November is a great month for sea-run trout in Canterbury, with the fish often being in peak condition having fed up on smelt.
Double-figure trout have been taken in good numbers in the lower Selwyn River, which has fished exceedingly well this season to date. Other well known tributaries of Lake Ellesmere, such as Harts Creek and the lower L11, often fish well in November. The lower Halswell and Katina Rivers are also worth a look. Some of Canterbury's largest trout are taken in the late springtime from Lake Ellesmere's protein-rich waters.
Nearby, the Rakaia River mouth is also a worthwhile option in November. Closer to the city, the Avon River has fished outstandingly well this season. A mix of resident and sea-run trout up to 7kg has been caught.
The de-populated nature of much of the Avon's mid to lower section means that the trout are less disturbed, and that makes it easier to fish for them - one of the few bright sides of the earthquakes. The top half of the outgoing tide provides the best angling conditions. The lower Styx and mid reaches of the Heathcote are also worth a look for those after some trout fishing in the city.
November sees the opening of the high country lakes. Lake Heron has a good number of decent brown trout of 2-2.5kg. Sight fishing in a north-westerly, when the large trout cruise close into the shore, is a lot of fun. In addition to large browns, there are some decent rainbows and land-locked salmon.
Whitebait runs often peak in early November. Outstanding catches have been made in the lower Styx River.
The streams on Banks Peninsula often fish well in November, with Okains Bay being a good spot, as are numerous small streams following into Akaroa Harbour. Scoop netters have been getting modest catches at both the Rakaia and Rangitata mouths - and don't forget the Orari and Opihi mouths, as they are top whitebaiting spots.
By mid November the first salmon will be starting to run up the Rakaia. The Rangitata surf is also worth a shot during a northwester this month.
November is one of the top times to target rig and elephant fish in Canterbury's waters, and the northwesterly often provides top surf-casting conditions.
Canterbury by Peter Langlands
Ph 0274 501 916
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