It always pays to check the Fishing Regulations each year to make sure you're up to date with any changes.
Although the specific details can vary from year to year, here is a broad overview of this competition hosted by the Combined Fishing Clubs.
The High Country Opening Competition is an interclub competition held each year at Lake Coleridge on the first Saturday in November. You must be a member of one of the participating clubs and have a current fishing licence to enter. Each club has a delegate who will co-ordinate their own members and do things like collect 2-minute forms prior to the start of the competition.
Fishing begins early on Saturday morning, from 5am and finishes shortly before lunchtime. The weigh-in is held at midday with a prizegiving held shortly after with interclub trophies up for grabs across a number of prizes categories.
Check this year's rules for full details but note these important notes about the weigh in.
The weigh in will be held at 'Boat Harbour'.
It starts at 12pm (midday) and finishes at 12.15pm
Each fish weighed must be a minimum length of 35cm
Fish must be weighed whole, not gutted
Fish that you've caught and released can be registered, but check the rules for what you need to do.
There are trophies available for all anglers and each of the attending clubs also put up their own trophies – as does the Ferrymead Fishing Club with trophies available to senior competitors (both men & women) as well as some for the kids.
North Canterbury Fish and Game have, for many years now, also held a competition on the same day. Check the Fish & Game website for details. If that competition is run this year, our earlier weigh in time should allow time for anglers who also wish to register their fish for the Fish & Game competition or attend that prizegiving.
There are limited accommodation options at Lake Coleridge so many competitors now travel up and back in the same day.
If weather permits, you might want to check out the camping options in the area. You'd need to secure your own accommodation if you plan on making this more than a day trip.
Some accommodation may also be available to rent from the local landowner (Glenthorne Station).
Martin Priest Trophy - Heaviest fish from a boat
Christchurch Fishing and Casting Trophy - Heaviest trout (boat or shore)
ANZ Trophy - Heaviest bag of fish (boat only)
Vance Hannah Memorial Trophy - Heaviest bag of fish (shore only)
Spreydon/Hoon Hay Trophy - Most fish caught
Peter Loffhagen Trophy - Heaviest bag of trout (boat or shore)
Cup of Joy - Heaviest fish (Women's Trophy)
Riccarton Shield - Heaviest Aggregate of fish per angler
Junior trophy - Heaviest fish caught by a junior
FFC only trophies
Stokes Cup - Heaviest fish caught by a senior
High Country Cup: Heaviest fish caught by a junior
Kinnis Cup: Heaviest salmon caught by a junior
Top boat flag
Sticky Fingers Surfcasting Competition - November
This interclub surfcasting competition, hosted by FFC, was originally set up as a mid-Winter competition (and called the Stiff Fingers Competition). In recent years it has moved to the end of the year, underwent a name change and is usually run alongside the Chidgey Shield Competition at South Rakaia.
As with most of the interclub surfcasting competitions it starts at 10am and finishes at 2pm. Arrive earlier to register and get set up. Stay on after the finish to weigh in your catch and attend the informal prizegiving.