Reel Life September 2020

It's time to go trout fishing!

The 20/21 sports fishing season is almost upon us and this season is not one to be missed.

Southland anglers are spoilt with an abundance of rivers, streams and lakes that are close to main centres, have easy access and healthy trout populations.

Right: One of many fantastic Southland streams.

In my opinion, if you are a beginner angler there is no better place to start your trout fishing journey.

If you are learning to fish, or perhaps returning to the sport after a few years off, our lower rivers should be your first stop.

Try the lower Oreti River near West Plains, the Mataura River between Seaward Downs and Gore and the Aparima River near Thornbury.

These areas have high trout densities and the trout are not too difficult to catch.

When considering techniques for our lower rivers, bait fishing with garden worms or a fresh mussel bait (available from the supermarket) is a great option for deep, slow moving sections of river or, in our lakes.

Bait fishing rig

A basic bait fishing rig for use in deep pools or in our lakes.

Try the basic bait fishing rig in the diagram.

If you like lure fishing, try Toby lures (7-10 grams in weight), small bladed spinners or soft baits.

If you are keen on lake fishing, focus your angling effort on stream mouths and shallow lake edges as these are common trout foraging areas.

The best times to head out fishing on our lakes is early morning, late afternoon and evening.

For those more experienced anglers that like to fish in remote areas, the current border restrictions will create a once-in-a-lifetime angling opportunity.

Bill Pamela Burn trout

A large backcountry rainbow caught during Southland Fish and Game’s spawning trout monitoring.

Because there won’t be many international anglers this year, local anglers will have the backcountry to themselves.

We suggest Southland anglers be adventurous and explore some of our more remote rivers.

If you need any guidance on fishing in Southland, feel free to contact Southland Fish and Game on 03 215 9117 or at southland@fishandgame.org.nz and we will be happy to point you in the right direction. 

Tight Lines

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer.