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Taupo Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Taupo

Nested right on top of the largest lake in New Zealand lies the town of Taupo. Its numerous outdoor attractions have made it very popular with tourists from all over the world. The same can be said for Taupo fishing, widely regarded as the best freshwater destination in the country. It’s definitely the place with the best access to a number of productive lakes, active all year long.

Taupo Fishing Spots

Lake Taupo might be the obvious first choice, but it’s far from the only one out there. These are premier Rainbow and Brown Trout fishing grounds where you can try out a variety of different angling techniques. More than two million people come to Taupo every year and quite a few of them are anglers looking to give these renowned lakes a go themselves.

Lake Taupo

New Zealand’s largest lake stretches over a 616km² surface area. Its waters are clean, cold, and absolutely perfect for producing vast numbers of quality fish. While it’s a great fishery year-round, the best time for fishing is definitely in the winter. Fishing the river and stream mouths usually results in regular trophy-size catches this time of year.

Summer is also a good time to be fishing this lake. The local trout will be looking for baitfish in the shallow waters, making it a great time to fish from the shore if that’s your thing. As long as you have lures that resemble smelt, you’re looking at a great time in the shallows.

Lake Otamangakau

Also known among the locals as Lake O, Lake Otamangakau has world-class freshwater fishing to offer at any time from November to May. Weed beds and channels will be your main Trout fishing hotspots, a favorite of the local fly anglers. Other lakes provide much better shore fishing options, but Lake O has some good potential for wading on its northwest side.

Lake Kuratau

While Lake Kuratau may be the smallest of the bunch, it makes up for that with an incredible amount of Rainbow and Brown Trout you can catch here every year. A high catch rate has made this the fishery of choice for novice anglers and family fishing trips. As with Lake O, the November-May period is the best time for fishing these bountiful waters. If you’re a dedicated spin angler, fishing Lake Kuratau at first light is your absolute best bet of all the other options.

Taupo Fishing Tips

  • Since bait fishing is forbidden in these waters, most anglers will be trolling with lures, while fly anglers will gravitate to the river mouths and deeper inland.
  • When it comes to fly fishing, the nymphing scene here is huge. A 7 wt rod and forward floating line will give you access to all the best fly fishing Taupo has to offer.
  • Local anglers tend to fish a number of flies in tandem, with the heaviest one tied first. This is to make sure they go down deep, with the smaller flies being responsible for most of the actual fish-catching.

Need to Know

Lake Taupo is the only one open for fishing during the entire year, the others have set seasons determined on an annual level.


Unlike the rest of New Zealand, managed by the NZ Fish & Game Council, fishing in Taupo is regulated by the Department of Conservation. The DoC issues fishing licenses that you need for fishing during the season (you can find and buy these online). They also set the size and bag limits, something to watch out for if you’re new in the area.


A half day’s worth of Trout fishing can set you back anywhere between $400–$500, while a full day is closer to $700–$800. The size and capacity of the boat are some of the key factors for the difference in price.

Getting There

The Taupo Airport has daily flights coming in from Auckland, making it the easiest way of getting to Taupo. Several coach providers provide you with a daily bus route as well. And if you’re driving here yourself, State Highways 1 and 5 connect Taupo to most other big cities on the northern island.

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The start of the year usually means some great Trout fishing both in the lakes and nearby rivers. Fishing the latter is traditionally more of a challenge because of the current.


Summer is just about to end, but freshwater fishing is still going very strong. Fishing in the evening for nocturnal Browns is one of the best ways to go about it.


The autumn fishing season in Taupo is much more relaxed but still crawling with fish. The weather is currently mild, but expect serious rains in the following months.


If you’re looking for a trophy Trout to add to your list, April is one of the best times to do it! The most important thing at this time is to have a guide who knows where the fish are congregating.


You can count on consistent rain to ensure the rivers remain high for the foreseeable weeks at the very least. A lot of anglers are waiting for the winter season, but there’s still fish in the sea.


Late June is when you can expect winter fishing to kick into high gear. Some of the best freshwater fishing in the world is waiting for you in Taupo!


Going deep with flies is the preferred method of fishing this time of year. Both Rainbow and Brown Trout will be lining up if you play your cards right.


Unless you’re fishing the river mouths, be prepared to move quite a bit in search of a consistent bite. You’ll have an hour’s worth of action followed by a long lull otherwise.


As springtime sets in, you’ll notice a steady increase in the number of Brown Trout lurking in the shallows. Good luck out there!


Other smaller lakes open up for fishing around October, making it a great time to explore fisheries like Lake Otamangakau and lake Kuratau for the great opportunities they offer.


Fishing on Lake Taupo will keep getting better and better in preparation for the summer season. You can catch fish at any time of day, the bite is just less consistent for now.


December in Taupo means some awesome summer fishing is coming your way! The waters are absolutely teeming with Rainbows and Browns, and will be for some time.

Taupo Fishing Calendar

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Half day trip with Captain Nick. Great experience for entire family group
Craig A. fished with Taupo Lake Adventures Ltd on November 14, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Take a warm fleece and maybe a sandwich to eat But apart from that Captain Nick did it all for us
3hr AWESOME Trout Fishing Experience
Paul S. fished with Pinnacle Charters on January 15, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Go with Pinnacle Fishing, speak time Richard. He is a legend
Very enjoyable morning out
Andrew S. fished with Fish Taupo on May 18, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Do at least a 3 hour charter - more if you can fit it in to your schedule.
Half Day Trip with Captain Mike
Ken B. fished with Taupo Lake Adventures Ltd on April 29, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Make sure you have appropriate clothing and for ladies , gloves as it could be cold and windy
Half day trip
John D. fished with White Striker Charters Troutcatcher on April 8, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Listen to your captain, have a good time
Fishing with Marty
Gail M. fished with Fish Taupo on February 23, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Having fished the wilds of Montana this was pretty tame by comparison and we had never trolled for trout before. But Marty was very professional, his boat and equipment were perfect and we caught several small to medium size trout. Thanks Marty!
3 Hour Fish Outing
Aaron F. fished with Taupo Lake Adventures Ltd on January 19, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Yes! Nick is great and gets everything ready for you fishing and makes it an easy day!
Half day trip with Captain Richard
Louise K. fished with White Striker Charters Troutcatcher on January 10, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Go with someone who knows what they are doing