Lots of sunshine but no whitebait ... yet

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 18/08/2014

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The whitebait were elusive but the sun was shining.

And that was reason enough to get whitebaiter Barry McClelland out of the house and on to the bank of the Waihopai yesterday.

McClelland is usually found at his stand on lower Mataura at the start of the season but swollen rivers running like chocolate in the south meant his nets were in the shed on Friday and Saturday.

"The weather hasn't played the game and I think a lot of people were disappointed with the opening weekend. I haven't heard of anyone who went out and caught any whitebait," he said as he relaxed in his chair.

However, with a stunning Southland day yesterday, McClelland said it was too good to stay in the house.

"I thought I'd have a wee nosey."

The whitebait weren't here yet, he said as he checked his empty net.

"When the rivers drop and clear up, I have faith they will come," he said.

"Hopefully I'll get down to the Mataura soon and there will be a few decent feeds this season." neil.ratley@stl.co.nz

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