This winter is tipped to be one of the best trout fishing seasons Rotorua has seen.


High quality fish have been caught in most of Rotorua's lakes over the summer and the experts are picking it will continue with the new season already off to a good start.


"The winter fishing seems to be starting earlier than usual and there are very nice fish out there," Eastern Fish and Game manager Rob Pitkethley said.


Cooler water temperatures meant fish were coming to the surface and the shorelines to get food.


Lakes Rotoiti, Tarawera and Okataina in particular were all fishing really well, he said.


"The fish are also really full of smelt and in a good condition."


Mr Pitkethley said anglers needed to keep an eye out for algae in Lake Rotorua.


"It is really thick in some parts. It has come late in the season and it shouldn't last too long but it is something to watch out for."


It was pleasing to see a promising winter season after such a good summer of fishing, he said.


"In terms of the whole package, good-sized fish and regular catches, it has been a really good summer. Much better than previous years."


The lake trout-fishing season and the Lake Rotorua tributary streams season end on June 30.


More fish were now around in the early mornings and at the change of light in the evenings.


"Anglers should be taking note of the conditions."


He said anglers should also be gearing up for the annual Tagged Trout competition starting on March 17. The tournament is in its 14th year and organiser Graham Cobb said big prizes had been won "a couple of times" but only one man had so far walked away with the $10,000 prize.


Anyone who catches a tagged trout will get to share the $10,000 prize money. If no one catches a tagged fish, the money, along with the $55 entry fee, will go towards educational scholarships and the Rotorua Coastguard.


The tournament was established by the Rotary Club of Rotorua North as a way to highlight the region's fishing opportunities.


* Entry forms for the Tagged Trout competition are available online at www.taggedtrout.co.nz.