“Damsels in Distress” on a New Zealand Stream

Absolutely amazing footage…

“ My wife and I were fishing with friend/guide Dean Whaanga in New Zealand when a combination of bad weather and good timing resulted in a fish giving us the experience of a lifetime. I crawled on my stomach with my camera to the water’s edge, hit record, and watched what was one of the coolest moments I have ever witnessed.”

It only runs for two and a bit minutes, but my guess is you will repeat view several times. Watch in HD and full screen.

See it here.

Blast from the past night fishing article, Updated

The New Zealand Fishing Website have just published an article of mine that appeared way back in 1997 in the New Zealand Fisherman magazine on fishing for trout at night.

The article was actually the first article in four about night fishing in lakes and rivers.

I updated all four articles in my book Fishing Smarter for Trout, which you can read for free on my site.

Since the book was published I have continued to update the articles as I learn more about night fishing – and like all fishing there is always something new too learn.

Massive Yellowtail Kingfish

Mark Kitteridge who worked with me at my tackle shop in Auckland NZ for ten years scored this huge yellowtail kingfish off Tairua, NZ. Weighed in at 40 kg (88 lb.)

Released it too!

40kg yellowtail kingfish

Did you know that the IGFA has two records for Yellowtail kingfish, the so called California Yellowtail and the Southern Yellowtail yet they are exactly the same fish. Way past time the IGFA fixed this.

The joys of winter angling – plenty on offer around NZ

Don’t give up on trout fishing just yet – especially with some of the crisp, clear winter’s days the country’s been served up.

That’s the message from Fish & Game NZ, pointing to productive trout fishing waters including lakes, rivers right throughout the country which are still open to anglers.

Get all the options here. New Zealand-wide

Catching Big Brown Trout in New Zealand

When does chasing big brown trout become an obsession?

I try to get down to the Taupo region on the central North island of New Zealand in March. As autumn starts to bite, brown trout move into the rivers and streams from Lake Taupo to head upstream to spawn. It is usually a reasonably sedate meander, not like the mad dash of pods of rainbows that tend to move up somewhat later.

Usually rivers and streams in March are low and clear, but this does not seem to deter brown trout. Mostly they move at night, spending the day hugging the bottom of deeper water, or tucked in under overhanging, undercut banks. Some hold deep in the branches of fallen trees – untouchable.

This year things were different. A vicious drought affecting the North Island and beyond turned the land from the famed New Zealand green to a drab lifeless brown. Driving down from Auckland I had never seen the countryside so devoid of grass. The sun literally sucking the life out of the land and waterways.

When I reached the Tauranga-Taupo River (TT), I could see the effect of the drought. The river was now a creek, very low and clear. Despite this Steve Yerex, guide and operator of the Keruru Lodge, where I regularly stay, was reasonably upbeat. Browns were in the river in some numbers he reported over the phone, but he suggested that it might take some high level of skill and more than a big helping of luck to pry one or two out of the TT.

Steve was going to be away for a couple of days raft fishing down the Mohaka River, leaving me on my own at the lodge – I liked that.

Arriving late afternoon, I decided to wander a little way downstream with my Tenkara rod and see if I could annoy a few small rainbows which by now were moving downstream to the lake. Over the next hour and a bit, more than a score of fish around 6 to 10 inches were plucked from the shallow runs. Great fun.

Next morning and now in serious fish-hunting mode I headed slowly upstream, peering intently into every pool and undercut bank. The browns were there. Some brutes among them too. Serious brutes. Brutes that have tempted and tormented me for too many years to recall.

Full Story here

Anglers happy as Taupo trout return

Lake Taupo (central North Island, NZ) anglers are enjoying some of the best fishing in years as the world-renowned wild fishery returns limit catches of well conditioned trout.

Department of Conservation Taupo fishery area manager Dave Lumley said the abundance of smelt and zooplankton in the lake was contributing to anglers catching limit bags of good conditioned trout.

A limit bag on Lake Taupo is three fish, each over 40 centimetres (15.7”)  long.

"It’s a continuance of the good fishing which we noticed from early summer, from around mid-November. The fish are bigger and in superb condition, with many caught measuring between 42-45 centimetres."

Lumley said anglers were catching maiden fish, sometimes second spawners, which had not been takeable last summer.

The southern end of the lake, off Omori, Kuratau and Whareroa, was proving productive, as was Waihaha Bay on the western side of the lake, he said.

Climatic changes, floods and eruptions have taken a toll on the fishery in the past 10 years.

Angler numbers have fallen 22 per cent on Lake Taupo since 2005, while adult licence sales have decreased from 12,557 to 9,791 since 2006.

Taupo Hunting and Fishing owner Mike Stent said the fishery had improved each year since 2009.

"It’s coming out of a hole and for the past three years the fishing has been getting better and better.

"The fishery is in good heart, we’ve seen big improvements and there is plenty of smelt around this year for the trout."

Stent hoped the improvements would encourage people to start fishing again.

"A lot of anglers stopped because of the lean years. What many don’t understand is Taupo is a wild fishery and it slowed up because of floods and eruptions over recent years. Many of the spawning runs were wiped out."

Full story here.

My experience: I have fished the Taupo area, especially the rivers spilling into Lake Taupo, regularly over the last year and the number and condition of the trout has been very good indeed – not back to what it was 10 years ago, but certainly getting there.

Let’s face it, how many overseas anglers would love to fish an area where the trout are wild, average around 41cm (16”) long, and round and fat with it?

Four Day Trip to Taupo NZ Area Produced Great Fishing

Just back from a four day trip to fish the Tauranga-Taupo River near Taupo, Central North Island, New Zealand.

On the face of it the fishing should have been hard, the river was low and very clear, the sun was summer shining, and it was blowing hard, at times very hard.

But the river was stacked with fish. There were good numbers of rainbows making their way up-river to spawn, and bigger numbers of fish making their way back down to the lake. Even managed to bag a nice 5ish pound Brown trout – nice surprise.

The fish were not big, but big enough, and the fish in the photo was pretty typical.

tt61212

The river may have been stacked with fish, but there were very few anglers about, most of the time I was alone. Bliss!

Mostly used a ‘hopper-dropper’ setup; the dropper being one of Chris Dore’s Glister nymphs. I had these in a range of sizes and weights (including un-weighted). The ‘Hopper’ was a  butt-ugly foam fly of my own twisted imagination which despite appearances was monstered by more than a few fish.

I don’t think I casted ‘blind’ over the whole 4 days – just cast to sighted fish.

Just a quick note, my trip was timed on the basis of a very successful trip same time last year, and year before. I am not a regular diary keeper, but do keep notes on successful trips.

New Tagging Research Reveals Remarkable Mako Shark Journey

A satellite reporting tagging device know as a SPOT tag, attached to a shortfin mako shark dubbed “Carol” in New Zealand five months ago, is providing scientists with remarkable and previously unknown details of the timing and long-distance migratory movements of this species.

makotag

See more on Sportfishing magazine.