Great Fishing Adventures of Australia

Australia is an angler’s paradise, with over 2000 types of fish, it’s easy to see why. Still not convinced? We will answer some of your most common questions here. Great Fishing Adventures of Australia
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Great Fishing Adventures of Australia

The diversity of Australia’s fishing experiences is as vast as the country itself. 


Any way you look at it, Australia is an angler’s paradise. A massive island with a sparse population, the country’s coastline stretches well over 30,000 kilometres (50,000 miles) and is surrounded by clean, lightly fished seas.

Not surprisingly, the richness and diversity of Australia’s fish life is nothing short of mind-boggling, with around 2,000 marine fish species and another 280 freshwater varieties discovered so far (we’re still counting). Many of these fish are found nowhere else on earth.

Included in our catalogue of fishing riches are such glittering prizes as chrome-silver barramundi, massive Murray cod, the world’s greatest seasonal concentration of the huge black marlin, record-breaking giant trevally, succulent snapper and whiting, and some of the finest trout fishing to be found anywhere south of the equator.

Abundance, variety and diversity are the core characteristics of Australian fishing. Casting a line here is a giant lucky dip, and some of our tropical destinations have been known to yield well in excess of 50 species per angler in less than a week of fishing. Not that you need to travel to the more remote and far-flung corners of Australia to experience fishing bliss: there are day-trip opportunities right on the doorsteps of our major cities. These allow you to mix the pleasures of fine dining, entertainment and cultural immersion with offshore pelagic fishing or river angling.

Better yet, because Australia is situated in the southern hemisphere, our seasons are reversed. While North America, Europe and much of Asia are experiencing winter weather, we’re enjoying summer sunshine. So come on down and wet a line. The water’s fine, the fish are biting and the locals are friendly.

Australian fishing calendar
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FAQ

What are Australia’s premier “hero fish”?
That’s a tough one because Australia has so many. However any short list of Australian angling icons would have to include the barramundi (a silver-plated bass on steroids), the mighty Murray cod (a freshwater grouper that can grow as long as 1.8 metres  or 6 feet and weigh up to 100 kilograms or 200 pounds), abundant giant black marlin that gather each southern spring along the Great Barrier Reef, and also unique oddities like the freshwater saratoga (a living fossil related to South America’s arapaima).

But because Australia spans such a massive range of climates and ecosystems, variety is the key. Trout to tuna, mackerel to marlin: we really do have it all.

Is it true you have trout in Australia? Isn’t it way too hot?
Australia is a land full of surprises, and world-class trout fishing is just one of them. The alpine and sub-alpine areas, all of which have trout, span parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The island state of Tasmania, around the same size as Ireland, is said to have some of the cleanest air and water to be found anywhere on earth. No wonder the country’s biggest and most abundant trout thrive there.

When’s the best time of year to visit?
It really depends on what fish you want to chase. Don’t forget that Australia’s seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere. Christmas falls in the heat of summer and July is the middle of winter. The tropical north has a rainy season that extends from December through February. Some of the best fishing for many species takes place in the more settled and mild “shoulder” periods: September to November and March through May. But talk to your chosen guide, lodge operator or charter skipper to get the rundown. 

Fishing in Australia, Tasmania

What fish do Australians like to catch?
It really depends on where they live, but the more readily available saltwater table fish such as snapper, whiting, flathead and bream are incredibly popular and keenly sought-after. Close to one in four Australians casts a line each year, and the country boasts the highest per capita boat ownership rate on the planet. With a population of less than 24 million people scattered across 7.7 million square kilometres (almost 3 million square miles), there’s still plenty of water (and fish) left for visitors.

Will I need to bring my own fishing tackle?
Most operators provide quality fishing tackle specifically suited to their location and target species, usually on a “pay-for-if-lost” basis. However, if you have a favourite rod and reel, or a specialist outfit (such as fly casting gear), by all means bring it along. Remember to check the baggage and security restrictions of your chosen airline before packing.

Can I buy fishing tackle in Australia?
Absolutely. All Australian cities and most major towns and regional centres boast one or more well-stocked specialist fishing tackle stores. Their product ranges and prices are roughly comparable with those offered in North America, Europe and Asia. Your guide or charter operator will most likely recommend a preferred retail outlet. If you wish to shop, ensure that there’s time available within your schedule that matches our shop opening hours (generally 9am-5pm weekdays, with varying hours on weekends and public holidays).

What about licences and permits?
Australian sport fishing remains relatively unrestricted, especially when compared to many other countries. Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory don’t even require you to hold a fishing licence. In New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia, licences are not expensive, and visiting, non-resident anglers pay exactly the same fees as the locals. There are restrictions, however, on the number of fish and the size, depending on the species. Your guide will have all the information you need. In many cases, they will take care of the paperwork before you arrive.

Discover more about Great Fishing Adventures of Australia

Australian fish species

Australian fish species

Australia’s fish population has had tens of millions of years to evolve and adapt to the unique aquatic environments of this massive, isolated island continent, so it’s hardly surprising that many species are found nowhere else on earth.

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Top Australian saltwater sport fishing experi...

Top Australian saltwater sport fishing experiences

It easy to find good quality saltwater fishing in Australia, whether you are casting a line within sight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge or heading out for a full day on the high seas off the coast of Queensland.

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Top 4 Australian Freshwater Fishing Experienc...

Top 4 Australian Freshwater Fishing Experiences

It is not just the ocean around Australia that is teeming with fish; the lakes, rivers and billabongs (inland ponds) are all full of adventure.

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Top 7 Deep Sea Fishing Experiences

Top 7 Deep Sea Fishing Experiences

This island nation has plenty of choice spots to chase the monsters of the deep – marlin, tuna or even sharks – just board a charter vessel and head for the big blue.

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Australia's Greatest Fly Fishing Adventures

Australia's Greatest Fly Fishing Adventures

Sapphire-blue, sub-tropical oceans, clear and clean high-country lakes and mighty rivers provide the setting for fly fishing in Australia. For an adventure that you won’t forget, check out these top fly fishing experiences.

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There’s nothing like fishing in Australia

This downloadable brochure includes an extensive list of some of Australia's best freshwater, saltwater, deep sea and fly fishing operators.

Great Fishing Itineraries

72 Hours deep sea fishing on Kangaroo Island

72 Hours deep sea fishing on Kangaroo Island

Head to this beautiful island just off the South Australian coast where you can tour wineries, taste great local produce, or hit the ocean in search of the elusive King George whiting – a local fish that can grow up to 60 centimetres (24 inches).

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72 Hours fly fishing on Tasmania's Central Pl...

72 Hours fly fishing on Tasmania's Central Plateau

Go fly fishing on pristine private lakes, chase trout in a glacial lake, or help with the chores at your hillside farmstay; there's plenty to keep the avid fishing enthusiast busy in this itinerary.

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48 hours saltwater fishing in Australia's Top...

48 hours saltwater fishing in Australia's Top End

Everything is bigger in Australia’s Top End: the landscape, the wide-open skies and the fish you catch when you go saltwater sport fishing.

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4 days freshwater fishing in The Kimberley

4 days freshwater fishing in The Kimberley

Take to the skies to chase barramundi in a helicopter. On your heli-fishing tour you will see the Kimberley wilderness from the air, try to land the Top End’s most prized fish and take a dip in a cool, crocodile-free swimming hole.

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