Trolling and harling are two of the most common and effective techniques for fishing the lakes of the Taupō district.


Trolling and harling are good for all the family and can provide excellent fishing thoughout the year, but are particularly effective in spring and autumn.

What is trolling?

Trolling involves fishing from a slow moving boat, using a weighted line to get your fly or lure down to where the fish are. The easiest line to use is a lead line, which has a lead core and sinks quickly. You can also use line made of copper wire, which gets even deeper still.

What is harling?

Like trolling, harling involves fishing from a slow moving boat, using a weighted line to get your fly or lure down to where the fish are. The key difference however is that harling targets fish at depths down to about 10 feet, where as trolling can target depths much greater than that. Harling is generally best attempted at first and last light, where trolling can be more effective throughout the day.

Basic tackle

Here is a check list of basic tackle you will need, and local tackle shops are great at getting you set up well to get you started. Be sure to visit them before you start fishing to get the latest advice.

Rod and line

The ideal choice for trolling would be a 5 foot boat rod with a soft tip, paired with a trolling reel. The reel should contain at least 10 'colours' of lead line (100m), which will allow for the lure to fish well in deep water. The lead line should be attached to at least 10kg monofilament line, which acts as the running line.

A harling rod can be anything from a flyrod to a trolling rod, with any general purpose reel. The key tackle is the line, which should use about 20m (2 colours) of leadline attached to a running line. This will ensure your fly or lure sinks down just below the surface to a depth of 5-10 feet.

How to fish

Harling is an excellent way to target shallow drop-offs and edges of weed beds, and a fish finder will help keep you in the best strike zone. Trolling will target fish on deeper reefs and drop-offs, and again a fish finder is a great help.
In both cases the boat should move no faster than a walking pace, and gentle turns can help provide extra action to the fly or lure.

Flies and lures

Most smelt flies work well, as well as woolly buggers and rabbit flies in sizes 4-10. Favourites include ginger mick, jack sprat, silicone smelt, and grey ghost, all of which you can find at local tackle shops.

Lures that work well include toby's, tassie devils and cobras, and be sure to check with you local tackle shop as to what the hot colours are!

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