Top Fishing Charters5126 pro captains at your fingertips
Instant ConfirmationLook for the Instant Book symbol
Fast & Easy BookingBook online to lock in your dates
Top Fishing Charters in Cairns
Fishing in Cairns
The area around Cairns is often referred to as ‘the number one game fishing region on the planet.’ Go there, and you will see why. The tropical landscape of North Queensland is home to one of the most diverse fisheries in the world. But not only does Cairns fishing equal a huge quantity of fish species, it also boasts incredibly good quality fishing. It’s not fair on all the other fishing destinations, really.
Angler or not, you probably know of Cairns as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. This vibrant city’s tourist season revolves around Great Barrier Reef tours and diving trips, which will take you up close and personal to the only structure made of living organisms that can be seen from space. But for serious sport fishing anglers, this part of the Great Barrier Reef means only one thing: Black Marlin, and big ones. One of the primary breeding grounds for the species, this one of the few places in the world where Marlin weighing over 1000 lbs are consistently caught, year after year.
Every year from September to December, anglers flock to the area between Cairns and Lizard Island to experience what is arguably the best Black Marlin fishing in Australia - or even the world. Ever since American angler Richard C Obach hooked a 1064 lb Black Marlin on 80 lb line here in 1996, Cairns has become synonymous with legendary sport fishing. Now, all you need to do to hook your own 'grander' is to find a local captain aboard that perfect fishing charter Cairns has waiting for you.
But the offshore reefs aren’t the only good fishing spots in Cairns. The area’s pristine estuaries and tropical waterways are the perfect breeding grounds for firm Australian fishing favorites such as Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, and Fingermark. Just five minutes from the heart of the city, Trinity Inlet marks the beginning of 90 km of beautiful winding waterways just waiting to be explored. Daintree River is less than an hour and a half away, while beach fishing can see you sight casting to schools of Golden Trevally.
From Cairns' booming popularity as Australia's new fly fishing central, all the way to heavy tackle fishing for everyone's favorite pelagics, there's something in store for everyone here. And to all you die-hard Barramundi lovers, looking for that perfect fishery to indulge in your obsession - welcome home.
Rules & Regulations
No license is necessary for recreational fishing in Queensland tidal waters, but licenses may be required if fishing in some stocked impoundments. There is an annual closed season for Barramundi, which runs from the first of November through the first of February.
Types of Fishing
Heavy tackle fishing for Black Marlin flourishes from September through December. Marlin charters are often booked well in advance and will traditionally involve trolling with large bait - Rainbow Runner, Queenfish, Tuna, and Mackerel typically make up the menu.
Try your hand at light tackle Marlin fishing from July to August - if you want to tackle a Billfish on 12-20 lb line, this is your chance. Trolling with rigged baits will also get you in a good place to battle Wahoo, Spanish Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, Trevally, Sailfish and more for some serious light tackle fun.
Looking for an even greater challenge? Try to set a new heavy tackle fly fishing record in the capable hands of a knowledgeable local captain. As far as fishery and local knowledge are concerned, this is one of the best places in the world to enter the record books.
Less ambitious anglers are bound to enjoy Great Barrier Reef fishing, which will usually involve ‘bottom bouncing’ with 60-100 lb line for delicious and colourful species such as Nannygai, Red Emperor, and Coral Trout.
As if this wasn't enough, finish your day by fishing the beaches for Mangrove Jack, Flathead, Trevally, Barramundi, Fingermark, and more. Hey, we told you this fishery was diverse.
Cairns Fishing Seasons
Cairns Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About Cairns
"Full day of fishing fun"
If you are in any doubt if you will be seasick then take seasickness tablets before as 2 people on my trip were VERY seasick
"A Day on the Reef"
The reef is great for fishing, but be sure when you book a trip what fish you can catch and that the season is not closed.
"Something fishy going on"
Fish around for the best deals and ask locals opinions on operators
Top Fishing Charters
5126 pro captains at your fingertips
Fast & Easy Booking
Book online to lock in your dates
Look for the Instant Book symbol