Wanaka’s 12kg whopper

Emma McIntosh with her 12kg brown trout.

An unsuspecting local on their lunch break pulled in a very large surprise earlier in the week, a surprise which some are heralding as the unofficial ‘biggest fish’ caught in Lake Wanaka. Emma McIntosh — who works mostly for Skydive Wanaka but also helps to manage Fish and Cruise Wanaka — was out on her lunch break fishing when she caught the brown trout and, “definitely was not expecting anything of that size to even be in the lake.” 

McIntosh said that she felt very lucky to have caught it and that it came completely out of the blue, “we were just about to head back when it caught the line and it put up a really decent fight that’s for sure,” she said, “[I] managed to get it close to the boat and then it fought really hard and took the line all the way out — that happened twice, and then on the third time I managed to get it close enough to get it in the net and pull it onboard... I think we got pretty lucky!”

While some are dubbing the 12kg catch as the biggest in recent Wanaka history, there have (as of yet) been no records set by McIntosh’s success. “I asked Otago Fish and Game how close I came to a record and they said they haven’t heard of anything even close to that coming out of the lake so that was a nice surprise,” said McIntosh. She also added that, “with a fish that size I would have loved to have just taken a photo and put it back but it had completely swallowed the lure and the hook and had put up such a big fight that it had done a lot of damage to the inside of its throat and wouldn’t have survived being returned to the water.”

When asked if she had any tips for other local fishers, McIntosh said that, “I think the key is patience. Once you’ve got a fish on there’s no rush to land it just take your time.  Having the right lure and being in the right location also helps!”


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