Reel Life December 2020

The holiday season is here and fishing in the CSI Region has got to rate highly on your to-do list.

This is the season of: leisurely trolling the Waitaki lakes; willow grubbing browns on our low country streams; dry fly action in the high-country; scenic sunrises chasing sea-run salmon and trout at the river mouths; soft baiting for super-trout in the canals - the list goes on!  

And if your Christmas shopping is not quite complete, why not buy someone a fishing licence and take them fishing!

Click here to buy your licence online and learn more about what licence suits you and your loved ones best.

Alternatively, pop down to your local fishing shop and buy one while you are picking up some new tackle.

Above: Trolling on Lake Benmore is a favourite holiday activity for hundreds of anglers.

Four quick fishing ideas for January

RL dec CSI 4 A scenic sunrise for salmon angler to enjoy at the Rangitata River mouth 2 Credit R Adams 2

A scenic sunrise for salmon angler to enjoy at the Rangitata River mouth - Credit R Adams

  1. Try night fishing – scout out the area and research the water levels, snags and hazards beforehand. For rainbows and salmon try luminescent lures, for brown trout try dark lures.
  2. Try some advanced spin fishing techniques on fussy brown trout as detailed in this how-to guide.
  3. Try trolling for sockeye salmon on Lake Benmore – here a video showing you how-to.
  4. Fish early morning while the water is coolest and the wind is calmest – and then have a siesta in the afternoon – you will deserve it.

Fishing locations and access

RLdecCSI2 CSI angler access guides can be found online

CSI angler access guides can be found online.

If you are new to the Central South Island Fish & Game Region (CSI) or just looking to fish a bit further afield then you may find our “Fishing locations and access” webpage valuable.

The information covers: Ashburton Catchment, Rangitata River, Waitaki River, popular river fisheries, popular lake fisheries and the hydro canals.

For some of these fisheries a downloadable pdf brochure is available including a map to aid access.

Click here to visit the CSI fishing locations and access page.

Tagged Tekapo Canal Trout

RL dec CSI 3 keep an eye out for Tekapo Canal trout with yellow colour tag each with a unique 4 digit number to report credit J Craig

keep an eye out for Tekapo Canal trout with yellow colour tag - each with a unique 4-digit number to report' credit J Craig

All going to plan we will be releasing hundreds more tagged trout to the Tekapo Canal just a few days prior to Christmas. 

That will add to the 400 trout we tagged and released back in winter and going by the following catch reports there were good numbers caught for the first few weeks. 

The tagged fish tend to be caught near the release site and this time we hope to release them up at the top bridge by the Tekapo A powerhouse and down by the salmon farms and stilling basin. 

Check this video out for more info on the Tekapo Canal tagging project.

If you catch a tagged trout please get in touch and let us know the unique four-digit tag number, location caught, whether it was kept or release and an estimate of size.

Contact options – email csi@fishandgame.org.nz, phone 036158400 

Rules and Regulations

What is the bag limit again… can I bait fish here…? 

Never fear, the regulation guide is available online 24-7 at the www.fishandgame.org.nz website.

Click here to link to the 2020-2021 sports fishing regulations guide – South Island edition.  

Spin easy

Not everybody is a seasoned pro and it pays not to get caught up in the technical aspects of fishing if you are relatively new to the sport.

Southland Fish & Game put together some videos to show just how easy spin fishing needs to be

Here’s a video of spin lure that work, and basic spin fishing tips.

Check, Clean and Dry

RL dec CSI 5Invasive aquatic organisms are scattered around New Zealand’s waterways, let’s do our bit to stop them spreading any further.

For example, lakes Benmore and Aviemore have an infestation the aquatic weed Lagarosiphon major (oxygen weed) and there is a huge cost to keep it at suppressed levels.

Over 1 Million dollars gets spent each year to control Lagarosiphon in Benmore and Aviemore for the benefit of recreational users, biodiversity and power generation.

Let’s do our bit to make sure Lagarosiphon doesn’t get transferred to our other iconic lakes like Ohau, Pukaki and Tekapo.

There are other nasties out there too, and the only way to ensure none are spread around is to always check, clean and dry before going to a new waterway.

This helpful Check Clean Dry pocket guide gives you great information on how clean all types of equipment.

Tight lines

Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer