Auckland/Waikato Reel Life December 2018

Best way to catch trout over the holidays?

This question normally provokes an “it depends” response from experienced anglers.

The first rule during the holiday period is to avoid warm water or fish the white water.

When our rivers heat up, fish will move to oxygenated water or move to cooler streams altogether so the best way to avoid frustration is to carry a thermometer.

Once you have a location in mind choosing the method depends heavily on the type of water.

When it comes to clear streams a skilled fly angler can be deadly on trout even compared to a soft bait angler.

The ability to match what the fish are feeding on and present it in a natural drift gives fly anglers the advantage in clear water hands down.

But when it comes to our larger streams it is hard to outperform softbaits in large slow pools where it’s difficult to present a fly. 

The Waikato hydro lakes are another excellent spot to catch trout over the holidays, and thanks to the diligent work of the Te Awamutu Fish & Game Club during the past 16 years, we can tell you exactly how to catch trout in Lake Arapuni.

The club holds an annual fishing contest and has records on catch rates dating back to 2002. 

You can catch fish using just about any legal method you can think of in Lake Arapuni including: bait, fly, jigging, spin fishing or trolling from a boat.

The two standouts in terms of catch rates are shallow trolling (Tasmanian devil or Kilwell toby) and spin fishing (soft baits).  Both methods are extremely effective but if you’re lucky enough to have a boat try both.

Lakes water quality hits new low

 Lake Ngaroto just north of Te Awamutu was once a popular sailing, duck shooting and fishing lake for the local community. 

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Lake Ngaroto - Photo NZ Landcare Trust

Unfortunately, water quality in the lake has been declining and the District Health Board has issued a cyanobacterial health warning. 

Like Lake Waikare, the water is so toxic that it’s recommended that lake users shower and change their clothing as soon as possible after contacting the water. 

Lake Ngaroto has a dairy-dominated catchment that will be covered by Waikato Regional Council’s Plan Change 1 that aims to improve water quality by limiting pollution from land use. 

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