Freshwater, following on from my previous report, the salmon are here! We have heard reports from the Waimakariri, Rangitata, and Rakaia rivers now – I have even managed some time and caught a couple myself! Most of the action has been in the lower reaches of these rivers, although we have had a small fresh in recent days and this will draw the fish further up the river systems. In the river, Zed spinners or Daiwa ‘Chinook’ spoons are very effective; silver with a flash of chartreuse or green are good early-season options.
I haven’t spoken about the canals a lot of late, but with the school holidays here now, they will be fished heavily. The fishing has been great down there, too, with the trout feeding along the edges and near the cages where they can be targeted with nymphs and dry flies. There are also salmon escapees, in the likes of Ohau C, which make for almost endless opportunities to fish at this time of year. Soft-baits and shiny spoons are the go-to for salmon, and drifting eggs along the cages always get the attention of the rainbow trout, but soft-baits work well too.
On the saltwater front, there has been a bit of easterly wind about lately, which has made targeting our local kingies a little more challenging. But the water temp is good, and any weather window has produced fish for those lucky enough to get out. Managing those weather windows is also the answer for getting a feed of those tasty ‘puka and cod off the peninsula. Learning to use handy apps like Swell Map and Windy will help make the right decisions about whether or not to get out on the water.
The ‘Big Bug Bash’ was held last Saturday, too. This is a freediving comp based at Duvauchelle, in Akaroa Harbour, with over 50 competitors in the water looking for a big bug (crayfish). The main prize is the heaviest combined weight of two crayfish, and Craig Smith from our store, who was ‘out there doing it’, bagged the top prize! From all accounts, it was a very well-run comp, heaps of fun, and the water and weather played the game too! Rig have been in abundance along the coast in recent weeks, elephant fish not quite so prevalent yet, but the rig have made up for the shortage of eels.
Please have a safe festive season filled with plenty of fishing! Merry Christmas!
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.