Recipe for new fishing season: hungry fish, rapt anglers
Anglers who turned out for the first day of the new trout fishing season around the North Island were treated to some
balmy conditions and hungry fish.
Lakes including Okataina, Tarawera and Rotoiti reopened after being closed for three months over winter.
Fish & Game officers turned out in force at boat ramps and on the water to interview anglers on their catches, and weigh and
measure the fish.
The catch of the day appears to have been on Lake Rotoiti where a torpedo of a fish that weighed in at 5.5kg (12
pounder) was landed by Rotorua angler Darrell Civil.
Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne says anglers on Lake Tarawera were generally “pretty happy” given the nice day and the fact
that most caught trout, and good numbers of fish.
Anglers on a couple of boats upped the stakes – one group caught 15 and another 18 trout - releasing most but coming
home with around half a dozen solid fish.
Most of the fish, as officers predicted, were two year-olds from 1.1kg to 1.5kg, with some older fish tipping the scales
at 3kg on Lake Rotoiti in particular.
Meanwhile, at the Ohau Channel anglers were seeing a big improvement on last season’s opening with fish being caught in
reasonable numbers, if not of trophy size.
The chance of catching a fish worth $25,000 was generating a “real buzz” among anglers but by the afternoon no one, it
seems, had hooked a ‘red tag fish.’
Under the Fish & Game promotion 40 fish were released into the lakes with special red tags – and only one has the winning number every
red tag qualifies for a prize worth $200. Entries have now closed.
Anglers in the Auckland/Waikato Region were also greeted by blue skies and clear water after months of rain and high
water. Fish & Game staff say most of the local rivers fished well and anglers had “some great opening day reports.”
Heading south, in the Wellington region at least half the anglers spoken to had caught fish, with some surprised by the
size and condition of the brown trout so early in the season.
Fish & Game Field Officer Hamish Carnachan says that the fishing should be “on fire” in coming days once the rivers drop,
there are so many fish about.
“Sea run browns like little fat silver salmon were being caught in the lower and mid reaches of the Ruamahanga. There
were very happy anglers with quality eating fish on their hands.
“One British angler angler said he wasn't particularly bothered by the drizzly conditions which he described as
‘infinitely better than the weather back home’.”