Best buddies fishing on the river
The catch rate for Lake Taupo during January was estimated at 0.58 fish per hour (1 legal sized fish every 1 hour and 43 minutes) which is up on the 0.32 fish per hour estimated during January 2013 and higher than expected.
This was based on close to 300 angler interviews during the busy holiday period and follows a solid December which recorded 0.47 fish per hour (1 legal fish every 2 hours). Anglers kept 40% of their total catch during January, returned 27% that were recovering from spawning and 33% that were undersized.
Jigging was the preferred method during January when the weather allowed with 50%. Shallow and deep trolling accounted for a further 39% of all anglers interviewed during January.
Rainbows kept by anglers during January averaged 464 mm and 1.16 kg (2.6 lbs) with an overall condition factor of 41.2. Compared to this time last year rainbows caught during this period were on average 10 mm longer and of a similar weight. The majority of these fish were classed as maiden fish. The heaviest fish weighed during the January angler surveys was a hen weighing 2.1 kg (4.6 lbs) length of 530 mm and a condition factor of 51.
A relatively cool and windy summer so far has meant that the lake has not yet fully stratified and the trout are not yet deep so still in the range of lead liners. The warmer and more settled weather during February should see the fish move deeper where methods such as jigging and downrigging will be the most productive.
Overall, lake anglers have been relatively compliant with the regulations however 7 anglers were caught fishing without a licence during the busy Christmas / New Year period. Anglers are reminded that Taupo fishing licences are not transferrable and every person fishing on the boat must hold their own Taupo licence.
Lake Otamangakau has fished well during December and January considering the cold and windy conditions with some nice fish in the 4-7 lb range caught. Despite a rather average winter in terms of size and condition, the fish so far this summer have been in great condition and give a very good account of themselves on a fly rod. Insect life should increase on the lake as the temperature warms with the odd cicada now starting to show up on the lake.
Brown bead head woolly buggers stripped on an intermediate line along the edges of weed beds have produced some nice rainbows while smaller nymphs such as diawl bachs fished on a floating line in the open areas between the weed beds have been doing well. Those wishing to spin can’t go too wrong with a black and gold toby which can be very productive in the shallows at either end of the day.
The sight and sound of cicadas is well and truly here with large numbers being blown onto the water. Smaller rivers such as the Hinemaiaia still contain trout recovering from spawning that are partial to a cicada pattern floated down the far bank or at the head of pools where the water is cooler and more oxygenated during the warmer weather.
Some nice browns have also been caught in the Tongariro during the day in the shallower riffles on cicada patterns. The dry fly during the evenings has been going well with impressive caddis hatches just on dark. Some of these last well into the night and so don’t give up too early in the evening but do remember to take some insect repellent!
Motuoapa Fishing Competition
Just over 50 anglers entered the Motuoapa fishing competition during mid January with 60 fish weighed in. These fish averaged 480 mm and 1.22 kg with an overall condition factor of 39.2. The heaviest rainbow weighed in was a hen measuring 637 mm and weighing 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs). Deep trolling with lead lines accounted for over 50% of the trout weighed in with jigging accounting for 34%.
The overall results for the weekend competition were published in the Taupo Times January 24 edition. Our very own Fishery Ranger Dave Plowman caught the heaviest fish (a nice brown trout weighing 3.2 kg) for the second year running.
Remember to always Check Clean and Dry your gear before moving water catchments. Protect your waterways.