Lake Pearson - High Country South Island

Lake Pearson is a large and attractive hourglass shaped Lake located in the High Country.  It is reached by travelling along State Highway 73 and has easy access for any vehicle.  Combined with State Highway 73 being a popular tourist route and the camping and toilet facilities available this lake gets many visitors, especially throughout summer.  Because of this, fish numbers are not especially high and fish that are present are all too familiar with anglers attempts and can be on the wary side.




The northern end of Lake Pearson

There is not much flora present along this end of the lake however there are a number of big willow trees in some sections.  The lake bed is mostly shallow silty weed beds and as you walk further east the drop-off becomes less prominent as the lake becomes quite shallow (approximately 3 to 4 m deep).  A pocket at the very top of the lake can provide fishing habitat when water levels are high but when water levels are down this area can be just ankle deep in some sections.  In winter this pocket normally freezes over entirely.  This northern end can be a popular spot for fishermen as sight fishing can be exciting.

On calm days great sight fishing is possible

Looking over the frozen water of the northern pocket in winter time

The west side of Lake Pearson

This is the side that runs parallel with State Highway 73 and is the easiest to access.  The majority of the bank and shoreline is heavily clad with bush and willow trees however there are many access points and a good portion of this stretch can successfully be fished. A reasonably close drop-off has fish patrolling close to the shoreline. Along this side there are many gravel vehicle tracks leading to areas suitable for camping.  Some of these tracks have overgrown matagouri that will scratch your paintwork, some are quite steep and/or rough suitable only for four-wheel drive vehicles so proceed with caution. The toilet facilities are found approximately two thirds of the way up this stretch.

Basic public toilet facilities by the Lake Pearson camping area

One of the many tracks running up the west side of the lake

Photo taken from the water, looking back to camp

Photo taken from the water, looking north

The south end of Lake Pearson

This shoreline is obstacle free with a fine/medium gravel extended shelf before the drop-off. Fish patrol both close to shore over this shallow shelf and right out to the middle of the lake. On a still calm summer's day rises can be seen all around this area.  As you push further east along this side you will come to Winding Creek.  This is a small and easy-to-cross creek that often holds fish in its vicinity.  This is a popular end for fishermen often resulting in success.

Easy access all along this stretch

The East side of Lake Pearson

This side is difficult to access by foot as there is a lot of ducking and diving around trees and scrub and/or wading involved. The best method for accessing and fishing this side is by using a kayak (or similar water craft) keeping in mind mechanically propelled boats are not allowed. Almost the entire length of this side has a rocky shoreline with a steep drop-off.

Photo taken from the eastern side, easy access along this stretch at low water levels

A prime example of difficult access by foot

General fishing of Lake Pearson

You will never be guaranteed a fish on this lake as fish numbers are on the low side, but fish are regularly caught here. Fishing throughout the summer period will significantly increase your chances as winter fishing can prove exceptionally difficult. Winter time tends to have the fish sitting deeper and far less active more notably than nearby lakes, one winter's weekend I fished two solid days, dawn till dusk and I saw only one fish which had no interest in my fly before snaking off not to be seen again. Perseverance can often be the only factor to success, especially as you will read in this Lake Pearson fishing blog.

Water levels can fluctuate making some shoreline access easy in low water but often difficult to impossible in high water conditions.

Lake Pearson General Information

Lake Pearson Camping and General Facilities

Lake Pearson Fishing Information

Lake Pearson Cautions and Safety Information

Author of this article: ADVGD(366)