Canterbury Fishing Report - 11/01/24

Saltwater action aplenty

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas, New Year celebration and start to 2024! I trust that you all managed to get a break and got some fishing in whilst doing so. The weather in Canterbury has been kind, and the opportunity has been taken by many of our customers, team, friends, and families!


The kingies are definitely here! Customers and team members have been off the Peninsula and made the most of a settled patch of weather to secure some great fishing. Earlier in the season patches of kelp were few and far between which made finding fish a bit tough, but it seems that the kelp has built up over the past couple of weeks and made finding the kingfish a lot easier! Casting stickbaits is still the most exciting way to catch these guys, but it always pays to have a jig or softbait rig at the ready just in case they’re in the mood to follow a stick bait but not bite it! 

The kingis have arrived around Banks Peninsula.

Whilst it’s later than it started last year, the bluefin are on the go in the lower parts of the West Coast, and Jackson Bay and Milford have fired up over Christmas and New Year period with some good sea conditions seeing plenty of boats and plenty of fish! Trolling with both skirted and bibbed lures is the preferred method of targeting these delicious fish, but it is really neat to hear of anglers trying different methods and I heard just this week of a couple being landed on jigs! Surfcasters have made a good fist of it over this period too, with great numbers of rig, catches of elephant fish continuing and gurnard appearing on the menu on a regular basis. Gurnard appeal to me for their eating qualities, but also because they have not long been a common occurrence on our local beaches therefore are still a novelty to target and catch! From what I can figure out, an outgoing tide, a fish bait (preferably fresh) on a flasher rig and possibly the most important ingredient, clean surf, are the key factors to be successful with gurnard.


Whilst the salmon are continuing to prove elusive, the mouths of our bigger rivers across the South Island have been alive with kahawai. Having a dirty river at New Year meant I spent a few hours chasing these feisty fish with family and friends, using trout spinning gear and small softbaits made for a great session and tons of fun! Our high-country lakes have provided a lot of action in recent weeks, from what I can work out, the canals have quieter than expected for this time of year but the central lakes – Benmore, Ohau, Waitaki and Aviemore – have been producing the goods both with the weather and fish quality. Trolling with Rapala and Tassie Devil lues has been successful and also allows you to cover plenty of ground too. Softbaits and small metal spoons around stream mouths in the evenings can be very effective also. Closer to home, lakes like Pearson, Coleridge and Selfe have had some good green beetle fishing lately too. It’s an awesome time of year to be out there doing it!

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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