Rotorua Lakes Area Report - May 20th, 2022

Shoreline Action Kicks Off Early

Surprisingly, there was a very early autumn start to the annual winter shoreline fishing around the Rotorua lakes. Anglers had great success back in early April at Ruato bay, with good-sized pods of healthy rainbows coming in close.

Early mornings at change of light have been prime time for action. As the light intensifies, baitfish (like smelt) become clearly visible in the shallows and the rainbows come in and chase their breakfast.

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Pat Swift’s grey ghosts (in UV), stripped across the surface, generally entice aggressive responses and quite often you’ll see bow waves and the swirls created by feeding fish. Firing off a cast quickly, followed by quick retrieves will get their attention.

The jigging has been good, particularly on Lake Rotoiti’s southern shoreline, with 20-25 metres being the best depth. There are fish deeper – in 34 metres – but many are off the bottom in the 20-25 metre range. Light-coloured smelt flies with pearl or UV bodies in size 10 and size 6 are doing the damage.

The Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams have kicked off their annual spawning run with decent numbers occupying redds on the gravel sections. The browns, in particular, have been in superb condition and sizes have increased with a few double-figure fish taken.

Rain is forecasted this week and will surely amp things up with new fresh runs of fish coming into the gravel beds. Soft milk globugs, in orange, have been the go-to. Also, beadhead hare and copper nymphs in pink, red, and orange are picking up fish as well.

Lake Okataina has had moments of good fishing, especially when a southerly wind hits the shore front-on. A floating globug on a shooting head line, punched through the wind, or a sinking line using a Mrs Simpson, seem to be working best.

Lakes Rotoma and Rerewhakaiitu are lagging behind the others at the moment, although there are fish turning up in smaller numbers on Rotoma.


Dion James

Fins and Swirls Visual Media 

[email protected]

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