Weekly Fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish and Game for 21 December 2023

  • Central South Island North Canterbury
  • 21/12/2023

Weekly Fishing report for Central South Island and North Canterbury Fish and Game for 21 December 2023

Above: Top selling trolling lures, Left to right – Super Kobra #6, brown trout Tasmanian Devil #46, dual depth traffic light Tasmanian Devil #51’ photo R Adams 

Central South Island Report

Top-selling trolling lures

If you visit a tackle shop and get baffled for choice by a wall covered in thousands of lures of all shapes, weights, and colours, then you’re not alone.

To make shopping easier for the lake trollers out there, I caught up with Richard from Davo’s Fishing Hunting Sport in Washdyke to find out what his three top-selling trolling lures for fishing Central South Island Region lakes (and elsewhere) are.

Super Kobra #6 – Richard says they beat out the Tasmanian Devils as they come with a swivel, so line twist is a non-issue, and additionally, they have a more pronounced swimming action. Don’t be surprised if they are sold out!

Brown trout Tasmanian Devil # 46 – A natural-looking option to imitate small trout and bullies. Richard also recommends the 7-gram version for targeting sea-run and resident brown trout in the lower reaches of South Canterbury Rivers as they imitate smelt (silveries).

Dual depth traffic light Tasmanian Devil # 51 – Not only a favourite colour, but this lure has two attachment points which allows the lure to be fished at different depths – a handy option in summer when fish go deep to find cooler water. 

Richard also recommended an improved rigging option for the Tassie Devil lures. Remove the wire hook assembly, thread your trace through the lure body, then tie it to a hook assembly that consists of a single hook with a split ring on its eye to stop the hook from inserting into the lure body and then to the split ring attached a small swivel – small enough to insert into the lure body. Tie your line to the swivel. The lure body will slide freely on the line, but when it is trolling or being retrieved, it will slide back snug against the split ring/hook.

Hundreds of fishing spots on the map for you

If you are looking for a new spot to fish over the holidays in the Central South Island Region, then we have over 300 options for you.

Our brand-new fishing access map website is now live and accessible – just click this link.   

The website is a work in progress, and we still have a number of access points, tracks and photos to add.

If you notice that the information displayed on the map could be improved, then feel free to let me know – email radams@fishandgame.org.nz. 

Keep it clean at the canals

Fish & Game Officer Hamish Stevens picks up litter between angler check on the Tekapo Canal’ photo by R Adams

Unfortunately, in society, there is often 1% of people who let the team down. This appears to be the case when it comes to the littering at the canals.

However, we reckon 99% of “good citizens” can make a massive boost to keeping the place clean and tidy if they simply pick up a few strands of fishing line or other litter on each trip they make to the canals.

Meridian Energy provides skip bins for canal anglers’ litter and fish waste near the intakes of the Ōhau power stations. You can find their location (and nearby toilets) on our new access map website here

Sea-run salmon management report

The 2022/2023 Central South Island Sea-run Salmon Returns - Season Summary report is available online for you – click here.

This is essential reading for anyone with a keen interest in sea-run salmon management. The report covers how spawning survey results are used to set the season bag limit. 

Windemere Drain Enhancement

Fish & Game Officer Mark Webb points out one of 22 boulder weirs installed in Windemere Drain to improve habitat diversity’ Photo by Angela Cushnie

There are many drains through the Canterbury lowlands; they are habitat-poor, being mainly straight-channelled and shallow.

In 2015, 22 boulder weirs were constructed in Windemere Drain on the Ashburton Plains.

The project sought to trial the benefit of creating habitat diversity resembling a natural stream, with pool, run and riffle habitat. The aim was that habitat diversity would increase species diversity and increase the abundance of existing species.

This week, CSI Fish & Game staff got together with local landowners, members of the Ashburton Lowland Catchment Group and staff and councillors from ECan to monitor the trial's progress.

Fish & Game electro-fished, collecting, identifying, counting, and measuring fish to compare with previous data. Fish collected included long fin eels up to 1 metre, upland bully and brown trout of all age classes, the biggest trout being 513mm.

To date, no new species have been found at the boulder weirs, although this is thought to be related to fish passage barriers not allowing all fish to migrate from the donga (lagoon) upriver to the enhanced habitat.

Fish & Game staff are confident that the weirs have improved the habitat for adult trout and eels –supporting fishery values.

Electric fishing will be undertaken every 3-5 years to monitor long-term changes.

Merry Christmas

Rhys Adams and the team at Central South Island Fish & Game


Merry Fishmas to our North Canterbury Anglers; the team here at North Canterbury Fish & Game want to wish all our anglers a safe and relaxing Christmas holiday.

The weather this week and most of the following week looks sub-optimal, but the cooler temperatures will make it more pleasant for those who venture out fishing.

Fish & Game Officer Paul van Klink checks the Lewis River for anglers.

Our ranging team has been out in our Designated Waters this week checking compliance in the Lewis Pass fishery.

All anglers they have met up there have been compliant and following the regulations.

Our Designated Waters fisheries are jewels in the crown of North Canterbury’s fisheries and are well worth exploring.

Salmon On!

Bryce Marshall has done it again!

It was too late for last week's report, but it was posted on Facebook as soon as it came in was Bryce’s efforts with this lovely fish in the Rakaia River.

Bryce flicked me the picture right of the first confirmed (to Fish & Game) of a salmon caught on the Rakaia River.

Bryce led the charge last year and helped Fish & Game out by sharing his knowledge, along with Simon McMillan's, in a series of how-to salmon fishing videos you can check out here:

Bruce also lost a second fish the next day, which is excellent news for our salmon-angling fraternity.

Outdoor access New Live Webcam

I got an email last night from the team at Outdoor Access, the live webcam subscription service, to tell me they had commissioned their newest camera yesterday at the Waimakariri River Mouth.

Rod giveaway success

Marc Jansen was the lucky winner of our rod and reel giveaway generously offered by the team at Hunting & Fishing Christchurch and Diawa NZ

Marc picked up his prize on Monday from Hunting & Fishing in Tower Junction, a Daiwa Aird-X 8’6” 2pce rod paired with an Aird LT 2500 reel and 8lb braid valued at $330.

Marc shared the results from their first trip out with the rod: I had a blast, and my mate and his son caught their first fish with the rod and reel. They are having their first self-caught Kahawai lunch and dinner today. They were over the moon.

Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition Survey

If you attended the Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition on High Country opening and presented your licence to us (either in the spot prize draw or entering a fish), you may have received an email with a link to our Satisfaction Survey in the last week or so. 

Thank you to those who have already completed the survey. If you haven’t completed it yet, you have until 8th January at 5 pm. 

Two lucky respondents will snag themselves a Daiwa Cap (RRP $29.99), which will be randomly drawn after the survey has closed. 

We also let Harry who helps write these weekly reports and the Reel Life section for North Canterbury, actually out for a fish recently.

He didn’t disappoint with this lovely fish from the High country.

Once again Merry Fishmas to everyone from the team here at North Canterbury Fish & Game

More Posts