Reel Life December 2021

Well, we are not far away from the summer holidays and without a doubt, the best summer holidays are centred around fishing – well, we think so anyway!

There are campgrounds in some pretty fantastic fishing locations so maybe consider planning your holiday around these opportunities. 

If you are camping by a lake, try fishing from a kayak or a small inflatable (as pictured above) these holidays.

Trolling from a kayak just using light spinning gear with either Tasmanian Devils (Tassies) or Rapalas. Tassies are very good for shallower lakes or trolling over weed beds as the lure stays near the surface.

Rapalas are better for deeper water as you can get the diving variety.

The speed of rowing or paddling is perfect for trolling, and the variation in speed and direction can often induce takes.

High Country lakes

December is one of the best months to fish our high country lakes.

Warm days mean that insect activity is ramping up.

This will make the fish feed on the surface, making it easier to detect where they are.

Green beetles start hatching as the day warms up, so by late morning, the surface will be littered with fluorescent green beetles.

When this happens, trout can often be seen zooming around on the surface of the lake, frantically hoovering them up.

A realistic foam beetle imitation can be very effective during these hatches.

Another reason December is also an excellent month to target the high country lakes is because the water temperature is still reasonably cool.

Once we start getting into January, February and March, some lakes heat up, and the trout will go deep, meaning less success for shore-based anglers.

How to check river and ocean conditions

Those chasing salmon or trout in the big East Coast rivers may have been a bit frustrated with the continued dirty water.

This is par for the course at this time of year, so it can be helpful to know how to find out about conditions from the comfort of your home.

Below are a few places to find such good info.

  1. If you haven’t already, sign up for the North Canterbury/ Central South Island Weekly Fishing Report  This gets emailed out on a Thursday and can help you plan your weekend.
  2. Check out river flows online this site gives you the current flow and can indicate whether the river is fishable.
  3. For those wanting to fish the river mouths, check out the surf cams to get an idea of ocean conditions. The best ones are at Sumner Beach:  and Waimairi Beach.
  4. Check out Outdoor Access. This website operates by subscription and costs $12/ month but gives you access to 17 cameras all across Canterbury, such as at the Hurunui River at SH1, the Waimakariri Gorge and the boat ramp (near the mouth).

Sea run salmon endorsement

If you are going sea run salmon fishing this season, you need a salmon endorsement card to go with your licence.

Get your free one online at Fish & Game if you have not done so already https://fishandgame.eyede.com/Endorsement/SearchLicenceHolders .

You must have it on you when sea run salmon fishing and safely return it to Fish & Game at the end of the season.

This will significantly help us monitor and manage the fishery.

Tight Lines

The team at North Canterbury Fish & Game.