Weekly Fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish & Game 27 October 2022
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND REPORT
Time to prepare for high-country opening
The Central South Island’s High-country fishing season opening is just a week and a bit away on November 5th, and it's high time to get all things sorted.
Perhaps most importantly – re-rig your terminal line; Don’t be that angler that snaps off the first fish of the high-country season because they have the last trip’s tippet on!
There’s time this weekend to go fishing to settle the casting nerves too.
Anglers like me can get shaky-handed from excitement when positioned within casting distance of a big-old high-country brown – muscle memory from recent casting can really help here when your nerves are trying their best to slap a dud cast on the trout’s head.
If you need to cross private land for access to the waterway, be sure to get in touch with the landowner in advance to gain permission – don’t leave it until the night before.
Lambing is underway in the high country so take caution and a wide berth if you encounter ewes with young lambs.
Don’t forget to buy your new season licence too – many anglers wait until high-country opening to start their season.
Licences can be purchased instore or online from the www.fishandgame.org.nz website
And finally, do confirm the opening date for yourself – check the 2022/23 South Island Regulation Guide here to make sure the waterway where you are planning to fish is actually open.
Rods and fish seized during night ranging operation at canals
Central South Island Fish & Game rangers were active at the Mackenzie Basin hydro canal fishery during the night over Labour Weekend.
Ranging occurred between the hours of 10 pm and 4 am on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The scheduled operation resulted in the detection of 12 offences committed by 7 individual anglers, including recidivist offenders. Rods and fish were seized.
Offences detected included: fishing without a licence, exceeding the daily bag limit and continuing to fish, providing false and misleading particulars to a ranger, unauthorised bait and unsporting methods.
“Unsporting method” offences are unique to Central South Island Fish & Game Region, being subject to the Second Schedule (regional regulation). See Note 1.3, page 36, of the 2022/23 South Island Sports Fishing Regulations Guide – an online version can be found here.
In this case the “unsporting method” detected was related to anglers sleeping while bait fishing. The actions of the anglers were deemed “unsporting” as the rangers could demonstrate the angler’s inability to detect a hooked fish on their line, inability to retrieve a hooked fish without undue delay, and inability to release any hooked fish that was undersize or unwanted with as little injury as possible.
All sports fishing offences are criminal offences subject to the Conservation Act 1987. Prosecution and forfeiture of any gear seized can result in the District Court.
All offenders are currently being considered for prosecution before the courts.
We hope the result of the ranging operation serves as a reminder that sports fishing regulations and licencing must be adhered to, day or night.
Outlook for the weekend
Lowland rivers, canals and lakes will offer the best fishing over this final weekend of October.
Heavy rain in the main divide will likely make the Rangitata River unfishable at some stage during the weekend and into next week.
Rivers with their headwaters further east, for example, the Ashburton, may be affected by the rain, but I’m not expecting it will be to a great extent.
The best advice is to keep a close eye on ECan’s river flow webpage here to monitor the situation for yourself.
The Outdoor Access webcams are a good resource for real-time river checks too, it is a paid service but a free 30-day trial is offered so you can check it out for free.
With any luck, a small bump in flow for rivers like the Opihi will improve the fishing – it could be a productive time to fish despite some rain in the forecast.
Kids Salmon Fishing Day
Thanks to Mount Cook Alpine Salmon, the Kids Salmon Fishing Day is on for 2022!
The event is held at Loch Cameron, 5km from Twizel on the morning of Saturday the 5th of November.
The event of for kids between the ages of 3 and 11 only.
Registration is on the day from 8:30am, fishing starts at 9am.
Lake Benmore Access – Glenburn
Otamatapaio Station has temporarily closed vehicle access due to the wet ground causing vehicles to get stuck in the mud during October.
Walking access is still available.
Vehicle access will re-open as soon as the ground dries out sufficiently. Alternative boat launching is available to the public at Sailors Cutting.
The Glenburn access is #5 on our Lake Benmore access guide here.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
NORTH CANTERBURY REPORT
We’ve been hearing reports of good fish in the lower reaches of our braided rivers.
A smelt imitation is what we recommend, as there are some good incoming tides in the coming evenings, with the brown trout chasing smelt into the shallows.
The weather is looking to clear Sunday afternoon after some norwesters over the next couple of days, so the lowland areas are the place to be.
Lake Coleridge Competition!
It’s only one week till the high-country fisheries open on November 5.
The annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition is one of the most popular events for North Canterbury anglers.
The landowners have generously allowed camping for anglers on Friday night in the paddock by the Ryton Bay turn-off.
Fish & Game staff will arrive and open the paddock around lunchtime on Friday.
The rules for camping there are: no fires or fireworks, and no dogs are allowed to stay there.
We’ll have a couple of portable toilets there for campers to use.
After the prize giving on Saturday, the paddock will be shut at 4 pm.
On Saturday morning, North Canterbury Fish & Game will be operating a weigh-in tent at the turn-off to Ryton Bay from 9 am to 1 pm with a prize giving at 1.30 pm.
You don’t need to catch a fish to enter the spot prize draw, just present your licence at the tent to go in the draw.
The competition is generously sponsored by the Ashburton, North Canterbury, and Christchurch Hunting & Fishing stores.
There are over$7500 in prizes up for grabs this year, with the spot prize draws alone having $2000 in prizes available, including a $500 rod & reel set & sling bag set.
Why is there no weight on this year's sea run salmon harvest card?
The keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed that on this year’s sea run salmon harvest card, there is no weight measurement required.
This is because weight changes a lot whilst the fish are in the river, and length is a more useful and important measure.
A salmon that enters the river at a certain weight will lose a percentage of that weight as it migrates upstream to the spawning stream.
That fish will be the same length when it arrives up there as when it entered the river; however, its weight won’t be the same.
By emphasising the length of a fish, we can record that data and get a fish condition score measurement; we can then use that score to assess the health of that fishery.
North Canterbury Fish & Game Notice Board
High Country Opening Day is November 5, and the Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition, generously sponsored by Hunting & Fishing, will be held this year.
North Canterbury Fish and Game Council Annual General Meeting November 17, 6.30 pm at 595 Johns Road.
Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.
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