Otago Reel Life February 2019

Best cicada season in years

Anglers have been very vocal about this season's amazing cicada hatch.

Right: Therese McCombe Rae from Cromwell with two large Dunstan rainbows.

Inland reservoirs have been boiling with surface feeding fish. The fish are fat, easy to catch, with individuals catching several fish in a day.

Anglers are saying that you don’t need to be overly technical just choose a good pattern, plonk it on the surface and wait.

Logan Burn, Upper Manorburn, Poolburn and Onslow reservoirs are all fishing well.

Otago 2 RL


This lovely Onslow brown was caught and photographed by Tony Shepard.

Regional events

The annual Lake Hawea fishing competition held on February 9 showed this lake fishery is in good shape.

Two hundred and twenty competitors braved windy conditions to chance their hand at catching a prize-winning fish and the lake didn’t let anglers down.

More than 100 fish were weighed and measured by Fish & Game staff with numerous competitors releasing good numbers of fish.

The Alexandra Districts Club (fishing section) held a very successful Take a Kid Fishing event at a local orchard dam on February 17.

One hundred and forty children accompanied by adults caught over 70 two year-old rainbow trout from the 220 released by Fish & Game, which was a great effort.

After the fishing, attendees were treated to a barbecue lunch and all children received a gift from local sponsors.

Autumn angling

March brings cooler mornings, shorter evenings and often settled weather.

Fish will be healthy after the summer feast and still feeding intensely to store some winter fat.

The river mouths of the main lakes are always productive as fish congregate in preparation for their spawning migrations.

Landlocked salmon can be caught in large numbers and both brown and rainbow trout will be present.

Whether fishing from the shore or trolling it's important to fish lures deep.

Lure colour combinations of pink red, green, gold and silver are recommended, and if fishing first light or in the evening don’t go past the trusty black and gold toby.

Picture - Therese McCombe Rae from Cromwell with 2 large Dunstan rainbows

 Wanaka salmon samples required

Salmon samples are still needed from Lake Wanaka.

Anglers are being asked to freeze heads and include information on weight and length of fish, also the date and area of the lake where fish were caught.

Please contact Fish and game officer at chalford@fishandgame.org.nz or pvanklink@fishandgame.org.nz for collection.

The entire Clutha River has been fishing well.

Above Lake Dunstan, fish will continue to take insects off the surface into April and beyond.

Small lures and soft baits fished in the calmer eddies will catch fish.

Downstream of Lake Roxburgh, with the right river conditions there are still good opportunities to catch sea-run salmon and large brown trout that will be migrating upstream.

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

Cliff Halford, Fish & Game Officer, Cromwell

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