Hawke's Bay Reel Life February 2019
Good catches, fish in top condition
Anglers were able to enjoy a month of clean rivers in February, which has made it a lot easier planning trips to the local rivers.
Top right: Drift diving is a technique used to count trout numbers.
Although as I type this, it looks like we are apparently in for rain this weekend (23rd-24th Feb)…
Anglers who’ve been getting out have been landing some nicely conditioned fish, and some have experienced some decent catch rates, hooking over a dozen trout in a session.
The lower summer flows unfortunately bring algal problems with them, especially in the Tukituki River.
This can be a major nuisance as you can spend a lot of time cleaning algae off your hook.
Spin anglers can try and combat this with lighter lures and/or faster retrieves to try and keep the lure off the bottom.
Fly fisherman can either dry fly fish or shorten up their tippet lengths to keep their nymphs from hitting the bottom.
There have been anglers out there making such adjustments and fishing with great success.
So give it a try if you’re getting frustrated with the algal blooms and hopefully this weekend’s rain will have been enough to flush it out a bit!
Drift dive fish counts
Staff completed the first lot of drift dives to gauge fish numbers earlier in the month, ticking off the upper Ngaruroro River dive sites.
Hopefully the upper Mohaka sites will be dived before the end of summer.
Initial observations and comments from staff while they were out on the river was how well conditioned the trout seemed to be.
There were some excellent fish spotted, including one very nice brownie!
Browns are very elusive in this river and aren’t caught often, let alone spotted on dives, but they’re definitely there, and generally higher up in the catchments as our records indicate.
In terms of numbers, it was our best count on record for ‘large’ rainbow trout. ‘Large’ is anything over 40cm long.
The smaller rainbows weren’t seen in such high numbers.
This wasn’t a surprise though, as the floods over winter and spring will have no doubt pushed them down river quite a way.
This is just part of life for trout and the survivors will push back up as adults to spawn, and the already healthy numbers of adults, will ensure plenty more juveniles will be around after the next spawning season.
With the cicadas going crazy up there and reports of a ‘mega mast' year for beech seeds, there could be plenty of food for trout as they look to pile on condition before spawning.
Our Kids Fish out Day is on Saturday March 2nd, with two sessions 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm.
The event is open to children aged between 6 and 12 years old.
Only children who haven't attended are eligible as places are limited, and entry is by registration only, with a $5 fee.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name and age and contact phone number.
Or phone the Hawkes Bay office on 06-844-2460 between 9am and 3pm. Get in quick as spots are running out!
One for the adults! If you’re an adult who is keen to learn how to fly fish, or know someone who is, then keep an eye on the Hawkes Bay Fish & Game Facebook page.
An adults learn-to-fish class may be coming soon!
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