Kaikoura—an angler’s Silverado

Shane Cross and Tom Murray (to side) showing off their catch

Any Kaikoura salmon angler welcomes the beginning of spring and the westerly winds.

The sea flattens off and town becomes infected with salmon fever. Whether it’s 20 minutes in a lunch break or first thing before work, the sounds of rods casting into the surf is sure sign the fish have arrived.

Because the fishery is so accessible, it appeals to a wide variety of anglers. The deep-sea fisherman find their way back to the shore, the young new angler sets their sights on a piece of silver and the travelling angler finds time in their schedule for a ‘coffee and a cast’. Although, from afar it may seem easy to come to Kaikoura and catch a salmon, the reality is, it’s not a given. The successful anglers put in the time, watch the sea conditions intently, and always fish with sharp hooks.

The right gear at the right time makes all the difference. Some local advice would be to use a 7-9ft spin set that can handle casting lures ranging from 20-45g. On the sunny calm days, use a lure with a lot of flash. Whereas on the dull overcast days, fish with bold solid colours. The Kaikoura coastline is rocky and can have waves that dump on to the shore. Try to keep your lure from bouncing on the rocks to minimise the risk of line damage and hooks going blunt. There isn’t a set time of the tide where the salmon come on the bite; instead look for weather windows of light winds and small swell. This is what cleans the sea up and generally speaking, the clearer the water, the greater the chances.

Over the past few years, the salmon fishery has had its ups and downs. Last year didn’t provide many weather windows and so fishing for salmon was challenging. The year prior, there was a big run of fish over a threeday period but slow fishing either side. So far, the 2023 season has been steadily fishing well nearly all of September. There is a lot of life around, big schools of baitfish, kahawai and sea bird work ups. Hopefully the signs of a good season ahead!

Reminder: North Canterbury Fish & Game are collecting Kaikoura salmon heads for research purposes. If you would like to donate any salmon heads caught this season, please drop them off to Kaikoura Hunting & Fishing during open hours.

Share this post :


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Create a new perspective on life

Your Ads Here (365 x 270 area)
Latest Stories

Subscribe our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates direct to your inbox.


Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates direct to your inbox.