North Canterbury Reel Life October 2019

  • North Canterbury
  • 21/10/2019

North Canterbury Reel Life October 2019

High Country Opening

The first Saturday in November marks the opening of high-country lakes in the North Canterbury Region.

This year it lands on the 2nd of November.

This opening tends to have more hype than the traditional October 1st opening.

Above right:Alex Burrowes with a 2.4 kilogram brown trout caught on the Henrietta Lakes near Lake Coleridge at the 2018 opening.

This is because the high-country lakes collectively make a large proportion of angling effort in this region.

The purpose of the delayed opening is to give fish a decent break from angling pressure.

Particularly those lakes which have rainbows present as they spawn in September/October.

The high-country lakes are looking good this year.

Lake levels are full due to some late snow falls and rain this winter.

In early November trout will be cruising the lake edges.


TolovaeTuilaepa's rainbow trout caught on Lake Georgina at the 2018 Opening.

In windy conditions they will be in the waves feasting on nymphs that get disturbed in the wave action.

This provides good opportunities for the shore angler.

As well as the lakes, the Porter and Broken Rivers also open on the 2nd of November.

These are mainly dominated by rainbows hence the later opening.

These are fast broken rivers with not much holding water.

However, rainbows do hold just out of the current and can be hard to spot.

So, any likely looking water should be fished blind.

Please remember that the Ryton, Harper, Avoca and Wilberforce diversion are still closed until the 1st of December.

This is because the spawning run of rainbows in these fisheries can be very late.

Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition.

Ryton Bay, 2nd November 2019, FREE ENTRY

This year, the opening of the North Canterbury high country lakes is Saturday 2nd November, which will be celebrated again with a fishing competition at Lake Coleridge, with a great prize pool generously sponsored by Hunting and Fishing.

The focus of the competition is on participation, and every angler who shows their licence at the weigh-in will be in the draw for many spot prizes.

The competition will be based at Ryton Bay where there will be a Fish & Game tent and weigh station.

Weigh-in is from 9am – 1pm, with the prize draw around 1:30pm.

Please ensure you arrive at the weigh-in before 1pm to avoid missing out.

All fish must be caught in Lake Coleridge or the nearby Coleridge lakes.

They must be whole and not gutted for the weigh-in.

There will be a free sausage sizzle all day.

Lake Coleridge is the most popular lake in the region for fishing and this event is a great way for anglers to celebrate the traditional high-country opening.

Please note that the landowners are giving us permission to hold the competition in the paddock on the left as you head down to Ryton Bay.

The paddock on the right is being sown with grass so that will be locked.

If you are staying the night please take all your rubbish with you, use the toilet down at the lake and no dogs are allowed due to lambing.

Thanks, and good luck for the competition.

Take A Kid Fishing Day


Some of the crowds at Take A Kid Fishing

Over 6000 children plus caregivers flocked to Christchurch’s Childrens Fishing Lakes at the Groynes on Sunday October 20 for the annual Take A Kid Fishing event.

Organised by the Christchurch Kids Fishing Trust for the last 35 years the popular event had perfect weather and drew in the crowds.

Anglers were shoulder to shoulder on the four fishing lakes, all trying to catch one of 800 salmon and 14 trophy rainbow trout grown by North Canterbury Fish & Game but donated by the Isaacs Conservation and Wildlife Trust.

The trophy rainbow trout are huge, the biggest of which would weigh close to 14 pounds.

The free event started at 9am and children started arriving before 7am in order to get a good spot.

The Take a Kid Fishing event is for children 12 years and under, with one lake reserved especially for the under eights where each child has a short one-on-one session with an expert angler.

Around 60 salmon were caught in this pond in the first 90 minutes.

At all four lakes, skilled anglers from fishing clubs were on hand to give advice and help.

The Groynes venue is great place for a family outing over the summer months and with the prospect of pan sized salmon for the kids to catch makes it a popular place to get salmon for dinner.

There is a video available here:

Tight Lines

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer.

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