Reel Life December 2021
The Christmas and New Year holiday period is fast approaching.
Wherever you're heading for a summer break, remember to pack your fishing gear these holidays.
After such an uncertain year, what better time to grab your rod and find somewhere quiet to relax among nature and spend time with family and friends?
Above Right: Remember to wear a lifejacket when boating - and have fun fishing with friends and family this summer!
New Zealanders will have our outstanding fisheries to ourselves as the borders remain closed to foreign tourists. So get out there and enjoy it!
In our busy holiday spots, early risers will have the best chance of catching a fish. You'll find fish cruising lake edges before the boating traffic. Trout love chasing bullies in these areas.
Around lakes, fish concentrate around weed beds, structure and river drop-offs for shelter and food.
For spin anglers, we recommend giving soft baits a go.
There are a huge variety of soft baits to choose from.
Otherwise, traditional metal lures like Tobies, hexagons, spoons and blade spinners can all be effective.
Trollers on the large lakes will need to fish deeper during the heat of the day.
Fish within 2 metres of the bottom.
Fly anglers should choose patterns that mimic the abundant food for trout in the warmer months.
Beetles and caddis sedges are active. Look for damsel nymphs, water boatmen, and, on cool days, midges.
Green lure patterns are deadly on trout chasing bullies. Trout feeding on willow grubs provide a real challenge.
Inland reservoirs offer easy access, and there have been reports of good fishing.
Soft bait clinics
Otago Fish & Game ran soft bait clinics at Outram Glen and the Shotover River mouth in November with Lance Gill from Okuma.
While the fish played hard to get, participants came away with some fresh ideas. Here are three key tips:
LIGHT: Use a light line, ideally braid with a fluorocarbon leader, for casting and sensitivity.
LOW: Fish the bottom, unless fish are actively rising. Allow the soft bait to sink.
SLOW: Retrieve the soft bait slowly, twitching the rod tip slightly and allowing it to sink after each lift.
Places to take the kids
Otago offers plenty of choices for the kids, and many of them are stocked with rainbow trout.
Butchers and Conroys dams near Alexandra are easy to access, and Moke Lake is handy to Queenstown.
Pinders Pond near Roxburgh is a great place to catch perch.
Around Dunedin, Southern Reservoir, Sullivans Dam and the upper Tomahawk Lagoon are stocked with rainbow trout.
Look out soon for our upcoming video on how to fish these three Dunedin stillwaters on Facebook and YouTube.
Lowland estuaries offer good fishing for large brown trout.
Fishing licence information can be found here
A full range of angling information and brochures can be found here
Angler Etiquette and Safety
Good communication with other anglers is important when it comes to fishing etiquette.
On backcountry rivers, talk to other anglers where there's often only one access point or water that requires sharing.
Leave a note on your vehicle dashboard if you're fishing upstream or downstream.
Treat each other with respect.
Respect the environment, don't leave rubbish or discarded nylon behind and if you harvest fish, kill them humanely and store them on ice to protect their quality.
Always respect the wishes of landowners and remember it is not a right to access private land. Permission must be obtained.
Remember to always keep safe around waterways. Wear lifejackets when boating and always be aware of changing circumstances when children are involved.
Tell someone where you're going and what time you intend to return.
Lower Clutha trout fishing competition
November 27, 2021: Lower Clutha trout fishing competition. Clutha River from below Roxburgh dam to the sea and lower Pomahaka, from 7 am-4 pm.
Weigh-in from 3.30 pm-5 pm, in front of the Cross Recreation Centre, Glasgow Rd.
(Please note the South Otago A&P Society will be using the showgrounds and the showgrounds are NOT open to the public.
Please enter and leave via the small access way, which allows entry to this ground.)
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.
From all the team at Otago Fish & Game, we wish you a pleasant and safe Christmas and New Year.
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