Fishing Spots in Gold Coast: Our Top Picks
Jul 19, 2021 | 7 minute read
Reading Time: 7 minutes

The Gold Coast region is a dream-come-true of every outdoor enthusiast. On one side, you have miles of lush rainforest and on the other, 70 km of coastline, surrounded by white sandy beaches and the beckoning Coral Sea. The city is a popular vacation and surfing destination, but it’s the sheer number of fishing spots near Gold Coast that makes this place so special.

An aerial view of the Gold Coast cityscape and beaches

That’s why a good number of visitors that come to the second largest city of Queensland are passionate anglers. The prolific deep sea fishing action is what put the region on the map, but that’s just the beginning. Gold Coast boasts countless fishing canals that run through the city, while rivers and creeks offer a solid freshwater bite.

Basically, all a fisherman could want is bundled into one beautiful package. If you’re coming here for the first time, these are some of the top fishing grounds to check out..

Gold Coast Seaway

An aerial view of the Gold Coast Seaway

Let’s start with a spot that’s a local favourite – Gold Coast Seaway. This is the biggest channel in the region, connecting all the city canals to the sea beyond. The seaway is huge and has different access points from which you can fish for the slew of species swimming up and down the channel. 

The main part of the seaway, the Spit, South Stradbroke Island and Wave Break Island are all good options for casting a line. The water is very fast here and the waves can be tricky to navigate, so we’d recommend not fishing from the rocks lining the shore if you’re a newcomer. From here, you’ll also have easy access to the nearshore and offshore reefs and bluewater.

Another great advantage of the Gold Coast Seaway is the diversity of fish. From shore, you can target Garfish, Flathead and crabs around water plants. Hard fighters like Trevally, Mangrove Jack and Jewfish are also in the cards. If you’re lucky or fishing from a tinnie, you might even come face to gills with Kingfish. 

Southport

An aerial view of the suburban area Southport, near the city of Gold Coast

This one is for all those avid deep sea fishers out there. Southport is the place to be if you’re coming to Gold Coast to get yourself a Billfish or two. Whether you’re hitting the water with a skipper or you’ve got your own boat, this part of the suburbs allows you to fish within 30 minutes of leaving the shore.

Young Black Marlin are on everyone’s to-catch list, and in the summer months, they camp out very close to land. This means you only need to go out a couple of kilometers to be in the juvenile Black Marlin realm. The steep drop in the sea bottom is close to shore, so all kinds of predators hunt here, including Marlin. Even if you don’t get a Billfish, you can still look forward to Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, or Tuna. 

Inshore anglers will also have plenty to do, because Cobia, Amberjack and Samson Fish swarm the waters in spring and summer. With all this variety, it’s easy to understand why Southport is one of the best fishing spots in Gold Coast.

Jumpinpin

Mangroves framing the island close to the Jumpinpin in Gold Coast

Nestled between the North and South Brandbroke Island, Jumpinpin (or just the Pin) is the favourite locale of anglers looking to fish away from the city bustle. The tidal channel hides excellent fish in its deep waters and shore fishermen make the most of it. Here, there’s only endless cobalt blue sea and you, waiting for your prey to take the bait.

When it comes to what you can reel in, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Yabbies are abundant here, and so are the predator fish that like hunting them. Mulloway, Flathead and Whiting are common catches, along with Bream, Mangrove Jack and Jewfish. You can also get crabs using crab pots along the twisted mangroves.

You might need to travel a bit to get to the Jumpinpin Channel, but the trip will be well worth it. Waters around Kalinga Bank, Crusoe and Stingaree Islands also hold very good fish.

Gold Coast Canals

Aerial view of the canals in the city of Gold Coast

With its countless residential canals, Gold Coast is the twin to Florida’s Cape Coral. However, around Gold Coast, there’s barely any commercial fishing, so there’s even more fish for you to catch. You can cast a line in the middle of the city, sometimes just a few steps away from your house. There’s not much more an angler could want.

There’s a wealth of species on offer here. Bream is frequently reeled in, thanks to the abundance of jetties and rocky bottom where they like to hide. Mangrove Jack, Trevally, Estuary Cod and Flathead also live here and you can target them in spring and summer.

As to which canal you should pick for your fishing session, well, you can’t really go wrong. Broadbeach Canal Reserve, Runaway Bay, Platter Park, the entirety of Mermaid Waters and Sickle Park all offer good fishing. But this is just to get you started. Feel free to explore on your own, you won’t regret it.

24-Fathom Reef

A fisherman in a hat and sunglasses holding a Cobia with blue water and skies in the background

As we move away from the shore, we come into the realm of reef fish. The southern parts of Queensland have plenty of fishable reefs, and one of the prominent fishing spots in Gold Coast is certainly the 24-Fathom Reef.

This is where your skipper will take you when you want to go after different species that make for delicious table fare. This reef is about five miles from land, so it won’t be long before your line is in the water. Start fishing early, and you could catch Snappers, Pearl Perch, Kingfish, Samson Fish, Tuskfish and Cobia.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to cover more ground, you can set out further and check out 36- and 50-fathom reefs as well. The deeper the waters, the better chance of landing something big and bragworthy. Bear in mind that winds can get strong further out, so there might be some choppy waves, but your skipper will make sure you’re safe at all times.

Deep Tragg

A group of anglers standing on a boat, holding a Black Marlin, with a table in front of them, and cloudy skies in the background

While there are many offshore fishing spots in Gold Coast that are home to Black Marlin, Deep Tragg is famous for its Blue Marlin population. This is where charters go when there’s a seasoned angler on board, in the mood to face off against the Blue giant.

What makes Deep Tragg such a popular Marlin haunt is the abundance of bait fish, namely Mackerel. While the smaller fish are feeding around underwater structures, Blue and Black Marlin swoop in and feast all through the year. Live bait will attract your Marlin’s attention, and once you get it on the line, the fun begins.

Multiple hook-ups throughout the day often happen on these fishing grounds – and locals know it. There are plenty of “smaller” Blues out there (if you consider 100 kg to be small), as well as a good number of granders (300 kg and more) swimming around. All this makes Deep Tragg one of the best spots for battling magnificent Marlin and emerging victorious.

Freshwater Fishing Spots in Gold Coast

The view of green hills and calm water from the Hinze Dam

While a lot revolves around saltwater fishing in Gold Coast, we would be remiss not to mention freshwater opportunities. And there’s a lot of them. Some of the best spots are outside the city, so you might have to head out into the lush forests to get to them, but you’ll be rewarded with good fishing and stunning views.

  • Nerang River: Snaking its way through the Gold Coast, Nerang River holds a special place in the hearts of freshwater anglers. It’s got countless tributaries that branch out through the region, most of them full of Bream and Flathead. You don’t have to travel far to get to the river, as parts of it run straight through the city proper.
  • The Hinze Dam: If you’re looking for more diversity on the freshwater front, head to the Hinze Dam. With Nerang River on one side and Advancetown Lake on the other, anything from Saratoga and Perch to Australian Bass is on the menu. Remember that the area is protected, so you’ll need a valid fishing permit to cast your lines here.
  • Coomera River: You’ll find the Coomera River outside of the city, meandering through the forest and mountainous terrain beyond. This freshwater gem yields good numbers of Barramundi, Bass and Mangrove Jack for your pleasure. When you’ve had enough of fishing, enjoy the peace and quiet in untouched nature.

Fishing Spots in Gold Coast – A Joy to Explore

An aerial view of the city of Gold Coast

With 300 days of sunshine and so many different areas to discover, Gold Coast is a Queensland gem. The fact that it’s framed with beautiful beaches and productive waters doesn’t hurt either. If you’re wondering where to fish this summer, there are plenty of fishing spots in Gold Coast for you to fall in love with.

Have you ever been fishing in Gold Coast? Is there a fishing spot we missed that anglers should know about? What have been your experiences? Let’s talk in the comments below.

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