Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island and North Canterbury for November 16 2023
- Central South Island North Canterbury
Pictured right: Blake Harper with a 2.5lb salmon from Lake Tekapo - Takapō'. Credit: Cameron Smith.
Central South Island
Catch reports trifecta!
By most accounts the 2023/24 sports fishing season is shaping up to be a great one.
We are yet to hear of the first sea-run salmon caught in the Central South Island Region but would expect to hear that sometime soon.
The trifecta mentioned in the headline refers to catch reports received of three species: brown trout, rainbow trout and salmon – more evidence of the great season underway.
Our leading image comes with a salmon catch report from Blake Harper and Cameron Smith who headed to Lake Tekapo/Takapō last weekend on a salmon strike mission.
They managed to catch six salmon spin fishing from the shore, all around 2.5lbs. Successful lures for the guys were 14g black and gold rattle snake and 10g silver and pink toby.
Peter O'Neill with his 8lb Lake Benmore Rainbow trout.
The rainbow trout catch report comes from Peter O’Neill who made the trip up to Lake Benmore last weekend with his Taieri Lions buddies.
Peter caught the rather large 8lb rainbow trout pictured trolling a rapala lure near Ōhau C.
For the uninitiated, the Ōhau C area of Lake Benmore’s Haldon Arm is a great and varied fishing spot for boaties and shore anglers alike. Flow, food, and fish enter the lake from the Ōhau C Power Station (tail race), the Lower Ōhau River and Tekapo/Takapō River in a relatively small area.
Find out more about Lake Benmore here.
Caleb Ryder’s rather large Ōpihi Catchment brown trout. photo credit Caleb Ryder.
To round out the trifecta Caleb Ryder reports of another large trout, this time a brown trout from the Ōpihi River Catchment.
Caleb’s 6.5 lb/3kg brown trout was caught fly fishing with a size 12 rubber-leg nymph.
I have heard of a few other large browns caught in the Ōpihi Catchment this season between 4 and 6lb – another ‘big fish year’ perhaps?
Upper Ahuriri River and lagoons remain closed
The Ahuriri River and tributaries upstream of and including Longslip Creek remain closed until the first Saturday in December. This includes the lagoons.
The regulations for the Ahuriri River are listed on page 37 of the 2023/2024 sports fishing regulations click here.
Welcome to the team Blake Harper
Blake Harper out ranging – checking on angler Alexander Eddy at Lake Heron.
Blake Harper has joined the CSI staff team in a short-term role with a focus on ranging and compliance checks and field work.
Blake is a keen angler and hunter and has experience working with Otago and Southland Fish & Game Regions on research projects and ranging.
There’s a good chance you will meet Blake as he will be out and about checking on anglers at our rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals through to mid-January. In his first fortnight with us he has detected multiple anglers offending in the Mackenzie Basin.
Canal fishing trip for three friends attracts nine convictions and thousands in fines
Last week brought the conclusion of our prosecution cases against three Ashburton mates caught out breaking the law at nighttime while fishing the Ōhau C Canal on Labour Weekend 2022.
Spread the word to ensure this case serves as a deterrent for any would-be offenders out there.
Outlook for the weekend
The forecast is for a wet Friday to give way to mostly dry weekend, cool but not too windy.
It’ll pay to check river levels on the ECan website here before venturing out to make sure Friday’s rain hasn’t put your river out of action.
Outdoor Access is another river flow checking option.
For the most part Friday’s rain could be an issue for rivers that drain the Main Divide and a benefit for lowland rivers.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
Mixed Bag this weekend
Brown trout caught in one of our designated waters. Credit: Harry Graham-Samson.
It's Canterbury Anniversary this week which means a long weekend for fishing. Looking at the weather forecast it’s looking to be a bit of a mixed bag in the high-country with strong winds and rain for Friday. However, Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to be pretty good conditions for fishing depending which part of the region you are heading too.
With sunny conditions being predicted for the weekend this should make spotting trout far easier for those anglers that enjoy sight fishing. However, never underestimate a pool that you can’t see right into as there could be fish sitting deep on the bottom. This is where blind fishing techniques can come into play. It should also be good enough conditions for boat anglers to make the most of it on our bigger lakes and get some trolling done also which is a great social way of fishing.
When will the first salmon show up?
Salmon fishing on the Rakaia River. Credit: Harry Graham-Samson.
As I am writing this and having looked at the rainfall that the main divide is currently getting on the Ecan rainfall data, I would say that our major braided rivers will be flowing high and dirty. This unfortunately means they will be unfishable, however once they clear up, I would seriously think about going out to have a look for a salmon as I sure will be!
I am certain there will be salmon in the river as this flood should be a good trigger for fish to enter the river to start their run up to the spawning waters. So, if you can find a nice piece of holding water where salmon are likely to rest then there is no reason why they shouldn’t be there.
If you have any suggestions, need other advice or you would like to know about sea-run salmon fishing then please let us know and watch this space.
If you're unable to get away fishing for the weekend due to other commitments and have a spare morning or afternoon, then this is a great opportunity to check over your fishing gear and make sure it’s all running smoothly. There is nothing worse than having a gear failure on the river or lake, especially if you lose a big fish!
Here are a few links below on a variety of gear maintenance tasks that you can do yourself.
Harry Graham-Samson, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer