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Central South Island Fishing

Fish & Game New Zealand’s Central South Island region extends from the south bank of the Rakaia River in the north, to Moeraki in the south. With their headwaters in the Southern Alps, the Waitaki and the Rangitata are the region’s biggest rivers. These are noted chinook salmon fisheries with trophy fish of 15kg and more being regularly reported.

Most of New Zealand’s salmon run is contained within the border of the North Canterbury and Central South Island Fish & Game Regions. The Rangitata Mouth is one of the more famous fishing locations in the South Island as very large numbers of salmon are regularly caught here. Salmon fishing in the Waitaki tends to be split amongst mouth and upriver anglers, with fishing from anchored jet boats being a popular option.

Smaller rivers including the Opihi-Temuka, Ashburton and Kakanui together with many high country lakes are habitat to substantial brown and rainbow trout fisheries.

Fontinalis (brook trout) are also present in some of these waters. In fact the Central South Island Region probably offers the best Fontinalis populations in the country, with Lake Emily being renowned as the place in New Zealand to catch a trophy. For sheer numbers of trout, the waters of the McKenzie country are hard to beat. The Tekapo River in particular contains very good numbers of trout which are not overly difficult to catch.

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

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Central South Island fishing News

Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region-2017

A short and sharp southerly front is set to blast through Canterbury in the wee hours of Saturday morning and some cloud should hang around following it.


Central South Island Reel Life FEB 2017

Weather-wise March can be brilliant with mild and settled weather. So the message here is get out and go fishing in March, there is heaps of opportunity and boot shorts style fishing and camping out are still great options.


Central South Island Reel Life JAN 2017

It has been a fickle summer weather-wise, with welcome small but regular rainfall events occurring across the region.


Weekly Fishing Report– Central South Island Region – 13-1-2017

As always, I appreciate feedback and fishy stories via email, from weekly report readers who fish the CSI region.