Reel Life November 2023

  • North Canterbury
  • 22/11/2023

Reel Life November 2023

Season Looking Great

The North Canterbury fishing season has been going great guns, there have been some great fish caught by anglers and we are always very thankful to them when they share their images with us.

With the high country fishery now open since the first Saturday in November, we've had really good reports from anglers in the high country.

We've also been heartened by the reports of great fish caught in our lowland close to Christchurch fisheries by anglers.

These rivers and lakes are ideally situated for a quick, after-work fish by our urban-based anglers.

With consistent occasional rainfalls so far our rivers and lakes are looking in great condition.

Which will mean that the salmon should start to arrive soon!

This is a timely reminder to familiarise yourself with the 2023/24 sea run salmon regulations for the Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish & Game Regions.

For sea-run salmon waters, it’s not just a case of grabbing your licence and rod and heading down to the river like in the days of old.

The season bag limit card must be carried, along with a pen, while fishing sea-run salmon waters if you have any intention to catch a sea-run salmon or keep one incidentally caught while targeting other species like trout or kahawai.

All the information you need to know can be found at our website here including how to purchase your sea-run salmon licence and to receive your season bag limit card.

Rangers have been checking on sea-run salmon anglers as the season kicks off.

We've received some reports of fish getting close to being caught at our river mouths but nothing concrete so far.

Boat Ranging

Don't be surprised if our ranging team pulls up alongside when out boating this season.

This season, one of our compliance goals is to spend time on our bigger high-country lakes where you are allowed to fish from a motorised craft.

This is so we can not only check licences on the water but also do creel surveys of what methods anglers are using and what they are catching on the lakes.

This gives us important information about the fishery, especially what condition the fish are in when caught during the summer months.

Over the Canterbury Anniversary long weekend, boat-based rangers visited Lake Sumner, Taylor, Coleridge and Loch Katrine.

Our process when approaching a boat-based angler is we watch to see what the other vessel is doing e.g., are they trolling or stationary.

From this point, we will approach them slowly and put fenders over the side of the boat to protect each other and then once we are close enough, we will introduce ourselves and then come up beside the vessel and check their licence and catch.

If the vessel is trolling, then we are happy for them to keep fishing and we will just keep boating beside them at trolling speed.

We will carry a long-handled net which you can place your licence in, from this point, we will quickly write down their details and hand over the licence with using the net and then we will carry on to the next boat.

It's important to note that Fish & Game doesn't set the rules for the use of boats etc on the lakes, that is set by either the Regional Council (ECan) or District Councils.

You can check out the link below for the local boating regulations in the Canterbury area.

Lake Coleridge Competition

For the last few years, North Canterbury Fish & Game have run an annual fishing competition at Lake Coleridge which is always held on the Opening Day of the high-country season (1st Saturday of November).

This year we held it at the Harper campground which is situated at the northern end of the lake, as typically on opening day it's always blowing a strong northwest wind which tends to cut up the lake rough, so anglers tend to only get a small fishing window before the wind picks up.

The new site enabled us to set up in a sheltered location, and apart from a downpour at the prizegiving, the new site enabled everyone present to get a bit of shelter from the wind.

This year we had over $8000 worth of prizes, we would like to thank the Tower Junction, North Canterbury and Ashburton Hunting and Fishing stores for sponsoring the competition with anglers winning some great prizes which I’m sure will get plenty of use over the coming fishing season.

If you weren’t able to make it to the competition this year due to other commitments then I’d suggest pencilling in the date in your diary for next year to make the most of this great competition and you never know, you might win yourself one of these good prizes.

We'll have some data from the event for anglers shortly, which we will publish in our Weekly Fishing Report, be sure to keep an eye out in it.


Annual Public Meeting

This year our Annual Public Meeting will be held on 7 December at the North Canterbury F&G Office at 595 Johns Road at 5.30pm.

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