Bay of Plenty
Those who remember the 'good old days' at the Waitahanui Rip may enjoy this story.
Peter Thompson has thrown a line for quite a number of his 80-plus years, but is not quite as mobile as he used to be. He wandered across the groin at the straight before the rip forms and entered the lake. He cast a line into the river with an Orange Rabbit attached (I can see your eyes glazing over with fond memories already) and hooked into the fish of a lifetime, a 12lb 6oz rainbow jack, which took him down to the beach before he could land it. Needless to say, the Rip was full of rods for the next day or two.
The Waitahanui River itself is full of fish. There is not a pool you can look into that doesn't have a fish or two present.
The Hinemaiaia is producing a lot of spent fish now, but there is still some sport to be had there. The Tongariro and Tauranga-Taupo Rivers are still turning up good fish in the freshes, as are the Waimarino and T-T river mouths.
A recent harling expedition on the lake with my mate Greg soon had some fresh fish in the bin. A #2 Red Body Green Orbit with a smelt teaser was deadly and the fish had perfect orange flesh - great for the smoker or BBQ. A usual late-winter rig - 10 colours of lead with a Black Toby - produced only small fish, and we were back at the ramp before 9.00am, happiness filled.
No sign of smelt in the fish yet, so stick to your green and brown patterns with a bit of red in the body or gill area and you should be sweet. Also make sure you don't harl too shallow; we were in 5.5-7.6m on the drop-off when the fish started to hit our flies. For the deep trollers, Jerusalem Bay and Rangatira Point have been producing some good maiden fish. Try the 12-15m range and use your dark lures around these rocky bays - a Black Toby or Green and Yellow Cobra would be my pick. Make the most of the good days; the equinox winds arrive around October.
Taupo by Steve Barry
Ph 0272 085 350
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