Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island - 19-12-19
The holiday season is upon us and most of us will have more time than usual to get out for a fish.
Whether you are a seasoned-pro or brand-new to sports fishing there is always something to learn.
Over the years Fish & Game have put together a wealth of information to help you access fishing spots and improve your skills – all so you can catch more fish and get more enjoyment while you’re doing it.
Right: Make the time this holiday period to share your love of fishing with your loved-ones-credit K De Lange.
There are other things to learn and think about when putting your summer fishing plans together too like weather and waterway conditions, fishery surveys and biosecurity matters.
Over the next three weeks, in a semi-organised fashion, I’ll be sharing a ton of information in the form of quick tips and short blurbs from me, links to the Fish & Game website and Fish & Game YouTube and other online resources.
My goal is to resource you with information that will enable and motivate you make the most of your fishing licence and the opportunities on offer in the CSI Region and further afield this holiday period.
Buy a licence
All fishing for sports fish in freshwater, which includes trout, salmon and perch requires a valid fishing licence.
All sports fishing offences are criminal offences under the Conservation Act 1987 – that’s right…. You could end up in the District Court facing a hefty fine and a criminal conviction!
There are various licence types to meet your needs and time frames and for children 11 years and under there is no charge.
Sports fishing regulations
Read your regulation guide every season, this season we have made several changes and the regulations are in a new and improved format.
Be sure to read the First Schedule – pages 7-9, that’s where you find the general rules covering all Fish & Game Regions.
Then, be sure to review the Second Schedule for the waterway you intend to fish – for the CSI Region that’s pages 33-42.
How many offenders do rangers catch-out?
Here is a summary of the CSI ranging team’s effort for the 2018-2019 sports fishing season.
Predicting waterway conditions
An invaluable resource for assessing waterways conditions is Environment Canterbury’s river flow website.
Data is presented over a 7 day or month period, which gives you a chance to review spikes in the flow that reveal a small fresh or a big flood event and what the base-flow looks like.
TIP: during long hot summers rivers can get low in flow and warm (above 19°C). A small rain event will bump up the flows and cool the water – this is an ideal time to go fishing.
The more you use this resource the better. Eventually you will be able to ‘calibrate’ flow/water levels with the fishing conditions experienced – keep a note and refer to this information for your next trip back.
There is also an Ecan rainfall website which can be used to predict impending high flow events – especially in areas that don’t have river flow data available.
Predicting weather conditions
With some knowledge of the weather you are more likely to be safe, comfortable and successful.
New Zealand most versatile online forecasting website is Metservice.
TIP: check the surf forecast before fishing river mouth surf for salmon.
Conditions are best when wave height is under one metre and winds are offshore – generally from the north-west in Canterbury.
Clean, Check and Dry
Invasive 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 a 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 clean, check and dry before going to a new waterway.
This helpful Clean Check Dry pocket guide gives you great information on how clean all types of equipment.
Introduction to fishing
Struggling to catch a fish? Doubting your skills?
Best to get back to the basics.
This flyfishing basics video filmed with well-known angler Les Hill on the West Coast back in the mid-2000’s is worth a gander.
Spin fishing basics are covered in this introduction to trout fishing video.
Cohen Stewart of Fish & Game Southland covers his three favourite spinners in this video.
Tip: Cohen’s silver wedge a.k.a. Hex wobbler or ticer, in size 14 grams are great for casting long distances out into our lakes like Benmore, Pukaki and Tekapo.
You can also view and download this spin fishing how-to guide.
Boat fishing trolling tips are covered in this video.
Bait fishing is arguably the most simple and successful way to catch a sports fish; A basic bait fishing rig is explained in this link.
Tip: the bait fishing rig works in the canals too, but you must walk at the same speed as the flow along the canal bank.
I’ll cover tips for taking kids fishing, waterway access options and advanced tackle tips and skills.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
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