The search for a missing kayaker on a Canterbury lake is now focused on finding the man's body.

Police expect to resume the search for the 59-year-old on Lake Ellesmere tomorrow.

The Christchurch man was paddling out to check fishing nets when he got into difficulty on Saturday morning, Detective Brent Menzies said.

"While no one was with him at the time, police believe he has come out of his kayak, which has then been pushed away by the prevailing wind."

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Search teams found the kayak on the Kaitorete Spit later that day.

"Unfortunately, due to the amount of time that has passed, we are now
searching for a body," Menzies said.

"While no formal searches were conducted today, we expect to undertake
further aerial and water-based searches of the lake tomorrow.

"There have been a number of drowning-related deaths over the holiday
period, and police would like to remind everyone to be conscious of their
safety and wear lifejackets when conducting any activities on the water."

Police are not yet in a position to release the man's name.