Reel Life September 2020

  • Otago
  • 18/09/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Reel Life September 2020

Early Season Prospects

With the countdown to the new fishing season heading into the final week or so, it is time to get your gear organised and hatch a plan for opening.

The 1st of October falls on a Thursday this year, if you can afford a couple of days leave, a four day weekend beckons.

Right: Fish & Game OfficerSteve Dixon demonstrates how to gut and prepare a trout ready to cook.

School holidays start on the 28th of September so if you’ve got some enthusiastic youngsters snapping at your heels looking for something to do, why not take them fishing!

A family licence is great value and youth licences are a steal at $27 for 12-17 year-olds and free for under 12’s.

So far, spring has been kind to the rivers and lakes in the region.

There haven’t been any major flood events and with temperatures on the rise, fish should be in great condition when the season opens.

It is hard to predict the weather for opening this far out, so it is a good idea to have a few different locations sorted.

If rivers are up and dirty, then a still water backup plan is needed.

Some options include; Dunedin’s reservoirs and Tomahawk lagoon, the Maniototo irrigation dams, Lakes Wanaka, Hawea, Wakatipu and Dunstan or the lowland lakes in South Otago.

If you can't wait till opening, there is still plenty of fishing to be had in Otago.

Image 7

Tamati Matthews – a picture of concentration at Dunedin’s Southern Reservoir

The Southern Lakes are fishing well with plenty of rainbows congregating at stream mouths in preparation for spawning.

Target the drop-offs with a softbait, toby or tassie. If you are a fly angler, then a sink tip is useful to get your flies over the edge of the drop.

Estuaries and coastal rivers/streams are beginning to produce some nice trout.

Large sea-run or estuary fish will be in great condition targeting whitebait.

Try a silver toby or light coloured soft bait to imitate smelt.

The fly angler has many options such as a grey ghost or Jack sprat to imitate a baitfish.

Remember, you can't catch fish from your couch!

Get a licence and get out and explore your own backyard – there has never been a better time!

As Robert Traver said “the best time to go fishing is when you can get away”.

Buy your new season licence here

Upcoming Events:

  • Take a Kid Fishing is on 26/27th September and 3/4th October at Dunedin’s Southern Reservoir.
  • Otago Fish and Game Council Meetings:
    • 24th September in Dunback
    • 26th November in Roxburgh
  • Softbait fishing clinics:
    • Outram Glen – 11th November at 7 pm
    • Alexandra – 22nd November at 1 pm
    • Wanaka – 24th January at 1 pm
  • Lower Clutha Trout Fishing Competition – 28th November with weigh-in at Balclutha

Image 3 happy anglers

Happy anglers with their first fish after attending an adult beginner fishing course.

Otago Fish & Game Facebook Page: links:

  • ORC water monitoring website provides a wealth of information regarding flows, levels and rainfall around the region. The map allows quick access to flow information regarding your favourite spot.

  • Walking Access Commission Maps (WAMS) – showing public accessible areas in NZ

  • ORC pollution hotline: 0800 800 033

Tight Lines

Nigel Pacey, Otago Fish & Game.

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