How to catch trout with simple kid friendly setups

One of the most effective ways to catch trout or rudd in Auckland/Waikato lakes is to suspend a couple kernels of corn half a metre under a small float.  A 7 ft rod with a spin real wit 3kg mono line is ideal for most trout fishing. Sweet corn straight from the can is a great bait for both trout and rudd. A couple tablespoons of whole kernels can keep kids happily fishing for an afternoon on the Waikato River or Auckland lakes.  Corn is not permitted for use when fishing for sports fish in most New Zealand waters but the recent rule change in the Auckland/Waikato Region has legalised this bait in local waters.

Dough baits are another great option for float or bottom fishing and a jar of Power Bait will last longer than most kid’s fishing rods.  It is also easy to make your own dough baits by mixing scents like garlic in flour, cornflour, and water. Making baits is a great way to get kids excited about fishing and there are some good tutorials for bait making on YouTube.  

Lake Rototoa (Ototoa) 

Located on the South Kaipara Heads, this lake provides excellent perch fishing in very clear water. Unfortunately, the illegal introduction of perch has devastated dwarf Inanga and trout populations that had previously been introduced by Fish & Game. The trout stocking program has been suspended to allow Auckland Council to explore perch removal research.  Access is off Donohue Road which can be reached via South Head Road. 

Lake Whatihua 

A small lake situated beside Kariotahi Road about 1.5km back from Kariotahi Beach. Fishable around the shore with a paper road access to the lake and a marked trail from the gate to the west end of the lake.  Dune lakes in the region are best fish from the fall to spring as summer heat reduces catch rates.  

Parkinson’s Lake 

A very small lake but holds some good sized rainbows. Situated off Whiriwhiri Road. Easily wadeable but weed can be a problem. Both Parkinson’s and Whatihua are stocked annually in May.  

Mangatangi Reservoir 

This large water reservoir holds wild rainbow trout. At present access for anglers is restricted to the dam wall. Angling methods are restricted to artificial lures. 

Lake Pupuke 

In the heart of North Shore City, Quarry Lake on Northcote Road is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and occasionally with brown trout. Lake Pupuke has ample perch and can be fished from Sylvan Park and the end of Northcote Road. 

Wairoa River 

The closest river to Auckland City - offering 15km of fishing water over wadeable shingle bed. Access is off McNicol Road via the Clevedon-Kawakawa Road.