New Zealand is a freshwater angler’s dream location. Our trout and salmon fisheries are rated among the best in the world. Every year thousands of Kiwis and overseas visitors experience the wonderful angling opportunities afforded by our pristine lakes, rivers and streams.
New Zealand Information Network has prepared this angler’s regional guide to enable you to plan a great fishing holiday itinerary.
The U.S. author Zane Grey dubbed New Zealand ‘The Angler’s Eldorado’ last century and this remains true today. The pursuit of trout and salmon is a natural birthright for Kiwis and we are fortunate to have public access along the margins of most of our lakes and rivers. Our fisheries are in good hands as they are administered by recreational anglers who are elected to Fish and Game Councils in each region. Lake Taupo is managed by the Department of Conservation and requires a special fishing licence.
Trout are a truly wild sports fish because farming is banned and it is illegal to sell trout in New Zealand. Restaurant menus don’t feature trout but some fishing lodges will cook and serve fish caught by their guests.
Fishing licences can be obtained from Fish and Game offices, from sports shop agents and specialist fishing stores throughout the country, or by calling 0800 542 362. A national licence can be purchased on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, or for a whole season. A separate licence is required for the special Lake Taupo fishery.
Each Fish and Game region has its own landscapes, fishing conditions and regulations. These are all defined in comprehensive booklets, which are available from regional offices or by phoning the New Zealand Fish and Game Wellington office on (04) 499 4767. In most North Island fisheries the season is October 1 to June 30 and in the South Island it is October 1 to April 30. Numerous lakes and river systems are open all year round.
Professionally guided fishing tours and multi-day safaris are available in all regions with all gear provided. Visitors can also rent equipment from fishing stores. There has never been a better time to fish for trout and salmon. The lakes and rivers are well stocked with large fish in top condition.
Welcome to the great New Zealand freshwater fishery. We trust that your fishing holiday will be a productive and memorable experience.