Australia’s top fishing spots

By AG STAFF 11 April 2014
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From oceans and bays to broad estuaries and coastal lakes, Australia offers outstanding fishing for everyone.

THOUSANDS OF KILOMETRES of coastline, from the tropical north to the cool temperate south, provide an almost endless range of options to indulge in this sport. Australians take ample advantage of the many possibilities: an estimated five million people enjoy recreational fishing as a leisure activity.

For many, the joy lies in tossing in a line from the end of a city pier, often in the company of a group of like-minded anglers. For some, the joy is standing in the rolling surf, waves pounding into the shore. Others prefer to take their chances on ocean-ravaged rocks or cliffs.

Land-based anglers need to be well prepared with the right tackle and bait for target species. They should also know how to work the tides so that they are there at the same time as the fish.

All types of boat fishing are also popular, from dropping a line from a ‘tinnie’ just off the beach to heading far offshore in a well-equipped, deep-sea charter boat. In northern Australia the challenge is to land Australia’s most famous fighting fish, the great barramundi. Further offshore, the sleekly powerful marlin, tuna and other big game fish are prized for the challenge they present.

Whether fishing a calm estuary or the open sea, boating anglers must always observe the safety laws set out by the states and territories. As well, there are regulations that specify bag limits, species bans, use of equipment (such as spearguns) and closed areas.

Australia’s top fishing spots 

Fraser Island, Qld
Huge hauls of tailor are the prize for anglers along the wild surf coast of World Heritage-listed Fraser Island (July to October); other species bite year-round on both the east and west coasts.

The Gulf, Qld
In this remote region, deep-sea, estuary and reef-fishing yield huge hauls from virtually unfished waters.

South Coast, NSW
Tathra and Merimbula wharves offer great pier fishing. Offshore from Bermagui, there is fine deep-sea fishing, with yellow-fin tuna and marlin two of the prized catches. 

Gippsland, Vic.

Coastal lakes, rivers, estuaries and spectacular Ninety Mile Beach ensure year-round fishing. Australian salmon, bream, garfish, snapper and trevally are a few typical catches.

East Coast, Tas.

The East Australian Current, via towns like St Helens, attracts professional and recreational anglers in search of tuna, shark and marlin.

Eyre Peninsula, SA

Cold, clear waters here offer diverse angling opportunities, with salmon, tuna, monster mulloway and whiting being typical catches.

Kimberley Coast, WA

One of the country’s last fishing frontiers, this isolated coast yields barramundi, red emperor, sailfish, queenfish and trevally in impressive sizes.

Gove Peninsula, NT

The fishing here is legendary – the remoteness, the pristine waters, endless horizons, and the size and quality of the fish all combine to make it an unforgettable experience.



This is an extract from from Australia’s Coast: the best beaches and coastal areas around the country.