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Trout fishing heating up at Rotorua lakes

Derek Bain is delighted with his 3.8kg Lake Tarawera rainbow trout caught in December. Supplied photo.

The trout fishing on the Rotorua lakes is firing up again with increasing water temperatures making the fishing more predictable and anglers heading for their faithful summer spots. 

Eastern Fish & Game’s Matt Osborne says recent angler surveys have shown that the summer fishing should be very good over the Christmas break and he was urging local anglers and visitors to make the most of current conditions. 

“Lake Rotorua has passed that critical 19 degree Celsius temperature which sees fish congregating in cooler water inflows and that makes for exciting prospects."

"Summer is always an excellent time for angling on Lake Rotorua and Fish & Game had already received reports of fishing at places like the Awahou, Hamurana, Ngongotaha and Waiteti Streams producing some high catch rates."

Matt says trolling with simple spinning rods from boats in these areas can be very productive with anglers only having to make sure they stay outside the buoys. 

“It is a great way to introduce visitors to some easy trout fishing with good quality fish close to home."

Fish and Game has a number of resources for beginners to trout fishing.

Their ‘trout fishing made easy’ page https://fishandgame.org.nz/freshwater-fishing-in-new-zealand/trout-fishing-made-easy/ is a good place to start. 

Other lakes in the Rotorua region are also becoming more predictable with water temperatures increasing.

Anglers need to adapt their methods to where the fish will be at certain times of the day. 

“Lakes Okataina, Rotoiti and Tarawera have all been producing great fish so far this season with the Tarawera fishery showing promising signs of recovery. 

“We saw two excellent rainbows from there last weekend, both tipping the scales at just under 4kg."

Fish & Game is also providing a free ‘how-to’ talk at Lake Tarawera on January 2.

It’s a ‘tips for beginners’ type talk at the lake and aims to help budding anglers put some trout into the fish bin.

“Trout fishing can be tricky to master if you are new to it. Our talk is designed to help beginners pick up some of the basics or assist experienced anglers with a new method.”

The talk is at Stoney Point and will run from 10am to 12noon.

It’s free and you don’t need to book a spot.  

Fish & Game staff will also be out frequently during the Christmas break interviewing anglers, checking licences and measuring the fish they catch. 

“Every summer we see some exceptional fish, lots of happy people and local anglers really enjoy themselves,” says Matt. 

He urges anglers to have a safe Christmas break, think of water safety and don’t forget to check boats and equipment for pest species such as weed fragments or hitchhikers like catfish.

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