North Queensland

53 Fishing Charters

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Fishing in North Queensland

North Queensland fishing charters offer some of the most exclusive trips out of Australia. With quick access to the Great Barrier Reef, numerous estuaries, rivers, and lakes, you’ll be front and centre in one of the world’s hottest fishing spots!

The northern region of Queensland is well known for its excellent Marlin and Tuna fishing, but there are many other species on offer as well. Giant Trevally, Red Emperor, Nannygai, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Kingfish, and Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel are just a few of the A-listers you can expect to target.

Local charters offer a wide range of trips tailored to their customers’ preferences. You can find half day trips lasting up to four or five hours, full day trips lasting up to eight or 10 hours, or multi-day trips that will have you fishing for up to 2 days. Shorter trips are perfect for beginners or families with kids as you’ll stay inshore in calmer waters. Longer trips are ideal for deep sea “fin-atics” looking to go further offshore and hook bigger species.

North Queensland hosts a variety of fishing locations that can accommodate all types of anglers. Towns such as Cairns, Port Douglas, and Cardwell are phenomenal locations for reef and estuary fishing. Other places to check out include Arlie Beach, Townsville, and Yorkeys Knob. Weipa, most famous for its Barramundi fishing, should also be on your radar. With so many places to choose from, it’s no wonder North Queensland has become a top-visited destination over the last few decades.

Rules & Regulations

The best part is, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a license if you’re fishing from shore or a charter boat. However, you may need to get an impoundment license if you plan on fishing in certain stocked fisheries. There are size and bag limits that apply to most species, and certain areas are closed, depending on the season. Your best bet is to join a skipper who is familiar with the local regulations so you stay within the law and catch lots of fish!

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North Queensland Fishing Seasons

The weather is hot down under and so is the fishing! Now is the best time to hop on a charter and go big game fishing off the coast. You’ll target Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and many more.

Summer fishing continues well into February. Sailfish and Blue Marlin fishing is still hot and you can also expect to target Yellowtail Amberjack, Yellowfin Tuna, Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi.

Autumn begins in North Queensland and the Barramundi fishing is excellent. Shallow water fishing is great, especially if you’re targeting Threadfin Salmon. Look for murky waters, particularly tidal streams, and you’ll find lots of Threadfin as they swim upstream.

Reef fishing is solid in April. Head out to the Great Barrier Reef and get ready to reel in Coral Trout, as well as Red, Spangled, and Sweetlip Emperor. If you’re lucky, you may even catch yourself a juicy Pinky!

As the weather cools down, excellent reef fishing conditions continue. Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna fishing is also still solid, and Blue and Striped Marlin are still attacking the lures aggressively. 

Head to the Great Barrier Reef for some bottom fishing action and target Red and Sweetlip Emperor, as well as Pink Snapper. You can also expect to target Coral Trout and Nannygai.

July is technically the coldest month in Queensland but daytime temperatures still hover around 25 degrees. These pleasant conditions put Flathead fishing at the forefront along the many inlets and bays of North Queensland.

Barramundi, Queenfish, and Flathead fishing are solid inshore. Further off the coast you can still hook Blue and Striped Marlin, Mahi Mahi, Bonito, Dogtooth Tuna, and many other pelagic species.

Locals have been waiting patiently to be able to target Black Marlin and the time has finally come! Mahi Mahi and Wahoo also make a comeback, making it possible to hook multiple pelagic fish on one trip.

Threadfin Salmon fishing is excellent in October. Stalk the shallows with live or dead bait and have a local skipper help you find some of the most productive spots. Barramundi is often targeted at the same time, so you might land multiple fish on one trip!

Now is the time to head offshore to target Giant Trevally. This fish can be targeted in many different ways but the most important thing to remember is that they like to put up a battle. Come prepared for a fight and don’t be ashamed to take out the heavy tackle.

Inshore fishing for Cobia is all the rage in December. You can also target Barracuda, Threadfin Salmon, and Geelbek. Offshore, you can deep drop for Tuna and Sailfish or troll for Mahi Mahi and Marlin. Your options are endless!

North Queensland Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in North Queensland

Trevally (Giant)

Trevally (Giant)

Spanish Mackerel (Narrow-barred)

Spanish Mackerel (Narrow-barred)

Coral Trout

Coral Trout

Queenfish

Queenfish

Barramundi

Barramundi

Cobia

Cobia

Marlin (Black)

Marlin (Black)

Snapper (Red Emperor)

Snapper (Red Emperor)