Canterbury Fishing Report - 23/03/23

A buzz around bluefin tuna

Yet again the weather has had a say in the past two weeks, but there have been some really good bits mixed in too!

Saltwater:  Not that we have heard of any being caught (YET!), but there is a bit of a buzz and some intent from local anglers to get out of the Peninsula and look for bluefin tuna! We know that they were caught off Kaikoura last year, and with what we’ve seen of the fishery around the South Island this year that will surely happen again. However, it is all conjecture at the moment, along with a bit of wishful thinking, as nothing has been seen in local waters that we know of.

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More people and boats on the water must help in the search for them and helping each other out will ensure more water is covered to help pinpoint them. The beauty of heading out on such a mission is the ability to mix the day up with some trolling for tuna and some great bottom fishing for ‘puka, cod trumpeter, etc. I mentioned in my previous report that I had managed a day out, it sounds like the fishing has got better and ‘puka numbers have increased over the past couple of weeks.

I would have normally suggested that the kingfish would have dispersed from the local area by now, but from all accounts, they have still been around, but a little tougher to tangle with than earlier in the season. Having talked to several successful anglers, softbaits have made a difference when the usual topwater lures are not doing the business.

Freshwater:  The seasons are starting to feel like they are changing, which gets our trout anglers thinking about spawning fish, particularly in our lakes. 

Targeting areas around stream mouths, and often fishing at night with lumo lures is the go. The best thing about doing this through March and April is that it typically isn’t as cold for night fishing as it can be through the deeper darker parts of winter!

Molly McMillan with her first salmon, ‘guided’ by proud dad Simon.

Salmon have still been making their presence felt. Although the Rakaia has slowed now, the Waitaki is coming into its best time, remembering now that the season limit is in place the Waitaki can be fished through April again.

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The bonus of the Waitaki is there can be some exceptional trout fishing in the braids too. Kahawai have all but gone from the Waimakariri now, however, this has made way for a few salmon in the lower reaches of the river when it is been fishable.

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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