Reply To: Upper Waitaki Lakes



You get all the out-of-town holiday makers at this time of year. In a few weeks you’ll have the whole lake to yourself. It is surprising how many people in New Zealand own boats that only get their hulls wet for a couple of weeks at Christmas time. For the remainder of the year it just takes up space beside the house! I reckon that jet skis are even worst. You would think someone would come up with a good design for mufflers that could be fitted to them.

I’ll give you a couple of funny but TRUE stories. One day I was waist deep in Lake Kaniere on the West Coast of the South Island trying to interest a fish in a nymph or a streamer. The place was deserted – not a soul in sight! There had been a few good swirls out in front of me but so far no takers. Kaniere mostly has bush down to the shoreline and so there aren’t many good spots to wade out but I had managed to find one. As I pondered yet another change of fly a boat approached at speed. To be fair the skipper did slow his flash new fiberglass 20 footer to an idle as he approached. Surprisingly he kept coming right up to me. “What is this all about?” I wondered. “How’s the fishing?” he inquired, peering down from above. I don’t know if it was my nostrils filling with oily smoke from his big two stroke outboard, or my pent up frustration at have not caught a fish, but I regret to this day the rudeness of my reply!

I have had similar experiences in the Marlborough Sounds during the Christmas holidays. You just get into a good spot to catch a snapper. The berley is doing its work. You and your mate are being careful not to drop anything on the bottom of the 12 foot tinnie least it spook the weary snapper. The next thing a boat load of idiots come racing up to inquire about the fishing around here. Trying to wave them away is fruitless. They simply wave back and keep coming!

Many inexperienced boaties will crowd an angler fishing from shore, or an anchored boat, without even realizing they are doing anything wrong. Depending on your work commitments, it is a good idea to avoid holidays and weekends if you can. Yellowfin :D