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Taranaki: Where to fish


Though it may not be known as the country's top fishing region, Taranaki still offers some very good fishing. The area offers a wide variety of freshwater fishing experienced in a scenic and uncrowded environment. The good water quality is a key element of the region's trout fishing.

Rainbow trout fishing

Rainbow trout stocks at Waingongoro River and Lakes Mangamahoe, Opunake, and Ratapiko are all good rainbow trout fisheries

Stony River near Okato also hold stocks of rainbow trout after a flood destroyed the fishery several years back. It was decided to restock with some rainbow trout making this top river both a brown and rainbow trout fishery.

Brown trout fishing

Waters worthwhile fishing for brown trout include:

Waingongoro River

Manganuioteao River

Mangawhero River

Lake Namumanu

Patea River

Waiwhakaiho River

Whanganui River

Lake Wiritoa

Fishing the Taranaki Ringplain

More than 40 trout streams originate from Mount Taranki in the Egmont National Park. There are also many smaller fishable tributaries and seven lake fisheries.  The most popular fishery on the Taranaki ringplain is the Waingongoro River which holds good populations of both brown and rainbow trout. Trout average 1.2-1.5kg and frequently reach 2kg or more up to 4.5kg.

Brown trout form self-sustaining wild populations that are well adapted to coping with the rapid rises in river levels that often occur during heavy rainfall on Mt Taranaki.

Streams on the Taranaki ring plain generally hold between five and 20 trout per kilometre of water, depending on the size and the type of water. Meandering stream sections hold more trout than sections where the river channel is straight. In small streams the larger trout reside in the pools, while in the larger rivers they can be everywhere from pockets to runs and riffles. Outstanding fishing can be found in the many rivers that radiate out from this picturesque mountain.

Where the streams emerge from Taranaki National Park – and even in the park itself – the fishing experience can be outstanding thanks to pristine conditions and gin-clear water. But those same conditions make the trout more difficult to catch.

Good fishing for average or learner anglers

This means that further downstream the Taranaki rivers and streams are often the best places for average or learner anglers to fish. And the fishing is still very good, too. Compared to other more heavily fished parts of New Zealand, the trout are still relatively naive, which means there can be exciting close-range action where anglers can actually spot fish and stalk them.

The fishing year

At the beginning of the season, the trout fishing can be superb. Using creeper (Dobsonfly larva) as bait remains a legal method in all waters except those restricted to fly fishing only.

As the days get longer and hotter towards summer, water levels in Taranaki's rivers and streams get lower and the fishing becomes harder.

Other fishing waters of the region


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