Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island and North Canterbury - 2 November 23
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND REPORT
High-Country Opening Weekend is here
This Saturday, the 4th of November is a big day on the fishing calendar.
Not only is Saturday the opening day for many of our high-country rainbow trout fisheries and other sensitive fisheries, it is also our annual Kids Salmon Fishing Day at Loch Cameron, Twizel.
See our notice board item below for more info on the Kids Salmon Fishing Day.
Above Right: Peter Staub fishes the 2022 High-Country Opening near Twizel-Photo by R Adams
For many anglers, the High-Country Opening marks the start of their season.
In that regard do take the time to refresh your tippets and leaders to save the heartache of snapping off the first fish of the season on last year’s worn-out line.
Also, be sure to purchase your new 2023/24 season licence!
If you are heading to Lake Heron / Ōtūroto and plan to drive to Harrison’s Bight – the DOC vehicle access permit website is now live, click here.
If you are crossing private farmland, be sure to gain permission if required and make the effort to avoid disturbing ewes with newborn lambs.
Upper Ōhau River – opens 4th November
The controlled period on the Upper Ōhau River ends with the opening of the high-country season on Saturday - this means all licence holders can fish the river from the 4th of November.
DOC has temporarily closed a small section of the track network to protect nesting black-fronted terns. This is on a side-track so will not generally affect access or fishing.
However, please avoid fishing in the breeding colony, it is signposted and notably the birds will dive bomb you – if this happens move to a new area.
Upper Ahuriri River remains closed
The Ahuriri River and tributaries upstream of and including Longslip Creek remains closed until the first Saturday in November. This includes the lagoons.
With the High-country opening comes endless options for fishing trips, near and far.
November is a great month for all types of fishing, including fishing the lower reaches of our main rivers like the Waitaki, Ōpihi and Rangitata / Rakitata for sea-run browns and resident trout feasting on an influx of prey fish like the common smelt aka cucumber fish or silveries.
David Pope, a member of the South Canterbury Anglers Club recently had a great session on the lower Ōpihi River.
Swinging a grey ghost fly to represent a bait fish, David managed to catch two fine trout, including a rare catch for the Opihi, a 4lb rainbow trout (pictured).
David now joins the small club of anglers, one or three a season, to catch a rainbow trout in the Ōpihi River.
Lake Tekapo Salmon
We have received a confirmed report of a recent catch of a keeper-sized salmon from Lake Tekapo / Takapō.
We encourage you get out and harvest your bag limit of these salmon as they originate from our put-and-take salmon stocking programme supported by Mount Cook Alpine Salmon.
Salmon are best targeted around drop-off and anywhere near inflowing streams.
Lake Tekapo salmon are not particularly fussy eaters, they’ll bite any silver lure like a 14g hex wobbler / ticer.
If you have luck catching them, we would love to hear about it, email email@example.com or phone 03 6158 400.
Outlook for the weekend
Pack a raincoat and be prepared for changeable weather this weekend. Saturday looks to be the driest day of the weekend, but the wind might pick up in the afternoon.
Best to get a localised forecast for where you intend to fish.
Kids Salmon Fishing Day
Thanks to Mount Cook Alpine Salmon, the Kids Salmon Fishing Day is on for 2023!
The event is being held at Loch Cameron, 5km from Twizel on the morning of Saturday the 4th of November.
The event is for kids between the ages of 4 and 11 only.
Registration is on the day from 8:30am, fishing starts at 9am.
ECAN River works – Bowyers Stream
ECan will have machinery in the bed of Bowyers Stream from approximately Friday 3 November. It is anticipated there is about 1 weeks removing debris to complete (snagging).
The stream reach affected is from Moodies Rd Ford downstream to SH72 Bridge on Taylors Stream.
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
NORTH CANTERBURY REPORT
Lake Coleridge Competition on this Saturday!
With the opening of our High-Country fishing season this Saturday it means our annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition is the place to be.
Generously supported by the three local Hunting & Fishing Stores (Tower Junction, Ashburton and North Canterbury) we have over $8000 in prizes for the competition and the spot prize draws.
There is some great gear from Diawa, Kovea, and Coleman, up for grabs, you only need to present your fishing licence to the weigh-in tent to go in the spot prize draw.
Please note the weigh-in tent this year is at the Harper Campground, and we’ll have the weigh-in tent open from 9 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. with Prizegiving at 2 p.m. this year.
Our free sausage sizzle will be on the go from 9 a.m.
The weather forecast is looking for a nor-wester to pick up early afternoon so getting out early will be the go for anglers.
For more info check out our page on the competition here.
Close to Christchurch Fishing
Check out the great fish that Waikato angler Zak Anderson, 14, pictured left, caught at the Groynes a couple of weeks ago.
Zak visited the Groynes jJunior Fishery whilst visiting from the North Island, and now with the fish screens removed the junior fishing lakes are open to the river, and bringing in some great examples of the kinds of fish you can catch in our close to Christchurch lowland fisheries.
You can check out some of his other fishing exploits on his YouTube channel here.
Another fine example of our lowland fisheries is this 10-pound-plus monster sent in by Greg, from the Ellesmere tributaries which fish really well early in the season..
Lake Fishing Compliance
We’ve been doing a bit of lake fishing compliance this season, and just want to put a reminder out for anglers to have their fishing licence with them on the boat.
So far things have been pretty good generally but we’ve had enough close calls to put out the reminder.
Sometimes it’s a long way back to the boat ramp, especially when you don’t have cell coverage on some of our lakes.
Another useful tip is to check the Outdoor access cameras for live lake conditions before setting out.
Their live webcam service really allows you to check things before setting out on your next fishing adventure.
Upcoming River works in the Selwyn River
Ecan has alerted us to upcoming River works in the Waikiriri/Selwyn River.
With all the high winds recent a number of trees have blown into the river and created a potential for blockage.
Ecan has engaged a contractor to remove the trees from the River.
This likely will be one day's work to remove the multiple trees from within this stretch of river.
The machine will need to work from the flowing water to safely do this work, however, the work is minimal and disturbance of the best will be minimised as far as practical.
Annual Public Meeting
7 December 2023
595 Johns Road
Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer
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