Central South Island and North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report - 29 December 2022

  • North Canterbury Central South Island
  • 29/12/2022

Central South Island and North Canterbury Weekly Fishing Report - 29 December 2022

Welcome to our first of two ‘Holiday Editions’ of the Weekly Report.

This report provides information and tips that aim to help you have safe, fun, legal and successful fishing trips this summer.

Above: Lake Benmore is a kiwi-classic summertime fishing destination-Photo by Rhys Adams

Fishing locations and access

If you are new to fishing Canterbury and North Otago or just looking to fish a bit further afield, then you will find our “fishing locations and access” web pages valuable:

Click here for the CSI Region page

Click here for the North Canterbury Region page

Waterway and weather conditions

A shrimp bait ready to hit the water.

Best hydro canal baits

  1. Prawn and cocktail shrimp – these crustaceans would surely win the award for the most popular canal bait. Fish them whole or trim them to suit your hook size.
  2. Huhu grub. Dig these out of a rotten log. They stay on the hook best if you hook them through the mouth.
  3. Anchovy. WARNING any fish used for bait must be whole and intact. If any portion of the fish is not intact, it cannot be used for bait.
  4. Scented soft baits come in all shapes and sizes and can be fished in all sorts of ways.

Top Tips for Summertime Trolling on Lakes

Many boaties could improve their success rate if they learn to work around summertime water temperatures.

If the water reaches 19°C, you can expect trout and salmon to go off the bite and move to cooler water.

Here are some tips for fishing lakes during hot summertime conditions:  

  1. Fish shallow lake margins in the early morning while the water temperatures are at their coolest.
  2. In the afternoon and evening, when water temperatures heat up, target cooler deep water – make sure your lure is fishing at least 2 metres deep. 
  3. Fishing deep can be achieved by using lead lines and downriggers or if using a standard spin rod, rig a sinker about 1.5 metres in front of your lure.
  4. Troll slowly to allow your lure to sink and remain at depth.
  5. Fish near inflowing rivers and streams as the inflowing water may be cooler.

For more trolling tips, check out this helpful YouTube video here.

If you are wondering how successful trolling can be, at the recent Lake Coleridge fishing competition, 84% of the fish entered in the competition were caught by trolling.

Top Tips For Lake Fishing from the shore

Not everyone has access to a boat, so these tips are for shore-based anglers to maximise your chance for success.

  1. Choose appropriate lures for the large bodies of water that lakes are.
  2. Target creek and river mouths
  3. Trout like lake edges
  4. Try bait fishing (where allowed – check the regulations book to be sure )
  5. Get the conditions right

For more detail, watch this short YouTube video here.

Message from Meridian 

Summer is nearly here, and there are a few things to remember when you’re out and about near our canals and hydro assets. 

  • Remember to park safely, well clear of the roadway and in designated parking areas. 
  • The rocks on the edge of the canal are super slippery, and the canals quickly reach a 10M depth. Please be careful. 
  • Don’t climb fences around our structures – the fences are there to keep you safe.    
  • Take it easy when walking down the side of the canals - it’s easy to slip, fall and break something. 
  • Our hydro station’s water intake and discharge areas have fast-flowing aerated water, undercurrents and unpredictable water releases. Please follow the safety information on our safety signs.  

Enjoy the canals and hydro assets safely over the summer!

Happy fishing!

The Meridian team

Check, Clean and Dry

Invasive aquatic organisms are scattered around New Zealand’s waterways; let’s do our bit to stop them from spreading any further.

For example, lakes Benmore and Aviemore have an infestation of the aquatic weed Lagarosiphon major (oxygen weed), and there is a huge cost to keep it at suppressed levels.


Over one million dollars gets spent each year to control Lagarosiphon in Benmore and Aviemore for the benefit of recreational users, biodiversity, and power generation.

There are other nasties out there too, and the only way to ensure none are spread around is to always check, clean and dry before going to a new waterway.

This helpful Check Clean Dry pocket guide gives you great information on how to clean all types of equipment.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer


Richie Cosgrove, North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer


More Posts