Reel Life October 2021

  • West Coast
  • 30/08/2021

Reel Life October 2021

2021/22 Sports Fishing Season Prospects

Many anglers will be getting excited about the fast-approaching start to the 2021/22 fishing season, and for a good reason, as opportunities are endless come the 1st of October!

With the rivers and lakes in top shape following a few years of abundant food and good recruitment, trout should be in no short supply.

Many anglers will be quick to explore locations rested over winter, but don't overlook the fisheries that remained open.


Lake Ianthe, a popular fishery open year-round for trout fishing. (Photo Baylee Kersten)

They might not be a spawning location, but it doesn't mean the fishing isn't hot in spring!

The fishing of small rivers entering the sea are a great option too in October and November.

At low tide, trout are concentrated into the few deep pockets, making them easy to locate.

A realistic soft bait or smelt pattern slowly retrieved through these pockets are seldomly refused by the trout holding refuge there.

The long-term weather forecast has predicted fine weather for opening day and into the week; fingers crossed it stays that way for the foreseeable future.

As covered in our magazine article, 'fishing to the conditions', if we experience a wet start to the season, it is not necessarily bad news as it creates fishing opportunities for those willing to be adaptable.

The magazine can be viewed online by clicking here; theWest Coast section is on pages 82 and 83.

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Baylee and Harrison Kersten were trying out the lower reaches of the Grey River on fathers day. (Photo Georgia Kersten)

The small rivers should fish well following being well-rested over winter and reduced angling pressure last season.

Although early season fishing can be challenging in our headwaters, as fish hold deep with the rivers running cool and insect activity limited.

The good news is the fishing will only improve as the temperature rises but in the meantime, enjoy finding trout holding in obvious feeding lies due to lack of angler disturbance!

Field Work Update

Over the last month, staff have been busy carrying out compliance and access.

Access signs have all received a touch up ready for the new season, with a few additional sites added.


A new access sign was installed in South Westland recently. (Photo Baylee Kersten)

If any anglers experience access issues, please let us know as if we don't know; we can't help!

On the compliance front, it has been fantastic to see so many anglers making the most of spring angling opportunities.

Unfortunately, one angler was found fishing without a licence, and few didn't realise their licences would be expiring at the end of the month.

So be sure to get your 2021/22 licence before heading out in the new season!

It can be easily done online by clicking here.

Best of luck for the 2021/22 fishing season from the crew here at West Coast Fish & Game.

Hope to see you out there!

Baylee Kersten, West Coast Fish & Game Officer.

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