The typical Canterbury spring weather has seen some massive floods in our braided rivers over the past two weeks. Hopefully, some more settled weather is on the way!
On the back of the floods, we should see the first sea run salmon enter our bigger rivers. These early fish tend to run the river, and concentrating in the lower reaches with shiny or brightly coloured spoons is often the best way to target these early-season salmon. Solid reports of sea run trout in the rivers too, and good numbers of smelt and whitebait for them to feed on seems to be helping with numbers and fish quality. Smelt imitation flies and soft baits are some of the most effective ways to approach sea run trout. I prefer to fish the tidal areas and a high tide running out. The high-country fishing season kicked off on November 5, and for the first time in two years, Fish and Game held their opening day competition at Lake Coleridge.
It was great to see so many anglers and, in particular, families up there enjoying the day. There were 90 fish weighed in, with the biggest being 3.41kg. A real mix of junior and adult anglers entered, and the most successful method was trolling Fish and Game report. With the warmer weather and the season comes the brown beetle hatches; this can give some really neat evening dry fly-fishing action on our lowland streams.
Ballingers Hunting and Fishing staffer Jeremy Burke with a beautiful Canterbury brown trout.
The surf casters are starting to hit their straps now! Conditions have been good along the coast most weekends, and we are getting reports of rig, elephant fish and some gurnard being taken. Remembering that stirred-up, murky water is best for rig and even elephant fish, but the cleaner the better if you want to have a go at gurnard. Shellfish baits, prawns and crab for elephants and rig, fish baits for the gurnard.
The word on the street is that we can confirm that at least one kingfish has been caught off the Canterbury Coast, but that will only increase as the water warms over the next few weeks and more anglers get themselves out there. Banks Peninsula has seen some excellent vis for diving lately, too, and this has meant that the free divers have had the opportunity to get out and secure some yummy crayfish with relative ease. We are looking good for summer!
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 our Facebook page for more info on what we are up to in Canterbury.