Central South Island Reel Life September 2019

Low country opening outlook

It has been a relatively dry winter in the region and river flows should be good for opening day, unless we get a decent rainfall event in the days prior to opening.

Most rivers are looking great and with opening day falling on a Tuesday this year it will be well worth taking a day of annual leave.

Before heading out be sure to check the flows on the Environment Canterbury river flows website here to see if any rain has put the rivers up.

Above Right: 2018 Opening day success on the Waitaki River for Colin Ballantyne, Grahame Ballantyne and Kevin Sidon

Snow melt is a factor at this time of year too - especially in the afternoons and evenings.  

Early season is often the best time to fish the lowland brown trout waters of the Central South Island Region, especially for bait and spin methods, so make the most of it before summer fishing conditions strike.    

Our lakes also fish well for brown trout in October and are a perfect back-up option should the rivers come up with a rain event.

Sight fishing the shallow sandy and muddy areas can be action packed.

Boat anglers should focus on the shallow weed bed areas.

Lake Benmore and Opuha are October favourites. 

If lake salmon are your buzz, then try trolling deep water out on Lake Benmore for salmon.

A silver lure fished on a downrigger, paravane or lead line could produce the goods.   

Many CSI ‘high-country’ waters remain closed until the first Saturday in November so before heading out on Tuesday the 1st it will pay to check your 2019-2020 regulation guide by clicking here to ensure you’re heading to open water.

Regulation changes

Changes were made at the most recent triennial review of the Central South Island Region’s sports fishing regulations.

These changes will apply for the 2019-2020 sports fishing season starting 1 October 2019.

Some changes have been made to reduce harvest and others to increase angling opportunity.

New regulations summarised:

  1. All sea-run salmon fisheries
  • Daily bag limit 1 salmon.
  • Season 1 December to 31 March.
  • Night fishing for salmon prohibited.
  • Winter season closed for salmon fishing.

     2.Designated Coarse Fishing Waters

  • Daily bag limit 1 tench.
  • Tench minimum size 450mm.
  • Perch minimum size 250mm.

 Other Waterways:

  • Rangitata River – daily bag limit 2 trout.
  • Lake Hood – open all year.
  • Lake Aviemore – Deep Stream arm open all year.
  • Lake Middleton – all boat fishing permitted providing they are not being propelled by a motor. 

Make sure you check out all the regulations and their new layout.

If you are in any doubt over the regulations, please contact our office and ask for clarification from one of our Fish & Game Officers: 03 6158400 or csi@fishanadgame.org.nz.

Waitaki River tagged trout

RL SEPT CSI 3a tagged rainbow with the yellow tag shown in the red circle

A tagged rainbow with the yellow tag shown in the red circle

Please report any capture of tagged trout in the Waitaki River this season, and the Hakataramea and Maerewhenua rivers once they open on the first Saturday in November.

Here is a YouTube video we made last year to show you the tagging project.

Information to report:

Tag number, catch date and location, kept or released.

Please report to:

Central South Island Fish & Game. Phone: 03 615 8400, Email: csi@fishandgame.org.nz

Sign up for the Weekly Fishing Report

If you enjoy reading this Reel Life email newsletter and would like more frequent updates and reports on all topics fishing and Fish & Game, then we encourage you to sign up to the Central South Island and North Canterbury Weekly reports.

Click here to link to the weekly report sign-up form.

The reports which are published through the entire summer fishing season hit your inbox on Thursday evening just in time to plan the weekends activities. 

Good luck for the start of the new season.

Rhys Adams, Fish & Game Officer