Lake Rotoma is situated between Rotorua and Whakatane on state highway 30. The highway wraps around the lake’s southern shoreline. Rotoma is the fourth largest of the Rotorua lakes at 10.8 square kilometres. It is 5.5 km across at its widest point. Only about 13 percent of anglers who fish the Rotorua Lakes fish in Lake Rotoma; quite a small number.Lake Rotoma is just 30 minutes drive from Rotorua. Lake Rotoma is close to Lakes Rotoiti and Okataina; both of which hold some of the largest rainbow trout that can be caught in New Zealand. Rainbow trout fingerlings are regularly released into Lake Rotoma which would otherwise be only a partially self-sustaining fishery.
Some beach spawning takes place during winter.Lake Rotoma is quite deep going down to some 80 metres at its deepest point. There are shallow lagoons around the lake which act as nutrient traps filtering pastoral runoff. This lake is noted for the clarity of its water. Interestingly there are only a couple of small inlet streams that are little more than creeks and there is no obvious lake outlet.
The water in Lake Rotoma is remarkably clear mostly because of a lack of discoloured water entering the lake from a river. There are numerous white sandy beaches around the lake which make for a very picturesque setting.
Rainbows are the main population of the lake. There are also smaller numbers of tiger trout liberated into Lake Rotoma. These are a hybrid bred from a female brown trout and a male eastern brook trout. The resulting offspring grow quickly to a large size but are sterile. Big ones can reach 5.5 kg. Rotoma is the only lake in the Eastern Region where tiger trout are released.
With the lake water being so clear it is recommended that trolling or harling anglers use a longer trace of at least 10 metres. Lake Rotoma like many of the Rotorua lakes heats up quite a bit during the summer months. The surface temperature can exceed 20 degrees C. deep trolling or harling with lead lines is by far the most popular fishing method used over summer. In the past decade or so jigging has also become a popular and successful method of fishing for trout in the deep summer thermocline layer.
Lake Rotoma is open to fishing all year except for two small beach areas which are closed during the spawning season between July and September.
A short video clip of boat fishing on Lake Rotoma on a glorious sunny day.