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Canal and Freshwater Softbaiting

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote PJay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Canal and Freshwater Softbaiting
    Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 5:14pm
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This has arisen out of posts from OneWayTraffic and my idea of a detour on some southern travels in late November 2014.

Ideas, experiences, tips and techniques for freshwater softbaiting, particularly in the Tekapo/Ohau canals.

I've asked OWT if he can post a map that's a bit more detailed than Google maps, so we have some idea of what's at what localities.

You don't have to share your deepest secrets, but if you do, the rest of us will appreciate it.
PJ
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote PJay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 5:19pm
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So, to kick off, then recommendations are all for very light jigheads, in the 1/16th oz range, and 3" minnows or thereabouts.

My rods that can handle casting them are quite short compared with what seems to be recommended (I've found the heavier rods I have, even those rated 2-5kg for line and 7g lure, just don't flex enough at the tips to cast at all well).

I guess my concern about the rods is length for casting - my 1-3kg rods are all about 6'6", and since at home I'm fishing them from boat, kayak, or an elevated wharf, casting range hasn't worried me all that much (I get about 30-35m with a 1/4 oz jighead carrying a 3" Gulp! minnow). So with lighter jigheads again, it occurred to me that another foot in rod length should be a good thing.

Is that so?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 7:29pm
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Thought I would kick off by cutting and pasting this post over. There's also some threads in the freshwater fission forum.

Well you could get a Crucis for 1/2 the price if you can find a shop in Aussie that will send to NZ. The Lox Yoshi could be had for the same price ordered direct from the manufacturer (same company, more upmarket line.) I'd have to say though that from your setups you must have something that works well without spending coin. 

You can also catch them on bait, but where's the fun on that? I find that most bait fishermen seem to wait for hours between bites. A good soft baiter can cover more water.

What works best is gear as light as you can go. I use 4lb microfuse, 8lb fluoro leader (though bring some 4lb or 6lb if the water is extra clear.) and a range of 1/16 to 1/6 bream hooks. Use the lightest weight that will hit the bottom in a drift. 1/16th is my default and I will only go heavier if forced. I use 3inch gulps (pilchard works a treat on the salmon, but bring a variety and experiment: the wife caught a 14 pound brown on a 1/4 oz with a pumpkin seed brown.) Bring small hooks so there's plenty of wiggle in the bait. I set my drag so it will just let line out if I hold my rod by the line and let it dangle.

What most people I've seen there do wrong with soft bait is that want to spin it. Just let that bait drift to the bottom and work it just a little bit. Stay in touch and wait for the takes. Best places depend on the time of year so move around a bit, but I usually go to: Ohau C by the farms, Tekapo especially anywhere around the bowl for light gear, I also go to high country salmon and sneakily drop a bit of salmon food off the side of the net to see if anything comes up for it. If so I fish near the farm.  You can also go to the Lake Ohau gates/Pukaki gates, or between where the Ohau flows into the Pukaki canal.

Last trip I caught many small ones above Ohau A powerstation,  about 6 good sized ones in the bowl and the wife caught a 14 pound brown in Ohau C.

Complete Angler has Youtube videos which go through the basics. Well worth your time. One change is that from Oct 1 this year you are now allowed four fish total, including no more than two trout, or two salmon over 50cm. It used to be two of each. 

Probably more detail here than you need judging by your posts on other threads, but others might pick up a thing or two. November is an excellent time to go I reckon. You can catch them at any time of the day, but if you don't have luck try going after dark to the bowl with a slightly longer shaft jighead and put a lumo bead up above the softbait. Worked very well for me and the other guy I saw doing it. I made a lumo bead by cutting a strip off a non scented lumo white soft plastic. He was using a pink glow tazzie and catching a lot but 'only keeping the ones over 6pound.'
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 7:44pm
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To answer the questions I would say that I've seen plenty of trout cruising/rising within rod length of the bank so you can catch them without the large casts. What a large cast does do is give you a longer drift, especially if you are casting upstream and drifting down. If the canals are flowing slowly that is also when the light gear comes into its own.

The best rod I've seen for this is the one I'm using, and I love it to bits. I wouldn't buy it again though; I'd get a lox yoshi from here. They do have a very light tip that flicks the light jigheads a good way. You do need to be really careful with the tip though; they will not survive mistreatment. Another idea I saw that I liked was a guy using a flyrod blank that he'd had set up as a spin rod. Same idea, long and whippy. I was getting an identical distance with this as my wife was with my Abu Velocity 3-5kg. Same length of rod, she had a 1/6th jighead on. Consistently more hits on my rod, though she got the biggest. 

If you can flick a jighead at least 20m then you are in with a good chance. Any more is gravy.













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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jwest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 7:59pm
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What length leader do you use OWT? I had some success using a 5lb fluro leader but had trouble knotting it to 16lb braid which was obviously a bit heavy but that was what was on the spool at the time... do you use an FG knot as a connection?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 8:54pm
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 It's an editing link so if anyone has anything to add, then do so. Overall I'd say Ohau C and the Tekapo bowl are most reliable.

Four turn surgeons works very well indeed. You don't need incredible strength as you can catch them on a light drag with a soft rod. I guess a uni to uni would work fine too. 




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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote JB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 9:26pm
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I use a 8 foot shimano 4-6kg rod with the same microfuse stuff. Think its around 10lb mainline and use 12lb floro leader. To join I do a double via a spider hitch in the braid then an Albright to the leader. The 1/16 I found works best as an alrounder as well. I have also if its running slightly faster kept the 1/16 but put a small swivel as the joiner to main and floro - which I've found helps the drop in the faster currents. Best soft bait ive found is the pilchard 3" but also the blue and white with black dots good as well. Do a search in google for twizel canel softbait salmon which should get you yto the complete angler. Overall action plays a lot, think of it as a small bait fish bouncing along the bottom along on the canel. Keep rod pointing toward and keep in touch. Its not spin fishing.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote PJay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 9:44pm
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Thanks so much, guys - keep it coming, anyone.
PJ
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Uncle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 10:10pm
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Pick me up on the way through PJayBig smile

One day I'm gonna get down there for a crack at them so this thread will be well watched.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jwest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 10:22pm
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I've only tried softbaiting there once and used the small 3", blue gulp, kind of a jerkshad type pattern (maybe pilchard?). All takes came on super slow retrieves with tiny movements, same as others above 1/16 jig heads. I used to fish the Blue Fox squidgy fish a lot with great success on other sth Island rivers and I reckon a pattern like these with a paddle tail would be dynamite. Has anyone tried fishing Zman Curly Tails in the canals? I was thinking one of these in the Shiner colors could be worth a shot.
I also got hits after dark on a little yellow glow in the dark 3" gulp, nothing stuck though.
I had most success in this area on the southern side of Ohau A (?) just downstream of the cages on Glen Lyon rd.

I think a long rod would be good for longer casts / covering more water..
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote corokid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 10:34pm
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Actually fellas , there was a good article in a recent F&G magazine , all about softbaiting for trout , had some really good info . Come to think of it may have been NZ Trout mag , will see if I still have , it was in the last 3 moths anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 10:49pm
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PJay I spent 4 hours flicking bits and pieces around Ohau, I caught my very first brown trout and it was tiny. There were hundreds, maybe even millions of people fishing and I never saw any other fish caught.  A lot of 'you should have been here yesterday' stories though. There are some very big fish there but not middle of the day material.

So I'm no help to you at all but I'd go back in a flash! I had gear from a tackle shop that was budget at best but I'd go for 4lb braid and maybe a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. I doubt the cast length would really matter, I could reach most of the fish I saw rising with my pukka borrowed gear. These fish see a lot of lures swimming by. I'm guessing feeding time by the farm would be a good option if everything else draws a blank but even I would rather battle them on my terms than resort to that ... who would have thought I'd have such lofty standards ... Big smile


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 11:14pm
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Middle of the day on a speckled brown softbait with 1/4 jighead. About 4pm I think. Just last Tuesday. 10lb microfuse, 3-5kg rod and 8lb leader. Not really an epic fight though; brought to the bank in 10min. I would probably release a trout like that in a back country river, but then I've never seen one half that size out of the canals. 




Middle of the day on a 1/16 oz jighead with a blue pilchard soft bait. Last Monday about 3pm. 

Sometimes it's a party other times you can't buy a bite.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote flyfisher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2014 at 11:44pm
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Lovely fish, but more importantly.... what is with that hat?!... Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2014 at 12:42am
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That's my fishin hat. My MiL made it so I'm wearing it. I know. But styles a bit different in Korea. I can't see it when it's on my head so it doesn't bother me. 

The lady just about peed her pants when she caught sight of what she had hooked. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jwest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Oct 2014 at 8:21am
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Originally posted by corokid corokid wrote:

Actually fellas , there was a good article in a recent F&G magazine , all about softbaiting for trout , had some really good info . Come to think of it may have been NZ Trout mag , will see if I still have , it was in the last 3 moths anyway.


There is a good article in a recent fishing news too by Peter Langlands I think

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote of2fsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2014 at 9:24pm
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One thing I learnt was to change lures and colours a fair bit,quite often you will get a fish on a new colour/ shape with in the 1st few casts.
Our best day was 21 salmon and we caught them on a multitude of lures from veltic flies to gulp including gulp crabs which were real good .
I will be taking the new 4 inch gulp nemesis for a go when I'm down there this summer,awesome looking tail on them
2009 and 2010 BERKLEY SOFTBAIT COMP CHAMPS,Runner up 2013 ( solo),winner 2013/14 longest kingfish nz fishing competition
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2014 at 11:33am
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Gulp crabs? So much for matching the hatch. 

Anyone got any links to add to the map, or feedback about how easy it is to read let me know. My first time customising a Google map.


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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote of2fsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2014 at 5:19pm
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Matching the hatch would be casting small brown pellet imitations to mimick what the captive salmon feed on,in my experience the more you throw at them the more you catch
2009 and 2010 BERKLEY SOFTBAIT COMP CHAMPS,Runner up 2013 ( solo),winner 2013/14 longest kingfish nz fishing competition
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote OneWayTraffic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2014 at 11:19pm
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But still surprising considering they never see a real crab. Come to think of it, they never see shrimp either. I'll have to give it a go sometime.

So you just cast them out under a float? Or ledger rig? 
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