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Otago Reel Life Dec 2016

Published on Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 08:30

Tips for holidaying shore anglers

Not every angler has a boat, and in all honesty that’s probably a good thing as the main holiday destinations become crowded and  councils are put under pressure to deal with busy launching ramps and the demand for parking.

Anglers in the Otago Region are very fortunate that there are stacks of shore fishing opportunities across a range of waters for all angling methods, which can all be successful.

As summer temperatures and waters warm, fish will become more active and regularly patrol shallow shoreline margins.

On the larger lakes target weedy areas, and where there's some bottom structures which large fish use to ambush smaller fish and bullies.

Alternatively, fish the deeper water but ensure that you allow your lure time to sink. Landlocked salmon regularly patrol the drop off zone and this season they're plentiful in Lakes Hawea and Wakatipu.

Due to their large numbers the salmon are smallish this year but excellent to harvest. Recommended lure colour combinations are green, red, yellow, and pink.

Above Right: Jo Hadland of Dunedin with a typical Lake Wakatipu Chinook salmon caught spinning from shore.

On the inland reservoirs, spinning with soft plastics should work well along with smallish bibbed diving lures in colour combinations of green, yellow and bronze.

Bait anglers can either fish the bottom or use a bubble float with bait below. Remember only one bait assembly is permitted in the regulations.

Rivers across the region continue to hold good flows which have slowed water temperature increases and likely deterred fish from out-migrating early.

If conditions are suitable fish will remain and feed so it's probably a good season to explore a little.

There has been some good feedback from the Upper Clutha River. Anglers are reporting the fish are taking caddis off the surface just before and after dark at Deans Bank, which is an improvement on recent years.

The lower Clutha continues to perform with some very healthy specimens caught in estuarine areas. Anglers fishing large streamer flies and soft plastic lures are having good success as are bait anglers using shrimps and crab patterns.

Salmon have turned up in the Otago Harbour so celebrate the New Year with one of these mighty fish!!

Remember to carry your licence at all times and familiarise yourself with the regulations. For further fisheries, access and licencing information visit

Don’t forget ‘check, clean, dry’

Please check, clean and dry any clothing, equipment and fishing gear before moving between waterways to help prevent the spread of didymo and any other freshwater pests.

Didymo has been detected in a number of waterways in the South Island.

It has not been detected in the North Island, but there’s no guarantee the rivers will stay that way!

The only safe approach is to act as if the water you are fishing in has didymo, but the next one you’ll visit, does not. For more information go to:

Bullock Creek wetland restoration

Otago Fish & Game staff, supported by Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust (Te Kākano) and the Department of Corrections, have just begun a Bullock Creek Wetland Restoration Project.

Left: One of the bridges across Bullock Creek built by community service workers, showing vegetation clearance work in the background.

The 2.5 hectare site owned and managed by Otago Fish and Game Council is in need of a thorough clean up.

The natural wetland area is at the base of the terrace behind the de-commissioned Fish & Game hatchery site.

Community service workers will be completing weed control over a three month period while the replanting of natives will be done with the help of Te Kākano.

We know from community feedback that many residents feel passionate about Bullock Creek.

By tidying up and replanting at the source we will help to keep the water clear and pure as it makes its way from the springs to the lake.

Members of the community who want to get involved in the project can contact Te Kākano or Otago Fish & Game.

From the Otago Fish & Game team, here's wishing you an enjoyable holiday and some great fishing!