Central South Island Reel Life August 2019
Acres of September options
In September many of our waters are closed, but acres of fishing opportunities exist 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.
Brown trout spawning is over and hungry post spawning browns cruise the shallow lake margins in September looking for anything edible.
Above Right: A 14-gram bass hex wobbler accounts for a Lake Tekapo Brown trout-Credit Rhys Adams.
In lakes like Benmore and Waitaki brown trout will be in right in close to shore.
Approach these fish carefully as they can be spooky.
It is best to spot the fish first before making a cast and never cast directly at the fish, rather a few metres in front of it in the direction that it is heading.
For starters, spin anglers should keep it simple and use old favourites like the 7-gram 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 shallows too often.
If your spooking the fish with your spinner then fish a fly under a clear bubble float.
Split shot may be needed to help sink you fly.
In September, lakes like Pukaki and Tekapo are usually at low water 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.
Keep it simple at these lakes, just cast a heavy lure like a 10-20 gram brass hex wobbler out as far as you can into deeper water and retrieve at a medium speed.
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 river mouth drop-offs or simply any shore-based method in these areas may get you onto some fine fighting rainbows.
Please remember the tributary rivers and streams are closed in September for fishing.
At the canals rainbow trout will still be in spawning mode so fishing with egg pattern flies or a single scented soft bait egg will produce results.
Egg imitations are best fished by using a small sinker to bounce your rig along the bottom of the canal with the flow while you walk along the canal bank at the same speed of the flow.
Keep your line tight enough so that you can feel the sinker bounce along the bottom and detect any bites.
If you’re after a salmon or fat trout for dinner try bait fishing with prawn or shrimp around the salmon farms.
Catch and release is popular at the canals but can be done poorly at times so we want to make a friendly reminder that you must handle the fish with care.
Three good ways to look after your fish are:
1 - use a large landing net and keep the fish in the water while extracting the hook with forceps,
2- take a photo quickly and keep the fish right down at water level and
3- take the time to revive the fish before it swims off under its own strength.
A few years back Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens put together a canal fishing information video which includes a section on catch and release, check it out at this link.
Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer
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