July 24, 2024

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Australia Fishing Guide: The Ultimate Guide

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It’s a well-known fact that Australia is the only country that covers an entire continent. So you’d better believe there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to casting a line down under. With over 600,000 kilometres of coastline, 11,400 lakes, and over 400 rivers, it’s difficult to know where to start when fishing here. That’s why we’ve broken it down for you. This is the ultimate guide to fishing in Australia.

This vast country boasts plenty of unique fish, along with some favourites from around the world. Whether you’re looking to test the waters or want to go for that record catch, Australia delivers. As we said, there’s a lot to get through, so read on to find out how you can plan your perfect angling getaway!

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Top Australia Catches

In such a diverse country – with such a range of different waterways – there is, of course, an almost endless list of fish you can catch. We’ll introduce you to some of the most sought-after Australian fish in the section below, and break them down into freshwater, inshore, and nearshore and offshore species.

Top Freshwater Catches

Photo taken by Australian Freshwater Fishing Charters

As you’ve seen from the list above, Australia’s saltwater fish make up the pick of the bunch when it comes to what to target. But that doesn’t mean that you should ignore the freshwater realm. Far from it. The numerous rivers, streams, and lakes across the country are host to some seriously challenging fish. Here are just some of them:

  • Australian Bass. Filling waterways all across the east of Australia, the country’s native Bass species is often referred to as Perch, and is beloved by any angler who comes across one. Expect strong runs with your bait, so get ready for a fight. Catch and release is preferred due to over-angling even when the season is open. Restrictions vary from territory to territory.
  • Perch. While most Aussie anglers may refer to the aforementioned Bass as Perch, there are actually a few other prized species belonging to this family that are worth your attention. Estuary Perch are the most similar to Bass, while Redfin Perch are available in the south of the country, providing tasty table fare whenever you come.
  • Saratoga. There are two species of Saratoga you can come across, depending on where you’re fishing in Australia. The northern variety is available in the billabongs up north, while the southern is more common in Queensland and the west. Light tackle or fly fishing gear will do the trick, although these creatures can reach up to 1 metre. Just make sure you have a strong line to protect against ‘Togas’ sharp teeth.

And more! There’s plenty more where those fish came from. Catfish are available in great numbers in rivers from coast to coast, while Brown and Rainbow Trout are popular catches in more remote streams, especially in the north. In the southeast of the country, Murray Cod – originally from the namesake river – is all the rage, while some inshore creatures (see below) can also make their way upstream to freshwater rivers.

Top Inshore Catches

An angler in a blue shirt and sunglasses, crouching on a boat and holding a large Barramundi, with the inshore waters and some land behind him on a cloudy day
Photo taken by Tropical Sportfisher

The freshwater list was just a little warm-up for the §erious fishing action. From brackish estuaries out to nearshore reefs, you could find some of the toughest pound-four-pound fish in the world on the end of your line. You won’t want to miss out on testing your skills and strength against these inshore brutes…

  • Barramundi. If one fish sums up fishing in Australia, it’s Barramundi. Big, strong, and delicious, they’re the ultimate opponent. They like the warm water, so the northern coastal estuaries are your go-to hunting grounds. But get ready for a battle of epic proportions, as these tough fighters often weigh 20+ kilos. Bring strong, sturdy gear and thick lines to withstand these bad boys’ sharp teeth.
  • Flathead. Making up over 50 different species, this family of fish is also synonymous with inshore fishing in Australia. They peak in summer all around the country but, truth be told, you can find them year-round. Super light gear will do the trick, as you try to drift fishing or bottom fishing with a range of baits to entice their bite.
  • Narrow-Barred Spanish Mackerel. A fish that needs no introduction to any seafood lover, Mackerel is a staple of any foodie’s diet. But what about fishing for them? Well, it’s possible year-round with winter offering up the best action. You’ll want to head out with a boat, though, as trolling is the most effective method of hooking one. Get ready to leap into action as the reels screech as usual catches weigh in the 10-kg ballpark.
  • Queenfish. While weighing in a little lighter than the aforementioned beasts, the Queenfish is one of the best game fish around. While your typical catch may be around 2–6 kilograms, these silvery beauties leap out of the water to try to get off your line, providing excellent action. They’re not picky on bait, either, so bring some light tackle, mimic their prey, and then it’s time to enjoy.
  • Salmon. Unfortunately, this Australian variety is not related to the worldwide popular eating fish, and it actually requires a lot of care to put on the table. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with them though. These are great fish to target from the beach. They’ll attack a range of bait, just sport any birds in a feeding friendly and cast your line in that direction!

But the list doesn’t stop there, either. The list of worthy opponents continues, and there’s a good bunch of decent table fare on offer, too. We’re talking Fingermark Bream, Whiting, Jewfish, and monstrous Queensland Groper. An inshore fishing trip, wherever you are in Australia is not to be missed!

Top Nearshore and Offshore Catches

A view from behind of a Marlin being handlined into a boat, leaping out of the water, with a hand holding the line visible on the right of the image
Photo taken by Ambition Charters

And the list goes on. We haven’t even mentioned the reefs yet, let alone the big blue. Explore the productive underwater metropolises of the reefs and you’re sure to get a hook within minutes. Head further out and it may not be quite as easy, but the rewards will be greater. This is where the largest fish in the world live.

  • Marlin. Wherever Marlin show up, they’re on every angler’s mind. The ultimate big game fish, they promise long runs, acrobatic leaps, and plenty of heavy lifting. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin can be caught at different times of the year around the land down under, so brace yourself to tick this fish off your bucket list if you haven’t done so yet. The Great Barrier Reef, in particular, is a great spot to get your fish on, but head far enough out anywhere and there’s a chance you’ll get to target one.
  • Snappers. While Pink Snapper is ubiquitous along the reefs in Australia, there are plenty more Snappers that call these waters home. We’re talking Red Emperor, Nannygai, and so forth. Each one is picture-perfect thanks to their dazzling crimson colour, while they’re also a delight when cooked up. As for the fishing, they respond well to bottom fishing on the reefs, while light tackle should do the trick.
  • Trevallies: Another iconic fish, a Trevally steals the show wherever it shows up – and none more so than Giant Trevally. Fifteen kilos is the average size for one of these beauts, but specimens of over 40 kilograms are not uncommon. Their Blue cousins are also a popular target, known for running deep with your line near the reefs. Try popping or jigging for the best chance at a bite. If you reel one in, you’ll have something to brag about, that’s for sure.
  • Tuna: Is there a fish more famous across the world than Tuna? We doubt it. Their meat is consumed pretty much everywhere, but not everyone knows how good fishing for them is. And with Australia offering up monster Bluefin varieties, tough-fighting Dogtooth specimens, and quick-paced Yellowfin Tuna, it has to be up there with one of the best spots in the world to go after them. They take it in turns to arrive these waters, so you’re never going to be lacking. Mix chumming with trolling and you’ll be onto a winner.

These are the true stars of the show, but there’s a worthy supporting cast behind them, too. Mahi Mahi and Wahoo are likely to swim together between the reefs and the continental shelf, while Kingfish (Yellowtail Amberjack) are also abundant when their season hits. With Barracuda also on offer, you know you’re in for a fight.

Australia Fishing Seasons

Such a big country – one that’s completely surrounded by water at that – simply doesn’t have an “off” season when it comes to fishing. There’s always something biting wherever you come. Check out each individual territory for a more accurate breakdown. But if you have the luxury of being able to choose where you want to go, here’s our Australia fishing calendar:

Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Australian Bass Great Great Great Great Good Good Good Good Good Good Great Great
Barracuda Great Great Good Good Good Good Great Great Great Great Great Great
Barramundi Great Great Great Good Good Good Good Good Great Great Great Great
Coral Trout Fair Fair Fair Good Good Great Great Great Good Good Fair Fair
Flathead Good Good Good Good Good Great Great Great Great Good Good Good
Kingfish (Yellowtail) Great Great Good Good Good Good Fair Fair Good Great Great Great
Mackerel Good Good Good Good Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Good
Mahi Mahi Great Good Fair Weak Weak Weak Fair Good Great Great Great Great
Marlin Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Good Good Good Great Great
Nannygai Weak Weak Fair Fair Fair Good Good Good Good Fair Fair Weak
Queenfish Weak Weak Good Great Great Great Great Great Good Fair Weak Weak
Pink Snapper Good Fair Fair Fair Good Good Good Good Great Great Great Great
Sailfish Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Fair Good Good Great Great Great
Salmon Fair Weak Weak Fair Fair Good Good Great Great Great Great Good
Saratoga Good Good Fair Fair Good Great Great Great Great Great Great Great
Trevally Good Good Good Fair Fair Great Great Great Great Great Great Great
Tuna Great Great Great Great Great Good Good Good Great Great Great Great

Top Fishing Spots in Australia

There’s no point repeating how big Australia is. But its sheer size can make it tricky to narrow down where to go. We’ll start with a breakdown of each territory before showing you some of the more popular destinations to cast a line in Australia.

Australian Territories

Top Australian Fishing Destinations

If you’re looking for somewhere a bit more specific than the territories (and we bet you do), there are some cities that truly stand out among Australia’s fishing destinations. Check out our pick of the best spots in the entire country or Queensland. Or, check out the locations below.

Australia Fishing Techniques

Such diverse fisheries and species mean the same when it comes to getting your fish on. Pretty much any angling technique you can think of is possible when fishing in Australia. But some are more effective than others. We’d need an encyclopedia to cover all the methods available, but here are some you may want to try out.

  • Fly fishing. Any angling enthusiast that’s ever tried it knows that casting a line on the fly is about as thrilling as it gets. And it’s the same across Australia. A favourite pastime in the northern and western streams, you can also try fly fishing offshore if you’re really up for a challenge. Depending on where you go, anything from Bass to Barramundi, to Billfish could be on the end of your line!
  • Spearfishing. Where there are reefs, there’s great spearfishing potential. Australia makes the most of theirs. While spearfishing is banned inshore, head nearshore or offshore, and anything is possible – within limits. On the reefs, Bream, Coral Trout, Parrotfish, and Snappers are popular targets. But head to the open blue, and you could come face-to-gills with Kingfish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, and more.
  • Deep sea fishing. As the country is a continent in its own right, if you’re on the coast, the continental shelf is always within reach. That means big game fishing on a purpose-built offshore sportfishing vessel. Gold Coast is a popular starting point, while the Great Barrier Reef offers world-class Marlin fishing. Perth and Darwin aren’t far behind either, so wherever you go, you’re in for a treat!

These three techniques are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can try out. Indeed, when deep sea fishing you can try out a number of techniques – including spearfishing and fly fishing! Trolling will usually be the name of the game offshore, but you can try bottom fishing, too. In the calmer waters inshore, kayak fishing is possible, with sight casting or jigging also proving to be effective. All in all, you’ll get to try a range of techniques when wetting your line around Oz.

Australia Fishing Trips

If you’ve made it this far – or even if you skipped ahead – you probably know that an Australia fishing trip can be whatever you want it to be. That being said, there are a few staples on the menu that skippers offer across the country. Let’s hone in on them:

  • Party boats. You may be thinking that you want to get away from it all while fishing, not have a party! Don’t worry, party boats are not necessarily about loud music and drinking – although they can be. These budget-friendly charters offer individual anglers the chance to fish aboard a larger vessel with other fishers, and are actually pretty common. And yes, there’s everything from hardcore fishing efforts to more laid-back, drinking charters!
  • Half day trips. Most suited to beginners and families, these trips can take place inshore, in freshwater, or on the reefs. They’ll usually last up to 5 hours, giving you the chance at testing the waters, literally, and come back to shore in time to cook up your catch for lunch or dinner.
  • Full day trips. These are recommended if you plan on hitting the deep blue. While the continental shelf isn’t too far, it can take some time to locate the fish. Spend upwards of 8 hours on the water and you’ll increase your chances of landing that personal best. As you’ve probably guessed, these aren’t really suitable for young kids or inexperienced anglers.

Australia Fishing Regulations

Each territory in Australia has its own rules when it comes to fishing. That means you may need a licence in some places, while in others, you can fish without having to worry about getting one. You’ll need a licence in the capital territory, Northern Territories, and Victoria and New South Wales. For all other territories, you can get your fish on without a permit.

When it comes to other regulations, things are different again. Just beware that pretty much every species is subject to bag and size limits, along with certain closed seasons for certain fish. These can be pretty restrictive, so we suggest heading out with a professional skipper who’ll make sure you’re fishing within the law.

Australia Fishing FAQs

The post Australia Fishing: The Ultimate Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Rhys
Title: Australia Fishing: The Ultimate Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/australia-fishing/
Published Date: Wed, 10 May 2023 08:34:09 +0000

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