Rotorua Fishing Report - 23/02/24

Experienced anglers can catch 50+ fish a day

It would be fair to say the Rotorua region is having its best summer of fishing for at least five or six years. Hot sunny days with temperatures ranging from 25-30 degrees celsius and predominantly light winds have meant that many have been able to fish consecutive days on end.

Lake Rotorua is a shallow lake averaging around eight metres in depth, and because of this, when the water temperatures get high, the lake temperatures also rise, stressing out the trout. The fish then move into areas where the cold spring creeks enter the lake, such as Hamurana, Awahou and Waitite. Find the cold water and you will find the fish. Competent anglers at this time of year will catch 50-plus fish a day from these locations as the trout stack up in the cold water.

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For those wanting more of a challenge, targeting the really large brown trout and stalking them close to the shoreline is a lot of fun. These big fish will start at 8lb and go up from there. Many will use darker smelt patterns on the browns such as a ginger mick or green orbit, and woolly buggers and Mrs Simpsons are also great flies to try.

Lake Rotoiti is fishing well, with most fish being down below the thermocline in 20-25m of water. Jigging has been the most successful method and predominantly smelt flies such as grey ghost, slimy ghost and jack sprat have produced the fish. With the weather conditions being very good, with light winds, if you’re jigging with an electric motor refrain from using spot lock and just amble along slowly. This has proved to work very well as you’re covering a wide area very slowly. Pat Swift and Simmo got out the other day and landed over 40 fish, with a few up to and just over 3kg, so the fish are in great nick.

Arnie with a real beauty caught in Lake Tarawera.

Yesterday I managed to get out on Lake Tarawera for the first time in ages. This is a very pretty lake with beautiful clean water. I was testing some new Z-man softbaits that are about to be launched by Ocean Angler and fished the lake with Arnie, their North Island rep. The fish caught were in great condition and weighed approximately 2.5kg or 5-5 1/2lb. We were using the new slim swimz and Arnie managed to land a whopper that went 4.62kg (or 10.18lb in proper terms).

At the moment, there are so many options for a variety of anglers in the district. When the next lot of rain falls the streams like Ngongotaha and Waitite will fill with browns entering, and we haven’t even touched on the fine fly fishing to be had on the Rangitaiki or the Whirinaki rivers - they will be low and clear. The fish will be changing over from chomping on cicadas and crickets to the small passion vine hoppers. Get out and explore, fish different techniques, good luck and have a bunch of fun.

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Mike Davis
Rotorua Hunting and Fishing New Zealand
360 Te Ngae Road, Lynmore Junction, Lynmore, Rotorua 3010
07 349 6303


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