Thursday, July 27, 2017
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Tricky weather produces ‘solid fish’

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Anglers are managing to catch some top notch trout in Lake Rotorua, when the current tricky weather conditions allow.

Fish & Game officers say the shoreline fishery that focuses mainly on stream mouths has been slow to get underway this summer, due to cooler and windier than normal conditions.

Currently the lake is sitting just under 20 degrees Celsius and hasn’t climbed much higher due to the unseasonably cool conditions.

Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne says anglers at the stream mouths are catching fish, but having to work quite hard for those they get.

“But on a positive note, the Lake Rotorua fish appear to be in solid condition. The recent Tangaroa fishing competition on the lake produced fish in outstanding shape.

“These fish are as good as any I’ve seen come from Lake Rotorua, probably in the past decade. The cooler lake conditions and an abundance of smelt to feed on have led them to rapidly pack on body weight.”

Matt says in spite of the harder fishing for lake-edge anglers, there are certainly positives to come out of the rough weather for the fishery.

Instead of being crammed into cooler stream flows and just surviving, “trout are out feeding”.

The Rotorua brown trout have also wintered well too - Fish & Game’s Ngongotaha Stream fish trap caught several 10lb-plus browns in November, while the average fish for the month of December weighed an impressive 3kg and was 55cm in length.

Some fine fish have also been caught in other lakes.

One was a superb 5.5kg (12lb) 67.5cm rainbow caught jigging from the Hauparu Bay area on Lake Rotoiti. The fish was a hatchery-bred fish which had been released in May 2014 at Ruato Bay and at the time of release it measured just 18cm and weighed 60g.

“It shows impressive growth and indicates that the lake can still produce trophies when conditions are right.”

The region’s back country rivers are in top condition and Fish & Game staff have received encouraging reports of good fish numbers from the Waioeka River.

“At this stage most are being taken on sunken nymphs, but terrestrial insect activity is on the increase so we’re again hoping for some top cicada, beetle, lace moth activity in the Waioeka catchment later this summer.”

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