Reel Life November 2022
Classic spring weather in the Eastern region has dominated the scene for several weeks with waves of heavy rainfall. Bay of Plenty streams have been running high and coloured and would benefit from some settled weather.
The region’s lakes don’t suffer from issues brought about by rainfall, and the fishing has been good, with smelting fish providing exciting action from the shore or with shallow trolling methods and spinning.
Hatchery released two-year-old rainbows (now approaching two and a half) are in excellent condition on all of the main lakes, which looks promising for the summer ahead. Stomach contents show fish are in a phase where they forage for a variety of prey items, including smelt, bullies, koura and some insects. A good eclectic selection of smelt
flies, with some darker and larger options, are a must at this time of year.
November and December traditionally see brown trout moving into the Lake Rotorua shallows and entering the tributary streams. The best and most exciting river mouth fishing is sighted, so it requires clear water, polaroid glasses and a keen eye. An onshore breeze will churn up sediment, reducing visibility, so check the wind directions on one of the many apps, such as Windfinder, before you head out. Floating lines and a smelt or bully pattern work well.
Lake Rotorua also fishes well at this time of year using shallow trolling methods. Most areas of the lake will produce rainbows of around 1.5 kg, and mono on a spin outfit and a Tassie Devil and smelt fly combination is all you need. Get yourself to a depth of 2 m or slightly more and troll at between 2.5 and 4.5 km/hr for success. Lake Rotorua has the highest catch rate of all the lakes in the region.
If you are new to boat fishing for trout or are having difficulty with your success rate, why not come along to our tuition morning here at Fish & Game? This year it will be held on Saturday, January 7. It’s free, and there’s no need to book. More information will be posted in the Reel Life and on the Eastern Fish & Game Facebook. Contact us here for more information: email@example.com
Datawatch tagged Trout
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
Have you seen a dead eel in the Whanganui or Whakapapa?
The Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game Region has asked us to post this important message regarding the Whanganui and Whakapapa Rivers because a number of Eastern-based anglers fish these waters:
There have been several unexplained mass eel deaths in the Whanganui catchment during the last decade. The deaths have become an almost annual event but determining the cause is difficult unless fresh samples are taken. A mass death of eels on the Whakapapa in 2021 resembled a fish kill caused by water contamination like an effluent or chemical spill, but past events have looked more like fungal infections from poor water quality like the eel pictured below. Although mass deaths of eels in the Waikato are not uncommon due to poor water quality caused by intensive farming, the Wanganui River is comparatively clean, and eels should not be suffering the same fate.
The recurring deaths have prompted DOC, Horizons Regional Council, MPI, Fish & Game and local iwi to create a plan to attempt to solve the mystery. We are asking the public to keep an eye out for dead and dying eels and to please report them on the Horizons Regional Council Pollution Hotline. Collecting fresh samples for analysis is critical to determine if the deaths are caused by pollution or disease. A drop-off point will be set up to courier the samples for analysis. If you see multiple dead or dying fish in the Whanganui or Whakapapa Rivers, please call 0508 800 800. If you have time, please send us an email to report the incident so our staff can follow up firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game