CSI Reel Life August 2017
The final fling
September is the last month to use your current 2016-2017 licence, so we encourage anglers to get out for one final fling of the line.
Remember to buy your new 2017-2018 licence - they're on sale now and become valid on Opening Day of the new season, Sunday October 1.
Above Right: Lake Benmore's Pumpkin Point is worth a visit in September.
New season licences can be purchased from your local sports store or online at our website, click here to buy one now.
Grab the licence number off your current licence card if you can, as this will make buying your new licence easier than ever.
Acres of options
In September many of our waters are closed, but acres of fishing opportunities exists at the Mackenzie basin canals and seven Waitaki Catchment hydro lakes.
Check your CSI regulations here to be sure you’re targeting open water in September.
Left: A late August 2017, Lake Pukaki rainbow trout.
For the lakes, key your methods into targeting these two opportunities; 1. Hungry brown trout cruising lake shallows, 2. Lake-resident rainbows getting ready to run up tributary rivers and streams to spawn.
Brown trout spawning is over and hungry post spawning browns cruise the shallow lake margins in September looking for anything edible.
In lakes like Benmore, these fish will be in close, real close, with fins protruding from the shallow water at times so spot the fish first and watch it for a minute and make a plan.
Fly fishing or spinning with small-medium size lures should work well.
When fly fishing try bully imitations, small nymphs and damselfly imitation flies on a floating line or intermediate sink.
Spin anglers should keep it simple and use old favourites like the black and gold toby or go a bit more life-like and use a soft plastic lure.
The weight of the lure will be key to ensure you’re not getting snagged in the shallow too often.
In September lakes like Pukaki and Tekapo will be at very low levels.
This provides a great opportunity for shore based anglers to get closer to the drop offs and permanent weed beds.
These are hot spots for spring fishing. If you fish Lake Tekapo in September don’t be surprised to catch a feisty salmon there have been catches reported throughout winter thanks to several years of enhancement liberations.
Rainbow trout will be spawning in the lake tributaries right through September and beyond.
The fish will congregate in the lake near stream mouths beforehand and after.
Trolling around drop-offs or simply any shore-based method in these areas may get you onto some feisty rainbows.
Please remember the tributaries themselves are closed in September for fishing.
At the canals some rainbow trout will still be in spawning mode so fishing with egg pattern flies or a scented soft bait egg should produce results.
As always, fishing around the salmon farms will be worthwhile as trout and salmon seek shelter and food from under the pens.
Over the winter the water clarity has been exceptional high in the high-country lakes and downstream in the canals accordingly.
Rough windy spring storms and snow melt over the coming months will soon colour up the water returning to those classic postcard blues and greens that Lake Pukaki, and to a lesser extent Tekapo and Ohau are famous for.
A reduction in clarity can help the angler catch the fussier of the canal fish, and there are a few of them.
If a fussy fish has less time or opportunity to inspect your offering and figure out there’s a hook in it or nylon attached you should catch more!
That’s the theory anyway.
Fish & Game 'special mag'
Check your mail boxes if you are a current whole season licenceholder as the special issue Fish & Game magazines are hot off the press.
The Central South Island Fish & Game Staff have put together a two-page spread near the back of the mag covering local news.
Here is a link to the online version of the special issue magazine, happy reading.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
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