Reel Life December 2022

  • West Coast
  • 12/12/2022

Reel Life December 2022

Gearing up for the holiday season

Nothing says a “Kiwi Christmas” more than heading outdoors with the family, and it looks like good numbers of kiwis are planning on doing just that.

Licence sales are rising steadily as we approach the holiday season, with the Christmas period one of the most popular times for anglers to hit the water.

Right: Justin Rowlands with an impressive trout that he caught during the Lake Brunner Fishing Competition. (Photo Baylee Kersten)

The warm summer conditions, the great fishing on offer, and the opportunity to get out fishing with loved ones is an opportunity too good to be missed!

In the West Coast region you can expect to find some exceptional angling in our lakes.

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Dan Scoltock mid-battle with a feisty brown trout in choppy conditions. (Photo Baylee Kersten)

With trout densities high, some impressive trout being caught recently, and conditions ideal, we are expecting anglers to have some great fishing over the holiday season.

Often an afternoon breeze will come up in summer and results in some “chop” on the lakes.

This often creates some great fishing if you do not mind a bit of roughness, especially for those using spin gear.

We recommended using a woolly bugger fly with some split shot and casting into the shore with the wind over your shoulder. Be ready for some explosive takes!

Targeting Perch in lakes Mahinapua and Kaniere has increased in popularity over recent seasons.

Perch fishing is most productive in summer and is a great sport for especially young and new anglers.

As for the rivers, following a few productive recruitment years, trout numbers in many of our well-known systems are well-stocked, and some great fishing is on offer.

Over the Christmas period, you can expect more people out and about fishing, so we highly encourage you to look further afield.

Rather than fishing the bridge pool, why not speak to landowners and get out to stretches of water not commonly fished?

Alternatively, try rivers with higher fish densities which handle higher angler pressure; as fish line up to take up feed lines when other fish are spooked to the depths.

High fish densities are typically found in lake outlets and mid/lower reaches of large river systems that are relatively stable.

Fieldwork update

Emily Rutherford Jones

Emily Rutherford-Jones drift diving in the Mawheraiti River.

With the help of West Coast Regional Council staff, on the 8th of December, we got our summer drift dive program underway.

Two sites on the Mawheraiti River and one on the Inangahua River were surveyed.

The standout site for the day was the Mirfin bridge site on the Mawheraiti, with 192 trout/km counted.

Currently conditions are ideal in the Mawheraiti and Inangahua rivers for fishing, but once the summer heat kicks in the fishing can become challenging so don’t delay in giving them a visit!

Hope to see you out there!

Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.

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