Fish Jet FAQ: Common Questions About Our Fishing Trips

Got questions about our Te Anau fishing trips? We’ve put together a list of answers to common questions. Have a look and contact us if answers here don’t clarify things for you.

Who are your trips suitable for?

We provide two types of fishing experiences:

  • Spin fishing for the novice angler and people who haven’t spin or fly fished before — fun fishing experiences on Waiau River, which winds through the unparalleled beauty of Fiordland’s rain forest, and perfect for families, couples or anyone just wanting to give it a go.
  • Fishing trips for the experienced and serious angler — no less fun but more fishing-focused adventures on the Waiau in our purpose-built boat. (See Mark Wallace’s Distinctive Fishing Experiences site for more guided fishing trip options.)

Just about anyone* will enjoy a spin fishing trip from pre-school children to people whose school days are a very distant memory.

*It would be tricky to get a wheelchair into the boat but it is very possible to fish from one of the boat’s seats. Please contact us if you are wondering whether you could come out with us or you are concerned about a health condition.

How many people can you take?

Up to six with two fishing at any one time spin fishing.  We can also cater a group of up to 8 if you are experienced in fly fishing and can be left to fish without a guide for a time.

Do we need to know how to fish to do your trip?

No! Your guides, Mark & Ken, love teaching people – including very small people — to fish and introducing people to fishing is part or why we do what we do. Never held a fishing rod in your life? Not a problem. Done a lot of fishing? Great… You’re about to add a pretty special fishing experience to your fishing history.

Bottom line: Mark & Ken can tailor your Fish Jet fishing trip experience to suit you and your group.

Do you need to fish to enjoy jet boat fishing?

Experience shows that you don’t even need to have a go at fishing to enjoy the trip. The river takes you to beautiful places few people see – ‘non-fishing spouse’ Pat Basle came out with Mark in Feb and said ‘it was fantastic fun to cruise the river!’.

Can we bring our children?

Children are very welcome on spin fishing trips. Our sons — aged 6 & 8 — have been catching fish since they were 2 year old and regularly go out with Mark. Fish Jet trips are designed to keep the whole family happy. Check out our Trip Advisor feedback and see our testimonials for feedback from past family group guests; you’ll find the words ‘family fun’ come up a lot.

Do trips only include the Waiau?

Your trip could include some time chasing trout on Lake Te Anau or Lake Manapouri — the Upper Waiau river drains lake Te Anau and winds down to Manapouri… Just let us know you’d like to include some lake fishing. Be warned, though: the fishing will be much more eventful on the river itself.

Do we need to have fishing licences?

Everyone who will be fishing needs a licence. If you don’t already have one, we can arrange day licences. Just tell us know when you book your trip.

Can we take some fish home for dinner?

Fish Jet operates under a strict catch and release policy. Why? The Waiau is well-stocked with Rainbow & Brown Trout and we want to keep it that way… It’s part of our commitment to preserving the special environment we operate in and sharing it responsibly.

How many fish will/can we catch?

We can never be sure how many fish we will catch and we don’t want to promise anything but this is a well stocked fishery; 2-300 trout per kilometer (28kms of river!) and we work hard for our clients!

What should we bring?

We provide life jackets and all the CD Rods fishing gear you will need to catch lots of trout. Appropriate dress will vary with the weather but sunglasses, a hat, a warm jacket and raincoat are generally a good idea. Basically, bring the things you would take on a day walk, including ‘sensible shoes’. And don’t forget your camera to prove just how big the fish you caught were.

How long are your Waiau River trips?

You can choose from two jet boat fishing trip options:

  1. A ‘Half Time’ trip – a morning or afternoon on the river allowing you to fish the length of the Upper Waiau River with optional walk and stop options… great for Couples and Families who want to combine Fish Jet with other Te Anau activities.
  2. A full-day ‘Full Throttle’ trip – a day on the river fishing with lunch provided and multiple options to experience the river and its surrounds… just the thing if you have the time.

When do you run your trips?

Our trips generally run daily through the spring and summer (October to May) at 8am and 2pm. But we can be flexible with timing… Evening trip? Early morning experience? Contact us, if you would like to arrange a trip outside these normal times.

Can you pick me up from my accommodation?

Yes, we can pick you up from your accommodation — we’ll confirm a time but allow an hour for pick up and return on top of your trip time. Just let us know where you are staying.

Are the trips weather dependent?

Barring severe conditions that make a trip impossible — extremely rare — whether we go is up to you. If you are keen, we are happy to take you out whatever the weather … Obviously, this may mean a slightly different experience and require wet weather gear. But rain has never stopped the fun in Fiordland and Fish Jet is no exception.

How safe is your jet boat ride?

Your safety is our number 1 priority, alongside having fun. You’ll wear the life jacket we provide while you are on board our boat. (We might let you leave it in the boat, though, if you choose to explore the riverside a little or walk some of the Kepler! You might draw undue attention away from the river.) And the boat and our operation is regularly inspected and certified by Maritime New Zealand — you can be sure it meets all relevant safety standards.

Will we see Lord of the Rings locations?

There are multiple Lord of the Rings film locations on the Upper Waiau. If you’re interested, your guide will show you where they are and pull up to let you have a look

Are there bathroom facilities available

At any point on the trip bathroom facilities are only 10 minutes boat ride away.

When will you charge my credit card?

If you book online, we will charge your credit card at the time of booking. But a full refund will be offered, if you cancel at least 24 hours before your trip or river conditions cause us to cancel your trip (unlikely!).

If you book via phone, we collect your credit card details at the time of booking and take the 50% deposit  the balance won’t be debited until the day of travel.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you cancel your trip within 24 hours of the time of travel, there is a 100% cancellation fee. Beyond that we are pretty flexible — if you cancel at the last minute but we can fill the trip, then we may be able to offer a refund.