Tuna on the go
The last couple of freshes have cleaned the rivers of didymo - great news for those who want to fish the upper reaches.
The only problem with the cleanout has been the dead weed - which looks like toilet paper - ending up in the lower reaches. Hopefully it has been flushed out to sea.
The rain also lifted the level of Diamond Lake, making fishing a wondrous experience in amongst the flooded rushes. Sight fishing and ambushing trout on their beat by lightly placing a manuka beetle imitation in their path has been the way to go.
The waters dropped just as quickly as they rose though, and we had to revert to lightweight spinning over the weed beds. Fortunately, most of the coloured water stayed down towards the outlet end of the lake.
There is also good fishing for salmon, in addition to some nice trout, along the edge where the Rees and the Dart enter Lake Wakatipu. Watch out for sinking sand, and strong midday winds making fishing impossible at this time. Silver lures work best when spinning or trolling along the edge of the drop-off.
Lower reaches of southern rivers have also been fishing well. Lake Monowai, fished in early morning or just before sunset, is producing good fish.
Sea temperatures are looking good, even though there has been a dusting of snow on the mountain tops.
The tuna have arrived, with good numbers of albacore being hooked on small lures, and bluefin turning up early this year. Blue/white are the colours of choice here. 'Gannet' had a four-fish hook-up on very small lures, with one landed by John Beaufill. Most fish landed are around 24kg.
Oyster season has opened. The non-commercial limit is still 50, even though good numbers are in the beds; they're fatter and larger than last season.
Tarakihi are also on the oyster beds - just watch out for the commercial boats, as they do not stop. Blue cod are still spasmodic: one day great fishing, the next, shocking. The large numbers of Chilean mackerel we have had in previous years have not eventuated this summer. Average-sized trumpeter have been frequenting the mid-water reefs. Pearl flasher rigs are still the best method.
Southland by Dave Craze
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