Reel Life October 2020

  • Southland
  • 20/10/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Reel Life October 2020

Early season update

During the first week of the season, some Southland rivers were a bit too high for fishing.

However, as the flows dropped, and rivers began to clear, the fishing just got better and better.

We have heard numerous reports of some great fishing in rivers and lakes throughout the region.

For example, the Waikaia River and its tributaries have been fishing very well, especially for bait anglers using the worms and spin anglers using bight soft baits.

Above Right: Double hook up! Bait fishing success on the lower Oreti River near West Plains.

The middle reaches of the Aparima have provided great fishing since opening day.

Many lures have been working well but small black and gold Dandy lures and bright spinners have been top performers.

There have been some nice mayfly hatches occurring in the upper reaches of the Mataura which has offered anglers some early season dry fly fishing.

Fishing with worms and mussel baits on the lower Oreti has been consistently producing trout weighing between 750g–1.25kg; perfect for the smoke box!

Spin fishing tips


Spin fishing the Aparima River

Spin fishing for trout is great fun and is particularly effective early in the season.

To help anglers increase their success rate, we have produced a short video which outlines a few spin fishing tips.

Check it out here.

Bait fishing tips

Are you a beginner angler?

Do you have kids or grandkids that want to go fishing?

If so, bait fishing for trout is a great place to start.

To give beginner anglers all the info they need to go bait fishing, we have produced a short instructional bait fishing video.

Be sure to check it out here.

If you are wondering where to go bait fishing, try the lower Oreti River near West Plains Road, the lower Aparima River near Gummies Bush, or the lower Mataura downstream of Wyndham.

These spots are close to main centres, have easy access and the trout are not too difficult to catch.

Get in Touch

Staff at Southland Fish and Game want you to be a successful angler.

If you need any help or ideas on where to go fishing, please get in touch and we will point you in the right direction.

You can contact us on 03 215 9117 or

For regular tips and updates, make sure to follow our Facebook page.

Tight lines

Cohen Stewart, Southland Fish & Game Officer

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