Central South Island Reel Life August 2018
- Central South Island
The final fling
September is the last month that your current 2017-2018 licence is valid, so we encouraged you to jump in the car and head out for one final fling of the line.
The new 2018-2019 licences are on sale now and become valid on opening day of the upcoming season, Monday the 1st of October.
New season licences can be purchased from your local sports retailer or online at our website, click here to link to the licence purchase page.
Above right: A shoreline catch from Lake Tekapo, July 2018 (Photo R Adams).
Grab the licence number off your current licence card if you can as this will make purchasing your new licence easy as.
Acres of September 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.
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 shallows too often.
If you can’t spot any fish, just try cast a heavy lure like a 14-20 gram hex wobbler out as far as you can into deeper water and retrieve at a medium speed.
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.
If you fish Lake Tekapo in September don’t be surprised to catch a feisty salmon, the last few springs have provided great salmon fishing - thanks to our enhancement program which involves annual releases of salmon smolt gifted by Mt Cook Alpine Salmon to create a productive ‘put and take’ salmon fishery.
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, 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 under the pens.
Access to the lower end of the Tekapo Canal and the stilling basin (fish bowl) via Hayman Road has been restricted over the winter.
The latest update from Genesis Energy is that vehicle access to the eastern-side, sealed road, will be restored by the August 27, but the area will remain a construction site for the foreseeable future with traffic controls for safety.
There will still be some short-term restrictions to access for safety reasons while Mt Cook Alpine Salmon reconfigure their salmon farm raft sites.
Many anglers would have already observed that a new farm site has been set up in the stilling basin.
Some of the rafts in the traditional canal farm area will also be removed.
In mid-August Mt Cook Alpine Salmon (MCAS) hatchery staff held a workshop for those involved in fish hatchery operations across the South Island.
Staff and volunteers from hatcheries within the Central South Island region attended, along with others from Otago and North Canterbury.
The day was a great success with the sharing of a huge amount of information to ensure everyone is raising the healthiest fish possible.
Attendees also got a chance to sample some world famous 'Salmon Sliders' and see the commercial hatchery in operation with the spawning of MCAS brood stock.
A big thank you must go out to Brian Blanchard from MCAS and his staff for making this happen.
Rhys Adams,Central South Island Fish & Game Officer.