Tight lines on opening day of fishing season
Southern anglers were out with their rods to celebrate the opening of the new fishing season yesterday.
Fish & Game Southland manager Maurice Rodway said Southland was great for freshwater fishing, as the region's steady rainfall kept rivers cool - and full of fish - all year round.
"It's one of the best places in New Zealand to go fishing," he said.
That was supported by the fact almost 10 per cent of the country's fishing licences were sold in Southland each year.
Licence sales leading up to the season's opening had been good, and he expected that to continue throughout the year.
"There's a peak at this time of the year and then there's another peak leading up to Christmas when people take their holidays.
"Often you have a lot of tourists, from Australia and the United States in particular, and they like to come here in February and March when the weather's more settled."
October was a great time for spin fishing, in which a lure was used to attract fish, as the river water-levels were generally a bit higher and disguised the lures, he said.
"The rivers are slightly discoloured and the fish are not quite so wary."
Aside from making sure they had a current licence, fishermen needed to remember to ask permission to gain access to rivers on private farmland and to stay safe when in the water.
However, those trying their luck in Southland rivers had a good chance of returning home with at least one fish, he said.
"We haven't had a big flood for a couple of years, so fish populations are pretty healthy.
"If you don't catch any, you're probably a bit poorer than most."
The fishing season runs until the end of April.
- The Southland Times