Southland Reel Life November 2019

Bait fishing tips

Now is the time to head out bait fishing on our lower rivers because there are heaps of trout about and they are readily taking baits.

To bait fish for trout effectively, you don’t need any fancy equipment.

Right: Bait fishing success on the lower Oreti River for anglers Barbara and Gary Mitchell.

All you need is a basic spinning reel spooled with 8-pound line and a light spinning rod.

As for tackle, you will need some one-ounce barrel sinkers and a few size 6 hooks.

The bait fishing rig is super simple. Click on this link for a bait fishing rig explanation – bait fishing PDF   

Garden worms are a great bait choice for both trout and perch.

Try and put as many worms as possible on the hook.

In Southland, we can use green lipped mussels as bait.

Mussels are a convenient bait that can be purchased from the supermarket and they are highly effective. Put at least half a mussel on your hook. 

When looking for a place to cast out your bait, try to find an area of deep, slow moving water.

Gently lob out your bait as you don’t want to flick it off by casting too hard.

Rest your rod in a rod holder and wait for a bite.

When you get a bite, don’t be too eager to strike, give the fish time to take the bait.

Top spots to try are the Oreti near West Plains road, the Mataura near Gorge Road and the Aparima near Gummies Bush.

Spin fishing tips to increase your success rate 

Keep these tips in mind to increase your chances of success when spin fishing.

1.Fish your feet first

Trout will often hang out on the edges of the river, particularly when the river is slightly elevated. Don’t forget to cast a lure along the edges of the river.

2.Keep your hooks sharp

Periodically keep an eye on the sharpness of your hooks. Hooks can become blunt when they hit the stones, and blunt hooks don’t catch fish! Keep a hook file in your tackle box.

Tom with bibbled lure trout

Bibbed lures are deadly when fished with a loop knot.

3.Use a loop knot for bibbed lures

Bibbed Rapala-style lures are super effective. To get the best lure action use a Lefty’s loop knot which is also known as a Rapala knot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEgCIZ6y8So

4.Go spin fishing after high water

Spin fishing is most effective as river levels recede after high flows.For the best results, you want the river to be slightly discolored. As a general rule for lowland rivers, if the river is 20cm above normal flow, spin fishing conditions are perfect. Check river levels here: http://envdata.es.govt.nz/

Trout Black and Gold Toby

A black and gold toby did the business as river levels receded on the lower Oreti this month.

5.Keep moving

Don’t just cast in one spot over and over, move around. Have a few casts in one spot and then move upstream a few metres and cast again. You want to effectively cover the water and find the fish!

Tight Lines

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer.