HomeNorthlandNorthland: Where to FishWaitangi River

Waitangi River

The Waitangi river usually offers good fishing for a reasonable population of rainbow trout that can reach 2kg.
Fish type Rainbow trout averaging just under a kilogram and reaching up to 2kg and tench which can grow up to 8kg.
Situation The Waitangi River rises in the hills just to the east of Lake Omapere and drains a substantial area of open land before entering the sea near Paihia.

Access map

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast.

Check the rainfall for the Waitangi river:

Waitangi at Wiroa Road 

Waitangi at McDonald Road

Waitangi at Ohaeawai


Despite its relatively short length, the Waitangi River has a substantial volume of water. It usually holds a good number of rainbow trout that will take both spinner and fly.

However it appears that the devastating floods that occurred on this river system during 2008 have impacted on the rivers biodiversity and the resident fish numbers. As of December 2008 Fish & Game are undertaking netting surveys to ascertain fish numbers and sizes and make decisions as to the future management/restocking of this waterway.

The river flows over a rock and stone bed and has a series of pools interspersed by small rapids and waterfalls. There are many areas of interest for the nymph and dry fly fisherman along the length of the river. Spin fishing is also a good option, particularly in the deeper pools.

Access The lower and middle reaches have good access points providing several kilometres of water available to the angler along the Esplanade Reserve. Fish and Game have also signposted a number of access points. See the Waitangi River access map.
Recommended tackle Due to the size of the Waitangi River it is advisable to use tackle that is as light as possible. Fly rods in weight 5 or lower and spinning rods capable of casting small lures (7g or less) are preferred.
Recommended lures


In the upper and middle reaches, lightly weighted stoneflies and mayfly patterns such as Pheasant Tail, Halfbacks and Hare and Copper in sizes 14 to 16.

Dry flies:

Popular patterns include Royal Wulff, Adams, Blue Dun, Coch-y-Bondhu, green beetle patterns (during the early summer), and cicada and cricket patterns late in the summer.

Wet flies / Streamers:

Small bully patterns such as Mrs Simpson and Hamill'sKiller during the day and dark patterns such as Craig's Night-time and Scotch Poacher during the evening and at night. In the middle and upper reaches use small wee-wets such as March Brown, Red Governor and Hardies Favourite during the evening rise when fish are often taking emerging insects just subsurface.


Black and gold Tobys and silver Tobys in the lower reaches, and small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic in the middle and upper reaches. As this is a predominantly rainbow fishery, brighter colours such as gold and red tend to work well during the day.


Those wishing to target the tench that reside in this river can do so using bait (although bait is not legal when fishing for trout)

Tributaries In the upper reaches of the Waitangi River there are a number of small tributaries, though none of these are highly recommended as a fishery.
Applicable to Waitangi River and its tributaries
Region Northland regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 April
Methods Artificial fly and spinner.
Fishing for perch and tench (coarse fishing) is permitted.
Bait fishing is permitted only when fishing for tench in the Waitangi River.
Bag limit Trout: 2.
Perch and tench: no limit.
Size limit (cm) Trout: 300mm minimum.
Tench or perch: no limit
Trolling Anglers trolling from boats must stay at least 50 metres from any anglers fishing from the shore.

Other fishing waters of the region


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