Thousands of anglers set to converge on rivers and lakes for opening of fishing season

Kiwis will be casting off across the country this weekend with the opening of the new fishing season on Sunday morning.

“Getting out for the start of the fishing season is a long-held tradition for many Kiwis, but normally, many people have to wait until a weekend if opening falls on a workday,” says Richie Cosgrove, spokesman for Fish & Game.

“That’s why it’s great opening morning is on a Sunday this year. It also coincides with the school holidays so we expect to see plenty of families out there for fishing adventures.

“Fishing is not just an excellent opportunity to catch your own healthy free-range kai, but it’s recognised internationally for its positive impact on mental health and the rejuvenation from being in the outdoors.”

Many anglers will travel huge distances just to fish a waterway that they have often developed a deep connection to, says Richie.

Fish & Game New Zealand expects to sell around 130,000 licences this season, of which approximately 10 per cent will be international anglers.

“The opening of the fishing season is also great news for the broader economy  ̶  research shows international anglers are big spenders, among the highest-value tourists the country receives.

“Many guides are looking forward to increasing tourism numbers, which is good for their businesses and the flow-on economic effects for the regional communities where many guides live.”

“Sunday weather conditions look "okay", with rain scattered around the North Island but largely fine in the South.”

“Anglers are advised to be flexible where they plan to fish as some rivers will need time to settle after heavy rainfall but there are plenty of options to explore,” says Richi