Ashburton Lakes

Maori Lakes in the Central South Island Fish & Game Region

Maori Lakes – O Tu Wharekai

View looking north over one of the two Maori Lakes from the Hakatere Heron Road. The conical shape of Mt Sugarloaf on the eastern side of Lake Heron can be seen in the centre of the picture some 10 km away.

The Maori Lakes are a challenge for any trout angler. These lakes are shallow with perhaps little more than a metre or so of water over the weed beds. Most of the shoreline is swampy and hidden by reeds. Only a few areas around the shore are accessible on foot.

The preferred, and permitted, method for fishing these lakes is by casting from an anchored dinghy. Once you get your boat into position you must drop your anchor before you commence casting. Harling, or casting from a drifting boat, is not permitted. Kayaks and float tubes are also permitted but again you must fish only while anchored.

Another view across the same lake from further up the road towards Lake Heron. Taken on an overcast day the raupo along the distant shore hides the second lake behind it. You can get to the back lake down a rough 4×4 track. The Maori Lakes hold some big browns weighing between 2.5 and 3 kgs.
View looking north over one of the two Maori Lakes from the Hakatere Heron Road. The conical shape of Mt Sugarloaf on the eastern side of Lake Heron can be seen in the centre of the picture some 10 km away.

When hooked trout invariable head for the raupo and weed beds. Once in there, they will be lost for certain. A landing net is an essential item for lifting a fish aboard.

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The trout can be difficult to spot and most anglers resort to blind fishing with nymphs or wet flies. Hamill’s Killer, Mrs Simpson, or a green or brown Woolly Bugger have brought success on these lakes.

This post was last modified on 19/07/2021 2:37 pm

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