A young boy fishes on the banks of the Pumicestone Passage. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily
A young boy fishes on the banks of the Pumicestone Passage. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily Brett Wortman

Top five river, creek and dam fishing spots in Queensland

1 Pumicestone Passage at Golden Beach

GPS: -26.818005, 153.121437

How to get there: South of Caloundra, join Landsborough Pde which turns into the Esplanade. There are many spots to fish from, take your pick in the Passage.

Why it's great: Multiple freshwater inlets. No need for a boat, masses of yabby banks here attract plenty of fish, and it's easy to walk the bank and throw a lure or bait. There's great access too: just drive along and pull up anywhere. 

Tips: Whiting, bream, flathead and trevally are abundant here. Got kids? This is a choice spot to give them their first fishing experience.

Watch out for: A northerly wind can bring in seaweed. Boaties need to be aware of the sand bar.

2 Baffle Creek Catchment

GPS: 24.5058317 E ,151.9298282 S

How to get there: From Gladstone, head south on the Bruce Hwy until Miriam Vale, and turn on to Larson St to get to Tableland Rd. Take a right at the T-intersection then a left at Kirkpatrick Rd. Pass through Euleilah on Hills Road. A right turn after Euleilah Creek will take you onto Coast Road and into the township of Baffle Creek. From Bundaberg, take the Lowmead road to Berajondo and turn on to Tableland Rd.

Why it's great: Encased by conservation parks from both sides, the renowned Baffle Creek catchment is a 120km estuary system hosting nearly 80 different fish species and 10 crustacean species. The pristine water catchment unfolds into a variety of fishing landscapes with sand flats, mangroves and rock bars. Whether you are chasing a salmon, cod, mangrove jack, barra or trevally, Baffle Creek is the local anglers' nirvana.

 

The kids have got amongst the fish in previous Baffle Creek Family Fishing Festivals.
The kids have got amongst the fish in previous Baffle Creek Family Fishing Festivals. Contributed

Tips: Don't be surprised if you are fishing for whiting and manage to snag a flathead or queen fish. By way of freshwater fishing, you simply couldn't ask for more out of Baffle Creek.

 

Watch out for: Snags because of partially submerged trees and large tidal changes. Plan your trip well and exercise caution.

3 Maroochy River Cod Hole, Maroochydore

 

At the Cod Hole on the Maroochy River. Photo:Judi Mell
At the Cod Hole on the Maroochy River. Photo:Judi Mell

 

GPS: -26.6432429,153.0673317

How to get there: It's where the Sunshine Motorway flyover crosses Bradman Avenue in Maroochydore, in and around the flyover supports.

Why it's great: Ideal for novices, you can easily park here and fish from the bank.

Deep water is within close casting distance, and fish are abundant thanks to the bridge supports, deep holes, ledges and the river bottom structure.

Tips: You'll find many species including some biggies like mulloway (jew), mangrove jack, tailor and trevally.

The area's well lit at night, so why not try some after-hours fishing?

Watch out for: The rocky, snaggy bottom.

It's a narrow point here so there is often lots of boat traffic.

 

 

 

4 O'Connell River near Proserpine

 

How to get there: Turn off the Bruce Hwy at Campbell Rd, south of Proserpine. At a causeway, turn to the right at the river.

Why it's great: This spot has it all; barra, tarpon, sooty grunter, the elusive jungle perch and, in the lower reaches of the freshwater area, mangrove jack. It's a big system with lots of area for fishing, so if you're willing to walk you can find peace and quiet to catch some nice fish.

Tips: This spot is for land-based fishing only, so be prepared to hoof it. But it's got some nice rainforest and is scenic. You can walk up or down the system, it's all accessible. But make sure you have suitable footwear to protect your feet and cover up, because it's exposed to the sun.

5 Fitzroy River, Rockhampton

GPS: -23.381716, 150.519733 

How to get there: The river lies in the heart of Rockhampton and its catchment covers an area of 142,665sq km. Fishing must not be within 400m of the Rockhampton Barrage. 

Why it's great: Great fishing rivers flow through some of Australia's best known cities: the Yarra in Melbourne, the Swan in Perth and the Derwent in Hobart, to name a few. One of the best city rivers has got to be the Fitzroy, which runs right through Rockhampton.

Australia has few waterways where you can catch metre-plus-long barramundi within casting range of a cappuccino machine. In terms of consistency in numbers and size, the Fitzroy is up with the best, and certainly better than most. Some say the Fitzroy consistently produces the biggest wild barramundi in Australia.

Tips: Fish near Rockhampton's Neville Hewitt Bridge. All around the bridges and up to the barrage there are rock bars and structures everywhere. Lots of barramundi and king salmon hang in these areas. There are bags of fish around the Cut Through, but be careful travelling towards Serpentine as the tide drops.

Watch out for: Snags aplenty near the meatworks in Lakes Creek.



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