There’s never been a better time than now to go fishing.
Australians love trying their luck.
Whether it’s on a boat, off the jetty or in the surf, fishing in Australia is more than just a pastime, it's a way of life. Luckily, being surrounded by water means places to fish have never been in short supply.
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THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
When it comes to fantasy fishing trips, the Top End of Australia has always been part of the conversation. Famous for being home to the best barramundi fishing in the country (and therefore the world) the best time to chase one of these fighting fish is from October through to December, during the 'barra build-up.'
The best fishing spots near Darwin include the Daly River, the Mary River at Shady Camp, and the Adelaide River. Inside the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, the South and East Alligator River are top spots to fish by boat.
During the dry season, from May through November, reef fishing is popular and deep sea fishing is a possibility whenever seas are calm.
Don't forget, you can chase the richest fish in the world in the Top End. Check to see if you can register for the next season of the Million Dollar Fish.
The East Kimberley is blessed with some of the best fishing in Australia.
Offering both river and coastal fishing adventures, many of the waterways around Kununurra are rewarding places to fish and relax.
The Ord River is especially popular because of its proximity to Kununurra and because of its spectacular fishing. Bordered by the Argyle Dam Wall and the Diversion Dam, Lake Kununurra is a 50km stretch of water offering barramundi, catfish, sooty grunter and bony bream to name a few.
Approximately 70 km from Kununurra, Lake Argyle is a picturesque body of water covering approximately 800 square kilometres where silver cobbler (Lake Argyle catfish) and sooty grunter are in plentiful supply.
Although you should always check with local guides, you can generally fish around Kununurra all year round.
The Best Fishing Spots in Queensland
About 300 kilometers north of Brisbane, Hervey Bay (pronounced "Harvey") is famous for its fantastic fishing, with crystal-clear subtropical waters and diverse species of Australian gamefish.
Sheltered by neighboring K'Gari (Fraser Island), the planet's largest sand island, the nutrient-rich waters off the coast offer calm nooks, even on windy days. In particular, the area is famous for beautiful golden trevally, which cruise the crystalline flats, but you can also cast for different kinds of tuna, giant trevally, cobia, sailfish, and variou species of marlin.
Queensland's beautiful climate and rich aquatic eco-system make the waters here ideal for fishing any time of year.
It’s hardly a surprise that Cairns is one of the best fishing spots in Queensland. The city is a sport fishing mecca and easily one of the best places to fish on the continent.
Also known as the “Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef”, Cairns’ fantastic fishing reputation is well justified. From September and all through December, the city and its offshore realms become the playground of the magnificent Black Marlin. Since these waters are in the Net Free Fishing Zone, where commercial fishing is prohibited, the Marlin population is thriving. You’ll find your prey beyond the reefs, around the continental shelf.
There are two distinct seasons, wet and dry, each offering something good, but if you’ve got your sights set on Marlin, then spring is the best time to visit.
THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Exmouth is one of the most diverse fishing destinations on the planet. It borders World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, the world's largest fringing reef, near the tip of Western Australia's North West Cape.
You can cast a line here from the sand and get lucky with species such as milkfish, bonefish, blue bone, queenfish, cobia, permit, trevally, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and tuna. The continental shelf lies only a few kilometers away from the edge of the reef, offering excellent deep sea fishing.
The crystal-clear waters surrounding this remote town are famous for the hundreds of whale sharks that swim here from March through October, but like most places on this list, you can catch a dazzling array of edible species all-year-round.
The remote pearling town of Broome in Western Australia offers a little bit of everything for anglers. You can snag a barramundi in the creeks, bays, and rivers, and fish for other species like black-spotted croaker, cod, jacks, and threadfin salmon.
Beach anglers should head to Cable Beach. Here, you can cast along the gutters or from the craggy headlands to catch dart and blue-spotted trevally. To the left of Gantheaume Point is another great fishing spot, where you have the chance to catch queenfish and trevally.
Nutrient-rich waters offshore offer even more excitement. Anglers can catch sailfish, Spanish mackerel, black marlin, cobia, mahi-mahi, and northern bluefin tuna.
With so many species on offer, there's no time of year you can't fish for your supper in this natural paradise.
THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN NEW SOUTH WALES
Jervis Bay is home to one of six marine parks in New South Wales, the Jervis Bay Marine Park, and offers opportunities for anglers of all abilities.
Don't have a boat? No problem. Jervis Bay's biggest claim to fame is that it has some of Australia's best land-based game fishing. Jervis is one of the rare spots in Australia where yellowfin tuna and marlin are reliably caught from the beach.
Recreational fishing is permitted here in about 80 percent of its waters at all times of the year, but please ensure you stay away from the no-take zones and consult a map before you head out.
In the dramatic Snowy Mountains, Lake Jindabyne is one of the best trout-fishing lakes in Australia. The lake sits at 930 metres above sea-level and is fed by the Thredbo, Snowy, and Eucumbene rivers.
All types of fishing are permitted, including bait, spinning, trolling, and fly fishing. Prime spots are usually around the lake edges and it's recommended to fish early or late in the day for the best results.
In the township of Jindabyne, you can organise boat charters, hire guides, and rent all manner of fishing equipment.
In addition to the lakes, the region's streams and rivers offer excellent opportunities, especially the Thredbo River, but it's always wise to check for seasonal closures. Jindabyne is also home to the Gaden Trout Hatchery, where you can learn about the region's fish breeding program before you cast off. If you're planning to visit during the popular winter season, book your accommodation well in advance.
THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN VICTORIA
Well established amongst keen anglers as a reliable spot for golden perch, trout and redfin, the 170-hectare manmade Nagambie Lake is a shallow system backing into the scenic Goulburn River.
The Goulburn River system is so big you could waste a lot of time running around like a headless chook. Formulate a game plan and try to fish areas within a zone to avoid over fishing.
Victorians love escaping to Nagambie at all times of the year. Always check with local guides, but the prized catch here is the elusive murray cod. Howeverm the golden perch, trout and redfin are a handy second prize.
In Victoria's southwest corner (down the Great Ocean Road) anglers can try their luck on the Hopkins River estuary, a nine-kilometre stretch of water extending from Point Ritchie to Allansford. Here you’ll find black bream, estuary perch, mulloway, yellow-eye mullet, Australian salmon and short-finned eels.
Most fish here are available all year round. Which means adding a spot of fishing is easy on your next Great Ocean Road trip.
THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA
South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is one of Australia's best fishing regions and Streaky Bay is no different. Streaky’s spectacular coastline and beautiful white sandy beaches make it the ideal spot to escape and fish your heart out.
The number of fishing options in Streaky Bay is huge with quality jetty, rock, small boat, offshore and surf fishing possible within 20 minutes of the town centre. The bay itself is a renowned for its King George whiting where quality is available around the razorfish beds and The Spit.
The offshore scene is brilliant here and boats generally don’t need to go out further than 10kms at the right time of year. The surf beaches to the west provide good salmon fishing in winter and the odd mulloway in summer.
On the way to Coffin Bay is the seafood capital of Australia, Port Lincoln.
Although you can hit the road for 7+ hours from Adelaide, you can also fly to Port Lincoln, or shorten the trip by taking the ferry from Wallaroo to Cowell.
While 2WD vehicles will limit your capability to fully explore the region, they are still be adequate for most land-based fishing spots in Port Lincoln. A boat and/or a 4WD vehicle will give you access to a few more options, however they are not completely essential for a good time.
The title of seafood capital of Australia is earned here. Fish your heart out all year round and be sure to get acquainted with the local experts.
THE BEST FISHING SPOTS IN TASMANIA
Tasmania is a frontier wilderness, meaning fishing here a true adventure.
Tasman Peninsula, Pirates Bay and Pedra Branca provide amazing game fishing opportunities due to the varied underwater terrains and proximity to the continental shelf.
The most sought-after species is the southern bluefin tuna. Several world-record catches have been hauled from these waters and fishing from shore provides ample opportunity to hook flathead, salmon and squid.
The Tasmanian fishing season officially opens in September. Because the highlands are easing out of winter cold fronts at this time, the lowland lakes offer the most consistent catch. Sea-run trout migrate into these lakes and anglers willing to commit to the streams can enjoy some quality action with the possibility of a trophy-sized trout.