Canterbury Fishing Report - 08/02/24

Options galore down south!


I lead with bluefin last report, and I will do the same this time! The action has been nowhere near as frantic in the past two weeks as before the previous update, however. Not being a ‘game’ fisherman myself, I am learning almost every day from any angle I can, but what I am hearing is that it has been too close to the full moon and it is not unusual to see the bite slow down around the full moon period. There has still been the odd fish caught out of Kaikoura, with albies around to keep you keen!

I was lucky enough to escape down to Jackson’s Bay last week for a couple of days, in the hope of a bluefin, but there was no success for us. However, we did get some beaut conditions one morning where we gave it an hour of bottom fishing and got some awesome bluenose – a great sideline to the bluefin trolling, and an awesome eating fish to bring home for friends and family. We have seen some good weather for our surfcasting beaches too. It seems the elephant fish have dispersed (at least I haven’t heard of any lately) but rig are still providing some good sport, and along with the continuation of gurnard within easy reach around our coast you are getting some very nice table fish currently!

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Simon with a healthy bluenose. 


Having visited some of the local river mouths recently, the kahawai are still astounding me with their numbers. We have seen many anglers through the store gearing up, but it was fantastic to see how many people were out there – families out collecting some food and introducing younger family members or friends to the pleasure of catching these battlers. They haven’t been hard to catch, but some light gear sure does make it fun!

Our High Country fishing remains strong with the Lake Coleridge salmon fishing remaining consistent, but on top of that, the weather has allowed some light wind days that have seen the fly angler nab some great trout on the dry fly. Blowfly-type patterns are always quite consistent at this time of year on both lakes and rivers. A couple of the lads from the store gave jigging a go in Lake Coleridge recently. This has been very much a north island lakes method, but Hamish and Dave had a very successful day on the lake from their float tubes bouncing flies. Still a lot of learnings, but they will work on it and will certainly point anyone in the right direction if they want to give it a go!

On the salmon front, right on cue, the Rakaia cleared for Waitangi Day, and of course, I couldn’t help myself. Fishing the lower river, we saw the most fish moving that I have seen all season, we hooked three, but only landed one (better than none I guess!). Encouraging signs with the numbers compared to earlier in the season, but the fish size is definitely still down unfortunately.

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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