Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island 05-11-2020

  • Central South Island
  • 5/11/2020
  • Richie Cosgrove

Weekly Fishing Report – Central South Island 05-11-2020

At 0001 hours on Saturday the 7th of November, the high country season kicks-off at so many of our iconic fisheries.

Trust me, there will be a anglers out for the first minute – a few are well-known for it at Lake Heron.

In terms of regulation changes for the high country fisheries this season, there is just one.

The daily bag limit at Lake Heron has been reduced to 4 sports fish (combined trout and salmon total) to limit the catch of lake-resident salmon.

Above: Anglers targeting salmon from the 'South Bank' of Lake Heron on opening day of the 2019 high country fishing season - credit Rhys Adams

This is a precautionary approach while research is underway to figure out if these lake-resident salmon commonly harvested at Lake Heron (2+ years old) on opening weekend are contributing to the sea-run salmon fishery of the Rakaia River.

Regardless of where you are fishing this weekend, do double check in the 2020-21 regulation guide to ensure you are sticking to the rules!

Another regulation we want you to be aware of is the (late) opening of the upper Ahuriri River and Lagoons (tarns) upstream of the Longslip Creek Confluence is the first Saturday in December (5th).

Longslip Creek is the stream that flows out of the Lindis Pass, you cross its lowest bridge near the Birchwood Road turnoff while driving on State Highway 8.

On the topic of the Ahuriri, its section that does open on Saturday might be too high and discoloured to fish anyway.

A rough gauge for this river’s fishability is 25 cumecs at the SH8 Bridge flow recorder. On Thursday morning it was over 30 cumecs and rising steadily.   

Likewise, any big rivers draining the main divide like the Rangitata will be up this weekend.

River slightly further East like the Twizel and the Tekapo Rivers most influential tributary, Fork Stream may or may not be affected by rain – best to keep an eye on their flow gauges and to remain optimistic.

The Tekapo River flows near its Mary Burn confluence are looking great currently at under 10 cumecs, a rough guide is that it fishes best under 14 cumecs.

The Twizel River flows are looking pretty good too.

WFR2021.16 The Hakataramea River not long before opening day 2020

The Hakataramea River not long before opening day 2020

The Hakataramea River is another opening weekend favourite and flows there are low currently, a bump in flows wouldn’t hurt if it happens.

The Hakataramea River not long before opening day 2020

Rainbow trout spawning surveys were done at the Hakataramea and Lake Alexandrina tributaries recently and trout numbers are looking good.

We are due for a bit of rain on Friday and then a bit more on Saturday night and a switch to cold weather, so don’t get a fright if you see a bit of new snow on the hills and don’t forget some warm clothes and a rain jacket.

At a glance, Saturday looks to be the best day with wind not too strong.

Sunday afternoon might offer some opportunities for those prepared after the wet front passes through.

If world class small stream and lakes fishing isn’t your buzz then perhaps world famous ‘big fish’ spots like the Tekapo Canal might be your destination this weekend. The scenic backdrop will be similar anyway.

I was at the upper Tekapo Canal during the week and checked on a few anglers.

John Nixon and his 17 pound November Magic Carpet fish

John Nixon and his 17 pound Magic Carpet jack - November 2020 - credit Marcel Wadek

It was a real melting pot of provincial kiwi anglers that day with Southlanders, some from the “Naki”, the Hutt and Gizzy.

I witnessed John Nixon of Lower Hutt land a nice 3 pound rainbow at the Magic Carpet on the Tekapo Canal and snapped a pic for the report.

His mate, however, offered to provide the pic of Johns big jack caught he day prior so I took up his offer.

I was granted permission to share John’s “weapon” of choice - drifting huhu grubs.

Good luck for high country opening weekend folks, have your licence handy – there will be rangers about.

Tight Lines

Rhys Adams, Central South Island Fish & Game Officer  



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