Fishery report: December-January 2015 update
Angler Steve Dickson of Auckland
caught this stomper, 2.8 kg
(condition factor 58) rainbow.
Catch rates on Lake Taupo from Christmas through until the end of January were estimated at 0.37 fish per hour (1 legal sized fish every 2 hours and 40 minutes). A total of 145 rainbow trout were weighed and measured by staff during this busy period and these fish averaged 464 mm and 1.22 kg with an overall condition factor of 44.1. The heaviest rainbow trout was a hen measuring 560 mm and weighing 2.26 kg (5 lb). Three brown trout were also measured by staff during this period and these fish averaged 563 mm and 2.3 kg with an overall condition factor of 47. The largest brown was a jack and measured 639 mm and weighed 2.78 kg (6 lb).
During the scheduled angler surveys, Lake Taupo anglers caught a total of 303 trout. Anglers chose to keep 167 of them (55%) and return the remainder of their catch alive to the water. Of the 136 trout returned 78 were undersized. Overall, anglers kept three quarters of the legal sized fish that they caught.
Anglers rated the fish that they were catching at 6.9/10, their catch rate at 6.9/10 and their angling enjoyment at 9.5/10. The main fishing detraction for anglers cited by anglers during the busy holiday period was bad manners and poor etiquette (8.5%) shown by other boat users and anglers on the lake. This was followed by water skiers (5.7%), overcrowding (4.4%) and jet skiers (4.1%) which is consistent with the increase in boating traffic over the busy holiday period. Inexperience was mentioned by 3.9% of anglers interviewed. Overall, 60% of all anglers interviewed and surveyed said that nothing spoiled their fishing experience.
Jigging was the most popular method on the lake during January and accounted for 60% of all anglers interviewed. This was followed by deep trolling using lead lines (30%) and shallow trolling (5%). The overall estimated catch rate for anglers jigging was calculated at 0.36 legal sized fish per hour while those deep trolling with lead had a similar catch rate of 0.35 legal sized fish per hour.
Over 10 angler survey days a total of 81 trout were recorded as caught by anglers of which only 7 were kept. Just over 20% were classed as undersized. The rainbows kept by anglers averaged 492 mm and 1.45 kg (3.2 lbs). The heaviest trout weighed by staff during January surveys was a hen measuring 590 mm and weighing 1.8 kg (4 lb). The very settled weather during January has seen an increase in insect life at this lake with the fishing being very good at times and this should continue into February.
The long and hot days during January provided some great hatches on the Tongariro River during the warm and still evenings. The Tongariro still holds good numbers of fish recovering after spawning plus some fresh run rainbows that are either very late or every early running! Some large browns are already showing up throughout the lower and middle reaches of the river. Likewise, rivers such as the Waitahanui should also see runs of brown trout enter over the next couple of months. A number of large browns have also been spotted in the Tauranga Taupo River up as far as the Cliff Pool.
With the lake starting to warm and hit the early twenties, a visit to some of the river mouths should be worth a look as trout start to seek the colder in flowing waters as they continue to feed and prepare for spawning this winter. The lake fishing should continue to improve over the coming months as the fish continue to grow but deeper methods such as downriggers and jigging will improve your success as the fish seek the deeper and colder waters as the surface of the lake starts to warm and stratify.
Remember to always Check Clean and Dry your gear before moving water catchments. Protect your waterways.