Southland Reel Life December 2017
Fishing tips for Southland lakes
For many Southland anglers it is a family tradition to head to the lakes for the Christmas and New Year period and these family trips often involve a few days fishing.
Although our lakes have good numbers of brown and rainbow trout, they're not always easy to catch.
Above Right: A happy angler with a Lake Te Anau brown trout caught trolling.
Consider a few things to increase your chances of success...
Firstly, consider the time of day you're fishing. It is nice to head out fishing on the lake when the sun's beating down, and you can enjoy a few brews while trolling a lure off the back of the boat.
But the middle of the day when the sun is bright, fishing is not always that productive.
If you're serious about catching trout, consider an early morning or late afternoon or evening fish.
During these periods, trout are actively foraging for bullies and hence periods of low light are the most productive fishing times.
Secondly, consider where you are trolling.
The littoral areas of our lakes are the most productive feeding areas for trout, that area of shallow water around the lake edge running through to where the lake drops off. Focus your fishing attention on these locations.
Thirdly, stream mouths are a good place to try; you can troll your lure past these areas but for a bit more excitement, try to spot and target cruising fish with a soft bait or fly.
Finally, when considering what speed to troll your lure, drop it just off the side of the boat (so you can still see it) and observe how the lure swims.
If the lure is swimming nicely and doesn't appear to be moving too fast, then you should be good to go!
On a side note, if you want to see a short video of some big rainbows spawning in our lake tributaries, check out this link
While you're there, give our Facebook page a ‘like’ to keep up to date with what’s going on around the region.
Fishing close to home
Unfortunately, some of us don’t get much time off over the holiday period because of work commitments.
However, don’t let that stop you from fishing as often those short fishing trips after work are the most productive.
With warm temperatures during the day, fishing later in the afternoon (after work) is the best time as water temperatures become more tolerable for trout.
Handy fisheries that are close to the main centres include the Oreti River near Invercargill and Winton, the Aparima River near Riverton and Outautau and of course the Mataura River near Gore.
These three rivers hold high densities of trout and are currently fishing very well.
A quick cast after work in any of these rivers will often result in a trout for the table.
Southland rangers brush up on skills
During late November, Southland and Otago Fish & Game held a training weekend for our honorary rangers.
The weekend involved discussions on how to interact with happy anglers as well as grumpy ones who don't have their fishing licence!
Left: Compliance trainer Brad Dannefaerd and honorary rangers discuss compliance techniques.
We are fortunate to have a great bunch of honoraries in Southland who are out there talking to our anglers and hunters regularly.
If you bump into one of our rangers over the holiday period, make sure to pick their brains for tips and tricks as these guys are more than happy to share pointers with fellow anglers.
Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game
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