The cold weather did not seem to deter the thousands of keen anglers around the country who cast their lines for the season’s first catch.
The 2019–20 season began on 1 October, with lakes, streams, and rivers re-opening after being closed over winter to allow trout to complete their breeding season undisturbed.
With the new fishing season coinciding with the school holidays, Fish & Game is encouraging parents to take their kids fishing.
Reports from Fish & Game’s 12 regions indicate good success for many anglers.
While Rotorua’s reputation for quality trout fishing in the North Island was reinforced with two-year-old fish averaging 1.45kg and 500mm, Lake Okataina saw an average of 1.65kg and 507mm.
And while the fresh catch is keeping anglers happy, the season is not just about fishing.
“Anglers aren’t just here to catch the trout but to celebrate the occasion and catch up with old friends and family,” Eastern region manager Andy Garrick said.
“Overall, most fishers caught trout, but for many, that wasn’t why they were here.”
The season is shaping up to be good even for Wellington, says regional manager Phil Teal.
Down south, with the big Canterbury rivers in flood, the clear lowland streams and lakes became the angling hotspot.
“Often overlooked in favour of the big rivers, the smaller rivers streams that are not subject to alpine rainfall are great choices for anglers to visit when heavy rain fills up rivers like the Rakaia and Waimakariri,” said North Canterbury acting manager Richard Cosgrove.
In other areas such as Lake Opuha, anglers had caught their bag limit of four trout before lunchtime.
“On West Coast, majority of anglers who found some water that wasn’t too discoloured from recent rain were able to connect with a fish or two,” said West Coast Fish & Game officer Baylee Kersten.
“It’s fantastic how the opening of the fishing season has aligned with school holidays this year, all we need now is some nice weather to take the kids out.”
Do you love Facebook as much as we do? Follow us! And stay up to date with the latest news and happenings in fishing and hunting in New Zealand.