There were small catches, big catches and plenty of smiles as Rotorua children reeled in trout at the first Kids Fish Out for 2018.

More than 250 youngsters reeled in their own trout yesterday at Fish & Game's Ngongotahā hatchery.

It was co-ordinator Brendon Davis' first year working at the event and he said it had been going well.

"It is a lot of trout and the guys at Fish & Game have been brilliant in getting everything sorted."

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The children were taught how to cast their line over the grass before heading down to the pond where experienced anglers from Rotorua Anglers' Association were on hand to help them catch their fish.

"This helps the kids get into it and it's really about passing on the knowledge, giving them little tips," Davis said.

Davis said it was easy for the kids to catch a fish because they were "very hungry".

Lachlan Rodda, 11, lands a trout with the help of Rotorua Anglers Association member Steve Prier. Photo/Stephen Parker
Lachlan Rodda, 11, lands a trout with the help of Rotorua Anglers Association member Steve Prier. Photo/Stephen Parker

The hatchery, on Paradise Valley Rd, is the main breeding ground for all the Rotorua lakes and this morning the trout skipped breakfast to make sure they'd be biting.

The event is a fundraiser for Rotorua Anglers' Association and Davis said they were always looking for new, young members.

"A lot of clubs are really struggling at the moment because everyone is so busy.

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"Just take one day out a week to relax and come to the club, it's very social and we would like to see more families join."

There were 20 rods up for grabs for the lucky children who caught the tagged trout and children could get a 'fishing license' for a $3 donation.

Davis said they were also giving people tips on how to clean and gut their trout but there was also a station where people could have them gutted for $2.

For mum Kylie Rodda that was an important service after doing it herself last year "stunk out the whole house".

"It's been a really good day," she said.

Lachlan Rodda, 11, has been to the Kids Fish Out event a few times but today he scored his biggest catch yet, at 1.07kg.

He said the important thing to remember when casting was to flick it, not throw it.

Kylie said Lachlan and his dad were looking at joining the Anglers' Association.

"It'll be cool for him and his dad to go fishing together."

Cian Simmons, 4, was fishing with his older brother Eoin, 6, and they were both excited about their fish.

"We cast it into the pool and then the fish started splashing, it got really close and then the man caught it in a net," he said.

"We got the hook off and then he whacked it with the pinata stick."

It was the first fish he had caught and he said they were going home to cook it in the oven.

There are four Fish Outs a year and the next ones scheduled for September 9, October 7 and November 11.