Sandra and Bernie, the innkeepers at the Clearwater, made us a great breakfast and served it to us in our room. We had poached eggs, toast and bacon. I did have to pull out my Green Tabasco sauce from Texas to add to the eggs to spice it up a bit. It was a good breakfast for starting our day. Dad and I were off to go fishing on Lake Taupo and Mom was going to relax and take it easy today.
Bernie had set us up with a fishing guide on Lake Taupo named Richard, the owner of the White Striker IV, a large fishing boat with a kitchen and sleeping area. It has a diesel 6 cylinder Volvo engine and was very clean. Richard is a native of Taupo, mid-30's, super nice and a great fishing guide.
Look Closely to see the Sky Divers Over Lake Taupo
We got fishing licenses for about $13.00 each and we on our way. We took the boat across the lake to a place that Richard thought we would have good luck. We used poles with downriggers, devices which make the fishing lures go deep in the lake and keep the lures from popping to the top. We fished at about 120 feet deep, according to Richard. The lake has 117 miles of shoreline and is 240 square miles in area -- so it's huge! The deepest part of the lake is about 300 feet deep. The native fish here were small little minnow like fish, akin to white bait from the South Island. In the 1890's, trout were introduced to the lake. They brought in Rainbow Trout from the Russian River in California and German Brown Trout from Germany.
Reeling in the catch.
Evidently the German Browns were brought from Germany to England, then on to Australia, then Tasmania, then New Zealand. That's a long way to transport trout roe! As I understood Richard, the fish were brought in only in the 1890's and have never been re-stocked, even now. The trout flourished here on the native food supply and used to get huge-- in the range of 28 to 30 pounds! That is much larger than how big the trout grow in their native habitats. Now, due to eating up lots of the native food supply, the trout are more in the range of about 3 and half pounds. You are only allowed to keep fish over 18 inches in length.
The cruise across the lake was beautiful. One cool thing we saw before we started fishing was a group of sky divers jumping out of a plane near the lake.
Richard Nets Dad's Catch
I caught one photo of them, but you have to look pretty hard to see them against the clouds.
Dad and I each caught a couple of fish in the course of the trip, but we only kept one for our dinner that night. The rest were released unharmed. The one we kept was a 19 inch rainbow that Dad caught, weighing about 3 and half pounds. Richard netted it and after the obligatory photos with the fish, Richard clubbed it with the "Priest Club" (after giving it last rites) and cleaned it. He then put it in what Richard called a fish body bag, aka a "New Zealand Condom" and we were done. It was a beautiful morning to fish, I just wish there had been more fish biting that day. We did fish long enough to have a couple of beers, Export Golds.
The Catch! 19 inch, 3.5 pound Rainbow Trout.
After all, it's not fishing unless you are drinking beer. All in, we spent about 3 hours on our fishing adventure.
We got back to the Clearwater and got Mom and headed to town for lunch at an Irish Pub, Finn MacGulhals. Mom and I split an order of fish and chips. Dad was not hungry and just had a Speights lager. I had a Kilkenny, as it was an Irish Pub. It was a good lunch. So nice to be able to eat outside in February!
We checked out the downtown area a bit, but we did not find a lot of things of interest, so decided to take a drive out to Mt. Ruapeu, a dormant volcano that is now a ski mountain. About half way there, it got very dark and started pouring rain, so we aborted our trip and headed back to the Clearwater.
I dropped Mom and Dad at the lodge, and got our fish and took it down to the restaurant so it could be prepared for our dinner that night. We went to a restaurant named On Tap -- one highly recommended by Richard, our boat captain. It was an awesome meal. More on that in the review below. We really enjoyed the meal -- so cool to be able to eat your catch. We had a great waitress that night too -- Dad could not understand a word she said with her Kiwi accent, so I had to "translate" for him. Once she asked him if he wanted "a wee bit of water" with his Scotch or "to the top" and he couldn't figure out what she meant even when I translated! Mom and I had a big laugh on that one.
Taupo Hotels & Accommodations review
Motel on the Edge of Lake Taupo
We were referred to the Clearwater Motor Lodge by a friend who stays here every year when he competes in the Iron Man New Zealand competition. The Cl… read entire review
Taupo Sights & Attractions review
Charter Fishing on Lake Taupo
If you are looking to try your luck at catching trout in New Zealand on Lake Taupo, you won't go wrong with White Striker Charters. We went on the Wh… read entire review
Taupo Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Cook your own Catch at Lake Taupo
My father and I had caught some great trout on Lake Taupo and were dying to eat one of our catch. We were referred to a local bar and restaurant, On … read entire review