rainbow and brown trout
Zealand's largest lake (surface area of 616sq km) is situated in
the middle of the North Island on a volcanic plateau 359 metres
above sea level. Due to its very cold clean water and abundant food
sources it produces huge numbers of well conditioned fish. It is
very deep in places (up to 185 metres) but has many areas that provide
excellent shoreline fishing. Some of the best areas for shoreline
angling are around the many stream
mouths where fish congregate during the warmer months and to
which they migrate during the winter spawning runs.
|Maps and charts
Access map with
LINZ topographic maps: (260 Map Series, 1:50,000)
Chart NZ 232 for Lake Taupo from the LINZ website.
View graphs of:
- the current
lake level at the Mighty River Power website.
rainfall at Turangi at the Genesis Energy website
Or phone Mighty River Power's information line
on 0800 820 082 for:
- the current level of Lake Taupo
- the planned outflow from Lake Taupo into the Waikato River
Mighty River Power maintains the the lake level
within a 1.4 metre range, using the Taupo Gates located just north
of Taupo under the State Highway 1 bridge to control the amount
of water flowing down the Waikato River.
Taupo webcam looks south towards the volcanoes of Tongariro
National Park. It is refreshed every couple of minutes between sunrise
and sunset. You can press the refresh key (F5 in Internet Explorer)
on your computer to refresh the image.
View the MetService
weather forecast for Taupo.
brochure is available from the Harbourmaster's Office, by phoning
(07) 378-7176, or writing to PO Box 256, Taupo. The brochure includes:
- a map of the lake showing navigation lights,
boat ramps, ski lanes, no-boat-fishing areas
- information about lights and buoys, including
launching ramp etiquette
More information about boating on Lake Taupo
is available from the Harbourmasters
Lake Taupo Volunteer
- a radio service on channel 61
- a dedicated rescue vehicle
- lake watchers volunteer monitoring service
For more information, see the Taupo
||For information on how to fish the
lake in summer, including rigs and seasonal information, pick up a
copy of the brochure "Trolling? Tips for boat fishing on Lake
Taupo" from the DOC office in Turangi. Or request a copy
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
No matter what
the time of the year, there can be excellent fishing for fish up
to trophy size in Lake Taupo and its tributaries.
During the winter months huge numbers of large
trout enter all the rivers and make their way upstream to spawn.
This is the premier fishing time: the trout that enter the rivers
are in prime condition and trophy size fish are regularly caught.
The river and stream mouths are popular fishing
locations. Fish tend to move up the rivers after a heavy rainfall
has caused the rivers to rise (a fresh). As the water drops and
clears during the winter months the fishing (using flies only) can
be superb. See Lake
Taupo tributary and stream mouths for further details.
Summer can also offer excellent fishing on Lake
Taupo. In early summer the smelting
season coincides with the return of spawning fish to the lake and
some exciting fishing can be experienced in the shallows of the
lake. During the late spring and early summer the trout move into
the shallows chasing smelt (a small fish). Large fish can be caught
either fishing from the shore or by harling a shallow lure that
resembles a smelt along the shoreline.
Some of the Lake
Taupo stream mouths can be very popular and so it is vital to
be aware of the fishing
etiquette that applies.
If you plan to launch a boat, please see boat
The most popular
method for fishing the lake is trolling, including leadline trolling,
wire lining, or the use of downriggers to troll at a deeper level.
Jigging the dropoffs and fly-fishing around the lake shore and at
river mouths are also popular methods (though note that boat fishing
is not permitted around many of the points where rivers and streams
enter the lake).
In the rivers during the summer months there
can be good dry fly and nymph fishing, particularly in the early
morning and evenings. Similarly, after dark from late summer, large
brown trout beginning their spawning migration can be caught using
a large wet fly swung downstream into the tail of the bigger pools,
or at stream and river mouths.
|Fish numbers and size
Lake Taupo contains huge numbers
of rainbow and brown trout averaging around 1.4kg though many
much larger fish are also within the lake and surrounding rivers.
Fish of over 7kg (15 lb) are caught each year.
Lake Taupo is easily accessed with
State Higway 1 running the length of the eastern shoreline.
A 20-metre walking right-of-way extends around
most of the lake for licenced anglers. For the most part this access is across privately owned Maori land and the access rights do not include access for vehicles. See the Lake Taupo
A permit is required to use public boat ramps
for boat launching. A permit is required to use public boat ramps
for boat launching. These are available from most local dairies,
service stations and sports shops. See the map and list
of boat ramps and please also see boat
Motutaiko Island access prohibited
Access to Motutaiko Island which lies 3.4 km off the south-eastern shore of Lake Taupo is prohibited as the privately owned island is tapu (sacred) to the people of Ngati Tuwharetoa Iwi.
Hare and Copper, Pheasant
Tails and Halfback
at times of change of light or at the mouth of any inflowing water.
Dry flies: Daddy
Long Legs , Coch-y-Bondu
, Cicada patterns
and Green Beetle
Night time: Black
Night Time, Fuzzy
Poacher or dark Rabbit
Day time: Woolly
Killer, Mrs Simpson,
Red Setter, Parson's
Glory, Grey Ghost,
Taupo Tiger and
other smelt patterns
or try the smaller patterns such as Invicta,
March Brown or
Glory during the summer months.
Spinners: Small bladed
spinners such as Veltic
or Mepps or wobblers
such as Black and Gold
Tobys or Tasmanian
Devils or Cobras
(in a variety of colours - check with local fishermen what is working
well at the time) when trolling.
Some 30 rivers
and streams flow into Lake Taupo while the Waikato
River is the only outlet.
The following eastern tributaries are popular
and provide excellent winter fishing:
There is also good fishing at the smaller Lake
Taupo tributary stream mouths.
fishery area regulations
All year except
for the Taupo Wharf, Taupo boat jetties, and the control gates over
the Waikato River at Taupo which are closed.
fly fishing and spinner fishing are permitted:
- more than 200 metres from stream mouths
- less than 200 metres from unmarked stream mouths.
Fly fishing only (and no boat fishing) is permitted
less than 200 metres from all marked stream mouths. They are marked
with a clearly visible white, yellow and black ringed post.
Fly fishing and fishing from an anchored boat
only are permitted less than 200 metres from:
- the Tongariro river mouth
- the Tauranga-Taupo river mouth
- Te Rae Point (Kuratau Spit)
No boat fishing is permitted in the Taupo Boat
Harbour (the Waikato River from the outlet to control gates bridge
Spin fishing is permitted in Lake Taupo outside of the fly-fishing-only areas (see Trolling and Jigging above), in the Tokaanu Tailrace, and lakes Te Whaiau, Otamangakau, Kuratau and in the Hinemaiaia River upstream of the lower dam.
The use of electronic fish attracting devices is prohibited.
- You can only fish with one rod at any time, but you may have other assembled rods with you.
- You may use up to three flies or lures on your line.
- Only single-point hooks may be used, and a lure (including flies) may not have more than one hook attached.
- There is no weight restriction on flies and lures but the maximum allowable hook size is one that has a 14 mm gap between point and shank
- The use of baits is not permitted and only artificial flies or lures may be used for trolling, jigging and spinning.
|Size limit (cm)