Reel Life April 2021

  • West Coast
  • 15/04/2021

Reel Life April 2021

Winter Fishing Season Kicks Off

The winter fishing season starts on the first of May and with it brings some great fishing.

Don’t let the cold or being limited in water choice put you off as what is still on offer is fantastic!

A lot of the larger West Coast lakes are still open and with the water temperatures being much cooler the trout tend to be more opportunist feeders and fight much harder than over summer.

Right: Calm weather makes for greatscenery and sight fishing in lakes! (Photo Georgia Kersten)

The lower and mid reaches of most large rivers are also open, and like the lakes good fishing is to be had.

The calm weather typically experienced over winter on the Coast and little snow melt, often results in rivers flowing low and clear.

This makes great sight fishing for the trout and with little angling pressure they don’t often hesitate when presented a fly or lure.

Ensure when you do head out this winter that you check your fishing spot against the regulations to ensure when you bump into a ranger the only thing being given out is friendly fishing advice.

A Few Tips For Winter Fishing

  1. Find a location that is open year-round to trout fishing!
  2. Be attention seeking. Beaded nymphs, glo bugs and bright lures/soft baits all work well over winter.
  3. Cover a lot of water. Trout densities will be lower in most locations given some will be off spawning so keep moving.
  4. Be visual. With low calm clear conditions try to sight fish to increase your odds.
  5. Fish deep. Trout will be deeper with spawning behavior and limited insect life.
  6. Wrap up warm, if you’re not comfortable when fishing you’ll struggle to fish well and won’t have the patience sometimes needed with winter fishing.
  7. Target trout where streams and small rivers enter large rivers and lakes. They’ll congregate in these areas during spawning runs.
  8. Fish where and when the water is warmer, fish feed more when their metabolism is higher. E.g. Following rain, where warm streams enter water bodies and, in the afternoon, rather than the morning.

Salmon lake ianthe

Field officer Baylee Kersten releasing the salmon smolt in Lake Ianthe. (photo Dean Kelly)

Lake Ianthe salmon release

Lake Ianthe received a salmon release this month continuing with work done in previous years.

1,000 one year old salmon smolt were released to predate on rudd and provide a put and take fishery.

Previous releases have been deemed successful, with good numbers of salmon being caught full of rudd.

The salmon season has now closed but you can target salmon in Lake Ianthe come October at the start of the 2021-22 season.

Anglers are reminded that there is a minimum size of 350mm to allow salmon to grow to their potential and finish their job of consuming pest fish.

All the best for your winter angling season from the team at West Coast Fish & Game.

Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.

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