Freshwater Waikato - November 2012
Big waters fishing bestJOHN MURPHY
This year saw the best start to the new season that we've had for a few years.
The rivers were reasonably high, but not flooded or heavily discoloured. The opening week was pretty steady, but the bigger rivers appear to be fishing the best. The two that are doing particularly well are the Whanganui and the Waikato.
The Whanganui River, below its confluence with the Whakapapa, is open all year. This section fished well over winter, but there is some nice water in the first couple of kilometres upstream from the confluence and now is a great time to fish it. It's reasonably hard work accessing this bit of water, but the scenery is good even when the fishing is tough. I gain access through Kakahi, walking down the Whakapapa to the confluence, then fishing upstream. Don't dismiss the Whakapapa, but before Christmas the Whanganui is the better option in my experience.
A trout fishing competition is scheduled for the lower Waikato River. It is the fourth year the competition has been run, and setting it over a week during the school holidays has proved attractive. Organiser Michael Lynch's most recent update said that during practice one angler landed five brown trout in an hour, fishing the river at Hamilton.
The two hydro lakes, Arapuni and Karapiro, are still fishing well, especially trolling, and should hold up throughout the month or until the water temperatures get over about 18°.
I suspect that most of the fish have already moved out of the spawning streams. The weather has been great and they will be feeding heavily. The fish I landed were in surprisingly good condition for this early in the season. Nevertheless, the traditional spawning waters are worth checking out, particularly the Pokiwhenua Stream on Lake Karapiro.
The Awakino is likely to be worth a visit, but I would leave the Waipa for another couple of months. This is also a good time for fishing the lower sections of the Marakopa, Awakino and Mokau Rivers, as some decent sea-run trout can be about.
Other streams worth exploring are those that make up the top of the Ongarue system and the Coromandel streams, especially the Waitawheta.
Freshwater Waikato by John Murphy
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