Canterbury Fishing Report - 16/11/23

Prospects varied for Anniversary weekend

We spoke of the pending High Country opener in my last report, and with a decent spell of weather recently the fishing has been strong too, both fresh and saltwater-wise. As I write this, we have a strong norwest blowing and I suspect that unfortunately, we will have dirty rivers for the Canterbury Anniversary weekend ahead.

Freshwater: November 4 signaled the opening day of the high-country fishing season in the North Canterbury region. I was heading up to Lake Coleridge to be a part of the prizegiving for the Fish and Game competition, so took the chance to fish the lake prior. I, like many other anglers, arrived at first light and was welcomed by some reasonably good weather at Ryton Bay. Unfortunately, that didn’t last too long and by the time I got the boat back on the trailer at midday there was a rather steady Norwest coming down the lake. That certainly didn’t dampen the anglers' spirits and it was great to see over 200 people at the prizegiving even though the clouds had opened, and it was teeming down throughout.

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Ballingers H&F staff member Julien Scherrer made the most of the high country opening day to bag this fine brownie. 

Happy smiling kids and families are always great to see and that is what we saw at the prizegiving. A big thanks goes to all those who attended, Fish and Game for running such an event, and the Selwyn District Council for allowing F&G to use their site up at the lake. Congratulations to Ken Carter on landing the biggest fish of the day, a brown trout weighing in at 3.57kg!

The week prior I had managed a day on the canals and can confirm that there are still quite a few salmon lurking around the Tekapo bowl area, and I can also confirm that the new Daiwa Bait Junkie softbait we got to try out was rather successful too!

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Saltwater: Adding to the last report, we have had more indications of elephant fish being taken. Closer to home again with them being caught south of the peninsula, and on rod and reels, not just kontikis. Add to that, rig and gurnard, and those anglers that have been out there have been rewarded for their efforts. Kahawai are becoming ever more reliable to target at our rivermouths again, with both the Waimak and Rakaia holding good numbers of solid fish at the moment. Neat seeing fly rods and light tackle being used to catch these feisty fish, and this only adds to the fun.

The weekend saw some great weather, particularly on Sunday and whilst I haven’t talked to any boat anglers we have seen plenty of freedivers through the store who have made the best of “OK” viz to get out and nab some crays and paua. Still no confirmed word of Canterbury kingies – a few rumours are flying around but nothing for us to hang our hats on yet!

With the long weekend almost here, check the weather and marine forecast, and get out there and enjoy yourselves!

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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