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Anglers will soon have ‘wild spots’ to fish on east coast


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Anglers will soon have ‘wild spots’ to fish on the east coast

Anglers on the east coast of the North Island will soon be spoiled for choice when several
“fairly remote” streams – closed for spawning season – re-open for summer fishing.

They include Lake Waikaremoana’s Mokau and Hopuruahine streams which will open on Thursday, December 1.

“There are some very positive signs; angling has been very good out on Lake Waikaremoana, with the trout bigger than last season,” says Fish & Game Officer Matt Osborne.

“Rainbows are averaging 45cm and 1.25kg, or nearly three pound. Anglers trolling on the lake have landed on average one fish of legal size for not much more than one and a half hours of effort.”

But Mr Osborne says that the large amount of rain in the catchment over the past few months has pushed Waikaremoana's lake levels very high, to create challenging conditions.

“This is going to make shoreline stalking of brown trout difficult, though not impossible. One suggestion is the use of small craft such as a kayak to target these fish from the water.”

The Hopuruahine and Mokau streams which feed into Lake Waikaremoana will open to fly fishers above the landmark poles on Thursday (1 December).

Recent surveys by Fish & Game staff confirmed the spawning peak was well and truly over, but the 100 fish counted in the mid-Hopuruahine Stream up to the cascades would still provide a great angling experience for those who are able to access this area.

The late start for these streams compared to other waters of the region is to make sure that spawning fish which swim up these streams are not disturbed to help ensure the sustainability of the trout fishery, Mr Osborne says.

Fish & Game has also opened new access tracks along the Waikaretaheke River which runs from Waikaremoana down to the Wairoa River, and erected new signs.

“This river will suit anglers looking for an alternative to Waikaremoana, or when bad weather makes the lake unsuitable. Fluctuating river levels due to power generation make this fishery a challenge and some caution is required so you don’t get caught in a release of water.

“The fishing in fast, moderate to deep water will suit heavy fly or spin methods.”

The Waioeka in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, along with the Ruakituri and Hangaroa rivers that rise in Te Urewera National Park, are also well worth visiting early in the season before water temperatures get too warm and trout tend to become harder to catch.

Gisborne-based Eastern Fish and Game Council Chairman, Murray Ferris, says that indications from early in the season bode well, with well-conditioned feisty fish taking the line out to the backing regularly on the Ruakituri.

“Browns and rainbows in this river are legendary and a report of several fish in the 4kg range taken last week above the Erepiti bridge seems to indicate a wonderful season ahead.”

The Motu also seems to have recovered a bit from earlier dire predictions, Mr Ferris says, adding that anglers have reported “fish in good nick but not big numbers at this stage.”

The seasonal nor-west equinoxial winds are blowing (generally straight down the river) and test the fly fishers technique to the limit, he says. “But as they say, a tough days fishing beats the daylights out of a good days work.”

Anglers moving around the region towing boats are urged to take special care with anchors and trailers to “make sure there are no fragments of weed hitchhiking.”

Mr Ferris says that attempts are being made to eradicate Lagarosiphon (South African oxygen weed) from Waikaremoana, “and we want to avoid it spreading any further.”

“Please contact us with any questions about the streams that are opening, for information on other regulations and of course, fishing tips – if you need them.”

© Scoop Media

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