Reel Life May 2018

  • Eastern
  • 23/05/2018

Reel Life May 2018

We’ve got a simple message as May rolls into June and the start of winter…there is still some terrific fishing out there!

The temperatures may be falling but in many parts of the country, spawning runs are only now cranking up.

Trout often hang round stream mouths waiting for the “right time” to migrate upstream to spawn.

These fish can be very aggressive and a brightly coloured lure or streamer can be just the trick to spark a strike.

Oh, and did we mention the rivers and streams are much quieter than at the height of summer when anglers were competing for space at popular spots?

In the Rotorua lakes district, nearly all the fisheries remain open until the end of June when some upper reaches of rivers close to protect spawning trout, and the famed lakes, Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina, close to boat-based fishing.

In the South Island, many lakes and rivers remain open through the winter, with the added bonus than many lakes offer land-locked salmon for the angler.

In Southland, Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri offer great fishing, as do Otago lakes like Wakitipu and Wanaka.

And of course, if you’re chasing monsters, the Central South Island’s famed hydro canals are a must visit destination.

At the risk of jinxing things by saying that in the current mild weather, there is never a better time to go fishing…we will say it anyway.

P.S. Thanks to David Hay for the photo of his three year-old grandson Luther, visiting from the U.K., with his first catch on the Kawarau River near Queenstown – a nice 3lb brown.

P.P.S - If you think you've got a freshwater fishing image worthy of featuring on our 'cover', email it to Richard Cosgrove for consideration. (

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Around the Regions

Eastern )

RL May Urewera 3

Nice rainbow caught by Alex Meban in Ururwera country.

(Use photo: RL May – Cooper: Cooper Elwood with a hefty fish from Lake Okaro.; or RL – .

Hawke’s Bay


Photo : Arapaoa Moffat released this lovely fish caught on a dry fly in the Waikanae River.

North Canterbury

West Coast
Central South Island


Trout around the region will certainly be in spawning mode at the moment, with many fish now in their spawning tributaries which are closed to fishing.

However, there are always a few trout that decide not to spawn, or are too young to do so, and these fish are available to the angler in certain lakes and river sections.

RL May Southland Photo 1 SOU

A late season brown caught in the lower Oreti, a great year-round fishery.

At present, key places to target are the mouths of streams that flow into our lakes.

Both brown and rainbow trout often hang out near stream mouths at this time of year waiting for the right time to move into their chosen spawning tributary.

While waiting for the ‘right time’ to migrate upstream to spawn, these fish can be very aggressive, and a brightly coloured lure or streamer can be just the trick to provoke a strike.

Some notable Southland rivers, streams and lakes that are open for trout fishing all year include the:

  • Aparima River from the Thornbury Bridge to the Sea
  • Oreti River from Invercargill Highway to the Sea
  • Mataura River from Gorge Road Bridge to the Sea
  • Waimatuku Stream downstream of the Rance Road Bridge
  • Lakes Te Anau, Monowai, Manapouri, Thomas, Henry and Mavora (North and South).
  • Photo : “Super happy” Lisa with her first trout, a lovely rainbow, caught on the second cast of the day at Lake Te Anau.

Make sure to check your regulation book before any winter fishing trip.

Trout caviar

Chances are, if you decide to keep a trout at the end of the season, if it’s a hen fish, it will have eggs in its abdominal cavity.

Have you ever tried eating these eggs?

If not, you should because internationally trout caviar is considered a delicacy.RL May Southland 2 trout caviar photo 2 SOU

trout caviar on crackers – a delicious snack.

Trout caviar is also super healthy because it is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids.

To prepare trout caviar, all you need to do is remove the membrane that surrounds the eggs and put about a teaspoon onto a cracker either plain, or with cream cheese – yum!

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