3 Fishing Charters

Townsville Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Townsville

If you’re searching for paradise, look no further than Townsville, QLD. Featuring scenic landscape, world-renowned natural parks, and more than 320 days of sunshine per year, it doesn’t get much better than this. Anglers here have access to some of Australia’s most iconic game fish, including Barramundi, Giant Trevally, and Marlin. A day on the water could have you casting lines anywhere from the Hinchinbrook Channel or Ross River to the Great Barrier Reef. Hop aboard one of many fishing charters Townsville plays home to and you can explore all this and more!

Townsville Fishing Spots

The Great Barrier Reef

This world renowned fishing ground lies roughly 30 nautical miles off the coast of Townsville, about an hour-long boat ride away. Main targets include Giant Trevally, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, Largemouth Nannygai, Spanish Mackerel, and Cobia—and you’re likely to hook into many other colorful fish while you’re out here. The bite tends to be best at low light (either early in the morning or at night), which is why many recommend overnight Great Barrier Reef fishing trips.

Large predatory fish pass through the reef at various times of year, which can add some extra excitement to your trip! Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Marlin, and various Tuna species are all fair game.

Magnetic Island

If you’re not too keen on heading offshore to the Great Barrier Reef, try your luck fishing around Magnetic Island. This tourist attraction just 8 km (about 5 miles) offshore is heavily fished, but still produces good angling if you cast your line at the right time. The 'Sailboat' mark on the northwest tip of the Island has become one of the best known Townsville fishing spots, due to large runs of Fingermark Bream each year between November and March. Mackerel, Nannygai, Grunter, Queenfish, GT, and Cobia also pass through at various times of year. On the south side of the island, it’s not uncommon to hook into big Barramundi while fishing the reef flats.

Ross River

You don’t even have to leave dry land in order to experience the great fishing Townsville is known for. Endless creeks, channels, and tributaries in the surrounding area host Barramundi, Fingermark, Threadfin Salmon, Mangrove Jack, Flathead, and more. Flowing through the heart of town, Ross River is the most accessible freshwater fishing hole in Townsville. Several jetties and rock walls at the mouth of the river are perfect for casting, you might even hook into a Barra! You can also try fishing from several bridges around town. Whether you hire a guide to take you out on their boat or simply cast a line from shore, you can expect lots of light tackle action here.

Need to Know

Getting There

Getting to Townsville is relatively easy, which makes this slice of paradise that much sweeter! You can catch a direct flight from Sydney, Brisbane, or Melbourne. If driving from Cairns or Port Douglas, take Bruce Hwy and Bruce Hwy/A1 to reach Townsville in a little over 4 hours.


You do not need to carry a fishing license for recreational angling in Queensland.

It’s legal to fish for many species year-round, but this varies depending on the area. Barramundi fishing closes in many waters on the QLD coast early in the year (November-February), but remains open in waters upstream of Aplins Weir near downtown Townsville. Always check regulations ahead of time. Hiring a local guide is recommended so you can rest assured that you’re fishing according to the law.


You’ll find a wide variety of Townsville fishing charters, including your choice of shared and private trips. Prices depend on the size of your group, how far offshore you’re traveling, and the length of the trip. Many local skippers offer personalized packages and will only give you a price quote after you get in touch and talk about your expectations for the trip.

Generally, you can prepare to pay AUD $100-$150 per person for a 4-hour trip in the local rivers, estuaries, and channels. Trips between 6 and 10 hours range from AUD $250-$450 per person.

Day trips to the Great Barrier Reef cost around AUD $300 per person, or AUD $800-$900 for a private charter. Overnight trips cost upwards of AUD $400 per person.

Some charter operators charge extra for rods and reels, so be sure to ask about this when you book your trip.

Townsville Fishing Methods

You can catch local favorites like Red Emperor, Coral Trout, and Nannygai by deep jigging near bottom structure such as wrecks and reefs around Magnetic Island or the Great Barrier Reef. Bait fishing and trolling in the same areas will produce Mackerel, Sailfish, Wahoo, and other species.

Light tackle enthusiasts can target Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and Dogtooth Tuna while casting plastics and poppers in the area’s many shoals and reef lagoons.

Are you an avid fly angler? Set your sights on the Ross River for Barramundi and other hard-fighting catches!

With year-round angling opportunity and some of the most sought-after game fish in the country, Townsville is a paradise in more ways than one!

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You can expect some of Townsville’s heaviest rainfall at the start of the year—but not to worry, that’s usually less than 10 days out of the month! Nearly all the local fish are in their peak season.


Barra fishing on the coast re-opens after the first of February, so grab your fly rod and come catch a fish to remember! Offshore you can catch big game trophies like Sailfish, Tuna, and more.


Average temperatures are growing colder, and many migratory species begin taking their leave in March. Fishing around Magnetic Island and in the estuaries is spectacular.


Barra fishing is still at its peak in April, and bottom fishing is getting better by the day. Jigging over the Great Barrier Reef will produce Coral Trout, Nannygai, Red Emperor, and more!


Most big game fish are gone by May, but you can still hook into Giant Trevally and Yellowfin Tuna, along with loads of bottom fish. Barra, Jacks, Flathead, and Fingermark will keep you busy inshore.


June is an excellent time to head offshore for reef fishing! Many fish are biting more than ever and there’s next-to-no rain in the forecast this month. Average temperatures range from 15-24°C.


Winter continues in Townsville, with most of the angling action happening on the reefs. Even now, you can still enjoy good fishing in the creeks and channels for Flathead, Jacks, and even Barra.


Even in the dead of winter, you can enjoy balmy weather and clear skies in Townsville. A trip to the Great Barrier Reef will have you hooking into Coral Trout, Nannygai, and much more.


Spring has sprung, and big game fishing is starting to get hot around here! Mahi Mahi, Longtail Tuna, and Wahoo are at their peak again, while everything from Threadfin Salmon to Flathead is biting inshore.


Australia’s legendary Black Marlin are appearing off the coast of Townsville. When you’re not chasing a "Grander," you can fill your cooler with a variety of bottom fish from the reefs.


The season for Barramundi closes at the start of the month, unless you’re fishing upstream from Aplins Weir. The big game fishing offshore is explosive! Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi—you name it, it’s biting.


December marks the start of summer here in Townsville. No matter where you cast your line at this time of year, you’re likely to catch some of the most iconic species in Australia!

Townsville Fishing Calendar

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FAQs about Fishing Charters in Townsville

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Townsville costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $360, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $558. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Townsville is 20 ft and the most common vessel type is a Bass boat.

According to customer reviews, G&T Fishing School & Charters, Fairdinkum Fishing Charters, and Ian Moody Sportfishing – Townsville are some of the most popular fishing charters in Townsville, Queensland. Full list of top fishing charters in Townsville.

G&T Fishing School & Charters, Fairdinkum Fishing Charters, and Ian Moody Sportfishing – Townsville all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Townsville.

The best way to experience fishing in Townsville is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Townsville, Queensland.

The most popular fish species you can target are Barramundi, Trevally (Giant), and Queenfish. Top fishing techniques include bottom fishing, light tackle, and fly fishing. River fishing, inshore fishing, and lake fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Australia’s legendary Black Marlin are appearing off the coast of Townsville. When you’re not chasing a "Grander," you can fill your cooler with a variety of bottom fish from the reefs. Check availability for local fishing charters in Townsville.