Bay of Plenty
With school holidays underway, plenty of fisher folk made a trip out for the Rotorua opening.
The fishing didn't disappoint, with most lakes fishing at least as well as 2011. Okataina anglers had the best start. There were plenty of boats on the lake, and the catch rate of 1.14 fish per angler surveyed compared well with the 0.72 fish per angler of 2011. Biggest fish of the day was a solid 3.9kg. However, it was the two-year-old fish result that was the most encouraging: with an average length of 543mm and 1.97kg in weight, this age group was 17mm longer and 180g heavier than in 2011 - a great sign for the rest of the season.
Tarawera attracted the bulk of the anglers. Their average of 532mm and 1.71kg is similar to last year (though fish were a little leaner than they have been), while the biggest fish of 3.85kg is comparable with recent years. Deep trolling with lead or LED took most of the fish, with green or orange lures consistently successful. Expect harling early morning and late evening to come into its own once the boat activity drops off and the smelt start moving.
Rotoiti was a slow starter with a catch rate of 0.81 fish per angler on Opening Day, though the biggest fish of the day, a 4.35kg rainbow, showed the potential. This was reinforced by the two-year-olds, which, at an average of 506mm and 1.97kg, were up on last year. Expect Rotoiti to get better as the season progresses.
The Ohau Channel was the big disappointment, and with several openings now producing similar results, there must be serious concerns as to the influence of the Diversion Wall on this significant fishery. While a brown trout of 4.4kg was reported, the 37 anglers surveyed on the day landed only 18 fish, with the biggest rainbow just going 2kg - a paltry showing compared to a standard opening day pre-Diversion Wall. Keep a watch on the channel to see if the smelt and trout are around later in the spring though, as the fishing for really big brown trout can be spectacular.
November is a big month for harling; fish early morning or late evening with smelt imitations or standard patterns such as the Parson's Glory.
Rotorua by Steve Smith, Upstream Services Limited
Ph 021 888669
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