Cairns Port, Cairns (AUS)
Queensland is one of the most sought after states to visit in all of Australia. It has an amazing reputation for having beautiful sandy beaches that are among the best in the world, crystal clear ocean water and stunning natural streams and rivers as well as being home to the world-renowned Great Barrier Reef.
This reef is actually the largest in the world and also rightly included as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. If all this amazing water and structures it’s little wonder the fishing is just as good.
Fishing charters in Cairns and Port Douglas target a wide range of fish species including grouper, coral trout, shark, tuna or marlin.
Fishing is unsurprisingly centred around the amazing coastline it possesses and can be equally as effective from both land as well as sea depending on the fishing you’re wanting to complete.
Weekend trips out to destinations such as Fraser Island or many Whitsunday Islands are sure to produce great fishing and memorable trips. Taking on the Northern route to Weipa is also a popular road trip many 4WD and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy, fishing along the way is a certain addition. The worlds largest coral reef also boasts an unrivalled selection of amazing fish species just waiting for an eager angler to explore.
Coral Trout: These sought after fish is one the top of anyone’s list when reef fishing in North Queensland. They are amazing to eat and offer a real fight as soon as they are hooked. They attempt to escape a hookup by surging towards a reef hole or cave. The first part of the fight with a coral trout is an exciting encounter and will test an angler of any experience level.
If the reef is shallow then it is possible to catch these with poppers and lures but the majority of these species are caught using the baiting method.
Barramundi: This is one of the most prized fish for anyone living in the north of Australia plus any other die-hard fishing person will also head to these parts to take up the challenge of catching the magical metre plus “barra”. The best time to target these fish is when the wet season is underway and moving water is strong. They can live in both fresh and saltwater but the ones with a glittery silver glow are the best eating and they are found in the saltwater estuaries and rivers.
They will attack lures and once hooked put on amazing aerial display on in a desperate attempt to “spit” the hook back out. They will also take live bait, fresh bait and poppers at times.
Marlin fishing: Black and Blue marlin fishing is statistically known as the best in the world. In fact, a staggering 85% of the worlds 1000lbs plus marlin are caught from the Queensland Great Barrier Reef. As you can imagine this brings in interested anglers from all over the world every single year.
From September until December big females arrive from the Pacific Ocean to breed with the continuously found male species. You will require specialist gear, a good understanding of the area and a great team to support you when chasing the fish. Many Battles go for hours and a good charter is your best chance for success.
Nannygai: These come in two different varieties known as large or small-mouthed, they also are commonly referred to as sea perch. They are excellent to eat and renowned for being a great fighting fish all the way up to the boat. They range up to 8kg for the small-mouthed variety and an impressive 20kg for the large.
You will find them in deep waters anywhere with a rough rubbly bottom or large and uneven flooring.
Spring: In the southern Queensland waters, you will find plenty of anglers looking to target species such as different sharks, amberjack and kingfish. Further north in areas such as Cairns the fishing is turning to big game fishing and in particular chasing big black Marlin.
Summer: In the areas around the Gold Coast shores in summer, things get really exciting with the arrival of large fish species such as mahi-mahi, marlin and yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin tuna can be targetted further north during this time as well. Giant Trevally, Barramundi and Mangrove Jack are also in the best period during these months.
Fall: Expect to enjoy some nice results if looking to target Spanish mackerel or mackerel tuna in the Southern Queensland coastal waters. If it has been a good wet season in the northern parts of Queensland then the barramundi and mangrove jack fishing will still be really exciting.
Winter: Fishing in winter can be a good time to target jewfish or kingfish in the areas around the Gold Coast while further north it can be nice to head over to Fraser Island and target species such as Queenfish, whiting and bream from the sand. Heading north and the Spanish Mackerel are starting to become a reliable option to target in the winter period.
The state of Queensland has 3 of the top 10 tourist destinations visited in Australia and these are spread out across over 1,600km. This means tourist visit many different parts of this state, mostly all while staying close to the coastal areas. The Daintree Rainforest in the north of Queensland, Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef are the 3 tourist hotspots.
Cities including Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and the Gold Coast are frequent destination stopover points for many curious travellers. The sunshine coast area is another not to be missed if you like anything to do with amazing beaches.
While licenses are not required for recreational fishing in Queensland, regulations do limit fish size, the number of fish, and even gender for some species.
The fishing charters in Queensland know these regulations perfectly. For more information on recreational fishing, please contact the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.