Little angler lands a big Taupō trout
Image: Lonny Carey | ©


The Taupō Trout Fishery offers many opportunities to introduce children to fishing.

Fishing is a great way to encourage children to switch off their screens and enjoy spending quality time in nature. It provides an opportunity for them to relax while learning new practical skills. The excitement of catching their first fish may lead to a healthy life-long pastime.

Getting started

If you are an experienced angler, it can be easy to take a child fishing - they could just tag along with you. A better approach is to adapt the trip to make it more suitable for them.

Tips for getting started:

  • consider a highly active form of fishing like spinning, jigging or even bait fishing for catfish
  • shorter fishing sessions fit well with short concentration spans and allows time for new skills to bed-in between trips
  • gear should also be easy for young children to handle, so you may need to invest in a suitable entry level set up rather than use an old heavy rod and reel
  • once the basics are established you can consider introducing fly fishing techniques such as wet fly or nymphing
  • you will need to buy a Taupō fishing licence – either add your children to a Family Licence or buy a low cost Child Licence.

Children’s fishing packages

Another option is to take advantage of one of the fishing packages available at the Tongario National Trout Centre. They are a popular and convenient way to introduce younger people to fly fishing for trout.

The benefits include:

  • an experienced instructor will teach them how to cast, hook and net their trout
  • no experience needed and all fishing gear is provided
  • a separate fishing licence is not required
  • fish preparation and smoking facilities are available on site.

A variety of packages are available to suit different ages and level of experience. Booking is recommended.

Discover which fishing package would suit you best.

Fishing for catfish

Catfish are an unwanted pest in the Taupō Trout Fishery. However, they can be a good way to nurture an early interest in fishing.

They are found in large numbers in shallow areas such as Tokaanu and Motuoapa and catching them is very easy on basic gear. You can try eating them but if they are not to your taste the family cat will certainly enjoy them! 

Tips for catching catfish:

  • the easiest approach is to fish from a jetty or wharf - Tokaanu and Motuoapa are ideal spots
  • use small pieces of bread or cheese dropped in the water to attract them
  • cast a line with couple of small, baited hooks rigged above a light sinker
  • a Taupō fishing licence is not required.

Local fishing tackle stores are an ideal place to get advice on suitable gear to get your kids started.

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