Lower Waikato river trout Contests

Trout Contest 2023

October  12th to 15th (Thursday to Sunday)

After last year's competition,  we are excited to return to our regular annual contest held in October!  This one is again a four day event, with fabulous prizes from Kilwell NZ and Waikato Hunting and Fishing!

We have upped the prizes to $4,700, however note this contest is just after the school holidays, but still in the same time period as last year.

2023 Trout Comp Poster

Trout contest entry form 2023

EZ Entry form 2023

Trout methods booklet

Trout video- Trout on your doorstep

Hunting and Fishing/Kilwell 2022 Lower Waikato river trout contest results. 

Great to be back with a trout contest after our 2 year hiatus due to covid! This year we pared it back to a 4 day event, Thursday 13th October to Sunday the 16th, and we got a good response with many new entrants. We had 41 entries, 21 adults and 20 Juniors under 17. 

The river started and remained at a reasonably high level from the first day, and the river had been unusually high for quite a while. It was about a metre and a half higher than during the 2019 contest. This affected some spots and had definitely slowed the whitebait run, but there were still plenty of trout to be found, especially the first day. 

The weather was generally favourable, overcast with light winds for much of the time, only a few showers on the first evening. 

There were 50 trout weighed, with 48 being browns and 2 rainbow trout. This compares with 44 trout in 2019, and that was an 8 day contest, twice as long and with 62 entrants! Many more fish were caught or released than were entered, and overall they were in much better condition on average than the 2019 contest. 

With the contest area being as usual the main stem of the Waikato from below the Karapiro dam to the Waikato heads, the fish were caught from Karapiro dam to Rangiriri. This year, a majority of fish (by numbers) were caught in Huntly (24) and  Rangiriri (11), then followed by Hamilton (4),  Karapiro (3), Ngaruawahia (3), Horotiu (3) and Cambridge (2) . 

While almost all of the fish were caught from shore, one was caught trolling from a kayak. 

This is a top spin fishery, the most popular terminal tackle by far was still softbaits (27) , followed by trout flies (9), worms (7), spinners (4) and rapalas (3). 

From analysis of the total catch data this year, the average trout in this area weighs about 1.338kg, and has a condition factor of 42.77, which is a nicely coloured trout (up from a 38 condition in 2019). 

Weigh stations were at Taupiri Tavern in the evenings, plus daytime weighing at The Meat Co. Huntly, Waikato Hunting & Fishing in Te Rapa and also Sportsworld Cambridge. Many thanks to these weigh masters. 

The prize giving was held at Taupiri Tavern on Sunday 16th in the garden bar, with free barbecue provided by owner Bob Gamble, plus some delicious on-site hot smoked trout from Steve Farrar, and a very moorish trout dip from Mike Geelen. We also had a large grass carp of about 12.5 kg on display-  bow hunted in Hakanoa Lake! 

This year we again had a wide ranging prize selection of fresh and saltwater fishing related products- bags, rod/reel combos, smokers, lure packs, knife sets, nets, binoculars,headlamps, etc all provided by Scott Fraser at Waikato Hunting and Fishing (His own stock plus a Kilwell selection) 

Results for the 2022 competition; 

Juniors (20 entries, 12 fish caught) 

1st heaviest brown trout- Dylan Farrar (Huntly) 1.924 kg- $250 package (Sponsored by Huntly Rotary) 

2nd heaviest brown trout- Damon Greaves (Hamilton) 1.855 kg- $180 package 

3rd heaviest brown trout- Dylan Farrar (Huntly) 1.645 kg - $100 package 

Best condition factor trout- Dylan Farrar (Huntly) 47.54 condition factor, $280 package. 

2nd Best condition factor trout- Malachi Taitoki-Cave (Hamilton) 47.24 condition factor, $100 headlamp donated by Waikato Rivercare. 

In the juniors, the entry draw prize went to Jay Wickens (Huntly), he was the happy recipient of a $100 Lenser headlamp donated by Waikato Rivercare. 

Woman’s Heaviest trout- Tracey Farrar (Huntly) 2.168 kg- $100 tackle bag with full tackle box donated by Waikato Rivercare. 

Adults (21 entries, 38 trout caught) 

1st heaviest brown trout- Steven Sharpe (Hamilton)3.105 kg- $350 package (He also collected the large wall –hanging carved trout trophy) 

2nd heaviest brown trout- Mike Lynch (Huntly)  2.230 kg $260 package 

3rd heaviest brown trout Tracey Farrar (Huntly) 2.168 kg $110 package 

Heaviest rainbow trout- Chris Annandale (Ngaruawahia) 342g  $220 package 

Best Condition Factor rainbow- Asher Morley (Ngaruawahia) 44.16  factor, $200 package 

Best condition factor brown trout adults section- Sharnay Cocup-Hughes (Taupiri) 56.16 condition factor. She won a major package of $500 in goods including a Tica softbait combo and Powerall Jump start kit. 

Kotare Ventures Best Condition Factor overall trophy- Presented for the ninth time, the stunning trophy donated by Kotare Ventures (John Charteris) was won by Sharnay Cocup-Hughes, 56.16 factor. 

Team Section 

The 4 person teams section drew 4 entries, team fish had to have a condition factor of 36 or above, so some fish were excluded from the “bag”. 

The prizes are for the best average condition factor of the total fish caught per team. 

Team Section 1st – Splash and Dash (Cocup –Hughes family)  Average condition factor 56.16, (1 fish weighed that met the target)- $400 prize of 4 x $100 packages 

Rest of teams in order- 

Flyz R Down (Farrars) 4 fish,  average 45.39, The Troutlaws (TK- Baverstocks) -8 fish average 44.46,  and Hack n Flash (Lynch, Handley, Mc Clure and Curran) 5 fish average 43.48 condition factor. 

Overall average weight trout for the whole competition- $140 prize of a Lenser headlamp- weight was 1.338 kg and nearest was Blake Baverstock  with a brown of 1.346 kg. Congratulations to a very deserving winner, he puts in plenty of time on the water and weighed in 6 trout! David Geelen was very close with 1.350 too. 

Adults grand entry draw- this was open to all adult entries regardless of success, and was a $500 Hunting and Fishing voucher generously donated by Bob Gamble of Taupiri Tavern. It was drawn live and won by Mike Lynch, contestant no. 5. 

The remaining spot prizes were then distributed to all contestants present-  caps, beanies, sawdust bags, Tasmanian devil twin packs, fish clips, scales, split shot etc. 

Three good raffles were run at the prizegiving, (thanks for your support),  the $299 Shimano baitrunner combo was won by Kara Cave. The Powerall Jump start kit was won by Bob Gamble and the very popular $100 meat pack raffle donated by The Meat Co Huntly had 3 draws, 1st and  2nd  Sharnay Cocup-Hughes,  3rd Bob Gamble. 

The contest has been coordinated by the team of Michael Lynch, John Charteris, William Van Zyl , Bob Gamble, Sharnay Cocup, and Steve and Tracey Farrar. All combined especially on the final day to produce another great event! 

William Van Zyl was again official photographer for the event, and has uploaded his wonderful images to our Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100086733370376 

All of the competition images are there (click the photos button), you can email him for full resolution pics at williamvzyl@xtra.co.nz. 

Our 3 weigh station venues need a big vote of thanks- The Meat Co. Huntly (Warren Luke), Sportsworld Cambridge (Blake and Stacey)  & Waikato Hunting & Fishing (Scott Fraser). 

Many thanks to the great media coverage we have had from local publications,  especially Jim Richardson at the Chatter for free editorial and running the poster, plus Grant Dixon at NZ Fishing News, this helped publicise the event. 

Much appreciation to all the sponsors, contestants and families, for making it such a wonderful competition. 

The following sponsors made the competition possible, so please support them… 








NZ Fishing News 

Sportsworld Cambridge 

Kotare Ventures 

Auckland/Waikato Fish & Game 

Don’t stop fishing, plenty of action on the river from now till early December, then it will fire up again about May or before. Remember your licence lets you fish anywhere in NZ except Taupo fishery. 

Lower Waikato Trout Contest Team 2022 

Mike Lynch, William Van Zyl, John Charteris, Bob Gamble, Steve & Tracey Farrar, 

Sharnay Cocup-Hughes.

2019 Photo gallery

2018 Photo gallery