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North Canterbury Fishing

Fish & Game New Zealand’s North Canterbury region offers much to the angler. Without a doubt the star attraction of the region is the sea-run salmon fishery.

The Rakaia, Waimakariri, Hurunui and Waiau Rivers offer excellent sea-run salmon fishing between November and March. The best time to plan a trip is during February when river flows tend to be stable, after the period of major snow melt in the Southern Alps.

Most salmon are caught on heavy spinning tackle upriver or on specialised long distance casting tackle in the surf next to the river mouth. The salmon with an average size of around 8kg is one of the most highly sought-after sports fish in the country.

In addition to the high profile salmon fishery, North Canterbury also offers great fishing for other species. More than thirty high country lakes offer landlocked salmon, brown trout, rainbow trout, mackinaw and splake. The upper reaches of the braided rivers offer high quality brown and rainbow trout with very big fish in places.

The lower reaches of the same rivers provide excellent sea-run trout fishing as well. Very large runs of fresh silver sea-run brown trout converge on the tidal areas of the salmon river during the months of December and January in particular.

For more information sports fishing in North Canterbury consult the booklet, Fishing Access: A Guide to popular fishing locations in the North Canterbury Fish & Game Region. This is available from the North Canterbury office or from major sports shops in the region.

If you catch a tagged fish, please contact the regional Fish & Game office.

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North Canterbury fishing News


Weekly Fishing report for North Canterbury -13/1/17

Angling conditions are proving a little trying with all these strong nor-westers we have had in recent weeks and these fishing reports are starting to become a bit repetitive

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Weekly Fishing report for North Canterbury -6/1/17

Dear Anglers,

Looks like we finally have a good window of fishable opportunity, after many weekends of poor conditions to date.

The weekends forecast is pretty good, especially for anglers looking to target the main snow fed rivers.

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Stricken Salmon farm gets a special Christmas delivery

Smiles beamed from the faces of the owners and staff at the Paringa Salmon Farm café recently when two loads of replacement fish were delivered by Fish & Game staff.

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Weekly Fishing report for North Canterbury -30/12/16

Fishing report for the North Canterbury Region Friday 30th December

Hello and welcome to the North Canterbury fishing report.  Once again the weather this weekend looks to be dominated by high winds. 

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