First fish came quickly

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Fresh fish...Pukerau fisherman Dakota Shute (16) holds the 1.3kg trout he caught while fishing on Friday night on the Mataura River by the Otamita Bridge with his friend Charlie Stevenson (17) of Riversdale. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

It took about 20 minutes forĀ Charlie Stevenson to catch his first trout of the season, weighing about 1.3kg.

He and his friend Dakota Shute started fishing on the Mataura River by the Otamita Bridge on Friday about 5pm.

A cool breeze was unsettling the surface of the river but the fishermen did not believe the wind affected their ability to catch fish.

“It’s just skill,” Charlie said.

Not long after, Dakota also caught a fish which was a similar size.

The fish were in good condition, they said.

The St Peter’s College pupils had a class on Friday morning at the Southern Institute of Technology and waited until the afternoon to try their hand on opening day.

Both were using soft bait as a lure.

They caught four more fish that night, after their friend Cody McMillan (16) joined them, and ended with a tally of 27 for the weekend.

“It was a pretty good opening,” Dakota said.

The friends often went fishing at the weekends during the season.

“We catch a lot,” said Charlie.

“It’s good to get away on the river,” Dakota said.

“Good getting outside to see your mates,” said Charlie.

They believed there were plenty of fish in the river.

“At night time you see them and they are everywhere, just rising along the river,” Charlie said.

“As the sun’s going down you just see them jumping everywhere,” Dakota said.

Usually when they caught a fish they released it.

“Unless we are camping overnight and then we will take one for our tea.”

Their favourite way to cook the fish was wrap it in tinfoil with a lemon and cook it over the fire.

“It’s pretty good, actually.”

Southland Fish and Game field officer Cohen Stewart said there was a small amount of rain a few days before opening day and this put a little bit of colour into the rivers within the Mataura catchment.

“However, such conditions favoured those fishing with worms and brightly coloured lures and we heard reports of some great catches.

“Brightly coloured soft baits and bladed Veltic spinners seemed to be doing the trick.”

The rivers near Gore were in great fishing condition, and there was very little rain in the forecast, he said.

“We encourage anglers to get out there and make the most of it. “