Fish & Game is advising those keen on fishing to get out on the Rotorua lakes and fish for winter trout but to check the weather forecast first.

It says in general fish are more active prior to a front arriving and less active after.

The winter fishing season started on April 1 and runs until the end of September.

Fish & Game policy and planning manager Robert Sowman said at a cost of $76, an adult winter licence gave people months to target trout which were in top condition before spawning.


"That's a whole lot of fishing pleasure, not to mention taking home some nice healthy wild food for the table."

Sowman said anglers should be mindful of the weather and respect the conditions.

"It is a matter of thinking ahead and always having a plan.

"Also remember not all fishable water remains open over the winter months, so plan your trip carefully."

That said, there were plenty of opportunities to fish right around the country over coming months with a full winter licence, Sowman said.

In the Rotorua lakes district, nearly all the fisheries remain open until the end of June when some upper reaches of rivers close to protect spawning trout and lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina close to boat-based fishing.

In the South Island, many lakes and rivers remain open through winter, with the added bonus than many lakes offer land-locked salmon for the angler.

In Southland, lakes Te Anau and Manapouri offer great fishing, as do Otago lakes such as Wakatipu and Wanaka.

For anglers looking for big fish, the central South Island's famed hydro canals are a must visit destination.

A winter fishing licence can be used throughout the country except Taupo which has a separate licence because the fishery is run by the Department of Conservation.

Check local regulations on the Fish & Game website or pick up some brochures at local Fish & Game offices.