Ultimate guide to game fishing

The oceans around Australia are teeming with sea life so all you need to do is charter a boat and head out into the big blue for some game fishing thrills. Ultimate guide to game fishing
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Ultimate guide to game fishing

The oceans around Australia are teeming with sea life so all you need to do is charter a boat and head out into the big blue for some game fishing thrills. 


By Paul Chai

Chase marlin off the West Australian coast, wrestle with bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean or battle barramundi in the Top End. The waters around this island nation are full of prize catches for the sport fisherman. You can even try to track down the legendary sailfish, one of the most prized catches in game fishing. Here are the best spots to throw a line in around Australia.

Great fishing spots in Australia

Western Australia

Hire a charter fishing boat and set off from Dampier, in the Pilbara region, to tackle the Montebello Islands, an amazingly diverse marine park. Those after a fishing thrill can head to the designated fishing zones and cast a line for emperor fish, coral trout and the mighty cod. Ningaloo Reef, in the northwest of Western Australia, is best known for diving with whale sharks but if you go beyond the marine sanctuary you will find a spot where marlin and sailfish – one of the most prized catches in game fishing – are plentiful. This is one of the most exhilarating fishing experiences imaginable.

Queensland

The coastline from Cairns to Townsville has an abundance of charter boats ready to take you to fertile fishing grounds. Departing from Cairns you will enter waters that are home to the giant black marlin – fish weighing almost 500 kilograms (more than 1000 pounds) have been landed here. In fact, this area is one of the best spots for marlin fishing in the world, thanks largely to a strong conservation ethic that sees boats release more marlin than they keep. From the Gold Coast, an hour’s drive south of Brisbane, you can fish deep waters beyond the the area's famous beaches and land mahi-mahi and wahoo.

New South Wales

The New South Wales south coast is where the warm waters of the East Australian Current meet the colder currents of Bass Strait – and is one of the first spots in Australia to see the southern bluefin tuna each year. Departing from towns such as Merimbula or Bermagui you will enter the South Pacific Ocean where you will likely catch tuna upwards of 60 kilograms (132 pounds). Just over two hours north of Sydney, taking to the deeper waters around Port Stephens, you are likely to catch marlin or a feisty snapper.

Victoria

The cooler waters off the Victorian coast are a prime location for salmon fishing. The areas around the Mornington Peninsula on the east side of the city, and Torquay, on the west side, provide easy access to the Bass Strait. In these choppy waters, charter companies will take you in search of snapper that return to this area each spring to feed.

Tasmania

The pristine waters off the coast of Australia’s island state offer some of the closest game fishing to the coast. Here charter boats only need to travel for about 30 minutes to reach prime bluefin tuna catch spots. The sport fish are big, too, with the state holding a number of records for game fishing in waters off the Tasman Peninsula. If it's trout you're after, Tasmania has some of the purest lakes and streams for fishing.

South Australia

At coastal towns such as Glenelg, just 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the Adelaide city centre, charter boats set off into fishing grounds of the Great Australian Bight. In these southern waters you can find striped tuna, big-eye tuna and albacore tuna, all in very competitive weights. The shallower waters around this area are also a great spot for landing some tasty snapper.

Northern Territory

In Australia's Northern Territory you will meet the country's famous barramundi. In “the Territory”, as it's known locally, everything is bigger: the space, the skies and the fish. Darwin's charter boats will take you to the Arafura Sea to chase fish – and records – as you cast a line. The range of fish in this region is legendary with catches likely to include red emperor, mackerel, tuna, trevally and sailfish. Why not try your luck near the Tiwi Islands, a short boat trip north of Darwin. The barramundi are biting in Kakadu National Park, too, with full day and half day fishing tours offered in the region's waterways which also teem with birdlife and saltwater crocodiles.

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