Reel Life December 2023

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 21/12/2023

Lake Argyle Tag Comp

Our popular Henderson’s Ltd summertime tag competition at Lake Argyle has kicked off! 

We’ve just released 200 tagged fish and have 20 great prizes to give away to those who catch one of the lucky fish.

The prizes include 2 x $500 Henderson’s vouchers, rod and reel sets, apparel and fishing licences for next season. 

Joining the fun is easy, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Head up to Lake Argyle and catch a tagged fish
  2. Send your tag number in (ideally with a photo) – you can do this via phone, email or Facebook.
  3. We’ll tell you if you’re a winner! 

Holiday Fish Releases

Besides a bunch of tagged fish into Lake Argyle, we have just released an additional 50 very large rainbows (many of these double-digit fish) into Lake Argyle, and have topped up the ponds at Waimea Park – just in time for the holiday season. 

We have also released 250 rainbows into the mid-Leatham River – a great place to take a young or beginner angler. 

Once these fish settle down, they are fairly easy to catch on spin or fly gear.  Remember to fish the fast stuff though, they are very hard to spot in this water but there is a good chance they will be there.  

Drift Dive Update

Staff have completed ten drift dives so far this season, with the Riuwaka, Motupiko, Waimea and Wairoa surveyed recently. 

Fish numbers in the Motupiko and Riuwaka were on the improve, and it was pleasing to see good numbers of young of-the-year fish in the Wairoa and Motupiko, highlighting what a stable year we have had.  

In the lower Riuwaka below SH60, it was pleasing to see plenty of cover return in the form of overhanging willows which is beneficial for trout and native species. 

There are some great pools that have excellent cover, and some very decent-sized fish in residence too. 

Rainbow Road Open on Boxing Day

Rainbow Road is open to the public on Boxing Day.

There is a toll of $60 per vehicle which is payable at the old Rainbow Homestead which is on the way to Molesworth 27km from the State Highway 63 turnoff. 

Molesworth offers some fantastic fishing options, having rivers and streams of various sizes, and some quality high-country tarns. 

Summer Fishing

With summer here and some hot days ahead, anglers should now be mindful of increasing water temperatures and the effect of this on trout behaviour and recovery. 

All signs are pointing to a hot, dry few months ahead – let’s hope we get adequate rainfall to minimise the risk of low flows and warm water temperatures, especially after we have had a near-perfect winter/spring period which provided a successful spawning period.

If water temps become an issue – hit the water early at a time when fish should still be actively feeding, then finish early before fish become lethargic or are at risk of being harmed if released. 

If you are releasing your fish, now is the time more than ever to play fish quickly and keep them completely wet while you unhook the fly. 

You may also wish to concentrate your efforts on rivers/lakes that run cooler than others, where temperature is less of an issue. 

Insert: Makea and Matiri Paaka_Motueka. Caption: Summer fishing on the Motueka River. 

Kids Fishing at Waimea Park Fish Out Ponds

Taumata Kahuki students from Parklands School recently enjoyed fishing at Waimea Park Fishing Ponds.

The Waimea Park educational ponds have been busy of late, with a string of fantastic kids' fish-out events, run by the Sports Fishing for Youth Trust, and some special events for other groups such as the Tamaha Sea Scouts and Parklands School. 

A high percentage of kids caught fish at all the events, some of which were smoked up and consumed on-site! 

For parents looking for some school holiday activities, the ponds will be open for fishing on 20 December for kids who hold a fishing licence. 

The licence is very good value, being free for kids under 12, $31 for a junior whole season or $5 for a junior day licence. 

You can grab your licence here. 

From the team here at Fish & Game, we wish you an enjoyable holiday season, and hope you get to spend some time on the water. 

See you out there!

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