Hundreds of anglers flocked to the Canterbury High Country over the weekend to celebrate the opening of the high-country fishing season.
Some spectacular fish were caught by anglers of all ages and entered in the annual Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition.
For the first time in several years, the heaviest fish were all caught by shore-based anglers and all over 3.2 kgs.
Christchurch’s Ken Carter caught a 3.57 kg brown trout from the beach of Lake Coleridge at Ryton Bay.
With two other brown trout entered by anglers also over 3 Kg, the other ten brown trout also entered were good condition fish.
There were 33 salmon caught from Lake Coleridge, with the heaviest salmon being 1.68 kg, and all salmon weighed in were, on average, much heavier and longer than last year.
Across all of the Coleridge high-country lakes, 12 rainbow trout were entered, with the heaviest being 1.82 kg.
“Average fish condition factors for all three species were pretty good, with all species averaging a better than average score”, says North Canterbury Fish & Game Officer Emily Craig, organiser of the competition.
“Of all the fish entered, 75% were caught trolling on Lake Coleridge, but it was shore-based anglers that caught the biggest fish; going to show that you don’t need a boat to catch big fish.”
With 58 fish and 171 anglers entering the competition, it’s important to note that there were many more anglers in the high country for the opening day.
“Anglers didn’t need to catch a fish to go in the draw for over $8000 in prizes provided by the three Hunting & Fishing NZ stores in our area: Tower Junction, North Canterbury, and Ashburton”.
“It was impressive to see over 200 people braving an afternoon downpour and staying for the prizegiving on Saturday, with an estimated 500 people visiting the area for opening day”.