Australia's top fishing destinations

Over 35 000 km of coastline, together with inland and coastal rivers in every state and territory, provide Australians with a plethora of fishing opportunities.

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Fishing experiences on offer in Australia include surf, bay, rock and estuary fishing along the coast; rivers, lakes, dams and mountain streams inland; and offshore, coral-reef and deep-ocean fishing. Fishing is an increasingly regulated sport and in many places permits are required before wetting the line, so check with tourist, local government or national parks authorities. Bag and size limits, as well as endangered species restrictions and seasonal bans, may also apply. 

1 Exmouth, WA

The offshore reef fishing here is world famous. Coral trout, marlin, mackerel, mahi mahi, trevally, sailfi sh and queen fish are just a few of the species found. Boat ramps are located at Exmouth Boat Harbour, 2 km from the town centre; at Bundegi Beach, 12 km north of town; and at Tantabiddi, 35km north. Land-based fishing is also rewarding with reef species often in the catch. Mud crab and squid can also be found. 

2 Blackwood River, WA

Winding 400 km from the wheat belt south to Hardy’s Inlet, Augusta, the Blackwood is the longest river in south-west Western Australia. The lower and middle reaches of the river around jetties and bridges offer good fishing for sizeable black bream, while the upper reaches are home to trout and marron (crayfish). The river is best fished after the strong flows of early spring have eased.

3 Walpole, WA

Walpole owes its existence to early fishing camps and today’s visitors can still enjoy good beach, inlet, river and rock fi shing. Peaceful Bay is known particularly for catches of whiting and tailor. At Coalmine Beach, the jetty near the boat ramp is a popular spot for anglers. Walpole Inlet, a good place to catch flathead and whiting, is reached via the Nornalup Inlet.

4 Daly River, NT

Part of the Top End’s largest coastal river system, the scenic Daly River experiences a huge tidal range and is home to both freshwater and saltwater crocodiles as well as a wide range of fish, which include large populations of barramundi. Fishing is best from mid- to late March and through April and May, after the ‘run-off’ following the wet season. The tidal reaches of the Daly River are off limits between October and January.

5 Marion Bay, SA

The bay offers surf fishing off pristine beaches, as well as boat, rock and jetty fishing. The range of fish caught on and off the coast includes mulloway, flathead, shark, squid and good quantities of salmon. Fishing is best from March to May.

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