Those who were eagerly anticipating the start of the new freshwater fishing season have now been able to jump in their boats and take to the water.

The new season started throughout the country today and runs until September 30 2018.

Opening of the trout fishing season at the Landing at Lake Tarawera. Photo/Ben Fraser
Opening of the trout fishing season at the Landing at Lake Tarawera. Photo/Ben Fraser

Fish and Game communications adviser Grant Dyson said opening day had started well, being slightly overcast but not yet raining at first light.

He said early risers did quite well.

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Mr Dyson said the lakes were rested for three months prior to opening day, and first light was "magical fishing" because the lakes had been undisturbed.

Joel Taylor, 9, left, and Te Tai Wipani Clendon-Smallman, 12, on Lake Tarawera. Photo/Supplied
Joel Taylor, 9, left, and Te Tai Wipani Clendon-Smallman, 12, on Lake Tarawera. Photo/Supplied

An opening ceremony was held on Saturday night at The Landing, Lake Tarawera.

Mr Dyson said there was a pipe band and hundreds of people turned out, with a lot of boats taking to the water.

He said it was a time-honoured tradition and that a lot of people slept on their boats overnight so they did not have to mess about and were right there for the start of the season.

Scottish bagpipes at the opening of the trout fishing season at the Landing at Lake Tarawera. Photo/Ben Fraser
Scottish bagpipes at the opening of the trout fishing season at the Landing at Lake Tarawera. Photo/Ben Fraser

Mr Dyson said he had heard there was a buzz around the ramps and talk of the Fish for Gold promotion at the ceremony.

"It's just injecting that little bit of excitement into the fishing."

He wanted to remind those fishing of the standard boating advice.

He said to check the weather before you head out and always wear life jackets.

Allan Bain with some of his haul at the opening of the trout fishing season at the Landing at Lake Tarawera. Photo/Ben Fraser
Allan Bain with some of his haul at the opening of the trout fishing season at the Landing at Lake Tarawera. Photo/Ben Fraser

"Safety is paramount. Have an enjoyable time catching fish but stay safe."

Eastern Fish and Game regional manager Andy Garrick said a remarkably good number of people had turned out on the lakes for opening day.

He said they were waiting to hear more about how Lake Okataina had been, but Lake Tarawera and Lake Rotoiti had great numbers of fish caught, with few people they had encountered not catching anything.

Mr Garrick said there had been nothing exceptional size-wise yet but the condition of fish was generally good.

"I think there's a tradition and excitement about opening day."

He said no pink tags for Fish for Gold promotion had been found yet.

Local Steve Gatenby, who went fishing at Lake Tarawera, said conditions were good for opening morning.

"It was beautiful and calm with lots of boats out there this morning.

"We saw lots of boats catching fish around us and the fish we got were in great condition."

They landed six fish this morning and kept one.

He said he enjoyed being out there with the family and that it was serene.

 Calvo Slayer, (left), Anthony Burt, Tomasi Cadell, Dylan Wright, Ants Lowe, Alex Stewart at the Landing at Lake Tarawera on Saturday evening . Photo/Ben Fraser
Calvo Slayer, (left), Anthony Burt, Tomasi Cadell, Dylan Wright, Ants Lowe, Alex Stewart at the Landing at Lake Tarawera on Saturday evening . Photo/Ben Fraser

Mr Gatenby said the season's opening ceremony was a nice tradition to catch up with people you had not seen in a while and had a great atmosphere - "everyone is hyped up for the opening day".

Allan Bain, from Te Awamutu, also went fishing out on Lake Tarawera yesterday morning.

He caught four fish and said it was a great start to the season.

He said most of the time a fishing trip ended up with three to five being caught, but that was with two of them, so he did quite well by himself.