Australia is renowned for having some of the best fishing spots in the world. From thousands of kilometres of coastline and the world’s largest barrier reefs to fish-rich lakes, rivers and streams as you head inland, there’s plenty to choose from for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Whether you fish with bait, cast a fly or spin a lure, there’s a spot for every type of fishing enthusiast. Check out our top picks for the best fishing spots every state!
Affectionately known as the ‘black marlin capital of the world’, Cairns is the place to go for big game fishing. Every year, up to 70% of all black marlin weighing more than 1,000 lbs (‘granders’) are caught in these waters, typically between September and late December.
But that’s not all you can catch around here. Adjacent to the reef and along the continental shelf you’ll find plenty of Spanish mackerel, barracuda, yellowfin tuna, trevally, sailfish and wahoo as well as bait fish and plankton.
Jindabyne, New South Wales
Nestled in the Snowy Mountains, Lake Jindabyne is hands down one of the top spots for trout fishing. Here you’ll find brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout as well as Atlantic salmon, and all types of fishing are permitted including bait, trolling, spinning and fly fishing.
The streams and rivers around Jindabyne are also worth a visit, especially the Thredbo River. Just check for seasonal closures before you go.
Drive a few hours east of Melbourne and you’ll find Gippsland, boasting more than 500 km of coastline, estuaries, rivers, mountain streams and long, empty beaches filled with a diverse array of species. Check out Lakes Entrance for trevally, luderick, bream and flathead; the Avon River for brown trout, bass and redfin; Mallacoota or Tamboon for dusky flathead; and Blue Rock Lake for fly fishing.
With its mild climate, the Gippsland region is lucky enough to have ideal fishing conditions year round.
Port Lincoln, South Australia
Port Lincoln’s fertile waters make it the seafood capital of Australia and one of the country’s best fishing destinations. Known in particular for its plentiful southern bluefin tuna, snapper, snook, salmon, garfish, whiting and squid, you can also catch tuna in late summer and autumn while kingfish can be found in late spring and summer.
The region has plenty of jetties and boat ramps, making it an excellent spot for both beginner and experienced fishers.
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
Celebrated for the best barramundi fishing in the world, the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is a top spot to take a boat out. The barra build-up period from October to December sees the fish school in the local billabongs and saltwater estuaries, while the barra run-off period from February to May sees them congregate at the river mouths.
But it’s not all about barramundi – the dry season from May to November is popular for reef fishing and the seas are calm enough throughout the year for deep sea fishing as well.
Exmouth, Western Australia
Just bordering the continental shelf and Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth is home to hundreds of different fish species including tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi, milkfish, bonefish, blue bone, cobia, permit, trevally and queenfish. You can go fly fishing, bait fishing, trolling and lure fishing here, and the continental shelf just a few kilometres away is excellent for deep sea fishing.
The Ningaloo Marine Park does have some sanctuary zones where fishing is not allowed though, so make sure you check before you go.
Central Highlands, Tasmania
Made up of more than 3,000 lakes, waterways, streams and rivers, the Central Highlands district is another top spot for trout fishing, especially wild brown trout and rainbow trout. They’re known to be quite a challenge though, even for experienced anglers, so catching one is a rare reward!
The nearby Great Lake, Arthurs Lake, Brumbys Creek and Tyenna River are also worth checking out for their ocean and fly fishing.