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How to fish NZ

NZ fishing methods

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The Fishing Year

 Overview

The fishing season: October to April

The majority of fishing waters are open and most trout fishing occurs during the warmer months from October to April.

Winter fishing: May to September

To find winter fishing waters:

Climate and weather

  October
October 1st is the beginning if the fishing season when many waters open again for trout and salmon fishing. In October the weather can still be cool, particularly in the evenings and nights. Fish are starting to become more active however and are beginning to feed voraciously as they attempt to put on weight after the winter months. Rivers may be high at this time and spin fishing is often the best method. If using flies it is best to try larger sizes at this time of the year.
  November
November sees the real beginning of the warm weather and insect life proliferates with a corresponding increase in feeding activity by the fish. This month can see some great rises throughout the day and particularly on warm evenings as trout seem ready to grab at anything that resembles a food source.
  December

December has the longest day and long twilight hours. Fish may go deeper during the hot and brightest times of the day but will emerge when the cooler evenings come. This is the time for smaller flies and a more stealthy approach as the water tends to be clearer and with the abundant insect life around the fish can afford to be choosy.

  January
January is a hot month and the main holiday time for New Zealanders. During the hottest parts of the days, fish will ofeten retreat to deep water or under vegetation such as overhanging trees. They can be hard to catch during the day but will feed voraciously as the evening approaches. Small flies and lures are genearlly recommended.
  February
February is also a warm month and often provides the time of the most settled weather. As with January, trout tend to be less active during hot bright days but will make up for this as the sun starts to decend giving tha angler several hours great fishing before dark. A great time with the dry fly as trout feed on the large terrestrial insects that fall on the water.
  March
March is a great fishing month. The weather is cooling down and is generally very settled. The trout are starting to get ready for the leaner winter months and will feed throughout the day. Another great dry fly month but any method will work well on the feeding fish.
  April
April sees the beginning of the cool autumnal weather though fishing can be great throughout the day. Lake fishing starts to pick up as fish begin to move in from the deeper water in preparation for spawning. The weather tends to be settled providing excellent fishing conditions. April 30th sees the end of the fishing season for many waters.
 May
May sees the start of the cold season with many rivers and lakes closed to anglers. Throughout the country however there are many places that remain open. Trout in New Zealand spawn during the winter months and this is the beginning of the large runs of fish up the rivers to spawn. To many anglers this is the beginning of the prime fishing time as large fish are targetted as they enter the rivers from the lakes.
  June
June can be cold and wet, but after a good fall of rain trout tend to enter the spawning rivers in large numbers. On some of the large rivers, anglers line the pools and can catch good numbers of fish as they race upstream to the spawning beds. Good fishing can also be had when fishing the lakes as trout tend to rise closer to the surface in the cooler weather.
  July
July is one of the coldest months with limited fishing in the south of the country but excellent fishing in and around the lakes in the central North Island. As in previous months, fish move up the rivers to spawn after a good fresh (fall of rain) and the lakes themselves offer excellent fishing for the shoreline angler and those in boats.
  August
August sees the first warming of the weather though as with previous months, fishing is restricted to a number of rivers and lakes. The same methods apply.
 September
September is warmer though still provides challenging fishing conditions. Usually the large spawning runs are over though there is still very good boat and shorline fisng on the lakes. As trout finish spawning and return to the lakes they are often "spent" and in poor condition. They are also very hungry and easy to catch however.

 

 

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