Reel Life March 2021

  • North Canterbury
  • 19/03/2021

Reel Life March 2021

Fishing prospects for April

The best thing about April for the angler is the number of holidays available.

With a combination of Easter, school holidays and Anzac day there is plenty of opportunity for family trips or solo outings.

Easter is early this year, meaning camping out on a high country lake is still feasible if the weather is settled.

April can be an interesting time for lakes.

The weather is often calm but surface activity dies off as cool mornings tend to mean there is not much insect activity.

There are still good conditions in the afternoon if it is warm enough.

Trolling is probably the most effective method for April.

In late April fish will be starting to congregate around stream mouths as they prepare for spawning.

Back country fishing can be fantastic in April.

Trout will be in great condition after another summer of very few bed altering floods. Rivers will be low and clear and large trout still respond well to dry flies.

Fishing competition at Kairaki

Fish & Game will be holding its annual Rangers competition at the northside of the Waimakariri River mouth (Kairaki) on Wednesday the 31st of March.

This also coincides with the last day of the salmon season so we expect there will be a lot of anglers there.

Fish & Game will be present in our tent. Weigh-in will be from 7.30 am until 1.30 pm with a prize-giving shortly afterwards.

We will run a continuous free BBQ from 9.30 am.

The angler with the largest salmon will be immortalised by an engraving on the Rangers Trophy.

The prizes are spot drawn.

Registration is on the day at the Fish & Game tent.

Please remember we need to sight your licence for you to enter.

For a salmon to be entered it must be caught on the northside of the river between the sea and the yacht club boat ramp.

Salmon season ends

Remember the sea-run salmon season ends at the end of March.

There is still the opportunity to fish for salmon at Lake Coleridge which is open right through until the 30th of September.

Drift diving programme

Staff at Fish & Game are wrapping up the drift dive programme for the season.

We drift dive back country rivers (pictured above) to determine if our regulations are working for protecting the larger highly valued brown trout.

Most of our backcountry rivers have a maximum size limit of 400mmm to protect the larger fish.

Large fish in the headwaters are generally older fish and are not suitable for eating anyway.

Drift dive data is also useful for having data on the significance of rivers for trout habitat.

This can be handy when a power company expresses interest in damming rivers.

This year we found the trout were in superb condition but were also spread out through the drift dive reaches and looked to be active.

Some years when the fishing pressure is high, we often observe fish schooling up together in deep pools or hiding under banks.

This year there was a noticeable difference in where they were situated.

Tight Lines

Tony Hawker, North Canterbury Fish & Game

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