HomeOtagoOtago: Where to fishLake Mahinerangi

Lake Mahinerangi


Lake Mahinerangi is a large lake formed when the Waipori River was dammed for hydro-electricity generation. Due to its altitude it can be very cold and windswept and the water level is prone to quite large fluctuations as water is regularly drawn of for power generation.

Fish type Brown trout up to 2kg but mostly smaller and perch up to 500 grams
Situation Lake Mahinerangi dissects the Waipori River above the Waipori Gorge.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast

Lake Mahinerangi is a large man made lake that is well stocked with both brown and some perch. It is nearly 2,000 feet it can get very windswept and cold making it a fishery best suited to the warmer months. This lake generally fishes best when the lake level has been relatively high and stable for some time. When drawn down the lake can have extensive mud flats along the water’s edge. Lake levels can be checked by ringing Trust Power on 03 489 3339.

There is good shoreline access around much of the lake though a small boat will open up much more water as much of the shoreline is forested with pine and fir trees. All methods work at times though the majority of fish are taken by harling or trolling. On calm evenings and morning there is often a good midge hatch.

In summer schools of perch often cruise the shoreline. These are great fun for young anglers using small spinning lures and worms. Worm fishing from the shoreline has traditionally been popular and a good method of catching some of the larger brown trout. Young perch imitations such as some of the soft plastic lures can be particularly successful in spring when targeting the brown trout.

Methods All methods are legal including bait. Spinning is productive all season though fly fishing is best in the warmer months when fish will be feeding on cicadas and other terrestrial insects and hatching insects such as mayflies. Using small perch imitation soft baits is also a good way yo attract the attention of the brown trout.
Recommended tackle At times some heavier lines (weight 7 or 8) are required to be able to punch lines out into the wind. In the summer weights 5 or 6 are good when fish are feeding on still evenings. Spinners in the 5 - 10g range are best.
Recommended lures

Mayfly nymph patterns such as a pheasant tail work throughout the year. Damselfly nymphs are effective during the warmer months and midge and caddis patterns fished just subsurface on warm summer evenings. Bead head nymphs work well on perch.

Dry flies:
The lake is best fished with a dry fly from mid November (with beetle and mayfly patterns such as an adams) and later in summer with a cicada or hopper pattern. Midge patterns work well especially on warm summers evenings.

Wet flies:
The usually patterns such as a Woolly Bugger or something to imitate a small bully such as a Hamills Killer.

Spinners: Rapalas, and bladed spinners such as a veltic or mepps. Soft plastic perch imitations are also very effective.

Access Access to the lake is from SH 8 at Lawrence (taking the Lawrence-Waipori road), from the Waipori falls road or the Mahinerangi road leading of SH87 near Traquair.
Tributaries The Waipori River feeds into lake Mahinerangi and provides reasonable fishing for fit and energetic anglers during the low summer flows. Otherwise this is a difficult river to access and fish.
Applicable to Lake Mahinerangi
Region Otago regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Sept
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4
Size limit (cm) None

Other fishing waters of the region


NZFishing.com is the complete guide to New Zealand trout and salmon fishing.

Advertise Here