Reel Life April 2024 - Nelson/Marlborough

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 26/04/2024

Reel Life April 2024 - Nelson/Marlborough


May is nearly here, and while some of us are gearing up for game bird season, we can assure you there is still some great fishing on offer. 

The month of May is generally stable in this region, with plenty of sun and calm days the norm. 

So, where’s good to go? 

Any open lowland river is the obvious choice, the Pelorus, Wairau and Motueka rivers all have great winter fishing water available.  

While spin/soft bait anglers are arguably less influenced by water temperature this time of year, fly anglers should modify their approach; the key is to pick a sunny day and let the water temperatures warm up in order to activate trout feeding. 

Fishing 3-5 hours from 11 am onward seems to be the ideal window, also allowing the sun to get high enough in the sky to aid in spotting conditions. 

Blind fishing ripples is still productive, and you may notice a change in trout behaviour as they pair up ready for spawning, often found in small groups and ‘playing up’, rather than focussed on feeding.

The Branch & Leatham rivers are still open during May, and this is another excellent option.  Pick a fine weather window and get yourself up there for a day’s fishing, even better if you make use of one of the DOC huts and get a couple of days angling in.

Trout are at some of their best condition this time of year, recent first-hand reports from the Motueka River have shown fish to be in superb shape. 

Let’s hope for another stable winter like the last one to build on the great year of recruitment we’ve had across the region.

Winter is long, make the most of the ‘last best month’ until the next season begins.

Above: Jacob Lucas hooked into a late-season Motueka brown trout.

Tight Lines

The team at Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game

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