Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 30 November 2023

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 30/11/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 30 November 2023

Pictured - A nice Lake Mangamahoe brown trout from Taranaki (Credit: Michael Bakker).   

Saturday's The Day! 

Great news! The weather is going to hold for most of the weekend, for most parts of the Wellington and Taranaki regions.

There is some rain forecast to develop on Sunday, so if you can't sneak out tomorrow it’s looking like Saturday will be the best day to get out for a fish with light winds and, worst case, only occasional drizzle. 

The fishing has been superb for the start of the season with stunningly trout being caught throughout the lower North Island. 

Anglers are putting this down to the frequent small freshes which are keeping the fish actively feeding and food moving through.

If you haven't hit the water yet, do take the opportunity to get out this weekend - you won't be disappointed and at the very least it's a great way to decompress at what can be a stressful time in the lead up to the end of the year.

The kids are often getting scratchy at this time of year too, so if you're looking for something different to entertain them there are a number of free fishing events on this weekend (detail below).     


Grab your season licence, enjoy the action or just unwind on the water.  

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River and tributaries - the Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakarutahi - are coming off a fresh from yesterday's southerly but they are dropping very fast and are already fishable at time of writing. The colour in the mainstem this morning will have dropped out by tomorrow setting up perfect conditions for Friday and Saturday before another short spell of rain arrives Sunday.                         

The Hutt River at Totara Park this morning (Credit: Al Markham).

Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki received a couple of back-to-back freshes midweek and are running above normal spring flows this morning. The extra flow will drop out quickly though, with nice weather forecast for Friday and Saturday before more rain develops later on Sunday. Get in early and make the most of conditions while they're good.                     

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



Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga and main tributaries - the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - are dropping quickly after yesterday's rain in the Tararua Range. The Ruamahanga has a touch of colour at time of writing this morning but would be perfect for spin fishing and fly anglers would find fish feeding on the edge. Those who have been waiting for the lower Ruamahanga to clear may find conditions right on Saturday - remember this section of the river is firing and well worth hitting before the water warms too much.             

The Ruamahanga River at Gladstone this morning (Credit: Ben Ellison).



Click here for live weather updates.  

The Mangatainoka River is falling quickly from yesterday's fresh and could be well worth a scout on Saturday after it's had another 24 hours to drop the extra flow. The more stable Mangahao is almost at fishable flow now, and should be fishing by tomorrow. The ManawatuOroua and Pohangina are carrying a heavy load of sediment this morning and even the upper section of the main river looks like it will take several days to clear. Still plenty of trout in Hokowhitu Lagoon for a quick-fire fish though.                                              

The Manawatu River at Weber Road this morning (Credit: Horizons).



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River is looking pretty good most of the way through this morning. There's a hint of colour at Mangaweka and Vinegar Hill but it would still be conducive to spin fishing in these middle reaches. Above the Whakaurekou, where the sediment is coming from, it's a fly fishing delight and will be in great shape until later on Sunday when a short pulse of heavy rain pushes through. 

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


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

All waters are currently at low flow and in the smaller streams it’s a good time to target sighted fish on their feeding lies before the rain moves in on Sunday. In the larger rivers spinning and softbaits will also take fish in the pools and deeper runs until the fresh comes through. With 300 good-sized rainbows released into the Patea River’s Scout Den Pool in Stratford for Saturday’s kids fishing event, the river running through King Edward Park and along the Carrington Walkway will be well worth a visit. The latest live flow data for Ringplain rivers be found here.

The Waiwhakaiho River upstream of the Lake Mangamahoe intake (Credit: Allen Stancliff).



Click here for live weather updates.

Waimarino streams and rivers are also at low flow so, with light winds forecast, Saturday will be a good day to spend some time fishing before the front delivers a pulse of rain on Sunday. The Mangawhero is running a little higher this morning but is still fishable for fly anglers - this will only improve today and tomorrow until the weather turns towards the end of the weekend.  

The Mangawhero River at Ohakune this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).


Tip of The Week - Plenty of Perch for the Plate

Perch are a plentiful and often undervalued resource which make a great table fish. 

Often called freshwater snapper because of their superb eating quality, the species can be found throughout New Zealand.

These fish are aggressive feeders and will readily take all manner of baits, lures or spinners.

They also have a habit of schooling so if you get on to one you'll likely catch plenty. 

This makes them a great species to target with new anglers or kids because there's usually plenty of action and a high chance of success. 

Wellington and Taranaki have numerous places where perch can be targeted, many of which are close to the main town centres. These include:

- Lake Wairarapa and the lower Ruamahanga River
- Hokowhitu Lagoon, Palmerston North
- Marton Reservoir, Bulls
- Lake Rotomanu, New Plymouth
- Lake Ratapiko, north of Stratford
- Lake Rotokare, near Eltham

Click the screenshot above to watch Fish & Game's short video on tips and techniques for catching perch. 

Although filmed on the West Coast, it is relevant to perch fishing anywhere in the country.

Enjoy - we hope it helps you put some delicious perch on the table for the family this summer!  



Capital Trout Centre - Fish-Out Day on Sunday

The Wellington Flyfishers Club is holding their 'Take a Kid Fishing' event this Sunday, December 3, for children aged 2 to 11 years.  

It is on at the Capital Trout Centre, Landfill Road, Owhiro Bay, Wellington.

All gear and instruction is provided, just turn up with your fishing licence (see below for details).

You must have a Capital Trout Center licence/registration form. Get this from:

  • Capital Fishing, 49 Ghuznee Street (off Cuba Mall).
  • Hutt Valley Hunting & Fishing, 8 Te Puni Street, Petone.

The Centre is operated by volunteers from the Wellington Flyfishers Club and is funded by your donations which are appreciated. 

For further information, contact Strato Cotsilinis (04) 386-3740.


Stratford Kids Trout Fishing Day – This Weekend!

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

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.


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 River 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
  • The algal bloom at Lake Ngangana, near Waitara, has now subsided and open to fishing for trout and perch.
  • 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.


More Posts