Super Sunday Season Opening For Anglers

Monday 2 October 2023, 4:51AM

By Fish and Game NZ


Eddie Suckling with this lovely sea-run trout caught in Lake Forsyth, North Canterbury
Eddie Suckling with this lovely sea-run trout caught in Lake Forsyth, North Canterbury Credit: Mark Suckling

It was a "Super Sunday Season Opening Day" for anglers nationwide when the new fishing season opened on Sunday (1 October).

Anglers in some parts of the country braved strong winds but were very happy to be out and about for the first day of the 2023 season.

Opening day river flows were elevated in some parts of the country, but there was plenty of fishable waters for the angler, ranging from in the backcountry to lowland streams everywhere.

In the Eastern Region Fish & Game staff reported good sized fish caught on lakes Tarawera and Rotoiti, with some over the 3 kg size.

Blustery winds later in the day did not deter keen anglers countrywide who braved the conditions to catch some nice fish, including a 3kg brown trout.

The same was replicated on the South Island rivers and lakes, with good numbers of anglers seen out by Rangers.

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

"It was great to see quite a few families out for the start of the fishing season. Opening day is a long-held tradition for many Kiwis, and opening falling on Sunday and school holidays allowed many families to take up the opportunity for some fishing," says Richie Cosgrove, spokesman for Fish & Game.

"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 rejuvenating qualities 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.

"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."