West Coast Reel Life March 2019
Salmon season in full swing
Salmon season is upon us thanks to recent rain that has triggered their runs.
So from now through to April 30th is a prime time to be riverside if you’re hoping to catch a West Coast salmon.
Keep in mind the South Westland lakes close for salmon fishing after March 31st.
Right: Mark Smith holds a beautiful West Coast sea-run salmon caught earlier this month (Photo Paul van Klink).
For further information, please refer to the South Island Regulation booklet.
Photos are beginning to circulate of people being rewarded with some great-looking salmon after following the tips provided in previous Reel Life articles.
We have heard of catches from the Grey River, right down to South Westland, so they're now entering rivers right along the coast, all you’ve got to do is find them!
On the first weekend of March, the South Westland Lions held their annual salmon fishing competition at Lake Mapourika.
This is a long-standing event and it was great to see plenty of familiar faces out on the lake trying their luck.
While fish proved elusive to many, well done to those anglers who persevered and were rewarded with a salmon.
Trout deliver high quality fishing
Fishing reports on the trout fishing front have continued to be very positive, with many anglers hooking into a trout or two.
The West Coast trout population has enjoyed the abundance of insects and the lack of floods.
The only thing to keep in mind is our rivers, especially in the northern West Coast, have been low for quite some time.
This may result in feeding activity dropping off at times.
We can get around this by fishing at dusk and dawn, as covered in last month’s Reel Life.
But even with these rivers warming up, we've seen and heard of some great fish in peak condition getting caught.
We have also heard of a few anglers finding the fishing tough in the lakes.
Our advice on that is the trout are likely seeking cool waters, meaning they're going deep or to river mouths.
If you target these areas, you’ll likely find the fish.
If you think the heat might be getting to the trout, target them in the cooler hours of the day.
What makes a great angler
It might be a common belief to some that this is achieved by catching heaps of fish.
Yes, catching fish is an important part of fishing but that alone doesn’t make you a great angler.
We see a great angler as firstly, someone who follows our code of conduct, and secondly, catches a fish or two.
As this is a sport, great sportsmanship is essential to ensure it can be enjoyed by everyone now and in years to come.
We highly recommend that you refer to Fish & Game’s code of conduct in your sports fishing regulations if you’re not familiar with it.
On our daily outings, we are typically very impressed by majority of anglers’ behaviour and their consideration of others, so please ensure you return the favour.
Leading into the peak of salmon season, we ask that you follow the code of conduct as popular fishing holes may get several anglers on them at times.
West Coast Fish & Game Officer Baylee Kersten.
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