North Canterbury Fishing Report, Friday 6th April 2018
There have been only limited opportunities for salmon anglers over the last week and as such, reports of success are again minimal.
As the salmon season tapers off, many anglers have packed their fishing gear away until next season, however there are still reports of a few being caught in the mid reaches of the Waimakariri River and the mid reaches of the other salmon rivers, particularly between the SH1 and Gorge Bridges.
Above Right: Christchurch Angler Kevin Williams enjoys a days fishing at Lake Lyndon, Williams visits Lakes Lyndon and Pearson on a weekly basis as they are only an hour from Christchurch they are such an easy trip. Williams efforts were rewarded with two nice rainbow trout before lunchtime.
With the recent rain and lift in flows last week, salmon will be on the move heading for their spawning streams and the main rivers are all well worth a look, especially on the receding flows following this small fresh.
In the Waimakariri, Macintosh’s Rocks and the Banana Hole should still produce a few salmon when conditions allow.
Please remember that fishing for trout closed in the Western Zone of the Rakaia at the end of March, with Waimakariri anglers having until the end of April to fish for trout in the Western Zone.
A friendly reminder to anglers also, please remember, there is no salmon fishing in the Western Zone of our rivers above the white posts, as we have had reports of this occurring recently.
Rangers have been actively patrolling waterways this season and will continue to do so in coming weeks, so please remember to carry your licence with you at all times.
The weather for the weekend looks very average with northerly winds and rain in the alps, which will limit opportunities for lake and back country fishing.
Tomorrow morning is the best bet for anglers wishing to head into the high country and one option worth thinking about is salmon Lake Coleridge, as salmon are starting to think about spawning and are often caught either near the mouth of the Ryton River or trolling around Ryton Bay.
Anglers only have until the end of April to take advantage of this as the lake closes for spawning in May.
Most anglers have packed their fishing gear away until next season (many of whom are eagerly awaiting opening day of the gamebird season on Saturday 5th May), however for those keen anglers that cannot wait until next season, there are a number of rivers open all year in the Eastern Zone.
Following a short closure in May to allow salmon uninterrupted spawning, there are also a number of lakes opening again in June.
Please check your regulation booklet, or the North Canterbury Fish & Game website for regulations on these waters https://fishandgame.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Anglers-Notice-2017-North-Canterbury2.pdf
Anglers will note in the Regulations book for North Canterbury that after May in some sections of rivers there is a zero limit, this means you can fish but you cannot take the fish.
North Canterbury Fish & Game bought in this regulation change after submissions from a number of anglers who were wanting to winter fish rivers but did not want to harvest the fish.
Above all, always check the regulations for the waterway you are going to fish in as they will differ.
This winter season offers a special opportunity for anglers keen to brave the elements on these high country lakes.
Winter fishing is often overlooked by anglers, but this is a great time to head into the high country to fish, with snow-capped alps in the background, calmer weather and the low number of anglers about at this time of year, there can be some very enjoyable days out, but make sure you dress warm!
The most popular spot in the region is LakeColeridge which has fished well during the winter months in recent years.
This is a great opportunity to get your boat out onto the lake on a clear day, with a popular technique to troll a bright coloured sinking Rapala, many anglers lure of choice throughout the year.
Later in the winter season, salmon fishing usually really fires up with some weighing up to five pounds caught in recent seasons, which is relatively large for Lake Coleridge.
There are also a few large rainbow trout in the lake with a number of 5-6 pound rainbow caught each season and the odd fish up to 8 pounds which is well above average for this lake.
It is also not uncommon for experienced anglers fishing Lake Selfe to catch and release many trout on some calm winter days.
Decent trout have also been spotted in Lake Roto Kohatu on the outskirts of Christchurch, Fish & Game is keen to see some results from anglers who have success from this little known waterway.
Good luck if you are heading out for a fish over the weekend.
Steve Terry, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.
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