Canterbury Fishing Report - 13/01/23

Bluefin tuna make an appearance

Believe it or not, the weather over the Christmas and New Year period has been rather kind to us! Some very windy days and a fresh in the main rivers, but as far as this time of year goes, we have had a good run.   


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Whilst we have seen the usual suspects being taken along our coast (rig, elephant fish, kahawai, etc.), the bottom fishing guys have taken their opportunities out of Akaroa, Kaikoura, and Moeraki. The Canterbury kingfish have also played the game when the wind has allowed. Although not quite Canterbury (but plenty of Canterbury anglers are chasing them), it has been bluefin tuna that have been all the rave in the past couple of weeks!

With an amazing spell of weather along the West Coast, we have seen bluefin getting caught from Hokitika down through Jacksons Bay and into Fiordland. Reports of fish from 20kg up to 70kg. What is probably the most exciting part of this is that anglers are embracing all methods to catch these beauties. We are seeing them caught on traditional skirted lures, but alongside that, deep-diving hard-body lures, jigs and topwater stickbaits have all taken fish. Even the spearos have been in on the action, with Jordy Bardin nailing a 40kg specimen to set the target for female spearfishers with her NZ first capture.  

This fishery is very exciting for those of us in the south and only seems to be getting better; weather allowing of course! We will wait to see if more are taken out of Kaikoura this season too.


Plenty is going on here too! With the fresh down the rivers mentioned above, there have been some good numbers of salmon about, backed up with a few sea trout. The warm weather has seen good green beetle hatches around our high-country lakes, leading to some spectacular lake margin fly fishing.

Remember that although it’s often more challenging casting into the wind, the windier margins are often where the food is, therefore, the trout will be there too! The canals definitely get plenty of attention at this time of year, and why not, the weather has been brilliant, and the fish are fit and strong. Trout and salmon have been on the chew, predominantly around the cages at this time of year, and if the pressure is really on, night fishing often does the trick.

Kahawai, that hard-fighting, good eating feisty fish, have been in absolute abundance around the Waimakariri River, which has been fantastic for family fishing at this time of year. Small shiny lures cast on spinning gear or soft baits work a treat. They are great fun to target on the fly and good practice for fighting bigger target species like kingfish.

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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