Canterbury Fishing Report - March 10th, 2022

Better conditions see fish on the bite

The days are certainly shortening up and cooling down! With the change of the season, many of us are thinking of the roar and duck season just around the corner, but it is still March and there is still plenty of fishing to be had!

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Saltwater: It seems to be the time to be poking around looking for tuna. I know it’s a little further afield than where my report is supposed to focus, but we have been seeing and hearing of tuna, mostly albacore from the Golden Bay area, and heading south. South Westland has been getting albacore and southern bluefin.

While the bluefin are a different game, albacore can be around in good numbers and can often be targeted in smaller boats, making them more accessible to anglers. The size of albacore makes them a great sports-fish on light gear. Smaller feathered or hex head lures trolled on light lines and soft-ish rods make for great fun.

Closer to home, the settled weather I hoped for in the last report has come true and with that, reports of good cod, ‘puka, trumpeter, moki and crayfish have come from those venturing out of Akaroa or Kaikoura.

Freshwater: As I mentioned previously, it looked like our salmon rivers were clearing, and they did. The Rakaia fished very well for a few days as the river cleared, and although it is very clear now, changing to smaller lures and fishing the change of light will still produce fish. The Waimak has still been a bit slow, but the next three weeks will see its peak if the fish are coming. As the days cool and the season changes, our lake fishing can really turn on. Around the stream mouths trout start to think about spawning. Concentrating around the drop-offs at these mouths will give good opportunity and night fishing can be great, with the added bonus of not being freezing cold like in the winter season! It is nice to see the bite improving on the canals with the cooler weather around now. Being adaptive is key at this time of year – they are not quite hard on eggs, but those trout are in top condition.

Change your approach regularly if something you are doing is not working. That could be changing your style of fishing from soft-baits to eggs, from eggs to hard lures, or it could be as simply as moving spot. Remember these fish do see a lot of anglers, but if you are prepared to adapt, you will still have success.

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

Ballingers Hunting and Fishing 


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