Canterbury Fishing Report - 09/03/23

Slow-pitch jigging works for ‘puka

The weather has been a bit of a mixed bag this time around, but still, the opportunities have been there. Taking the chance when it’s there is the key, and that fits for both fresh and saltwater!

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One such weather opportunity arose last week for me to get out and chase ‘puka off Banks Peninsula. I hadn’t been out for a while (sidetracked by salmon!), but when the offer was there, I couldn’t say no. I have spoken a lot recently about slow-pitch jigging and its effectiveness for all species, so I decided to fish these exclusively for the day. They call it a ‘learning curve’, I believe!

We got out to the marks almost right on high tide and immediately found fish on the sounder, but we could not catch them on lures. We were watching another boat with bait catch them, but not us with our lures. It appears to be the way that these lures do work, but not on a slack tide (well, not that day anyway).

As soon as we got some tide running, we picked up the fish, and what fun the ‘puka are on that type of gear. The power of those heavy fish with big tails on light, sensitive rods, braid, and small overhead reels is incredible. The lure of choice was the Shimano Wing Fall, 160gm in black lumo.

Kingfish seem to be slowing down a little now, but the weather (or more so, the wind) hasn’t been overly favourable recently, either.

The writer with a hāpuku caught on a Shimano Wing Fall slow-pitch jig.


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After writing the last instalment of this report, I headed off to the Rakaia Salmon Competition. There were over 400 competitors, and 35 salmon were weighed in over the two-and-a-half days of fishing. The heaviest fish was an 8.46kg beauty. Since then, the salmon fishing in both the Rakaia and Waimak has really picked up and is well worth the effort.

It’s also great to see the sockeye salmon spawning in the feeder streams to Lake Benmore at this time of year. The numbers appear to be increasing there, and more anglers are targeting them through the summer months. Sockeye are a really feisty wee fish that readily take shiny silver lures trolled a little deeper than you might for a trout down there. I would think Jigging would have to work for them, too, not that I’ve tried though!

The Waimakariri Salmon Comp is this Saturday. If you are at a loose end, then head out and support the NZ Salmon Anglers Association and enjoy a day on the water!

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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