Relax on Lake Otamangakau
Image: DOC


Lake Otamangakau has an international reputation for producing very large wild trout. Its shallow productive waters offer ideal habitat, allowing both rainbow and brown trout to grow to trophy size.

Fishing season: 1 September to 31 May (closed throughout February)

Read about regulations changes that are now in affect

Lake description

Lake Otamangakau, or Lake O as it is more widely known, is a small shallow hydro-lake and the second most fished lake in the Taupō Fishing District.

The Lake has a reputation as a wild trophy trout fishery with fish over 10 pounds in weight caught by anglers each season. While the numbers of really big trout may have reduced, it remains a prolific fishery for large wild fish in the 7-8 pound range, and overall fish numbers have increased dramatically offering anglers spectacular fishing at times.

Where to fish

This venue is particularly popular with small boat anglers, and those who fish from inflatable pontoon boats and float tubes. These vessels enable anglers to target the many weed beds and channels. A boat also allows easy access to more remote shores, allowing anglers the benefit of bank fishing from areas that cannot be reached on foot.

For those without a boat, good shore fishing can be found along the angler access track that starts north of the dam. The inlet and outlet canals also offer limited shore access in places. There is also shore based fishing on Lake Te Whaiau and around the boat ramps.

How to fish

The fishing options on Lake Otamangakau are varied. For the boat angler, powered techniques like harling and trolling can be productive at times but most successful anglers prefer nymphing or wet fly fishing from either a static or drifting boat. Floating lines and long leaders give anglers an advantage over the large wary fish.

Shore based anglers will find nymphing or wet fly fishing to be a good option too. If fish can’t be spotted, then a speculative approach such as stripping a small wooly bugger can deliver results

The summer dry fly fishing on this lake can be spectacular at times. Spin fishing is also very effective, either from a boat or the shore. 

 As always be sure to check in with a local tackle shop for the latest advice.

Hazards to watch for

  • Lake conditions can deteriorate quickly. The moutain landscape can experience harsh weather conditions, especially early in the season.
  • Extensive weed beds can foul watercraft
  • Soft substrate found in some places can catch out unwary shore-based anglers.
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