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Sportfishing in Australia

Australia is ripe with sport fishing opportunities. It really should come as no surprise that people from all over the globe head to the waters of Australia in order to seize some of the best sport fishing opportunities that they have ever encountered. Now, this is a huge place. It would be nigh on impossible to list every single productive spot for Australian fish.

This page lists but a small smattering of some of the best locations throughout the country. But If you head to any one of these destinations, you can rest assured that you are about to enjoy some of the best fishing of your life.

Fishing Great Barrier Reef near Cairns in Queensland, Australia.

Great Barrier Reef near Cairns in Queensland, Australia

Cairns, Queensland

There are very few fishermen out there who have not dreamed of doing battle with a marlin. If you want the best marlin in the world, then Cairns, particularly around the Great Barrier Reef, is where you need to head – 70% of all Black Marlin over 1,000lbs are caught in this area alone. 

If you are into trolling or spearfishing, then Cairns is one of the best spots in Queensland. There are also a few rivers close by if you are searching for a different type of fishing experience. This is probably one of the easiest places to head in Australia if you are an international traveler, with Cairns International Airport nearby!

Cape York, Queensland

The adventure starts in your journey towards Cape York. The only way you are going to reach this secluded location is by a 4WD. There are dozens of uninhabited islands nearby, each boasting rivers and lagoons packed to the brim with fish. There are far too many different species of fish to catch here to mention. You can land everything from King Salmon to cod, to tuna, and maybe even some Mangrove Jack.

The fishermen who head to the inshore reefs to fish will be able to catch some Coral Trout or smaller Barramundi. Basically, everywhere you look is going to provide some wonderful sport fishing opportunities! You just need to make sure you avoid those Saltwater Crocodiles. They are in abundance around here.

Central Highlands, Tasmania

We are going to veer away from the sea sportfishing for this one and talk about one of the best trout fishing spots in the world. There are plenty of lakes around the Central Highlands and they tend to be open from August to May. Fly fishermen looking to practice their technique can count on Tasmanian trout for an unforgettable adventure.

If you are a little bit bored of fly fishing (it is unlikely you will be!) then there are also plenty of ocean fishing opportunities throughout Tasmania. The port town of St. Helens offers some of the best.

Hervey Bay, Queensland

The waters here are crystal clear. That is going to make it simple to see the fish that you want to catch,  resulting in a far higher catch rate. The clear water flats around Hervey Bay are perfect for fly fishermen targeting species such as bonefish and the Snub-nosed Dart, also known as Oyster Crackers and Australian permit fish.

One of the main benefits of fishing in Hervey Bay is the fact that it is remarkably sheltered and its proximity to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and home to many of Australia’s favorite fish species. Many fish use Hervey Bay as their own ‘private getaway’. Once again, the type of fish here are too numerous to mention. In addition to the two species already discussed, expect the following in abundance:

  • Tuna
  • Giant Trevally
  • Cobia
  • Marlin
  • Sailfish
  • Whiting
  • Snapper

If you do not wish to head out on a boat (not everybody does), you will still also be able to nail a few catches from the sandy, white beaches. For those who love their sightseeing as well as fishing, you will also see a number of humpback whale calves throughout the winter months.

Port Lincoln, South Australia

Port Lincoln is proclaimed as the seafood capital of Australia. There is a good reason for this too. There are plenty of fishing opportunities around the area, resulting in plenty of fresh fish being brought daily into the restaurants.

The waters around Port Lincoln are rich in nutrients. As a result, they are a bit of an ‘attraction’ to many, many different species of fish. You do not even have to head out on a boat to get the best of the sportfishing opportunities here. Rock fishing, or even fishing from the jetties, is a brilliant option. You will be able to bag yourself some squid, Australian snook, salmon, and garfish.

Australia Rock Fishing

Rock Fishing Australia

The sea around Port Lincoln does get pretty tough from time to time. However, the adventurous sport fisherman will be able to bag even larger species of fish heading out.

Gippsland, Victoria

If you wish to pack all sorts of different sport fishing opportunities into one trip, then Gippsland is where you want to head. You have lakes. You have estuaries. You have rivers. You have empty beaches and, of course, you have the open sea. All of these locations will offer different species of fish and demand different fishing techniques.

Those who favor river fishing will be able to score some trout, both brown and rainbow species around here. Those who head to a lake may get some carp, beautiful Australian bass, and even some Red Fin Perch. Head out to the waters and King George Whiting, salmon and Gummy Sharks are the norm.

One of the wonderful things about Gippsland is the fact that it has a climate which is conducive to fishing throughout the year.

Exmouth, Western Australia

Lastly, we are going to round off with Exmouth, home to the Ningaloo Reef. Sport fishermen will love the huge array of fish species that can be found here. In fact, this is believed to be one of the most diverse sportfishing locations in the world.

You may even be able to net some fish which you will not be able to find elsewhere in Australia. Expect to be reeling in blue bone, bonefish, tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and cobia.  Various billfish can be found once you head out the continental shelf. If you head to Ningaloo Lagoon, you will be able to engage in some world-class fly fishing and lure fishing.