Canterbury Fishing Report - 23/02/23

Our thoughts are with you

I have to start with the cyclone. To all our readers, fellow contributors and everyone affected, what a weather event! Seeing so many people displaced, losing everything and the loss of life is heartbreaking. From Canterbury, our thoughts are with you.

Freshwater: It is the Rakaia salmon fishing comp this weekend, the highlight of many salmon anglers’ year! We have had a bit of rain on Wednesday, and it will be touch and go if it’s fishable Friday, but us salmon fishos are an optimistic bunch! Talking about salmon, we are heading towards March and typically the best period for the Waimak, Hurunui and Waiau rivers.

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We are hearing a few rumours about these areas so don’t be afraid to venture a little further afield.  As mentioned in the last report, kahawai fishing is continuing in a massive way! All our local river mouths are seeing huge numbers, but it sounds like they are right along the east coast. With such high numbers of kahawai, it is awesome to see people trying different techniques too – flyfishing, softbaiting, and spinning with trout gear – all ways to add some fun to a session on the kahawai! A few of the team have ventured into the high country and can report some great dry fly sight fishing in our lakes. Watch the weather, pick the spot, and show some patience – the results will be there. Small blowfly patterns have been the winner lately, and these feisty trout are great fun on the fly.

The Rakaia River salmon competition kicks off this weekend and is the highlight of many anglers’ year.

Saltwater: We have experienced a mixed bag of weather recently, but when the window has been there the kingies have been hungry! Topwater is still the way to go, and so much fun. Don’t be afraid to try a bigger stick bait, ‘big bait, big fish’! It’s the NZSFC’s National week, and whilst we don’t get the marlin action like the north, the local teams that we keep in contact with fishing out of Kaikoura and Jackson’s Bay are reporting good numbers and sizes of albacore, topped-up with some great bottom fishing to keep the teams fed! Chasing the albacore on 1 and 2kg certainly puts the pressure on but helps to collect the points! Good luck to all that are competing.

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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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