Otago Reel Life August 2019

New season on the horizon

Welcome to the first Otago edition of Reel life leading into the 2019/20 fishing season.

Please be mindful that your current season, family or winter licence expires on September 30.

Hopefully you will have received our Fish and Game email licence prompter.

Above Right: Martin Mudry from Lake Hawea with a Wanaka tributary mouth brownie.

New seasons licences are now freely available online here or by visiting our supporting licence agents.

Spring is slowly on the make with the occasional fine calm day in the mix.

Fishing has been good on our large lakes that are open all year.

Levels are low due to snow locked up in the high country allowing easy access around shorelines for land based fishing.

River mouths should be targeted over the coming months with rainbows preparing for their annual migrations upstream, browns are ever present.

Care must be taken as delta areas can be very soft. Wearing a flotation device when wading is advisable.

All fishing methods are equally productive and combinations of green, orange and red are recommended.

With Contact Energy drawing down Lake Hawea to minimum levels Hawea River flows have eased with less influence on the Clutha River.

Pools and runs are better defined, and the river is more easily accessible.

The white bait season is well underway on the East Coast and those large estuary fish will be ever on the prowl for an easy meal.

There are some very realistic soft bait imitations on the market that will fool the weariest of fish.

The opening of the lowland rivers on October 1st will be keenly awaited by many.

Preparing for the new season

Lake tributary success

Cool overcast spring days at river mouths can be rewarding.

Most importantly purchase your new seasons licence!

Check your gear- eyes on the rod are secure and not broken, clean that fly line or treat yourself to a new one, and spin/bait anglers should replace old nylon.

Spice up your preparation with a few new flies or lures and don’t forget the kids’ gear!

Prior to boating do a full inspection of the boat and accompanying gear and replace any stale fuel with a new batch.

Check your trailer certificate of fitness is valid and service the motor for the season ahead.

Regulation changes

The sea run salmon limit has been reduced from two to one from October 1 and the regulation booklet has been reformatted.

A full three yearly review of the regulations will commence in 2020.

Upcoming Events

September 9,10,11 – Adult beginners spin fishing course, Fish and Game Office Dunedin

September 15 – Otago Fish and Game will be present at Wanaka’s Annual Sport & Recreation Event from 10am-1pm at the Wanaka Recreation Centre.

October 5 – Glenorchy Fishing Competition.

November 10 – Rotary of Cromwell Lake Dunstan Fishing Competition.

November 24 – Central Otago, Manuherikia River. An introduction to soft bait fishing. Go to the Otago Fish and Game face book page for more information.

December 15 – Taieri River. An introduction to soft bait fishing. Go to the Otago Fish and Game face book page for more information.

For complaints about pollution or damage to rivers contact the Otago Regional Council (ORC) 24-hour pollution hotline on 0800 800 033

Up to date river flow information can be found on the ORC site here

Land and public access information can be located on the NZ Walking Access Commission site here 

Happy fishing!! 

Cliff Halford, Otago Fish and Game Officer, Cromwell