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Lake Rotoma Trout Fishing

Lake Rotoma is a beautiful deep clean lake that provides excellent fishing for a large stock of rainbow trout. It also holds the rare tiger trout as the photos on the photopage show can reach impressive sizes.


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Photos of Lake Rotorua and tributaries

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Fish type Mostly rainbow trout though tiger trout have also been released into this lake (the only lake in the area that has them).
Situation Lake Rotoma is the most easterly of the lakes within the Rotorua Lakes system.

Access map
Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions

See the Environment Bay of Plenty website for:

- A report card on the lake water quality

- Lake use map and lake closure notices

View the MetService weather forecast for Rotorua.

F&G pamphlet Rotorua Lakes access pamphlet >>>

Lake Rotoma is a very deep lake with crystal clear water. The lake is thought to be the result of a major volcanic eruption and is over 240 feet deep in places. Although several small streams do flow into the lake there is no visible outlet for the water. Consequently, all fish caught are hatchery-raised fish and there is the added bonus of being able to catch tiger trout, a sterile cross between a brook trout and brown trout.

There is good road access to the southwestern and southern shoreline to the fly fisherman, although most of the lake is surrounded by bush and open farmland and really only accessible by boat.

Fish numbers and size The lake is very well-stocked with rainbow trout averaging around 1.5 to 2 kg. There are also a very small number of tiger trout which are smaller on average.

SH30 runs for several kilometres along the south-western and southern shore. See the Lake Rotoma access map.

Two boat ramps are available for public use.

Methods Trolling is the most popular method for fishing this lake although over the past few years jigging has also become a very popular and very effective method of taking trout when they are lying deep in the lake. In late spring trout will chase smelt and can be caught very close to shore. In late autumn and early winter large trout will often congregate around the southern beach area as this was where they were released and they are returning when they are ready to spawn. Both these times provide great opportunities for the fly fisherman to target large prime condition fish.
Recommended tackle Due to the depth and clarity of the water, when trolling it is necessary to use about 100 metres of lead core line or a downrigger to get the necessary depth. It is also necessary to use a very long leader of around 10 to 15m. Most shoreline anglers prefer to use a medium to fast sinking line to get the fly down in the deep water. In the evenings however the fish often come in very close to shore when a floating line is best used.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: Weighted Hare and Copper, Pheasants Tail and Halfbacks all work well. Glow bugs can be used effectively when jigging. During the winter months the "heave and leave” method can be very effective using Glow Bugs.

Dry flies: While not known as a dry fly fishery, during the summer months trout will rise to take Green Beetles and Cicadas.

Wet flies / Streamers: During the day use light patterns such as Parson's Glory, Grey Ghost or Rabbit patterns and at night dark patterns such as Scotch Poacher, Black Marabou patterns and Craig's Night-time.

Spinners: Silver Toby's, Black Tobys, Tasmanian Devils and fat fish patterns all worked well.

Tributaries There are no tributaries to Lake Rotoma
Regulations (1)
Applicable to Lake Rotoma except the areas below.
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit Trout: 8
Size limit (cm) 350 mm minimum
Regulations (2)
Applicable to Lake Rotoma winter shoreline areas between the landmarks at Anaputa Point and Matahi Bay, and between the landmarks in Manawahe Bay both extending 200m offshore
Region Eastern region regulations
Season 1 Oct-30 Jun
Methods Artificial fly, spinner
Bag limit Trout: 8
Size limit (cm) 350 mm minimum
Regulations (3)
Applicable to All springs, streams and their tributaries which flow into or from Lake Rotoma.
Region Eastern region regulations
Season Closed
Methods None
Bag limit 0
Size limit (cm) N/A


Julian Danby

Rotorua Trout Fishing Guide

VR Rotorua Lakes Resort

VR Rotorua Lakes Resort



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