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Lake Ohakuri Trout Fishing

Lake Ohakuri is a deep man-made lake holding a very high population of rainbow and brown trout that can be caught by a variety of methods.


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Fish type Both rainbow and brown trout
Situation Lake Ohakuri is a man-made lake formed in 1961 on the Waikato River. It is a popular lake, especially for water activities during the summer, but its size and shape means that there is plenty of space for the angler who wishes to get away from it all.

Access map
Access map with topography

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

Check conditions View the MetService weather forecast for Tokoroa.
F&G pamphlet The Waikato River

Lake Ohakuri and the section of the Waikato River that enters it provides excellent fishing throughout the year. While there is some shoreline access most fishing is done from a boat either through trolling or anchoring and casting from the boat. Although the water appears dark, it is generally very clear and clean. There is a large quantity of aquatic weed within the lake that can make life difficult for those fishing from the shore.

Description Lake Ohakuri is a long narrow, deep lake with a number of sheltered bays and provides excellent fishing for a very large population of fish throughout its length. To gain access to most of the best fishing opportunities requires a boat and there are several boat ramps open to the public. While trolling for fish is the most popular method, many anglers prefer to find a secluded bay and either spin or fly fish from an anchored boat. Those fishing from the shoreline can find lake weed a problem. As the trout often shelter and feed around the weed beds it can also be a nuisance for those trolling.

There are three major point of access for those wishing to fish Lake Ohakuri. The first is at the dam where there is also a good boat ramp. The second area is up the Whirinaki Arm and can be reached along the Whirinaki Arm Road where there is also a good boat ramp. The third area is at the head of the lake at the thermal resort of Orakei Korako where there is also a boat ramp.

See the upper Waikato River access map.


The most popular method to fish this lake is either harling or trolling. Spin fishing either from the shore or from a stationary boat is also very popular and during the summer months there can be good fly fishing, particularly in the evenings when there can be reasonably good numbers of trout rising.


The only tributary of real note is the Whirinaki stream which enters at the end of the Whirinaki Arm. The lower reaches of the small stream are best reached using a boat although there is access across farmland to the middle reaches where there can be good fishing during the cooler months.

Recommended tackle

When trolling, especially during the summer months, it is necessary to get the lure down to a reasonable depth and this can be done using lead core line or adding some weight to the line about a metre above the lure. Those wishing to spin fish will require a 2 metre rod or equivalent and around 3 kg line.

Lower reaches

The Ohakuri Dam and tail-race


There is excellent fishing below the Ohakuri Dam before the water flows down a short stretch of river before entering Lake Atiamuri. This section of the river is best fished when there is a good flow coming through the dam. The section is best fished with a spinner or a wet fly.

There is good access to both the true left-hand and true right-hand banks although both involve a short walk down from the road.

Recommended lures

Nymphs: Weighted nymphs in sizes 12 to 14 and patterns such as Hare and Copper, Pheasant Tail and Halfbacks cast out from a stationary boat and slowly retrieved can be effective during late spring to early autumn.

Dry flies: Lake Ohakuri is not noted for dry fly fishing but in the evenings during the warmer summer months trout will rise to take emerging caddis and may flies.

Wet flies / Streamers: As the lake holds a reasonable population of smelt, patterns such as Grey Ghost, Parson's Glory and any rabbit pattern can be very effective during the day and Fuzzy Wuzzy, Black Marabou patterns and Craig's Night-time during the evenings. Hamill's Killer and Mrs Simpson are also very effective when fished around the weed beds.

Spinners: The most effective spinner pattern is the Tokoroa Chicken. Otherwise use Black Toby or dark coloured Tasmanian Devils or Cobras.

Related waters See also Lake Aratiatia, Lake Atiamuri, Lake Whakamaru, Lake Maraetai, Lake Karapiro, Lake Arapuni, Lake Waipapa and the Waikato River.
Applicable to Lake Ohakuri
Region Eastern region regulations
Season All year
Methods Artificial fly, spinner, bait.
Bag limit No limit
Size limit (cm) None





ake Maraetai Lodge

Lake Maraetai Lodge



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