Lower North Lowdown - September 23, 2021
The Countdown is On!
Picture caption: Cohen McCormick with a lovely bar of Hutt River gold taken recently (Credit Andrew Harding)
Welcome to the first angling report for the 2021-22 season, freshly rebranded the 'Lower North Lowdown'.
This coming season you can look forward to some other new elements we'll be introducing to (hopefully) continue to make it interesting, informative and, above all, helpful for planning the fishing adventures that lie ahead for you.
In the meantime, the countdown to Opening Day is well and truly on with only seven days 'til the season starts on Friday, October 2021.
Now's the time to grab your licence and makes sure all your gear is in tip-top condition.
Here's a checklist to help get you set for Opening:
- 2021-22 Whole Season Licence.
- Clean fly-line and check for cracks (replace if required).
- Check spinning monofilament or braid for wear/strength.
- Replace lost flies and lures from last season
- Sharpen hooks.
- Test waders for leaks.
- Practice your casting - getting out on the lawn and throw some loops!
- Plan your Opening Day or first weekend outing.
After a lousy winter and another dose of lockdown, it's hard not be excited about the coming season. And there's certainly plenty to look forward to with fisheries in great shape and not an overseas angler in sight.
Given the new season coincides with the start of the school holidays, it's great news that some of the standout fisheries from last season were those closest to home and easily accessible. Instant school holiday boredom buster!
The lower Waiohine River is often overlooked by anglers as they head for the scenically stunning upper reaches, however, the section downstream of SH2 produced outstanding fishing mid- to late season and became something of a hotspot for those in the know in 2020-21.
The Ruamahanga appears to have well and truly bounced back too and the quality of the fishing last summer and through winter bodes well for the coming season.
Further north the Manawatu has fished exceptionally well in recent months in the middle reaches, producing some very big 5lb-plus rainbows that have put on condition quickly after the rigors of spawning.
And the smile says it all for young Georgia Maclean (pictured above) with one of many Rangitikei rainbows she and her dad Nathan nailed on the river around Taihape last season. You can be sure that this stand out fishery will be superb again in 2021-22.
So, enjoy the season ahead – it will be a cracker.
Lowland Fisheries Firing
Can't wait to get out - why not make the most of the last few days on your current licence and hit the water that is open?
The whitebait are on the move and the fishing in the lower reaches of many of our rivers is running hot.
With lots of kahawai around in the lower estuarine reaches too, there's plenty of opportunities for a hook-up.
A Wellington region estuary brown trout caught on a whitebait imitation (Credit Hamish Carnachan)
If you haven't been out for a while, going for a fish this weekend in the water that has remained open will help iron out those kinks in your technique before the season opens next Friday.
Top Tip for Early Season Angling
A great technique to help you start your season off well with high chance of good catch rates is soft bait fishing.
With whitebait on the move around the lower and middle reaches of our rivers, soft baiting is an ideal way to imitate these little fish and cover plenty of water in the process.
It is also a brilliant technique that comes into its own when the rivers are higher and have a little more flow and colour which is typical of early-season conditions.
Finally, if you're introducing a new angler to freshwater fishing, or taking the kids out these coming school holidays, it is a cheap and effective way to get them started.
Check out this great 'how-to' video by clicking on the image below.
Great Aid for Your Angling Adventures
The NZ Walking Access Commission (NZWAC) has launched a mobile version of its popular and ever helpful Walking Access Mapping System.
Pocket Maps, as it's called, is available now via the Google Play Store and iOS Apple Store, and allows users to view accessible areas and public conservation land at the press of your fingertips.
WAMS pocket edition is going to be a useful tool for anglers.
Maps can be viewed online with a Wi-Fi connection or downloaded to be viewed offline.
NZWAC acted on feedback that map users struggle to understand public access boundaries when outdoors - now, with the help of Pocket Maps, people can check their location and their access.
Pocket Maps lets you search your exact location by region and through the map layers, understand what type of access land you are currently on or looking to fish or walk through.
Fish & Game Elections
If your enrolled to vote in the Fish & Game council elections you should have received your voting papers by now.
Please take the opportunity to read about the candidates and select those you want to help shape your angling over the course of the next political term.
The Wellington Fish & Game Council provides an essential role in our ‘user pays, user says’ democratic management of sports fish and game birds.
The councilors’ tasks include setting regional fishing and hunting regulations, often in response to submissions from licence holders, developing policy, and prioritising management direction through work plans for staff.
Voting close at 5pm, October 8.
Join Us on Instagram
Keep up to date with the Wellington Fish & Game crew, and what's happening in the region by following us on Instagram - wellingtonfishgame
Full Report Next Week
We'll catch you next Thursday when we'll be back with a full version of Lower North Lowdown report, including the latest weather updates and river flows to help you plan your Opening Day outing!
*This report was accurate at time of writing - For your safety please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.
- October 2021
- September 2021
- August 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- April 2021
- March 2021
- February 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- May 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- July 2018
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- December 2013
- March 2013
- September 2012
- July 2012