Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 19 January 2023

  • Otago
  • 19/01/2023

Otago Weekly Fishing Report - 19 January 2023

Fisheries looking for cool relief

Warm temperatures have been affecting where the fish may be found but forecast rain on Friday could bring some temporary relief and “reset” rivers and lake edges.

Spin anglers have been catching brown trout on the lower Clutha River with Tasmanian Devil lures in banana and KG Special patterns, Todd at Dunedin Hunting & Fishing NZ says.

Good-conditioned brown trout have been landed in Lake Mahinerangi on the trusty black and gold Tobies.

Mark at Southern Wild in Wanaka says although the water is warm, fish have been in excellent condition. He recommends using bright coloured lures and, if boating, lead lines.

Lake Hawea has been producing more fish than Wanaka but they’ve been smaller in size, he says. Bigger fish have been caught at the top end of the lake, he says.

However, lake snow has been fouling gear in Wanaka.

There’s been “millions” of sedges at night at the Clutha River.

Perch on the chew

A “heap of perch” have been caught in the Kawarau arm of Dunstan between Old Cromwell and Bannockburn Bridge, Tim at Central Otago Hunting and Fishing NZ, says.

The best lures have been Tobies and Tasmanian Devils in black and gold and traffic light colours.

Due to warm surface temperatures, Hawea salmon have been caught deeper, attracted to lures in reds, pinks and purples, Tim says.

Central Otago-based Fish & Game officer Ben Sowry says more fish are being caught early in the day.

Find the bite zone

Boat lake anglers are generally using downriggers and lead lines in the thermocline around 12-20m deep where most fish will be found.

Shore-based spin anglers should seek out deeper drop-offs and allow their lures to get down.

That said, rangers met an angler with a 3-pound brown at Paddock Bay in Wanaka this week, too.

Fish & Game officer Steve Dixon spotted big fish cruising in the Shag/Waihemo River this week feeding on willow grubs.


The Shag/Waihemo River offers challenging fishing for big browns mopping up willow grubs.

The number of anglers around the Wakatipu area has quietened down this week, says Dylan at Queenstown Hunting & Fishing NZ.

Creek mouths deliver

Salmon are being caught around Bob’s Cove, and cool creek mouths such as Wye and Devil’s Staircase have been fishing well.

Dylan agrees we need some rain to flush some of the rivers.

Young Henry Barnes catches salmon on a downrigger while his father Matt Barnes (left) looks on and fishing guide Mike Johnson does the netting.



Cicada hatches are reported to be spreading wider in the region, as we’ve had some hot days in the past week. There’ve been cicada sightings further across Central Otago high country lakes and tributaries, including some good action in the Makarora River. Weekend temperatures are not expected to be quite so hot, which may slow the cicada action.

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Morning rain forecast tomorrow will hopefully turn down the water temperature. The Taieri River at Outram peaked at 23degC this week. This is too high for trout, which will drop back into deeper water or find cool, oxygenated runs.

Click here for live weather updates.

The Taieri River at Outram was low, just under 5 cumecs at the time of writing.




Rivers should fish well if the rain forecast on Friday arrives to reset the temperatures. Rainbows may well be tempted back towards the lake edges. Check the latest reports before heading out onto the water.

Click here for live weather updates.



The weather looks inviting for a fishing trip in Central Otago this weekend.

Click here for live weather updates.

Clutha Regional Forecast


Rain, then showers are expected in the Clutha region, which is good thing for these waterways. The lower Clutha River was at a good fishable level at the time of writing. The river’s temperature at Balclutha was almost at 20degC, so target on those cooler water zones.  

Click here for live weather updates.


For more ORC water monitoring and alerts information click here.

Grab your licence online and let the angling adventures begin.


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