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Normal Topic Koura/Fresh Water Crays (Read 2622 times)
Bushpig
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Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Jul 1st, 2018 at 4:30pm
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Hi Fellas
I live in South Canterbury and have been after Koura for a while now for both a feed and something to take the kids to do. I have dropped test pots in a few spots with no luck. I have also been up to Lake Georgina twice and caught one.  Cry I am happy to travel to North Otago or Mid Canterbury to have a crack so if anyone could help out I would really appreciate it Private message if you prefer. Also is there a time of year they are more active?
Cheers
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #1 - Jul 2nd, 2018 at 8:36pm
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I have been curious about this too, spend quite a bit of time in Twizel during the summer lake fishing from the boat but always keen to try something different.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #2 - Jul 5th, 2018 at 7:35pm
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Put it this way.  I have tried in a good couple of likely places and so far I have caught the same number as bushpig.
  

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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #3 - Jul 6th, 2018 at 7:49am
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Bushpig wrote on Jul 1st, 2018 at 4:30pm:
I have also been up to Lake Georgina twice and caught one.†

Surprised you caught one in Georgina. Been a long time since I saw the dead body of one up there, as they got a hammering 10 years ago or more. It got so bad you were in danger of breaking an ankle as you waded the edge, as the persons gathering them used a method whereby they dug a hole in the lake bed and set buckets into them. They may come back but it will take a long time.

Central Otago is the place to go and try - the rougher the drive in, the more chance you have of catching them. Pick a spring through to summer morning - they don't like high temps.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #4 - Jul 6th, 2018 at 9:51am
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I have heard many stories of where they used to be but cant seem find where they still are. I have been using offal as bait, can anyone tell me what is best to use?
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #5 - Jul 6th, 2018 at 8:54pm
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the more blood the better...if eels turn up you wont likely find koura as they will have been eaten..... slow water with heaps of cover.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #6 - Jul 9th, 2018 at 2:26pm
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Regarding the temperature thing.  Can anyone tell me if I am wasting my time checking streams in the high country?  Because I live in Canterbury I have to drive to some mountains to find a stream that isn't mostly cow poos.  I am wondering if up in the mountains it's too cold for them?
  

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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #7 - Jul 15th, 2018 at 2:53pm
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There are some spots in Southland and Otago that hold the largest  species at up to 10 inches from fork in the tail to the mouth parts.
3 of those is a feed and they're lovely.
Use a nice meaty bone on some wool or other rough yarn and wrap heaps of it round the bait as their spines, mandibles and claws get stuck in it and that's makes it easier to pull them in successfully.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #8 - Jul 18th, 2018 at 11:24am
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glad I live in southland we usually pick a few out of ponds and creeks when night hunting pigs. 

central otago has excellent numbers in places but wouldnt advise naming locations on a forum as nxt year theyll be gone.

high country creeks and lakes are best bet as are many irrigation races and as an above post recomends the rougher the track the better although you can get a feed Right out front of the huts in places.  I find nets/traps a waste of time only ever get a couple, wading in summer time flipping rocks is best an hour or so youll have a family feed.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #9 - Jul 20th, 2018 at 8:59am
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I found that a regular kidís butterfly net (AKA Cockabully net), dyed black is the most effective tool to catch them in the one spot we get to in January. More fun if you have kids too. Depends on the location.

The backup method is a baited piece of old skool binder twine, or the specialist baited crab trap thing. Then you can leave that in the water while you fish.

45 years ago, they were common as in the Christchurch headwater spring creeks we played in as kids. I read that a study by NIWA has found that they are now present in some of the wee small spring drains again Ė miniscule in size compared to those down south though.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #10 - Jul 31st, 2018 at 9:11pm
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Ashfisherman has it - a good way to yank them out whilst staying dry.

I'm Central N.I. and our favoured method was to fish the lakes. Just wade out, keeping the crotch of your undies an inch above the water lever with a 6" diameter 1/2" wire mesh net on a 4' stick and scoop them out and into a bucket with water ballast so it floated upright. Towed that bucket on a string.
Two of us could fill a 2 1/2 gal bucket in a couple of hours - if we chose.
Best lamp for doing that was one of the old carbide bike lamps as it gave no surface glare - used it for flounder too.
Not too many big ones up here - 8" would be the biggest I've seen.

Do have some big eels though - heard of two caught by set lines in deep water back in the seventies that went over 60lb. Maori called them Mate Moi (sleeping eel).

Bloody good fun on a mild evening, kid's love it - and nice eating.

  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #11 - Aug 1st, 2018 at 4:03pm
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SF90 wrote on Jul 31st, 2018 at 9:11pm:
Do have some big eels though - heard of two caught by set lines in deep water back in the seventies that went over 60lb. Maori called them Mate Moi (sleeping eel).


When I was a kid we used to go to hokitika a bit, we used to go to Lake Kaniere. One day I was snorkling along the edge of a ridge where the water dropped off into a dark depth. Well out of the corner of my eye I see what appeared to me (12 at the time) to be a 10m long monster eel slowly swimming up from the depths (trust me they're bigger when you're in the water). My old man reckons I aquaplaned on my fins getting back to shore.

Still the biggest eel I'd ever seen.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #12 - Aug 1st, 2018 at 5:49pm
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I never saw those two eels - and doubted the story when I heard it, but I talked to a few people and it was true enough.
The biggest I've seen was a 24 pounder caught by my uncle when I was a kid.
Did a lot of eeling when I was younger in the Hutt River and I brought home some big ones from there - but nothing like my uncles 24 lb'er.

Eels will hoover up Koura, and we've got a lot up here - pale whitey looking things - kids call them ghost eels.
Got a lot of koura here too.

As a kid they still had the two shillings and sixpence bounty on possums, but to get to them I had to wade the Hutt River then scoot up the hill behind the Weatern Hutt Road quarry.
I'd often get eels bumping my legs crossing that river - and they'd give you the 'hurry up', but in truth I wasn't too worried about them.
Then I read of a guy (or might even have talked to him) who was doing an eel survey in Lake Wairarapa who had a good size eel latch onto his wet suit around the chest area whilst coming out of the water He said if he hadn't been in shallow water and able to get his feet anchored to the lake bed - that eel would have drowned him doing its spinny thing.
Got out and had to cut that eel off him - wouldn't let go.
He'd been diving for years - but had never had that happen, nor heard of it happening.

I also remember a kid drowning up by Maori Bank, north of Upper Hutt.
They sent the police divers in - and they came straight back out because of the monster eels in some of those holes, so they got the Navy divers in - and even they said they were a bit unnerving - couldn't get out of there quick enough - did the job though.

Got quite interested in eels for a while - have heard them barking like a dog and others have come straight up out of the water and hissed like you hear a snake doing on the TV.

Just in case anyone's interested.


  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #13 - Aug 3rd, 2018 at 11:09am
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The really scary ones are those that come out of the water ,balance vertically on their tails and bray like a donkey.
  
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Re: Koura/Fresh Water Crays
Reply #14 - Aug 5th, 2018 at 2:48pm
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You notice through this subject everyone is talking about the PAST That just goes to show you what we have lost and done to our waterways.
  

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