Hundreds of enthusiastic fishers hit the lakes on Tuesday for the opening day of the trout fishing season.

Lakes Rotoiti, Tarawera and Okataina all opened before dawn, with the event eagerly awaited by locals and many out-of-town visitors alike.

The weather forecast the night before was a worry, however, the wind and the rain held off for most of the day.

Angler numbers were down a little on previous seasons said Eastern Fish & Game's Matt Osborne.


"The forecast was pretty rough for Tuesday and that's likely to have kept a few of
the families away but a hardy bunch were there in force".

Lake Rotoiti stood out as the best performer out of the three lakes, with rainbow trouts averaging 1.70kg and 510mm.

Lake Tarawera showed a performance boost on previous seasons with with the two year-old fish averaging 1.45kg and 500mm.

Lake Okataina, which always produces good trout averaged 1.65kg and 507mm.

The heaviest fish weighed by Fish & Game on the day tipped the scale at 4.10kg and came from Lake Rotoiti.

"October is a period when anglers mostly catch 2-year-old year-class fish as they are the most commonly available at this time of year. This year we've seen improvements in size
of these fish in every lake and this augurs well for later in the season as the biggest fish are almost always caught during autumn and winter" said Osborne

Osborne said recovering three and 4-year-old trout, after spawning last winter, were abundant in the lakes at this time of year.

"We had a bumper spawning last winter so there are likely to be a larger number of thinner recovering fish out there at the moment. They will put on condition during spring and be in great shape for summer".