Fishing Spots in QLD

Each state and territory in Australia has its own premier fishing spots and predominant fish species. Some locations may reveal abundant fish stocks of a select species whilst others may offer a more diverse range of species. This article discusses some of the popular fishing spots in Queensland and provides some helpful tips.
Article By: ExplorOz Team
Created: July 2008
Latest Feedback: June 2011

Fraser Island

Fraser Island which is located some 300kms north of Brisbane is the largest sand island in the world. Its is around 123kms long, and 22kms at its widest point and features at least 40 lakes including half of the world's perched dune lakes. With the purest strain of dingo and over 300 bird species, Fraser Island was World Heritage Listed in December 1992.

Fishing Spots

In regards to fishing, Fraser Island is most famous for the northern run of tailor which happens between July and October from the middle to northern half of Seventy Five Mile Beach. During this time, many anglers seek out the tailor schools, casting out using unweighted pilchards (mulies) on ganged-hooks. There are some good rocky spots namely Waddy Point, Middle Rocks and Indian Head which is located at the northern end of Seventy Five Mile Beach. These spots attract tailor, bream, mackerel and shark.

Tips

During the tailor run off Seventy Five Mile Beach, large tailor schools can be found by looking for congregating sea birds and the ‘boiling’ water action that tailor schools produce.

Cape York

Cape York Peninsula, located in far north Queensland is undoubtedly, every four-wheel-driver's ultimate destination. The peninsula features undisturbed tropical rainforests and savannas, sandy beaches, abundant river systems with crystal clear creeks and spectacular waterfalls. The estuaries and tidal wetlands of Cape York Peninsula contain some of the most well developed mangrove habitats in Australia.

Fishing Spots

Weipa and the adjacent Albatross Bay has fantastic shallow water inshore angling for barramundi, mangrove jacks, flathead, estuary cod, queenfish and trevally. The mighty Wenlock River, north of Wiepa is superb for huge barramundi, particularly around its mouth near Cullen Point and up into the tidal stretches. The jetty at Seisia offers superb fishing as because the structure delves deep into the sandy channel between the mainland and Red Island. The jetty pylons habitat schools of herring which in turn attract big queenfish, trevally, mackerel, barracuda, cod and the odd barramundi. At the northern tip of the peninsula, Cape York features many exciting deep drop-offs and reefs where coral trout and golden snapper are the catch of the day. Pelagic fish such as mackerel are often seen feeding just off the rocks and in the channel between Cape York and Eborac Island.

Tips

When fishing around Cape York keep a look out for pelagic fish and any sea birds that may be working above. Most bottom feeding fish on the other hand can be caught on the reefs. Golden snapper, barramundi, trevally, queenfish and salmon are often caught along the foreshore at high tide. A good idea is to check the bottom at low tide and look for rough-bottom areas, then go back to the same spot at high tide. Also, you should get better results using live bait.

Cape York Peninsula is saltwater crocodile country, so be very cautious and take heed of the yellow warning signs. Click for more information on Crocodiles in Queensland.

Townsville

Townsville is located around 1,300kms north of Brisbane and lies on the shores of Cleveland Bay which is broad, shallow (half the bay is less than five metres deep) and moderately protected from the prevailing winds. The Ross River flows through the city and the combination of weirs, fish stocking and dredging has resulted in a deep, clean and stable waterway.

Fishing Spots

Cleveland Bay has extensive mangrove areas especially around the creek entrances. Working these spots may produce mangrove jacks and barramundi. Fishing from the stone walls at Ross Creek which is the main boat harbour in Townsville can be quite productive, with the chance of bream, flathead, whiting, trevally and barramundi. The Ross River holds barramundi, mangrove jack, queenfish, fingermark, javelin fish and threadfin salmon, and is best targeted during low tide. Several weirs higher up the Ross River have been well stocked with barramundi, providing anglers a good chance of catching a ten plus kilo barra on the river itself. The chance significantly after heavy rains because many fish escape these weirs.

Tips

When fishing for barramundi in the Ross River, live-baiting is the best method. Local anglers use live bait on a No. 5/0 hook deep under a float with a nylon trace. Most barramundi are landed at dawn or dusk at the edges of weed beds or at creek mouths.

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay is a tourist hotspot seeing more than half a million tourists each year. It’s a dynamic and rapidly growing coastal centre featuring calm waters, pristine beaches, and supporting many tourist activities such as fishing, whale watching and providing a gateway to Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef.

Fishing Spots

The relatively safe waters of Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Strait feature numerous tidal flats, mangrove creeks, reefs, sand flats and submerged ledges. Hervey Bay’s waters are sandy and quite shallow, but have compressed sand (coffee rock) reef and ledges which habitat coral trout, red emperor, parrot fish, pink snapper, sweetlip, trevally, cobia and mackerel.

The best location for shore fishing in Hervey Bay is Urangan Pier which is located at Dayman Point. Here anglers predominantly target whiting especially in the peak period of spring. Plenty of baitfish such as hardyheads, garfish and herring swarm under the pier attracting pelagic fish such as queenfish, Spanish and school mackerel, trevally and tuna. Game anglers often gather at the outer end of the pier which is in deeper waters, baiting up with live herring to target these pelagic species. Other good spots for whiting as well as bream include Shelley Beach, the Urangan Steps (just west of the pier) and the Great Sandy Strait Marina walls.

Tips

Fishing during winter yields bream, tailor and jewfish while spring and summer produces big flathead and whiting.

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