HomeNelson – MarlboroughNelson Marlborough: Where to fishCobb Reservoir

Cobb Reservoir


The Cobb Reservoir is a small shallow man-made lake holding both rainbow and brown trout in reasonable numbers in a remote mountain setting. As the water fluctuates  greatly it can be difficult to fish when very low.

Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation 1.5 hours from Nelson, 45 minutes from Motueka 40km from Takaka.
Setting The Cobb Reservoir is a man made lake that is set in remote country surrounded by bush covered hills. It is fed by the Cobb River and in turn is drained by the larger Takaka River.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

View the water level.

Description The Cobb Reservoir is a small shallow lake and has a good number of mostly small to average size fish. Fish can often be seen cruising the shoreline especially on clear days still days. The reservoir can be easily fished from the shore (the road skirts the southern shore) but is most often fished from a boat. During times of high electricity production it can reduce in size and be surrounded by steep clay banks which can be slippery when wet. Best fishing is around where the Cobb River enters the reservoir.
Fish numbers and size There are a good number of fish in the lake and they average around 2lb in size though bigger fish are also present.

The Cobb Reservoir is about 40km from the small town of Takaka via the scenic Cobb Dam Road. Please take your time and take care when driving this road as although sealed it is narrow and windy.

The Cobb Dam Road follows the southern shoreline of the lake. There is a car park at the end for those wishing to fish either the lake or the Cobb River. A boat ramp is available for those willing to tow a boat over the windy secondary road. See the access map.

Recommended lures

Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tails and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller when fishing the lake edges to cruising trout.

Dry flies:
Small terrestrial flies such as Greenwell's Glory, March Brown or Adams can work throughout the day but are more effective during the early morning or evening rises.

Wet flies:
Small wets such as Greenwell's Glory and March Brown work well when fished sub-surface.

Spinners: Trolling spinners such as a Black Toby or Tasmanian Devils or Cobras work well at all times.

Applicable to Cobb Reservoir
Region Nelson/Marlborough
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4 fish with no more than 2 salmon
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


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