Canterbury Fishing Report - 02/05/24

Hāpuku still abundant

The season truly feels like it has changed now, writing this tucked up with a southerly blowing and rain teeming down and a few days too early for duck opening day, unfortunately!


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For a lot of our waterways, the end of April is the end of the season, and our trout get a rest from angler attention, but most importantly get on with spawning! That certainly doesn’t mean there is no scope for getting out fishing - check out the Fish and Game regulation booklet that you receive with your licence (or look it up via their website). Better still, have a yarn with the guys in store as there are plenty of waterways that have winter fishing seasons, and some are even open all year.

It is a time of year when the canals get a lot of focus. This is because the fishing can be exceptional, with the trout in particular focusing on eggs, and with spawning on their minds they tend to be a little more concentrated. Remember that the Tekapo canal closes on the 31st of May above State Highway 1. If you intend to fish the canals through the winter period, please prepare for the cold as it can get extremely fresh down there at this time of year!

It is also a time where our lake fisheries tend to shine, with the likes of Coleridge and Benmore - in fact the full Waitaki lakes system - fishing very well during the winter months. Night fishing with lumo flies or spinners is quite popular, but fishing the margins during the day can be just as effective with small soft baits.


I’ll repeat it for the third report in a row - the hāpuku fishing off Banks Peninsula is continuing to fish well, with every weather window providing stories of an abundance of fish for those that get out. Hopefully I will get out again between this report and the next, and will have more to add.

The hāpuku fishing off Banks Peninsula is continuing to fish well.

As mentioned in the Freshwater segment, the winter months change our focus a little bit, and we have a lot of local anglers heading up to the Marlborough Sounds, and in particular to fish the D’Urville area. It is early enough for D’Urville in May for the snapper fishery but is also a great time to have a go at some of those XXL kingfish on topwater! If this is something you’re into, my biggest piece of advice is not to go after them under-gunned. If your gear is going to get tested, it's by these guys!

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As a precursor to D’Urville snapper fishing, the Golden Bay/Nelson region has fished exceptionally well late summer and into autumn for snapper, and I believe this is generally a good sign for the outer sounds during the winter months. I have often talked about the switch to slow jigs and slow pitch jigging, but the Nelson fishing of late has seen some awesome, old school, shallow water strayling action. Big hooks, big baits, tidy berley trail, and big snapper!

We have a very active team of keen anglers in our Fishing Department, so please fire any questions our way and we will point you in the right direction to keep you on the fish. Please check out our Facebook page for more info on what we are up to in Canterbury.

Simon McMillan

Christchurch Hunting and Fishing New Zealand

75 Clarence Street, Addington, Christchurch

03 3430212



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