Anglers are counting down to the opening of a number of Rotorua streams for summer fishing – now with even more waters for spin fishing enthusiasts.
The Rotorua waterways which open on December 1 include the upper Ngongotaha, Utuhina and Waiteti streams.
In a fresh move to simplify the rules and encourage spin fishing, this method will now be permitted in the Utuhina Stream, between Devon Street Bridge and Pukehangi Road Bridge, from December 1. The upper section of the Ngongotaha remains fly fishing only.
Eastern Region Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne says it’s one of the changes to the regulations to encourage more novices and youngsters into the sport.
Mr Osborne says these streams have been closed from the end of June through winter and spring because they’re such important trout spawning tributaries. “We don’t want the stream beds disturbed or trout redds (nests) trodden on.”
We’ve seen trout in healthy numbers in the last few weeks while we’ve been out doing maintenance on access tracks,” Mr Osborne says.
Some big browns also start to head up the streams in November and December as Lake Rotorua warms and they seek out cooler water.
These brown trout are hungry predators and target large food items including trout fry. “This lends itself to successful spinning, as spinning lures simulate small swimming fish.
“As the water temperatures in the lakes rises, the brown trout start hanging around the stream mouths before pushing up them.
“Anglers who fish the stream mouths at night over the next few weeks should be able to target them successfully. After dark the browns become more aggressive, going on the prowl for food,” Mr Osborne says.
More experienced anglers also turn out to fly fish these streams from early December, using their knowledge of what summer insects the trout are now feeding on.
Fish & Game has taken the usual seasonal steps to make life easier for anglers, ensuring easy access to fishing spots along the streams and rivers. This includes the grooming of tracks leading to the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams, and spraying for blackberry and gorse.
Meanwhile, anglers who want to get away from it all have rivers and lakes on the East Coast to choose from. They range from Lake Waikaremoana’s tributary streams such as the Mokau and Hopuruahine which also open from the start of December.
Anglers should visit local specialist fishing stores for the latest tips and advice on what lures are working. Fish & Game can also provide ‘where and how’ advice by phone or email.
Fish & Game says with the changes to spin fishing regulations in particular, anglers are urged to check their Sport Fishing Regulations 2012-2013. It is also very important that anglers follow the “Check, Clean and Dry” practice to prevent the spread of aquatic pests such as didymo when moving between fishing waters.
Rangers will be on patrol along the streams from opening day, checking to see anglers are carrying trout fishing licences, and sticking to other rules.
if in any doubt on the new rules and regs, please contact Fish & Game and we’ll be happy to advise you. Phone us on 07-357 5501.