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Cobb Reservoir Trout Fishing

The Cobb Reservoir is a small shallow man-made lake holding both rainbow and brown trout in reasonable numbers in a beautiful mountain setting.


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Fish type Rainbow and brown trout
Situation 1.5 hours from Nelson, 45 minutes from Motueka
40km from Takaka.
Setting The Cobb Reservoir is a man made lake that is set in remote country surrounded by bush covered hills. It is fed by the Cobb River and in turn is drained by the larger Takaka River. The reservoir contains both rainbow and brown trout.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View MetService weather forecast for Motueka.

The Cobb Reservoir is a small shallow lake and has a good number of mostly small to average size fish. Fish can often be seen cruising the shoreline especially on clear days still days. The reservoir can be easily fished from the shore (the road skirts the southern shore) but is most often fished from a boat.

Fish numbers and size There are a good number of fish in the lake and they average around 2lb in size though bigger fish are also present.

The Cobb Reservoir is about 40km from the small town of Takaka via the scenic Cobb Dam Road. Please take your time and take care when driving this road as although sealed it is narrow and windy.

The Cobb Dam Road follows the southern shoreline of the lake. There is a car park at the end for those wishing to fish either the lake or the Cobb River. A boat ramp is available for those willing to tow a boat over the windy secondary road.

See the access map.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Small nymphs such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tails and Caddis imitations all work well in sizes 14 or smaller when fishing the lake edges to cruising trout.

Dry flies: Small terrestrial flies such as Greenwell's Glory, March Brown or Adams can work throughout the day but are more effective during the early morning or evening rises.

Wet flies: Small wets such as Greenwell's Glory and March Brown work well when fished sub-surface. Casting these flies and retrieving them slowly from a drifting boat is also very effective in the evening as trout start to rise. Large wet flies such as Mrs Simpson or Hamill's Killer can also be harled sucessfully.

Spinners: Trolling spinners such as a Black Toby or Tasmanian Devils or Cobras work well at all times.

Applicable to Cobb Reservoir
Region Nelson/Marlborough >>>
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait
Bag limit 4 fish with no more than 2 salmon
Size limit (cm) None


Anton Donaldson

New Zealand Trout Adventures




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