Reel Life November 2022

  • West Coast
  • 16/11/2022

Reel Life November 2022

Reports of Great Fishing Just Keep Coming!

One month into the 2022/23 sports fishing season, we are yet to hear of a single complaint.

Great weather, and even better fishing, has resulted in no shortage of successful anglers across the region.

Right: Giverny Penny having success in the lower reach of a South Westland River.-Photo Logan Woodham

We have received reports of excellent numbers of trout in the main systems and fish in very good condition for so early in the season.

With the fisheries in great shape and NIWA predicting another great summer, we are not expecting the great fishing to drop off anytime soon!

Lake Brunner, our region’s most popular fishery, is fishing exceptionally well.

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Clayton Ross and Blair Myles with some great table fish recently caught in Lake Brunner.-Photo Baylee Kersten

Lake Brunner’s high fish density makes it a great place for anglers to catch their first trout, and with the help of our Lake Brunner fishing secrets video, you'll be on the board in no time!

Other great spots in November and December are the lower reaches of our rivers.

With prey fish peaking over this period, the fishing can be expectational! Our video West Coast Estuarine Trout Fishing,will have a bend in your rod in no time.

If you are wanting to up-skill as an angler and catch more fish, Fish & Game has plenty of resources available to help you do just that.

Check out the following instructional videos; Bait fishing basics, Spin fishing tips, Selecting the right lure, and Soft bait fishing tips.

Don’t forget you can catch up with all the latest angling intel from our West Coast Fish & Game Facebook page.

With summer upon us and the Christmas holiday period looming, there is no better time to head out and explore New Zealand’s world-class trout fisheries.

Whether you’re heading away for a break or staying locally, our Park and Cast website is a great place to findnearby fishing water or hot spots close to your holiday destination.

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Helen Miller with her first trout caught recently at Lake Brunner.-Photo Baylee Kersten

If you plan on exploring the great fisheries scattered across our region, we suggest you check out the West Coast Region Fishing Guide.

A favourite activity for families over the Christmas break is to make use of the West Coast’s top-notch perch fisheries.

We highly recommend you give perch fishing a go, especially if you’re trying to get some young anglers amongst the excitement.

For information on how to target perch, check out our Fishing for perch article and our Perch fishing tips video.

High numbers of lake resident salmon and the occasional large trout have been caught recently in South Westland lakes.

Anglers are reminded that there is a minimum size of 450mm for salmon in South Westland lakes.

Upcoming Events

This year’s Annual General Meeting for West Coast Fish and Game will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at the Ashley Hotel, 74 Tasman St, Greymouth beginning at 8 pm with 7:30 pm supper.

Remember, licence holders are welcome to attend, and it’s always good to have local licence holders present.

The annual Lake Brunner Fishing Competition is taking place from November 25th to the 27th, and as part of it, Fish & Game are running an educational family fishing skills and information session.

We are holding a Basics of Fly-Fishing Course at the Taramakau River SH6 Bridge south side access point. From 10 am till 2 pm on Sunday the 4thof December.

Please register your interest on ourFacebook event by clicking on this linkor be kept updated.

Field Work Update

Our first round of electric fishing in the Mawheraiti Research streams was completed this month.

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Field Officer Baylee Kersten and WCRC staff member Dan Scoltock electric fishing O'Malley Creek at the start of the month.-Photo Emily Rutherford-Jones

The results were very pleasing, with high numbers of juveniles present from this winter’s spawning.

The average count from the November electric fish over the last three years has been 87 fry (baby trout).

This year’s count was 208, so it is fair to say that the great spring we have experienced has got us on track for a very productive recruitment year!

Although these trout currently weigh around 1 gram, they will quickly grow, becoming a good catchable size in two to three years.

Summer marks the start of the annual drift dive season.

Last year’s results can be found on our webpage for those interested, along with all our other reports.

If there are any experienced divers out there who are keen to assist with our drift diving programme, please get in touch with:


Anglers intending on fishing the Karamea River in early December need to be aware that the Roaring Lion Hut is going to be painted around the first weekend in December.

The exact dates will be published as an Important Notice to Visitors on the DOC website shortly, so anyone visiting should see the message.

Hope to see you out there!

Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.

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