Eastern Reel Life December 2018

Browns in 'top shape' gathering at Lake Rotorua stream mouths

Changeable conditions over the last month, including some heavy rains and cooler periods, have slowed the lakes’ natural summer warming.

Right: Anglers enjoying some fine sunny weather on Lake Tarawera.

Surface temperatures hit 20C late in November but have generally been cooler.

However deeper water temperatures are on a par with last season, so we should see the formation of a thermocline over the next month.

Currently trout are well spread through the water column and are being seen actively smelting on the surface early in the morning and late afternoon or evening.

Some large pods of smelt can be seen at various depths on most of the Rotorua lakes and trout are actively feeding upon them.

Anglers harling smelt patterns early and late in the day, and fishing with deeper methods in between should be successful.

Waikaremoana shoreline angling has been productive recently. The lake level is low but brown trout are cruising in pursuit of food items.

Rainbows, from deeper water are also being caught but aren’t in great condition currently.

Lake Rotorua’s stream mouths are attracting the annual run of brown trout including some impressively-conditioned fish in excess of 3kg.

The Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams mouths, which are open to both fly and spin methods, are a great place to chase one of these lunkers.          

Boat fishing ‘how to’

Improve your boat fishing for trout with our FREE tuition talk at Lake Tarawera’s Stoney Point reserve on Sunday January 6th 2019 at 10am.

This is a no-nonsense, non-technical talk and demo to help boating anglers better understand some of the keys to trout fishing success.

Eating trout ready to eat Trout

Ready to eat!

The event is free, takes about two hours. You don’t need to book and we’ll even show you how to bone and hot smoke your catch!

Plus we will be giving away a Kilwell jigging rod and reel set to one lucky participant – just be there to win!

Click here for details or contact M Sherburn msherburn@fishandgame.org.nz 021 244 1774

Eastern news tippets:

  • Do you keep a diary of your angling trips? We’d love to hear how you’re getting on. Click Here to enter your Eastern Fish & Game fishing diary info and you could win a $100 voucher to spend at the Kilwell web site.
  • A reminder on soft baits. Scented soft baits, including any that include “attractant,” are not permitted except waters where ‘bait fishing is allowed’. So, on the Rotorua lakes only unscented soft baits are allowed.  
  • In December the Ngongotaha hatchery released “jumbo” fish from one of its  display ponds to Lake Rotorua to allow routine cleaning and maintenance. Many of the 200 brown and rainbow trout released were in excess of 5kg, and some more than 10kg!
    Fish Game officer Mark Sherburn frees a display pond trout in Lake Rotorua3.

    Mark Sherburn with one of the hefty fish from the display pond.

Respect the river – know the risks

With holidays ahead, it’s well worth a look at Mercury Energy’s timely reminder on water safety:

With summer here, we’re thinking about long days boating, fishing, or cooling off in New Zealand’s beautiful rivers and lakes.

It’s also time to remind ourselves and our friends and family of some of the simple rules to keep us river-safe. Sadly, more people drown in rivers than in any other aquatic environment in New Zealand. Too many lives have been lost.

Rivers are changeable and contain hidden dangers

  • Don’t take anything for granted. The bank, riverbed and water flow might have changed, and there could be hidden dangers such as submerged objects.
  • Keep away from dams and other structures – apart from the agreed sign-posted fishing spots. It is illegal to operate boats or swim within 200m of any hydro structure. There are strong currents and suction effects. Water levels and flows can change significantly throughout the day and massive flows may be released at any time.
  •  New Zealand’s rivers are powerful, and swimmers often overestimate their abilities. Even if the river looks slow moving and calm, the pressure of moving water is constant and can be powerful.

 Never enter a river alone. If in doubt stay out. Tell someone when you are going and when you expect to return.

 Happy fishing and stay safe!

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