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Freshwater fishing

Freshwater fishing methods

Other fishing

New Zealand Coarse Fishing

In New Zealand, coarse fishing generally means fishing for perch and tench but also includes koi carp, catfish and goldfish; however in the Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game region, coarse fishing includes rudd.

Coarse fish have larger scales than trout and prefer warm still waters; so the fishing is best in summer when they are active and feeding.

A Fish & Game fishing licence is requred and allows you to fish throughout New Zealand except the Taupo area - see New Zealand fishing licences.

Methods

Defined coarse fishing waters are locations named in the regional fishing regulations where anglers can fish for coarse fish:

  • with a rod which has either a fixed or running line.
  • with no restriction on the type or number of baits in use.
  • with no restriction on the use of preparations to attract fish.

In other locations, you cannot use a rod with a fixed line, and there are restrictions on the type and number of baits and on the use of preparations to attract fish.

Coarse fishing available in the Fish & Game regions

Northland

Location: The only public coarse fishing water in the Northland region is the Waitangi River and its tributaries.

Season: The open season is Oct 1-Jun 30.

Limits: There is no size or bag limit for perch or tench.

Methods: Bait fishing is permitted only when fishing for tench in the Waitangi river.

Auckland/Waikato

Location: Coarse fishing is present in most lakes north of Hamilton, including Lake Pupuke and Hamilton Lake. This is the only region where you can fish for rudd as well as tench and perch.

The following are designated as coarse fishing waters:

  • All lakes and ponds except the Mangatangi Reservoir and the Mangatawhiri Reservoir.
  • Mangatawhiri River from the bridge on SH2 to its confluence with the Waikato River
  • Whangamarino River

Season: Most rivers are closed from during July, August and September, though all lakes and sections of some rivers are open all year. Please check the Auckland/Waikato Regulations for the river or lake you plan to fish.

Bag limit: You must not kill more than 5 tench in a day. There is no limit for perch or rudd.

Methods: You may only use one rod or line at a time when you are fishing for perch, tench or rudd, but you can have any number of rods and running lines assembled.

A roach pole may be used to fish for perch, tench and rudd.

Eastern region including Rotorua

Defined locations: There are no defined coarse fishing rivers in the Eastern region.

Season: Open during the open season for each fishing water. Please see the Eastern region regulations.

Taupo

Two species of coarse fish are found in Lake Taupo:

  • Brown bullhead catfish which can be caught on hook and line or with fyke nets
  • Common goldfish which locals occasionally fish for with hand nets

Catfishing

There are no gear restrictions for catfishing, except that destructive methods such as  gill nets may not be used. Licences are not required. Catfish are occasionally caught by river mouth and lake shore flyfishers and very rarely by trolling. If trout are caught by a catfisher using gear not permitted for trout fishing (e.g. bait, handlines, setlines or fyke nets) they must be immediately released unharmed. The onus is on a person using these methods to show that they are fishing for catfish and not trout.

It is illegal to transfer any fish from one location to another without permits under the Conservation and Fisheries Acts and DOC strongly recommends that anyone catching catfish kill them at the site of capture. They are very hardy and will survive many hours out of water.

Hawke's Bay

Defined locations: There are no defined coarse fishing rivers.

Season: Open during the open season for each fishing water. Please see the Hawke's Bay regulations.

Taranaki

Defined Locations: There are no defined coarse fishing waters in the Taranaki region.

Other locations: Lakes Cowley, Ngangana, Rotomanu, Ratapiko, Rotorangi, Wiritoa, Pauri and Kohata all have perch fishing. In these lakes you cannot use a rod with a fixed line, and there are restrictions on the type and number of baits and on the use of preparations to attract fish.

Season:   Open during the open season for each fishing water. Please see the Taranaki regulations.

Bag limit: There is no limit on the number of perch killed by a licence holder.

Wellington

Defined locations and season: The defined coarse fishing waters in the Wellington region are:

Fishing water Open Bag limit
Lake Waitawa (Otaki) 1 Oct-
30 April

Perch: No limit
Tench: 0 (catch & release)

Upper & Lower Whitby Lakes All year

Perch: No limit
Tench: 0 (catch & release)

Lake Wairarapa All year No limit for perch or tench
Ruamahanga Cut-Off All year No limit for perch or tench
Hokowhitu Lagoon (also known as Centennial Lagoon All year No limit for perch or tench
Kouraurau Dam (Upper) Reservoir All year No limit for perch or tench
Nelson/Marlborough

Locations: None.

Fishing for coarse fish in all waters in the Nelson/Marlborough region is illegal. This prohibition includes perch, tench, koi carp and gambusia.

West Coast

Location and season: Coarse fishing for perch is permitted in the West Coast region during the open season for each fishing water. See the West Coast regulations for open season dates.

Bag limits: There is no size restriction or bag limit for perch.

North Canterbury

Defined locations: The defined coarse fishing waters in the North Canterbury region are:
- the Kaiapoi Lakes
- Rotokahatau Lake
- Monopolies Pond

- Lower Okana River downstream of SH 75 at Little River

- Lake Forsyth

- Lower Old Halswell River downstream from Seabridge Rd

- Lower Halswell Canal downstream from the Waihora Gun Club

- Lower Avon River downstream from Barbadoes St

Season: These waters are open all year.

Bag limits: A daily bag limit of 4 sportsfish applies.
You may take only:
- 1 tench and it must be less than 150 mm in length.

- 2 trout

Note: West Lake near Halswell is closed to coarse fishing

Central South Island

Defined locations: The defined coarse fishing waters in the Central South Island region are:
- Saltwater Creek
- Centennial Park Lake (Timaru)

- Island Stream (tributary of the Kakanui River)

- Waiareka Stream (tributary of the Kakanui River)

Season: Saltwater Creek and Centennial Park Lake are open all year.

Bag limit: A daily bag limit of 4 sportfish applies in these locations. Refer to the Central South Island regulations.

Otago

Defined locations: There are no defined coarse fishing waters in the Otago region.

Season: Open during the open season for each fishing water. Please see the Otago regulations.

Bag limit: There is no bag limit for perch.

Southland

Defined locations: There are no defined coarse fishing waters in Southland.

Season: Open during the open season for each fishing water. Please see the Southland regulations.

Bag limit: There is no bag limit for perch.

 

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