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.

Don’t Put Your Fishing Gear Away Too Early

There’s still plenty of productive trout fishing to be had around the country (NZ) in spite of the onset of winter and the closure of some lakes and rivers to fishing. 

Fish & Game NZ is urging anglers not to put away their gear but to broaden their horizons – try the lakes and rivers that remain open over the winter months, different methods of shoreline fishing, and even sampling what other regions have to offer.

Anglers should consult their Sports Fishing Regulation booklet, or visit the Fish & Game website, where they’ll discover a wealth of fishing opportunities available over the cooler months.

More on where to fish over winter in both North and South Islands.

Distance Schmistance.

One of the South Island of New Zealand’s best known guides, Chris Dore, offers some sound advice about getting more distance, and the benefits of being able to do so. This is especially true in New Zealand where casting in a wind is a very common requirement.

“I tire of hearing people bagging distance casting. "its not needed here in NZ" and most commonly "all my fish are caught within a few rod lengths" are common justifications.

Well mate, that’s because you can only cast a few rod lengths. And how do you go in windy conditions? You don’t? I wonder why…”

The Trout Diaries: A Year of Fly-Fishing in New Zealand


As a New Zealand fisherman with over 50 years experience, I am acutely aware of the almost dreamlike reputation New Zealand’s trout fishing holds for many overseas anglers. Unfortunately much of that dream has been fuelled by over-hyping in print, TV and other media. Sure we have big trout in superb surroundings, but the big trout are hard to catch, and require for the most part good fly-fishing skills, where casting and presentation techniques are key.
Fortunately Trout Diaries is extremely well written, and through an anecdotal style reveals the true nature and reality of New Zealand trout fishing, and the techniques that can lead to success.
In many ways the books title is a misnomer, it is most certainly not a ‘I did this on this day’ book, but covers a years worth of fishing trips throughout both the North and South Island of New Zealand. On the way you will meet some of the true characters that fish our waters, and learn a lot.
I cannot recommend Trout Dairies highly enough.

Another review:

“This is such a fine book; one that is able to be enjoyed on several levels.
It has inspired me to fish some new water, and it offers some gems on how to fly fish. The Trout Diaries is occupied by some of the most interesting characters to inhabit our angling literature, and the author has captured their voices beautifully. The book will appeal to people looking for the adventure that comes from new places and people, but primarily for me, it was about an adventure of the soul. This ultimate adventure, so well described, is the most important journey of all, and is what will make this book appeal to an audience well beyond anglers. It is a book that can make you laugh and cry, which is quite something for a book supposedly about angling.”

Yet another:

“Derek Grzelewski sees what most others do not; his thoughtful observations are carefully wound into stories that are neither just about technique, nor about the requisite equipment but rather how fishing for trout, pounding miles of river bank, chance encounters with locals and peering from bridges into running water, feed us. He threads his 12 months of fishing with his life experiences. This is not a book about pounds, numbers or the one that got away. He recounts his meetings with professionals, scientists, cockies, novices, old timers, whitebaiters… for each of them a different slant on what they take from the fabulously fresh still and running waters of New Zealand. I couldn’t put the book down.”

New Zealand Fisher magazine – April issue 2011

Yep, I know there is a blizzard of on-line magazines trying to swamp our screens, but this new, New Zealand magazine, on saltwater fishing is looking good.

Quite rightly New Zealand’s trout fishing gets a lot of press, but our saltwater fishing is world class as well.  See the April edition, and previous editions here.


Dad and Lad fly-fishing at Lake Otamangakau, New Zealand

Eddie, the Lad, was out from the UK where he currently lives, so Dad and Lad, the ‘A Team’, of course set up for a bout of fly-fishing in the Taupo region of Central North Island, NZ.

We spent one day of our time together on Lake Otamangakau, up on the volcanic plateau above Taupo. Otamangakau’s trout are rightly renowned for the strength and endurance they exhibit between hook-up and net. That is if you can get the fish to the net. Many become un-hooked fish, departing at flank speed followed by a stream of very naughty language indeed.

The lake also has a deserved reputation for being very reluctant to share its trout with visiting anglers. Most times the fishing verges on hard, often very hard. But put in the ‘hard yards’ as they say, and the rewards are very satisfying.

We fished with Contact Guide Graham Dean, one of the most knowledgeable Guides on Lake Otamangakau’s intricacies. I have fished with Graham before and know when he describes the state  of the fishing, he does not mince words, This day the word was that the fishing was officially ‘hard’, but we left satisfied – a number of good fish always leave a bit of a warm glow.

Eddie with a typical Lake Otamangakau barrel

Eddie shows off a typical Lake O trout, well-rounded and packed with muscle. Most anglers when they first hook-up on on one of these fish will call it for being much bigger.

Eddie with a good sized Lake Otomangakau hen trout

An excellent fish, that really gave Eddie the run-a-round. All the fish we caught were on blood worm imitations twitched very slowly back to the boat,

Dad with good Lake Otomangakau trout

Dad, a.k.a Bish, in incognito mode, with a very nice trout.

For more inormation on Lake Otamangakau see this

Muddy Waters – Of Mud, Mothers, Eels and the Boy

Reading the story in my last post about a big eel attacking a trout here in New Zealand reminded me that the first story I ever wrote for New Zealand Fishing News magazine was about eels.

It was written about 22 years ago – don’t time fly! It was pretty well received way back then, so maybe it is time for a re-run. Have a read here