HomeEastern – RotoruaEastern-Rotorua: Where to fishLake Maraetai

Lake Maraetai



Lake Maraetai is a large lake, holding good stocks of both brown and rainbow trout. It is one of the deepest lakes that make up the series of hydro lakes on the Waikato River and offers superb fishing.

Fish type Both brown and rainbow trout are present in the lake, averaging around 1 to 1.5 kg and with some fish reaching 4 kg.
Situation Lake Maraetai lies downstream from Lake Whakamaru and is connected to that lake by a section of the Waikato River that is very remote and only accessible by boat.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast for Tokoroa.
F&G pamphlet The Waikato River

Lake Maraetai is a deep lake that has a number of arms offering very secluded fishing for those who wish to fish from a boat. There are limited areas accessible to the shoreline angler. Like all of the Waikato Hydro lakes, Lake Maraetai can be plagued by lake weed during the warmer months. It is best fished using a boat as this will give access to the remoter bays and sections along the north and eastern shoreline.

Lake Maraetai Dam and tailrace

Maraetai is the largest dam of those on the Waikato River. There is excellent fishing to be had when fishing the faster water in the tailrace as it leaves the dam. This water however is only accessible by boat as the dam is built on a very steep sided gorge. The section is best suited to spin fishing or wet fly fishing.


The main point of access to Lake Maraetai is at the small township of Mangakino where there is also a boat ramp. There is also an excellent boat ramp near Maraetai dam and a boat can also be launched at the Twin Lakes where the Tokoroa-Mangakino road crosses this small arm of the lake.

See the Waikato River hydro lakes access map.

Methods Trolling and harling are by far the most preferred methods for fishing this lake. There can be excellent fishing when the weather permits by drifting a boat and casting either a spinner or a fly towards the weed beds.
Recommended lures Nymphs: Large weighted nymphs in the Hare and Copper or Halfback styles fished slowly along the weed beds can be effective.

Dry flies: Lake Maraetai is not noted as a dry fly lake. However, during the height of summer when large insects are being blown onto the lake, try cicada or beetle patterns such as a Coch-y-Bondhu.

Wet flies / Streamers: Any smelt pattern in large sizes such as a Parson's Glory or Grey Ghost and Hamill's Killer, Mrs Simpson, Red Setter or rabbit pattern are all effective.

Spinners: Dark spinners such as a Tokoroa Chicken, black and gold Toby's or dark rapala patterns fished on the weed beds are popular choices.


The Mangakino Stream holds good numbers of large brown trout and can be fished from a small boat entering the stream from the top end of the lake. The Twin Lakes are really an arm of Lake Maraetai but can be fished from a small boat that can be launched, weather permitting.

Related waters See also Lake Aratiatia, Lake Ohakuri, Lake Atiamuri, Lake Whakamaru, Lake Waipapa, Lake Arapuni, Lake Karapiro and the Waikato River.
Applicable to Lake Maraetai
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait.
Bag limit None
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region


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