Reel Life September 2020

The new season is now just around the corner and anticipation for opening day in the Eastern Region is building.

Lakes Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoiti are centre stage in the Eastern Fish & Game region with hundreds of boaties planning to hit the lakes bright and early on Thursday 1st of October 2020.

Opening day on the Rotorua lakes is certainly different! It is as much a celebration of trout fishing as it is a serious fishing venture. 

RIght: Henry James is happy with his Tarawera rainbow caught on a downrigger earlier this year. Photo Peter Vossen.

 Anglers use the opening to catch up with old friends or colleagues and make the most of quality family-together time.

The fishing can be very productive too if you work at it – the fish have been rested since the closing on June 30th so tend to be a little more naïve than usual!

We usually recommend shallow trolling to begin at first light then move gradually out to deeper water and deeper fishing methods as the sun gets up.

Typical spring weather often dominates the day so trolling, as opposed to jigging, is often a good choice of its windy.

The fish will be spread throughout the depths from the surface at dawn and looking to feed on smelt, right down to 30m or more later in the day.

Downrigging or jigging will be the best choice if the fish are deep, but keep your options open and try a few different methods to see which works best on the day.

Eastern RL Sept 2020 II

Opening day can be about making family times happen! Shane Montgomery and granddaughter MacKenzie on a quiet Rotorua Stream.

It can be worthwhile packing a spinning rod equipped with something like a black toby or soft plastic – you never know when the opportunity to have a cast at a fish will happen, even while boating.

Our handy 12 page ‘Boat Fishing for Trout’ brochure can be downloaded here. It is full of handy tips on rigging your tackle, lure selection and methods for boaties.

The regions lakes, how to get there and what to use are also covered in this downloadable guide.

Print copies of both, plus a number of other handy guides, are also available from your licence agent or the Eastern Fish & Game office. 

Our backcountry waters too deserve a mention here, rivers and streams throughout the region have been rested nicely and spawning is mostly over.

Winter has been reasonably mild but critically we haven’t had damaging floods for the second winter in a row so expect fish populations to be boosted.

Nymphs and wet flies should be productive for a few months until terrestrial activity encourages dry fly action.  

Special note re Hopuruahine and Mokau Stream regulations

A small regulation change comes into effect at the start of the season regarding the Hopuruahine and Mokau Streams at Waikaremoana.

Fishing downstream of the landmark poles (yellow, black and white pole about 2m high) will now be open to fly and spin fishing all year.

Upstream of the poles remains fly fishing only and the season remains 1 December to 30 June.

Special issue 51 of our Fish & Game Magazine featured a misprint and stated the season upstream of the landmark poles begins 1 October – this is incorrect!

The season upstream of the landmark poles commences 1 December.  

Check, Clean, Drain and Dry this Opening!

It’s really important that we all look after our fishing resource – so this opening, please, take care with pest weeds and potentially pest fish species.

All you have to do is follow the mantra; Check, Clean Drain and Dry to prevent the spread of invasive weed and fish species around our lakes and rivers.   

Datawatch tagged trout can now be entered online.

Entries go into the draw to win one of 20 free whole season fishing licences.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QCH5ZR6

Eastern Region Fishing Diaries – All lakes and streams

Fill in your fishing diaries here to help us manage the Eastern Fish & Game region. Participants go in the draw to win a $100 voucher from Kilwell:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QRSD7D3

Tight lines

Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game