Canterbury Fishing Report - November 18th, 2021

Canterbury Report

Brown beetle ‘season’ kicking in

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The last two weeks have shown us that the Canterbury spring weather is still hanging in there, with one glorious weekend and one very wet and windy one. Fortunately, the glorious weekend coincided with our High-Country opening weekend, bit unfortunately the average one happened to be Canterbury Anniversary weekend!

Freshwater: Trout fishing really seems to have heated up in recent weeks. This is helped by the opening of many more high-country areas in early November and some relatively settled weather prior to the long weekend. With warmer evenings we are seeing the start of the brown beetle season, this can be a fun and often intense session of fly fishing, particularly on our lowland streams. As above, the weather for the opening of the high-country season was spectacular, just a shame that the Fish and Game competition and camping were not on at Lake Coleridge. However, the people still went fishing and plenty of fish were caught and fun was had.

Soft-baiting the margins around the change of light proved to be a winner or when more distance was required a small hex ticer fished deep was also deadly. The West Coast whitebait season has now come to an end, and the East Coast is still open until the end of November. With the regulations changing next year to close all areas at the end of October, you have about 10 days to make the most of the last chance to fish for whitebait in November!

The first confirmed sightings and catches of salmon have happened in both the Rangitata and Rakaia rivers over the last two weeks! Although our salmon rivers are high and dirty as I pen this, once they drop and start to clear hitting the lower reaches of these waterways with a nice shiny zeddie could be well worth the effort. Please remember that the sea run salmon fishery in North Canterbury and Central South Island regions now has a season limit of two salmon, and you require an endorsement on your licence to fish for sea run salmon. For more info, please check out the Fish and Game website.

Saltwater:  It is the time for surfcasting! Elephant fish have arrived inshore, and while they are not thick on the ground, a little time and effort has been rewarded. Using shellfish bait, smaller strong hooks, fishing evenings or into dark is the way to go now. We are fast approaching December and the fishing will only get better from now on, remember to be prepared for rig as a welcome by catch when targeting elephant fish too.

The beaches both north and south of the Peninsula are the most popular areas to target both rig and elephant fish, but Lyttleton Harbour is also a very popular spot to head over to as well. With whitebait and other bait fish around the Waimakariri the kahawai are starting to build too, these are a great sport and eating fish, they are fun for the whole family and can be easily targeted with light spinning gear. I haven’t heard a lot from our boat fishing guys over the recent weeks, but when conditions allow there will still be cod, ‘puka and other tasty treats to target at the usual spots out of Lyttleton, Kaikoura, Akaroa, and the likes. With the warmer weather slowly getting here we are starting to think Canterbury kingfish, December normally sees the first ones in the bay, so now is the time to make sure you are ready and look for the gaps in the weather and watch the water temp.

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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