Spring ‘great time’ for trout fishing on West Coast

  • 19/11/2015

The end of the whitebait season last weekend signals the perfect time to hit West Coast waterways in pursuit of trout.

WC sea run brown troutAccording to West Coast Fish & Game, November is traditionally the best time for sea run fishing in the region’s lower rivers and lagoons.

“The seasonal abundance of smelt in our lower rivers, provide great opportunities to catch fat, sea run brown trout over the coming months,” says Dean Kelly, West Coast Fish & Game’s Regional Manager.

Adding to the anticipation are reports of good numbers of large fish in the region’s rivers and West Coast field staff – assisted by field officers from North Canterbury – have begun more intensive monitoring of local waterways.

“Our summer drift diving programme is underway. We’ve been encouraged at seeing plenty of large fish in the rivers we monitor, which means there’s plenty of food.

“As the rivers and lakes warm up, so will trout metabolism, making them more catchable.”

This summer’s Christmas holiday season will also be perfect for anglers wanting to take advantage of the new three day Short Break licences on offer.

“For $45, an angler can capitalise on the region’s outstanding freshwater fishery and Fish & Game has also reduced the price of the One Day Licence, to just $20.”

Mr Kelly adds that these licence options are ideal for those either wanting to have a go, or contemplating a return to the sport, and “the other new licence categories – the discounted Loyal Senior and Local Area licence - are also proving popular with the region’s anglers.

As the season progresses past Christmas, West Coast anglers will be targeting the returning salmon, encouraged by sizeable releases of juvenile fish over the past three or four years.

Though Mr Kelly stresses that “you cannot predict a salmon run and plenty of anglers, better than me have tried, and failed.”

“All we can say is, we’ve released the fish and growing conditions at sea have been great, so fingers crossed.”

Holidaymakers are reminded that Fish & Game’s new licences including Short Break and Long Break are available now on line (www.fishandgame.org.nz /licences) and in accredited sports shops and other outlets.

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