Some parts of New Zealand don’t allow the use of treble hooks when targeting trout. If you’re planning to fish in one of these areas, or are more interested in catch and release, swapping the trebles out for a single inline hook is a great option that won’t impact hook up rates. Make sure you check your local freshwater regulations before you head out fishing.
Up to 90% of river trout have a diet of insect larvae. Baitfish make up a small proportion of the total prey that one of these fish will eat throughout its life. When spinning high up in rivers you’re more often trying to spark a predatory reaction from the trout rather than imitating a specific food source.
In the lower reaches of a river when the whitebait are running, fish can become the main prey for trout (especially browns) that ave run out into the ocean. On many lakes, likes Taupo and Rotorua, the prey is often like estuarine areas with 90% of adult fish eating smelt or bullies. In these locations it’s more important to imitate the food source.
BEST PLACES TO TARGET TROUT WITH LURES
Choosing the river section is key when using lures. Lower reaches in all river systems have the highest concentration of baitfish. Depending on the season, whitebait, smelt, bullies, and mullet are all in plentiful numbers. Targeting these areas will bring more hits since these fish are more keyed into the prey.
From the estuarine part of the river to a few kilometers upstream is the best place to start with silver, white or grey lures. If the river has some colour, (this is common with estuaries) change to a darker black or brown.
Trout love slack water near their food source. Trout cannot keep up with constant flowing water, so they sit just out of the current. Normally this will be near some structure like willow trees or submerged snags. Here are a few different examples of good trout habitats.