Reel Life October 2022
Opening day on the Rotorua lakes went off as usual – with a Bang!
A wet forecast kept some away, but the keenest of fishers braved the conditions, returned to the Rotorua lakes, and had an absolute ball.
Tarawera produced some stunning fish, with the hatchery's 2-year-old spring release fish both longer (by 15mm) and heavier (by 210g) than those measured last opening.
The largest fish measured on the day was a 600mm, 3.2kg 3-year-old hatchery release which was impressive considering it had probably spawned during the winter and was in recovery mode.
Okataina fishing pressure was down this opening, and the 2-year-old fish were the same condition factor as last season, although lighter by 112g.
A 600mm, 3.9kg 3-year-old hatchery (Rp fin clip) was the heaviest weighed on the day.
Rotoiti produced 2-year-old hatchery releases that were 7mm longer but 100g lighter than last year (so of slightly lower condition factor) than last opening – but to put that into perspective, last year’s fish were exceptional.
A 700mm 4.1kg, 3-year-old rainbow took the heaviest fish weighed by Fish & Game for the day.
The rivers and streams of the region didn’t generally fair as well due to extended periods of rain.
Finer conditions have finally prevailed, which has seen conditions improve.
Fish are being caught at all depths and with all methods currently, but anglers can expect early morning surface activity to increase as trout begin to target smelt more.
Harling or shallow trolling with lures on a spin outfit or drifting and casting flies over likely-looking water will produce exciting fish for a couple of months until the surface temperatures start to climb.
This is also the time of year when walking a shoreline and casting to rising (smelting) fish works well, and this can be done on almost all of the lakes successfully.
Brown trout are just starting to move into the lake Rotorua tributary streams, and a number can be seen cruising the flats hunting smelt and bullies.
The upper section of the Lake Rotorua streams doesn’t open until 1 December, but exciting fishing exists at the mouths well before you need to head upstream.
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
Mark Sherburn, Eastern Fish & Game