Eastern Reel Life April 2018
Go chase 'em - trout are in ‘top shape’
As mentioned last month, pre-spawning trout are in prime condition at this time of year.
Lake Tarawera fish have really come on over the last few weeks and both the catch rate and condition factor has been excellent since Easter weekend.
Anglers have also commented on the fine flesh quality of the fish currently, not just the Rotorua lakes but Waikaremoana too.
Rotoiti on the other hand continues to produce bigger fish but the fishing has been hard for whatever reason – sometimes there can be so much food available your offerings hardly get a look-in!
We did receive a nice pic of an 11lb Rotoiti fish taken jigging a couple of weeks back – we'll feature in a cominng newsletter.
The deeper lakes have all but lost their thermoclines with consistent and comfortable trout temperatures now from surface to 25 metres-plus.
Fish can be caught successfully on the surface with smelting gear and at depth either jigging or using a downrigger.
Also try shallow trolling smelt flies or spinning or fly fishing from a drifting boat at this time of year.
Spawning runs begin
Spawning fish too are on the move motivated by recent rain and anglers are catching fish at stream mouths and release points throughout the region.
You can find our hatchery liberation schedule and release locations here.
The best times are always morning and evening and wet weather is much better than a calm sunny day!
Expect the fish and fishing to continue to be good through May, keeping an eye on the forecast for favorable conditions – and remember ‘favorable’ conditions for catching trout aren’t always nice weather.
- We’ve begun autumn fish releases of yearling (17cm) rainbows. So far a total of 11,500 have been released into Okataina, Tarawera and Rotoiti – mostly the latter.
- The duck season opens on the weekend of May 5 and 6. Anglers should expect hunters to be present on some waterways. The hunting season goes for several weeks but Opening Weekend is the busiest time by far.
- Lakes Okataina, Tarawera and Rotoiti close to all boat fishing from June 30 – it’s time to fit in a trip!
- A health warning has been lifted for lakes Ohakuri and Maraeai for blue-green algae.
- We’d love to receive photos of your Eastern region catch – please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fishing tip for May
Orange and red are the colours of the month!
Debates about fly and lure selection have raged as long as fishing itself – and they’ll likely continue for ever more!
One thing’s for sure, and that’s that spawning fish are responsive to colour, especially orange and red tones.
It’s unclear why this is but theory has it that it’s related to the colour of ova (roe) which is usually bright orange and a favorite food of spawning trout.
Another thought is that red triggers an aggressive reaction in male trout which themselves redden up during spawning to attract a mate and fight off other suitors.
Either way, adding a little orange or red to your flies or using a traditional pattern like a red setter pays dividends at this time of year!
Angling rules to change next season
The Eastern Fish and Game Council at their April meeting made several changes to the angling rules that will come into force next season starting 1 October 2018.
- The Ohau Channel downstream of Ramada Resort will be open to fly and spin methods. The upper 200m of the Ohau Channel (at the outflow of Lake Rotorua) will remain fly fishing only.
- In an alteration to boat fishing rules, no licenceholder may fish from an unanchored boat within 200m of a ‘landmark’ pole (black/yellow and white pole).
- At Lake Tarawera, the Rangiuru Bay to Stoney Point ‘no trolling’ area has been removed, however the ‘landmark’ at Kariri point will be retained to protect shoreline anglers fishing the Rangiuru Bay shelf.
- Also at Tarawera, the maximum size for wild trout (currently 620mm) has been removed.
- And, also at Tarawera, the downstream limit of the Tarawera spawning sanctuary (top 150m of the Tarawera River) will be defined by the Tarawera walking track bridge.
- Closed waters protection has been placed upon any waters in which sports fish are held in captivity for display, breeding, hatching, monitoring or other purposes.
There are still two further possible changes to be discussed at the June Council meeting.
Remove fly fishing only designation from some of the Rotorua lakes shoreline areas. Council is to rule on which areas allow spin angling from 1 October.
- Whether a prohibition on multi point hooks (doubles / trebles) is brought into force within Eastern Region.