Rotorua fishing to pick up

The Rotorua lakes have presented some tough going for keen anglers, but Fish and Game officers are confident things will soon pick up.

Eastern Region Fish and Game officer Mark Sherburn said anglers were having a tough time on Tarawera and Rotoiti in particular, but some key drivers were now falling into place.

"From reports of increasing smelt activity and a gradual lifting of water temperature, we are picking that things will fire up before long.''

He said last weekend saw some improvements on Rotoiti, with a couple of anglers taking fish by jigging near the bottom.

"Interestingly, the surface temperature on Rotoiti is currently about 16C or 17C, whereas we'd normally expect it to be a couple of degrees higher at this time of year.''

He said the normal trend at this time of year was to expect smelt on the surface early in the morning where they were easy prey for trout _ after feeding on the surface overnight.

"Later in the morning and as the sun rises higher the smelt go deeper,'' Mr Sherburn said.

"Which allows anglers to troll, spin or fly fish shallow initially, and then adopt deeper methods later _ such as deep

trolling, downriggers or jigging.''

On Lake Rotorua, He said boaties had been picking up "nice brown trout'' trolling shallow around the weed beds.

"The east side airport and marae runs, and off the Pins have been the best, with brown trout reports from Kawaha

Point as well. Successful lures include the Tassie `brown and `clown','' he said.

Mr Sherburn said brown trout began moving up the Rotorua tributaries in November as usual, though not in great numbers yet.

The seasonal movement upstream is to escape Lake Rotorua's warming waters.

"Browns and rainbows are swimming up the Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams, and shore-based anglers are

advised to target the stream mouths after dark.

"At this stage the Hamurana and Awahou haven't fired, but expect them to pick up as the summer temperatures do.''

Mr Sherburn said holidaymakers who wanted to try their hand at trout fishing were urged to buy a family licence before the end of the month, which puts them in the draw for a prize package worth more than $1600, including gear, activities and accommodation.

"This is really everything you need and more _ from fishing rods and reels to expert guidance. With the popular visitor attractions thrown in this is a very attractive prize.''

Locals and visitors alike are invited to a free boat fishing talk for beginners, which will be held at Stony Point, Lake Tarawera on Saturday, January 5.

Mr sherburn said it was a simple 'how to' talk and demonstration covering the trout and its habits, food supply and life cycle. Anglers will also be given tips on fishing methods and told how to bone and cook their catch.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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