Southland Reel Life January 2020

Have a "fishing picnic"

We have finally received some nice weather from the ‘weather gods’ and now is a perfect time to get the kids and grandkids out fishing.

However, as many parents and grandparents will appreciate, taking children fishing can be challenging because kids tend to have fairly short attention spans.

There is a way to combat this problem and that is to combine your fishing trip with a picnic.

I call these trips “fishing picnics”

Right: Southland Fish and Game Resource Management Officer Jacob Smyth enjoying a "fishing picnic" on the banks of the Mataura River with his children Lucy, Joshua and Harry.

When you combine fishing and picnics there is always something to keep the kids entertained.

Start your fishing picnic by getting the kid’s rods set up for bait fishing.

Bait fishing is a great option for kids because there is not too much casting involved so there is less risk of hooks ending up where they shouldn’t be.

Once your lines are in the water, the picnic part of the outing starts.

Get the gas cooker out an make a hot drink.

Following that, get out the sausages, bread and sauce and have a cook up.

Drinking hot drinks, cooking the sausages and prepping other snacks all takes time and during that time your baits are just waiting to be taken by a trout.

If you are lucky, hopefully your picnic will be disrupted by the capture of a nice fat trout.  

It is amazing how the capture of even a small fish can really spur kids on.

There is no doubt, fishing and picnics are a great combo.

I suggest anglers make some memories with their kids and grandkids and have a ‘fishing picnic’ together. 

Top spots to have a "fishing picnic":

The lower Mataura anglers’ access on Coal Pit Road

The Gore township area on the Mataura River 

The lower Oreti River near West Plains Road

The Oreti River near the Dipton Bridge   

McGregor’s Pond

Southland’s lakes are cranking!  

Jax 19 01 2020 2

Jax Dickson with his monster Manapouri brown trout.

Over the summer period Fish & Game have been catching up with lake based anglers and some fantastic fish have been caught.

Lake Manapouri, Te Anau and Monowai have been producing some very fat brown trout.

The Mavora lakes have been producing good numbers of fat maiden rainbows of about one kilogramme in size – perfect for sashimi! 

Here are three tips to help increase your catch rate when fishing on our lakes:

  • Go fishing early in the morning and in the late afternoon/evening – these are the most productive times.
  • Target stream mouths and shallow areas – these are the most productive areas for bugs and baitfish and therefore trout too!   
  • Have your skipper putt along the edge of the lake whilst the anglers cast Rapalas and soft baits in towards the shore. This can be a deadly technique.     

Whispers of Southland Salmon

Blake Salmon

Angler Blake Harper with a Southland salmon.

We are starting to hear the odd report of salmon cropping up which is great to hear.

Although Southland does not receive large runs of salmon, we do get a few turning up in our major rivers, usually between mid-December and late February.

The best place to target these fish are the middle reaches of the Oreti between Branxholm and Dipton, deep holes in the lower Waiau and the lower Mataura below the Mataura falls.

The key to catching these fish is to target pools and get you lure down deep.

Most lures will work provided you can get it down to the salmon.

Consider trying large silver spoons, Toby style lures, veltic spinners or even soft baits.

Tight Lines

Cohen Stewart