fishery and scenically stunning too (Credit: Allen Stancliff).  

Desperate to go for a fish but found the rivers are all blown out with rain?

Never fear, there are great still water fisheries in the Taranaki region, some of which aren't that far Wellington region anglers to tap into either.

A visit to Lake Rotomanu on the outskirts of New Plymouth to target rainbow trout and perch will be worthwhile as there are still plenty of rainbows present following the release of 500 fish for the family event last month.

What makes this venue even more enticing is the fact there were two 4kg+ trophy fish amongst those released which have yet to be caught. 

A little further afield of New Plymouth is the scenic Lake Mangamahoe - one of Taranaki's most popular lake fisheries. 

Fly fishers can try out the casting platform at the lake to target brown and rainbow trout up to 2kg. 

Lake Ratapiko, north of Stratford, holds good numbers of both brown and rainbow trout, as well as perch.

Just 1.5 hours drive from Whanganui, Lake Rotokare is nestled in scenic surrounds of native bush that make up the 230ha predator-free Rotokare Sanctuary.

With lovely freedom camping right beside the water's edge, this is a great place for out of region anglers to bring the kids for a weekend fishing trip for perch. 

For more on still water fishing opportunities, check out the Wellington-Taranaki Angling News which should be arriving in mailboxes soon.  


Otaki Take A Kid Fishing - On This Weekend!


Tutaenui Family Fishing Day - Marton Reservoir - This Saturday!

Pack a picnic, grab your fishing rod and licence and bring the family down to the annual Tutaenui Family Fishing Day on Saturday, November 18, at the Tutaenui (Marton) Reservoir Reserve.

Around 500 rainbow trout will be released into the lower reservoir, so the chances of success are very high. And remember, the reservoir offers some of the best perch fishing in the region too!

All anglers will need to be licensed - these are free for under 12s and can be organised on the day.

To buy a fishing licence ahead of the event, please visit our website.

Staff from Wellington Fish & Game will be on site to help over the weekend so don't miss this great family friendly opportunity!

Can't make it on Saturday? Don’t worry, the public reserve is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for anybody and everybody that wants to come fishing and enjoy the reserve.


Stratford Kids Trout Fishing Day – Get In Quick To Secure A Spot 

The booking sheet is starting to fill for the 26th annual Stratford Kids’ Trout Fishing Day being held on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

Give the Stratford i-Site a call  on 0800-765-6708 to book a fishing time for your kids or grandkids.

The event involves the release of 300 rainbow trout into the scout den pool in the Patea River within King Edward Park, in the heart of Stratford.

Children will be able to fish from 8am until 1pm with help from Stratford Fishing Club members and volunteers. All fishing gear is supplied, but if you have a supply of worms they will be much appreciated.


Manawatu Family Fishing Event A Great Success

Families enjoying some quality time fishing at Hokowhitu Lagoon in Palmerston North last weekend (Credit: Matt Kavermann). 

It was great to see so many families out enjoying the sunshine and fishing at the Hokowhitu lagoon last weekend.

There are still plenty of trout left so get on down and catch some.

Remember, if you have a licence the lagoon is open for angling for 365 days of the year for fly fishing, spin fishing AND bait fishing.

Yep, that’s right, you can use worms, corn and even shrimps to catch those tricky trout!

See the team at Manawatu Hunting and Fishing for more trout fishing tips, tricks and secrets.


GWRC Weekly River Bulldozing Schedule 

Don't get an unwelcome surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing impacting your day on the river.

The weekly activity schedule can be found here.


Notice Board

  • Moawhango Flushing Flow dates for 2024 have been confirmed:

    • 12/13 Dec, 21:00-06:00
    • 23/24 Jan, 21:00-02:00
    • 13/14 Feb, 21:00-02:00
    • 12/13 Mar, 21:00-02:00
    • 30/01 Apr, 21:00-02:00


  • Deer culling operations in the Rangitikei Remote Experience Zone - The Sika Foundation will be undertaking another series of aerial deer operations in this area, including thermal assisted aerial hind focused management, for the last two weeks of November 2023. For more information, check out the foundation's latest Facebook post.  

  • Baring Head carpark and track closure - Through November contractors will start constructing firebreaks in the Wainuiomata River Valley. This may result in temporary closure to carparks and tracks impacting those using the lower river reaches. Please contact Greater Wellington Regional Council for more details.     
  • Lake Ngangana at Waitara is temporarily closed to fishing owing to an algal bloom. We'll keep you updated about conditions and when it opens again.
  • Lake Namunamu will be closed to public access from early November 2023 for logging operations. Access to the lake is likely to be restricted for at least three years, however, Earnslaw-One has promised to let us know if there are opportunities to access the lake during breaks in harvest.

 If you have any information you'd like to have considered for addition to the notice board, please get in touch with us.  

​*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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