Top 6 Trout Fishing Lakes in New Zealand’s North Island


New Zealand’s North Island is a paradise for anglers, offering some of the most spectacular freshwater fishing spots in the world. Known for its pristine waters teeming with trout, the North Island boasts numerous lakes where both seasoned and novice fishermen can enjoy a fruitful day out. Here we explore the top 6 trout fishing lakes in the region, renowned for their beauty, accessibility, and the quality of the fishing experience they offer.

Lake Taupo

Arguably the most famous trout fishing lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo is a premier destination for anglers worldwide. This vast lake is the largest in New Zealand and is the heart of the North Island’s trout fishing scene. It is home to a thriving population of both rainbow and brown trout, with the average size of the fish caught here impressing even the most seasoned fishermen. The lake’s waters are crystal clear, and its surrounding scenery is breathtaking, making every fishing trip here a memorable experience. Various fishing techniques are successful on Lake Taupo, including trolling, fly fishing, and jigging, providing a versatile fishing adventure for all.

Lake Tarawera

Situated in the Bay of Plenty region, Lake Tarawera is renowned for its trophy-sized trout, scenic beauty, and historical significance. The lake offers exceptional rainbow trout fishing, with many anglers landing fish over 10 pounds. The waters here are deep and clear, providing an ideal habitat for trout to thrive. Access to Lake Tarawera is easy, with several boat ramps and shoreline spots available for anglers. In addition to its fishing allure, Lake Tarawera is steeped in Maori history and offers stunning views of Mount Tarawera, making it a captivating destination for both fishing and sightseeing.

Lake Rotoiti

Lake Rotoiti, adjacent to Lake Rotorua, is a popular choice for trout fishermen due to its abundant population of both rainbow and brown trout. The lake’s sheltered bays and deep waters make it an ideal spot for trolling and fly fishing. Lake Rotoiti is particularly famous for its hot spots where thermal waters meet the lake, creating unique fishing environments. Anglers here often use downriggers to reach the deeper waters where the largest trout are found. The lake also offers stunning natural beauty, with native bush and clear waters providing a serene fishing setting.

Lake Okataina

Another gem in the Bay of Plenty region, Lake Okataina is surrounded by native forest and offers some of the most secluded trout fishing spots in the North Island. The lake is known for its large rainbow trout, with many fish exceeding the 6-pound mark. The pristine, undeveloped shores of Lake Okataina make it a beautiful location for fly fishing and trolling. Access to the lake is more limited compared to others on this list, which helps preserve its untouched beauty and ensures a peaceful fishing experience away from crowds.

Lake Waikaremoana

In the heart of Te Urewera National Park lies Lake Waikaremoana, a stunning natural lake with a reputation for producing high-quality wild trout. The lake is part of a largely untouched landscape and is revered by both local and visiting anglers for its excellent fly fishing opportunities. Lake Waikaremoana holds both rainbow and brown trout, and its remote location guarantees a tranquil fishing experience in pristine natural surroundings. The journey to the lake is an adventure in itself, winding through ancient native forests that are alive with the songs of native birds.

Lake Otamangakau

A smaller water body compared to the others listed, Lake Otamangakau offers a unique high-country fishing experience. Located near the volcanic Central Plateau, this man-made lake garners attention for its large and aggressive rainbow and brown trout. Accessible mainly during the summer months, Lake Otamangakau is ideal for fly fishing, with its shallow waters and abundant aquatic plant life providing perfect conditions for sight fishing. The lake’s surroundings are stunning, with the dramatic backdrop of the Central Plateau’s mountains making every fishing trip here a remarkable journey.

Each of these top trout fishing lakes in New Zealand’s North Island offers a unique set of conditions, scenery, and fish populations, making them standouts in the world of freshwater angling. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman in search of a trophy catch or a beginner looking to experience the joy of trout fishing amidst breathtaking natural beauty, these lakes provide excellent opportunities for an unforgettable adventure.

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