East coast rivers ‘fire up’ as trout launch into spawning runs
Anglers on the east coast of the North Island are reporting some great fishing as trout settle into their spawning runs.
The Ruakituri is one river that’s been “on fire” over the last couple of months, according to Fish & Game’s Eastern Region.
Eastern Fish & Game Council Chairman Murray Ferris says the feedback he’s received indicates the fish are in top condition and in very good numbers.
The Waioeka River in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has also performed with anglers commenting on both the quantity and quality of the fish.
“They’re saying it’s the best they’ve seen in a long time – for 20 years, according to one or two ‘professional’ fishers, Mr Ferris says.
One fishing guide has reported that he caught a 10 pound rainbow in the Waioeka and had heard of a 13 pound brown being caught in the upper reaches.
Mr Ferris says that Hangaroa River is probably the “dark horse ”of local rivers, he considered to be quite under-rated. Two anglers who recently visited it for the first time in some years were “stunned” by the fishing they’d encountered.
Meanwhile, Fish & Game officers have just returned from Lake Waikaremoana where they surveyed anglers and inspected local tributaries and stream mouths.
Despite a very low lake level, good rains in the catchment have enticed good numbers of fish into these streams, says Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne.
In surveying anglers over a six week period, we noted some excellent fishing off the stream mouths with nicely conditioned moderate-sized rainbows up to 1.6kgs in size, and browns up to 3.5kg.
“Stream-based anglers have also enjoyed the benefits of the early runs into the tributaries.”
It’s the early birds who’ve been most rewarded, Mr Ferris says.
“Get out of bed early or go out in the evening and you will be rewarded. It never ceases to surprise me why people think they can sleep in and head out mid-day and expect to be productive anglers.
“Some may be lucky and score a fish or two but generally Waikaremoana is cruel to those who don’t watch the fish as they react to the changing seasons. ”
East coast rivers which close at the end of June include the Ruakituri River (above the Te Reinga falls), Waioeka River, Opato Stream, Motu River, Hangaroa River and the Hopuruahine River and Mokau stream at Waikaremoana.
Pictured top right: Mike Bodie with a solid rainbow caught in the Waioeka River.