HomeWest CoastWest Coast: Where to fishLake Mahinapua

Lake Mahinapua

Lake Mahinapua is a small tea-coloured lake best fished by trolling or casting from a small boat.

Fish type

Brown trout and perch.

Perch up to 1kg abound in the lake and outlet creek. Some trout are present but are seldom caught before hooking a perch.

Situation 10kms south of Hokitika.
Setting Lake Mahinapua is a lake very near the sea about 10kms south of Hokitika. The Mahinapua River which drains it travels parallel to the beach for several kilometres to join the Hokitika River a very short distance from its mouth.

Access map

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast
Description A very beautiful lake though the water tends to have a tea stain colour. The lake is best fished from a boat either by trolling or by casting from a boat.
Fish numbers and size Moderate numbers of fish mostly around the 2lb mark.

A boat is necessary to fish the lake successfully. Jigging or coloured spinners work best.

Fishing from the shore is limited to the jetty and adjacent shoreline. The weedy margins make shore angling difficult but good fishing can be had on the deep side of weed beds.


Access is by turning off SH6 at Mahinapua Hotel 12km south of Hokitika onto the Ruatapu road, then via the Shanghai Bay Rd. Boat launching is available at Shanghai Bay. Foot access is limited to the foreshore at the bay or part way around the Lake Mahinapua Walkway. See the Lake Mahinapua access map.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Suspended nymphs that are just below the surface work well during the evening when fish are cruising the shallows. Fish will also take nymphs of the Hare and Copper or Pheasant Tail variants.

Dry flies: The fish are often feeding on windblown terrestrial flies and so flies such as a Green Beetle in early summer and cicada patterns from mid summer on work well. Wasp patterns can also work well in the summer months.

Wet flies: Large sunk flies such as a Hairy Dog, Mrs Simpson, Hamill's Killer or Fuzzy Wuzzy fished deep can work well.

Spinners: Trolling or casting use, Tasmanian Devils, Cobras and Tobys which all work well in darker patterns.

Applicable to Lake Mahinapua and outlet creek
Region West Coast

Trout: All year

Salmon: 1 Oct-30 Apr

Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit Total sports fish: 2
Size limit (cm) No limit

Other fishing waters of the region


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