Reel Life March 2021

  • Nelson/Marlborough
  • 19/03/2021

Reel Life March 2021

Drift Dive update

The Motueka, Wairau, Pelorus, Rain and Maruia Rivers have been dived in recent weeks making for some interesting reading.

The Wairau River at Selmes Road had more fish in residence than last year, however still relatively poor compared with previous years.

Over the 2.8km drive, 111 large and 210 medium browns were counted.

The Motueka surprised staff somewhat after hearing a good amount of negative feedback from anglers about the fishing.

Drift dive results reveal the number of large fish were down on average (across five sites – 5.8km), however medium-sized fish were up meaning total ‘catchable (medium & large) fish increased slightly to 170 fish/km – higher than last year.

Feedback from experienced anglers has suggested fish distribution is far patchier this season, with ‘pockets’ of fish found in good numbers and plenty of dead areas in between.

So the advice for the last month of the season (which still provides for some excellent fishing), is to simply move around and find the fish.

Anglers can sometimes be guilty of fishing the same areas repeatedly, often where they may have had success in the past.

April is the month to push yourself into some new areas and discover those ‘pockets of fish’.

The good news is many of the fish seen were in fantastic condition, and staff have fielded numerous reports of six-pound plus fish getting caught – a great sized fish for this river.

The Maruia also had some wonderful conditioned fish in residence.

This site in the mid-reaches of the river was last surveyed in 2014 and held a fairly respectable number of large fish this year, but a low count of medium and small fish.

Motueka graph

Numbers of large fish were down in the Motueka but more mediums were in residence.

Te Hoiere/Pelorus Catchment Restoration project

Do you fish in the Pelorus or the Rai?

Do you fish in the Opouri, Tunakino, Wakamarina or Kaituna rivers?

We want to hear your experiences of fishing in these rivers.

We also want to hear about any changes you’ve noticed and your ideas for making these areas better in the future.

Fish and Game are a key and active participant in Te Hoiere Pelorus Project.

Te Hoiere Pelorus Project is a catchment restoration project, aiming to look after the whole catchment from the mountains to the sea.

Phase One of the project covers the Te Hoiere Catchment, and Phase Two will extend into the Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds.

A key first step involves the community coming together, and sharing their ideas for an Integrated Catchment Enhancement Plan (ICEP) for Te Hoiere Pelorus.

The ICEP identifies the community’s aspirations and prioritises actions towards achieving these aspirations.

To share your ideas, please click here:

All responses remain anonymous.

To learn more about the project, visit:

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Insert: link to survey (to be supplied in next few days).

Branch Leathan releases - The why

Mad keen budding fly angler, Lincoln Randall, has got the fishing goods but has struggled to catch fish on some of our challenging lowland rivers.

Recently on a trip to the Branch/Leatham, Lincoln snared his first trout on the fly rod, caught all on his own, a memorable four and a half pound rainbow was taken on a cicada.

Above Right: Lincoln was stoked to hook and land hand his first fish on the fly.

To say Lincoln was absolutely stoked sure is an understatement.

He also went on to catch a few more, and is now well on his way to be a future gun and lifelong angler.

We hear many stories like this which are made possible from our regular Branch/Leatham releases, and it is one of the main reasons staff are so passionate about this project – to provide a fantastic stepping stone fishery for new anglers and also some great sport for the experienced.

Ka pai Lincoln!

Tight Lines

Jacob Lucas, Nelson Marlborough Fish & Game

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