November 1 hails the opening of the high country lakes to fishing and also the Lake Coleridge Fishing Competition. This competition is free to enter, has over $10,000 worth of prizes donated by Hunting & Fishing Christchurch and is a highlight of the year for many high country anglers.
Organiser Steve Terry, of North Canterbury Fish & Game, says many people think you have to catch a fish to be eligible for a prize, but it is open to anyone who presents a current fishing licence on the day.
‘‘The focus of the competition is participation and every angler who shows a licence is automatically in the spot prize draw. Anglers who present trout or salmon have a better chance as there are prizes for the heaviest fish for each species, for both adults and juniors,’’ he says.
Recent spawning surveys in the Coleridge tributaries showed good numbers of rainbow trout in great condition. Many of these will be back in the lake by opening day. There should also be plenty of salmon this season because last season there were many smaller salmon, and the survivors will have undergone a growth spurt.
North Canterbury Fish & Game have over the last 12 months released thousands of chinook salmon and rainbow trout into Lake Coleridge and the surrounding lakes. Lake Coleridge is the only lake in the region that is stocked with salmon and also one of the few lakes in which you can catch salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout all in the one day.
The competition also welcomes anglers fishing any of the nearby smaller Coleridge lakes, such as Selfe and Georgina. The Ryton Bay weigh station will be open from 8.30am until 3pm on Saturday, November 1. The prize draw will be at 4pm.
Gotcha: Jeremy Agnewlands a nice 4lb trout from the Opihi River.