Reel Life February 2020

Mouse Fishing - make your own mouse lure

Fishing at night with mouse lures continues to be highly effective in many areas around Southland where beech forest is present – Lake Te Anau, Manapouri, Monowai, upper Waiau, Mararoa, Mavora etc. 

There are many mouse lure options available in sports stores but it can be fun to make your own.  

This month, I thought I would share with you my mouse lure design in case you want to have a go at making your own mouse lure.

From my personal experience, I can say these lures work very well!

Mouse lure with instuctions

Field officer Cohen Stewart’s homemade mouse lure

Above Right: Success! A homemade mouse lure does the trick.

All you really need to do is take a small ‘mouse shaped’ piece of foam and add a bit of weight (to aid in casting) and add your choice of hook. Check out the instructional diagram. 

Fish this lure on the surface of the water at night and you will have a good chance of success.

Drift Diving results

Fortunately, we managed to get three drift dives done before the heavy rains arrived early in the month.

Mataura drift diving

Southland Fish and Game staff drift diving on the upper Mataura River.

We have completed dives on the upper Mataura, upper Oreti and mid Mararoa.

The upper Mataura dive revealed trout of larger sizes than average, though the count was a tad lower than the very high counts of the last couple of years.

The lower count in this case is likely due to the frequent high flows early in the season which appeared to have displaced the medium sized fish.

As usual, staff were very impressed with the fish size on the upper Oreti dive and the count was very healthy!

The mid Mararoa dive revealed higher than normal numbers of fat browns and rainbows. 

Get out on the lakes

Luke Rainbird

Luke Raynbird with a brown trout caught on the 17th Jan weighing 6.6lbs from Lake Manapouri.

I said it last month and I will say it again, our lakes are cranking so make sure you get out there and make the most of it.

Angler catch rates are higher than usual and the sizes of the fish this year are very impressive.

Small streams - Worth a go!

We had some serious rainfall early in the month which put many of our rivers out for a few weeks.

Small streams are always the first to clear flowing rainfall and often as the river is receding the spin and bait fishing can be fantastic.

Great spots to try are the Mokoreta River, Waimatuku Stream, Otamita and Mimihau.

Erin Mokoreta trout

Fish on! Field Officer Erin Garrick does battle with a brown trout on the Mokoreta River.

If spin fishing use lightly weighted (1/16 or 1/12 oz) soft baits or small bladed spinners.

If bait fishing, fish a ‘big blob’ of worms on the bottom of a deep hole.  

Tight Lines

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer.