Lake Otamangakau, or Lake O as it is more widely known, is the second most fished lake in the Taupo district, and is renowned for producing very big fish. Its reputation as a true trophy fishery has declined in recent years, as the numbers of fish over 10 pounds in weight being caught in the lake has dropped away. It is still a prolific fishery for large fish in the 7-8 pound range, and fish numbers have increased dramatically over the last decade so the lake provides spectacular fishing at times.
How to Fish
The fishing options on Lake O are varied, and available from November to May. For the boat based angler, techniques like harling, trolling, nymphing and wet fly will get you to the fish consistently, and for the shore based angler nymphing and wet fly will work well. The summer dry fly fishing on the lake can be spectacular at times too, either from boat or shore. Spinfishing is also very effective, either from a boat or the shore.
Where to Fish
In general, shore based options on Lake O are limited, unless you have a boat to move from shore to shore. If you do not have a boat, there is good shore based fishing on Lake Te Whaiau upstream of the road bridge on the access road, or in the Lake O inlet canal downstream of the bridge. There is also shore based fishing around the boat ramps, or along the edge of the north arm of the lake, accessed from rough tracks on the northwest side of the lake.
For the boat fishermen, options are very open. From the boat you can target the many weed beds and channels, concentrating efforts on the edges of the weed and the deeper water with nymphs, dry or streamer patterns. Anglers can also access the hard to reach shorelines, and stalk cruising fish in the shallows with the same techniques. This is a very visual and challenging approach, and is a great test of your skills.