Canterbury Fishing Report - 21/09/23

The past two weeks have seen some really unsettled weather for us in Canterbury, with lots of wind over recent days. This has made fishing challenging at times.   


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After a sluggish start, it is nice to see some smiles on our local whitebaiters faces. Whilst the wind has been from the north it has calmed our inshore waters and it appears that this has improved the catch rate of whitebait. Even though the bigger rivers may be dirty from the rain in the high country, typically this will not put the bait off but will mean you will need to allow more time for cleaning! 

Remember that Lake Coleridge remains open until the end of September. I managed a quick morning fish up there last week and the fishing was well worth the time given to get up there. The fish were mostly taken on softbaits, but the lake is very low at the moment meaning reaching drop-offs and ledges from the shore is super accessible for the fly angler too. The condition of the fish we landed was pleasing considering many appeared to be post-spawning fish. We did not get any salmon but caught rainbows and browns and the early morning fish activity was spectacular! 


As mentioned above, the wind has been a problem and as a result the sea conditions offshore have not been terribly favorable for getting wide off the Peninsula. However, the good inshore seas have seen the first of our keen surfcasters getting out and some rig being caught. It is still early for an elephant fish but getting your gear out and targeting a rig or two is a good way to celebrate spring and prepare yourself for summer! The kahawai are still being caught around our river mouths and seem to be building in numbers. This seems to be very early, but they are so much fun to catch and very accessible so make the most of it while you can.  

Kaikoura salmon have arrived, maybe a little later than previous years with fish usually being taken in August, but they have turned up now and seem to be in good numbers too. Simply casting shiny lures off the beaches out in front of the railway station is the go, and they are not normally too far out so you can use lighter gear and cast lures with plenty of action to help entice them. 

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 & Fishing

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