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Gear up for trout season

3 min read
New trouot season begins in October

1 October marks the start of trout season. Photo credit: Eastern Fish & Game

October marks the beginning of trout season, and for most anglers that means a trip to Rotorua to cast their lines in the so-called trophy lakes.

The new season means that most waterways around New Zealand are open to fishing, although, some locations are closed to protect late spawning trout, such as upper Ngongotaha, Utuhina and Waiteti streams in Rotorua, and the Horuahine and Mokau streams at Lake Waikaromoana. While all lakes have their special appeal and anglers usually tend to have their favourite spots, Fish & Game officer Matt Osborne says Tarawera tends to be the most popular at opening.

“Historically, Tarawera has drawn the most anglers, as the lake provides good early season catch rates. It is picturesque, has plenty of sheltered spots to fish, and it is a tradition for many.”

And that rings true, especially for families, for whom trout fishing is an annual tradition. The relatively calm waters of the lakes make for an ideal place to introduce the young ones to boating and catching a rainbow trout. Special family licenses are available through Fish & Game. Parents or even grandparents can fish with up to four children or grandchildren in tow on the same license.

Trout fishing tips and techniques

Fish & Game Eastern offers a few tips and trucks to use on opening day.

Fish & Game officer Mark Sherburn says that initially, and before the sun gets on the water, the fishing is often slow but picks up during the first few hours of daylight.

“Shallow trolling with a ‘tassie’ and smelt fly is a successful way to begin. If it is sunny and there is lots of boat traffic, expect the fish to move a little deeper.

“Under these conditions, adopt a deep trolling method such as lead line, wire, or downrigger. It is hard to beat orange as a lure colour early in the season or something with a touch of red, and do not forget to try the ‘old faithful’ back and gold toby.”

Fish & Game also urges anglers to prep the boat before making it to the boat ramp on Tuesday morning.

“It is a good idea to do a service on your motor, especially if it has been left dormant over winter. Fresh fuel in the tank will help the motor tick along,” Sherburn said.

“You need to ensure your navigation lights are working if you plan to be out early or late, and check that your emergency equipment is up to date and in good order, too.”

Fish & Game adds that it is timely to remind anglers about issues concerning pest species.

Catfish are present in lakes Rotoiti and Rotorua. “We do not want these to be getting into other lakes so all boaties need to be vigilant when it comes to moving between waterways. The old check, clean, and dry is still a useful, practical way of minimising the risk of transferring pest plants and animals.”

Source: Fish & Game Eastern

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