A quick guide to fishing around Rotorua during the Covid 19 restrictions
From April 28th we will again be able to fish locally for trout around the Rotorua region. The government has asked all New Zealanders to stay local and within our bubbles to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Before you get started, pick yourself up a trout fishing licence by clicking here
Check the regulations for the area you are fishing. A regulation guide is available with your licence or online by clicking here
The latest Covid-19 information for anglers and hunters can be found by clicking here
Detailed brochures on the Eastern Fish & Game region can be found by clicking here
Here are some hot fishing spots close to Rotorua:
Lake Rotorua. Quite literally just a stone’s throw away from town. Best locations include the northwest side around Ngongotaha and the Waiteti Stream mouths and at the Hamurana Stream mouth which all fish well in summer, but can produce fish throughout the year. Lake Rotorua is a high catch rate area for rainbow and brown trout. Wading is safe and it is ideal for children to learn and suits spin and fly fishing. Hot lures; Black and Gold Toby, Grey ghost. Note, the Awahou stream mouth access is closed during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ngongotaha Stream. A top producer of good trout and only 10 minutes driver from Rotorua city. Downstream of SH5 (the Rotorua-Hamilton highway), the stream is open to fly and spin fishing. Upstream of SH5, the stream is fly fishing only. Top tip: watch out for a brown trout that frequent the stream at this time of year. Weighted nymphs and small glo bugs work well.
Utuhina Stream. Running right through Rotorua, nothing could be more ‘local’ and for many people, this trout fishing hot spot will be within walking distance of home. Note, upstream of Pukehangi Road is closed at all times to fishing. Check regulations. Top lures; Zed spinner or Veltec. Hare and Copper nymph
Lake Okareka. On the way to Tarawera why not stop off at Lake Okareka. Good access to fishing locations can be found off Millar Rd and from the boat ramp, jetty and walkway off Acacia Rd. Try fly fishing with a glo bug or boobie or spinning with a 7g Toby lure.
Blue Lake (Tikitapu). A fifteen minute drive from Rotorua on the way to Lake Tarawera, Blue Lake is a nice spot for a shore based angler. Spin or fly fish from the main beach and walk the easy access track around the lake to find deeper water. The lake contains both rainbow and brook trout. Best lures, Tassie devil in various colours, olive woolly buggers, smelt flies.
Lake Tarawera. Only 20 minutes drive from Rotorua, Lake Tarawera is a nice spot for a family visit and fish in the wonderful scenery. Spencer Road provides good access to several boat ramps and jetties where you have a real chance of hooking onto a rainbow trout! Fly fishers should try boobies and spin fishers a black and gold toby, glimmy or zed spinner. Tassies also work well here as do soft plastics. Note, some parts of Lake Tarawera are fly fishing only. Check the regulation guide which comes with your licence or call Eastern Fish & Game for information. Head north and turn onto Tarawera Rd at Ngapuna.
Lake Rotoiti. About 25 minutes drive from Rotorua by heading toward Whakatane on SH30. Lake Rotoiti offers some excellent trout fishing action and easy access. The best places are from Ruato Bay, off SH30, to Hinehopu where easy shoreline access can be obtained. Note, some parts of Lake Rotoiti are fly fishing only. Check the regulation guide which comes with your licence or call Eastern Fish & Game for information. Through autumn and winter try spinning with any darker coloured tassie lures or fly fishing with boobies in white or pink colour. Rotoiti produces some of the biggest fish of the region so be ready for a good fight!
Lake Okataina. About 35 minutes from Rotorua, Okataina is a nice peaceful spot for a family outing, picnic lunch on the beach and trout fish from the shore, what could be better? The main beach is the only easily accessible spot on foot, but it’s also the best spot on the lake! Spin from the shore with a Veltec or try a smelt fly under a bubble float. Fly fishers should try an orange rabbit, red setter, grey ghost or boobie. The Okataina Rd is directly opposite Ruato Bay at Rotoiti, off SH30.
Lake Rotoma. The shoreline along SH30 is easily accessible and provides good fishing for both rainbow and tiger trout. Relatively deep water can be located all along this easy-access shoreline and the area is ideal for fishing. Lake Rotoma is situated about 35 minutes from Rotorua. Head north on SH30 and take the Whakatane road. Try a copper glimmy, zed spinner or Tassie devil in red or orange. Fly fishing the shoreline between Anaputa Point and to the landmark pole Matahi Bay is good fishing during the winter period but closes to all fishing after June 30th so check your regulations or call Fish & Game if unsure.
Lake Okaro. This lovely little lake near Rainbow Mountain is a super spot for a walk and fish. The shoreline is very easy to access from a well formed track that runs around the lake. Fat little rainbows here will put up a great fight on light tackle. Try a woolly bugger or soft plastic lure from the shore. Lake Okaro is 25 minutes from Rotorua. Heading south, turn onto SH38 then turn left onto Okaro Rd. Note, duck hunting can take place at Okaro during the open season.
Lake Rerewhakaaitu. This lake is situated 35 minutes from Rotorua. Heading south, turn onto SH38, then left onto Rerewhakaaitu Rd The lake’s meandering shoreline and scenic beauty make it a top spot for a family fishing trip. Hard fighting rainbow trout are a feature of Rerewhakaaitu and both fly and spin methods work well. Small smelt flies or silver coloured spinners are a good choice. Brett Rd and Ash pit Rd both have reserves on them and provide good access. Note, duck hunting can take place at Rerewhakaaitu during the open season.
Lake Ngapouri. Heading south on SH5 from Rotorua then turning right onto Waikite Valley Rd, Lake Ngapouri is just 30 minutes from Rotorua. Access to the shoreline is at the boat ramp only. The lake has lots of smaller, feisty rainbows which will take spinners and small flies readily. Note, duck hunting can take place at Ngapouri during the open season.