August sees the last month of a winter that has been colder than normal.
By mid-August trout, especially browns, start to become active, particularly on sunny days. The lower Hurunui is a top option and can be accessed from the State Highway One bridge or the lower coastal bridge. On calm afternoons, check the rivers flowing into the lagoon and along the coastal cliffs for trout taking mayfly spinners.
The Ashley's lower to mid reaches are also well worth a look. The size of trout generally increases upriver.
Trout are easier to spot on a sunny day when the flow is between 5-7 cumecs.
Lake Pearson is a high-country lake that stands out as a good brown trout sight fishery. Pick a sunny day with a light westerly breeze.
Lake Lyndon also picks up in August, although this lake is dominated by trout weighing less than 500g, as it has been stocked hard to improve it as a family fishery.
August is a top month for fishing near the Wilberforce Inflow, Harper Mouth and Ryton Mouth for decent-sized rainbows in prime condition. Nearby, on Lake Selfe, some good rainbows averaging 2.5kg have been caught and will move into the lake edge at night, where a black Woolly Bugger works well. Coleridge closes at the end of August.
Spiny dogs dominate sea-fishing catches. Some decent red cod have been caught at the railway station and along the gravel beach in front of Kaikoura Township. The best catches have been made after dark, just before and after the high tide. Luminous tube or beads next to the hooks helps. A few blue moki around two kilograms have been taken too; use fresh mussel baits on a 2/0 or 3/0 hook. The sea is often calm in front of Kaikoura Township in a southerly.
Offshore at Kaikoura, groper from 5-10kg have been taken on the slope off the southeastern end of the peninsula in 120-140m. Out on the trench slopes in 300-500m, bluenose and ling have been caught, too.
Fishing these depths, electric reels loaded with braid are becoming increasingly popular.
Flounder set-netting is very popular in upper Akaroa Harbour at present, as catches of sand and green-backed flounders have been steady. Remember, only one net per boat.
Canterbury by Peter Langlands
Ph 0274 501 916
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