Fishing at Hook Wanaka – all about salmon

Fishing is one of New Zealand’s favourite outdoor activities, and is a great family activity in New Zealand. Hook makes it easy to catch your own salmon and in our latest blog we delve a little deeper to find out more about our fish.

What type of salmon can I catch when fishing at Hook?

You can catch a Chinook Salmon, or King Salmon. They widely regarded as the best salmon to eat due to the naturally high oil content which makes the flesh tasty, soft and juicy.

What are the benefits of eating salmon?

The high oil content in Chinook salmon also mean there’s loads of Omega 3s which are great for brain health, eye health and can fight off depression! Just 150 gram will give you 100% of your daily requirement. It’s very high in protein – perfect for building all those muscles you need to keep up with all the fun activities going on in Wanaka. There’s also lots of essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamins B6, B12, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Niacin and Selenium – good for brain and eye health.

How do I cook my salmon?

At Hook you can choose to have you salmon prepared by us to eat-in or to takeaway. You can even take the whole fish or fillets away to prepare at home. Your fish will easily keep in the fridge for 3 -4 days. It can even be frozen for up to 6 months!

So as a rough guide for cooking your fish at home:

Baking – brush the fish with a little oil and/or lemon juice. Place on a lined baking tray and bake at 180C/350F for 10 minutes per 2cm thickness of fillet.

Grill/BBQ – brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the fillet for 4-5 minutes skin side down, then 1 -2 minutes with the flesh side down.

Sashimi (raw!) – it is actually better to leave the fish for 1 -2 day in the fridge before preparing sashimi. This gives the flesh time to soften and develop a deeper flavour. Ask us to remove the skin before you take your fillet home. Once you’re ready to eat it, remove the pins bones (easier after a day or two) and then use a very sharp knife to cut thin slices – try to make one sweeping cut rather than sawing the knife back and forth.

Don’t forget you can purchase our hand-made pickles to go with your takeaway fish so you can get the full Hook experience at home.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous or just want to squeeze every bit of goodness you can out of your catch try making your own fish stock. The head and bones can be made into a tasty stock by boiling them up with onions, garlic, carrots, celery and your favourite herbs. Strain before use and then use immediately or store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

School holidays: things to do with kids in Wanaka

School holidays in Wanaka are moments away! We all know this means skiing and snowboarding, but if you’re looking for other things to do here are a few of our favourite family activities in Wanaka.

The Dinosaur Park

Home of the “famous” Dinosaur slide! This wonderful playground is right on the lakefront and is easily accessible for pushchairs. Great fun for young kids and easy for parents!

The Wanaka Tree

AKA That Wanaka Tree. Cliché I know, but it’s a short, flat and beautiful walk along the lake from the Dinosaur Park. And if the tree doesn’t entertain you, the people taking photos of it will. Even the most jaded of us haven’t been able to resist a quick selfie here.

Disc Golf

A fun family activity close to Lake Wanaka at Lismore Park. A combination of golf and frisbee, and guaranteed to make you smile. It’s free to play if you have your own discs or you can rent or buy them in town. A new course is being set up in Lake Hawea too!

Wanaka Recreation Centre

The rec centre runs a great holiday programme, including swimming lessons. The pool is open daily for casual swimming and is a much more comfortable option than the lake at this time of year!    


Well of course – we couldn’t leave ourselves out! And make sure you don’t either! We are open 7 days a week for fun family fishing in Wanaka – only 3 minutes drive from the town centre in fact. Hook is a great family activity as we have something to entertain everyone – from the sandpit to the fishing lakes and licenced eatery which serves a great kids menu and fluffies too. We are proud to be child-friendly and hope to see you and your family these winter school holidays.