Weekly Fishing Report for Central South Island and North Canterbury for 27 April 2023
SEA-RUN SALMON HARVEST CARDS DATA
Get your salmon card data into Fish & Game by May 7th so your data can be included in this year's calculations.
Even if you didn't keep any salmon or end up going fishing for sea-run salmon, that is still important data that needs to be included in our data.
Click here to fill out your card details.
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND REPORT
The last weekend of the main season is here
The “main” fishing season wraps up on this Sunday, April 30.
The weather forecast is looking great, and most of our rivers will have suitable flows.
You have a fleeting opportunity for a late-season mission to your local spot, a favourite spot of perhaps somewhere on your bucket list – best of luck!
This is the last weekly report for the season.
Thanks to all of you thousands of readers from all over NZ and the world for tuning in each week – we hope you enjoyed the content and learned a thing or two along the way.
I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all the folks out there that provided reports, comments, and photos to share – you guys make the report way better!
We’ll do it all again next year as the 2023/24 season kicks off in October 2023.
If you have any content ideas/feedback about the weekly reports, best to email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org if it relates to my patch – the Central South Island Fish & Game Region.
Looking ahead to Winter fishing opportunities
Be sure to check out the 2022/23 sports fishing regulations guide here firsthand to check out what water is open between May and September and the regulations that apply.
Although most of our waterways are closed for sports fishing come Monday 1st of May, we do have lots of open water to enjoy during the May-September months, including some of the most popular fisheries in NZ!
Here are a few options to keep in mind:
Year-round fishing options
The following waterways are open all year:
Lakes – Hood, Middleton, Ruataniwha, Tekapo/Takapō, Pūkaki, Ōhau, Benmore, Aviemore and Waitaki.
Canals – Rangitata Diversion Race, Ōhau (A, B & C), Pūkaki, Tekapo – downstream of SH8 Bridge only.
Restricted “winter seasons”
The following rivers have a 3-month “winter season”, 1 June to 31 August, downstream of their respective State Highway 1 Bridges:
Ashburton, Rangitata/ Rakitata, Opihi, and Waitaki.
Lake Alexandrina has a 2-month “winter season”, 1 June to 31 July.
Restricted “shoulder seasons”
These waterways have unique fishing seasons.
Lake Camp – remains open until 31 May.
Tekapo Canal, upstream of its State Highway 8 Bridge – remains open until 31 May, and re-opens on 1 September.
Upper Ōhau River controlled fishery – to be advised via the Fish & Game website following the May 2023 meeting of the Central South Island Fish & Game Council.
Lake Benmore aquatic weed control
LINZ is planning aerial spraying of aquatic weeds on the week of 1 May at the Neck and Ahuriri Arm and Ahuriri Delta – weather dependant.
Signage will be placed at key public access points, and boat ramps 24 hours prior to and post control.
LINZ recommend a 24-hour stand-down on swimming, fishing, or taking water for irrigation or domestic supply once the spraying is complete.
Fish & Game has requested that spraying does not take place on Thursday or Friday ahead of the game bird season opening.
If you have any questions in relation to this work, please feel free to call LINZ on 0800 638 943
Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer
NORTH CANTERBURY REPORT
This is the last Weekly report till the eve of the next season in September.
Thank you for your continual support of the Weekly Fishing Report; it goes out to over 40,000 anglers who want to fish in the fantastic fisheries in the Canterbury region.
A couple of important dates to book are the Trout Festival on Saturday, 16 September (more Below) and the High Country Opening on Saturday, 4 November.
School Holiday Success
On the last four days of the school holidays, Sheree Clarke took her two boys, Connor and Jackson, on an adventure fishing trip around the block (Through the middle to the Waimakariri Lakes and down the West Coast to Wanaka and back again).
They usually just fish the West Coast, but Connor caught his first rainbow trout at Lake Lyndon, and Jackson caught his first trout at Glendhu Bay, near Wanaka.
Looking at Connors's happy face in the photo above, we can say that their school holiday adventure was successful.
2023 Trout festival - 16th September at Clearwater Resort & the Groynes Christchurch
Coming back bigger and better, we are holding the annual Trout Festival again.
This year we have secured some of New Zealand's best trout anglers, including:
Malcolm Bell and Darian Sheheen from The Complete Angler are accomplished fly fishers and soft bait aficionados.
Jeff Forsee from Wanaka is a well-known New Zealand and international guide and photographer.
James Fuller & Peter Scott – Both previous members of the New Zealand fly fishing team and current members of the SFFNZ, which runs competitions (mainly in the North Island) and organises the New Zealand fly fishing teams.
Hannah Clement - A local guide and regular on the Pure Fly TV series, will be there to give a female perspective on trout fishing and to impart her knowledge.
Tom Hodge - Another local guide, will be along with the guys from Fisherman Loft.
Carl McNeil - Master casting instructor and owner of Epic fly rods, will be back and giving a series of casting clinics.
This year we have organised some marquees, and in these, we will have the following.
Manic Tackle - will bring along Rene Vaz, Bryce Helms, and Karl Adams, and there's also talk of Chris Dore.
KIllwell Sports - who are planning to have Alex Waller from Trippin on Trout in attendance.
Flytackle NZ Ltd – Represented by well-known North Island angler and co-owner Andrew Burden.
Hunting & Fishing (Tower Junction)
Canterbury Fly Fishing Club
Also, we have secured Chef Tony Smith from Trout Fisher Magazine, who will be doing some cooking demonstrations.
There are also several other presenters and exhibitors who we are hoping to secure, not forgetting Rangiora Lions, who will again be providing the BBQ and a couple of coffee carts.
Keep an eye out on the North Canterbury Fish & Game Facebook page for more info.
After another year of cancellations due to COVID restrictions, the North Canterbury Fish & Game Rangers Competition was back on for 2023 on April 21.
While the Rangers competition was typically held towards the end of March (as per the old season finish), we opted to move it into April and more towards the end of the season.
Anglers were still able to catch salmon at the mouth in the weeks leading up to the competition, and catch records from the previous season saw salmon still being caught right up until the last day of the season.
Unfortunately, no salmon were caught on the morning (we were itching to break the drought!), but there were plenty of kahawai around to keep the anglers entertained.
We had a good turnout of anglers though, considering the weather (on-and-off rain) and the river marginally fishable (just starting to clear).
Overall we had 89 entrants (including 12 junior/child anglers) and 100+ people at the prizegiving.
The 2021 competition had a similar number of anglers with much better weather and fishing numbers, so we were pleased that so many anglers braved the weather to come and have a fish and socialise.
We also had a good number of salmon cards handed in.
My colleague Emily Craig sourced some fantastic prizes from our generous sponsors for the event, with $3000 worth of spot prizes handed out from Hunting & Fishing Tower Junction & North Canterbury, Kilwell, Desolve Supply Co, Hunters Element, Stoney Creek, and Amazing Baits.
The prizes went down very well, and the junior that won the tackle box + lures was very excited (we did a junior-only spot prize draw with some other prizes too).
We've had some feedback saying it was a great morning despite the weather, so hopefully, we can attract more anglers with better conditions next year.
The competition is more of an opportunity for anglers to come together, catch up with old friends and create new friendships, enjoy a sausage from the BBQ, and celebrate the great opportunities we have to go fishing in the region.
The competition was spawned in 1975 after a fishing trip by five Rangers.
Mal McNeil was having a bad day while fishing the Waimakariri mouth.
Four other anglers fishing, Bill McEwan, Joe McConchie, Tom Huria and John Hawkins, had all landed salmon.
Mal, however, couldn't get any salmon to bite. That is until a little makeshift fishing rod took a swipe at his ticer lure.
When the rod was finally landed, the five fishermen decided to use it as a trophy and hold a one-day contest each year, which would be known as the Rangers Competition.
The competition continued through the change from the Acclimatisation Society into Fish & Game, and in its almost 50-year history, has only been impacted by earthquakes and COVID-19 restrictions.
Special thanks also to Mike Ager for keeping the barbeque running all day to warm anglers up with a selection of sausages from Hellers just down the road.
Tight Lines and best of luck for your winter fishing
Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.
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