FISHING

They say if you can't catch it in North Queensland, it can't be caught. But whether you're a serious angler with your own launch, or an amateur holiday fisherman with a twenty dollar fishing rod, it pays to have some local knowledge. Whether you're chartering a boat, joining a fishing cruise, or tossing a line in off the jetty, at Cairns Unlimited, you'll find all the information you need to make sure you catch that big one. In fact, we'll do everything except bait your hook for ya!
BELOW YOU WILL SEE CURRENT WEATHER CONDITIONS FOR CAIRNS. ROLL YOUR MOUSE OVER THE HIGHLIGHTED DESTINATIONS ON THE MAP TO CHANGE THAT WEATHER REPORT TO VIEW WEATHER DETAILS FROM AROUND THE REGION. CLICK FOR A FORECAST.



Click for Cairns, Queensland Forecast
The warm tropical waters of north
Queensland are teeming with fish
of every variety, from the whiting that
the kids will love to catch from the
local jetty, and the kaleidoscope of colourful reef fish, to the monster barramundi that the keen fisherman will find in our rivers and estuaries.

And let's not forget about the big ones...

That's right, folks this is Marlin country. The coastline from just south of Cairns to Cooktown in the north is known as the 'Marlin Coast' and this region is deserved of its reputation as the Marlin Capital of the World! More 1000 pound Black Marlin are caught on the Cairns coast than in the rest of the world's fishing grounds put together!

But it's not just the ocean and the coastal rivers where you'll find great fishing. The world record barramundi (121cm and 38.75kg) and the world record sooty grunter (5.45kg) have been caught in Lake Tinaroo, in the Atherton Tablelands.


AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE, YOU WILL FIND A COMPLETE GUIDE TO FISHING IN TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND. NO MORE SEARCHING ALL OVER THE INTERNET FOR A PIECE OF INFORMATION HERE, AND ANOTHER PIECE THERE. WE HAVE IT ALL IN ONE PLACE; THE FISHING SPOTS, THE BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR EACH SPECIES, BOAT RAMP LOCATIONS, AND EVEN WHICH TYPE OF RIGGING AND TACKLE IS BEST!
One Golden Trevally that didn't get away! Okay, so we photoshopped this one!
This simple table is packed with all the information you could need. Roll your mouse over the image of a fish to find details of the best time of year for that variety. Roll your mouse over a question mark in the left hand column to view information about boat ramps in that location. Roll your mouse over the red 'tick' in any box to view information on the best bait or lure to catch that variety of fish in that location. Enjoy!
LOCATIONS FROM NORTH TO SOUTH BARRACUDA: Best time September to March, but present all year. WARNING: The barracuda is considered potentially unsafe for eating. See notes below. BARRAMUNDI: best time September to March, but present all year. WARNING: CLOSED SEASON for barramundi during their spawning season (see notes below) BREAM: best time June to September, but present April to January. Size and bag limits apply. CATFISH: best time November to March, but present September to May. WARNING: Be careful handling this fish (see notes below)COD ESTUARY COD: best time July to September, but present April to November. Size and bag limits apply. FINGERMARK: . FLATHEAD: best time June to September, but present April to December. Size limits apply. GIANT TREVALLY: best time October to March, but present all year. This fish is not suitable for freezing (see notes below) GRUNTER: best time June to October, but present all year. Size and bag limits apply. JUNGLE PERCH: best time November to March, but present September to April. The Jungle Perch is quite rare, and we advocate a 'catch and release' policy with this fish. MANGROVE JACK: best time September to March, but present all year. Size limits apply. QUEENFISH: best time April to September, but present March to November. This fish is not suitable for freezing (see notes below) SALMON: Best time August to October, but present most of the year. SOOTY GRUNTER: best time October to February, but present all year SPANISH MACKERAL: best time March to November, but present all year. Size and bag limits apply. WARNING: Take care handling this fish (see notes below) WHITING: best time June to September, but present April to November
Weipa - - - - - - - - - - - -
Princess Charlotte Bay - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Cooktown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There is a boat ramp just upstream of the Daintree River ferry crossing, and another upstream of Daintree Village, which is limited to smaller vessels.Daintree River lure lure prawns - - lure - lure lure strip baits, sardines, prawns lure lure lure or sardines - lure - -
The Port Douglas boat ramp is next to the Combined Club at Dixon Inlet. There are more ramps to the north of Port Douglas at: the Mossman River (Cooya Beach); and just south of Wonga Beach (Dayman Point)Port Douglas - fresh fish, large prawns or lure - - - - - - fresh fish or large prawns - - lure sardines - - - -
Captain Cook Highway - fresh fish or large prawns, or lure - strip baits, sardines, prawns - - - - strip baits, fresh fish, prawns - - - - - - - -
At Palm Cove, the boat ramp is at the north end of the Esplanade. It is a narrow ramp, and only accessible in calm weather.Palm Cove - - - - - - - - - - - garfish or pilchards, or lure
At Yorkeys Knob, the boat ramp is right next to the Boating Club. It is sheltered and has good sea access and ample car parking and facilities.Yorkeys Knob - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Next to main highway near Cairns airport is a small ramp with good access to the river. There is another small ramp at Machans Beach, but it is subject to tidal conditions, and has limited parking.Barron River - - - - - - - - -
Next to the sugar terminal, there is a small boat ramp into Smith's Creek. A larger ramp with more parking, and a floating pontoon, is located at Tingara Street. Another small ramp (with limited tidal access) can be found off Redbank Road at Redbank, and a fourth off Thompson Road at Edmonton.Trinity Inlet - - - - - - - -
Kings Point - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lake Tinaroo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
There is a boat ramp on the Mulgrave River at Deeral, and one at Bellended Ker on the Russell River. You will also find boat ramps at Bramston Beach, Flying Fish Point, Innisfail, Mourilyan Harbour and Kurrimine Beach.Russell/Mulgrave Rivers - - - - - - - -
Mourilyan Harbour - - - - - - -
Mission Beach - - - - - - - - - - -
Hinchinbrook Is. - - - - - - - - - - -


NOTES:
Barracuda- The larger barracudas are suspected to carry a disease called CIGUATERA, which can cause illness in humans.

Catfish- Catfish have tough, bony barbs in their dorsal fin and pectoral fins. These barbs can inject a poison which causes extreme pain, and may become infected. Being bottom feeders, they tend to be quite slimy and slippery, which makes them even more difficult to handle. They must be bled immediately after capture.

Spanish Mackeral- Spanish Mackeral have razor sharp teeth and must be killed immediately upon capture. Like catfish, they must be bled, to preserve the flesh.

Barramundi- Closed season November, December and January. In the Gulf areas, this season vaires from year to year. For the latest details of seasonal restrictions for Barramundi and any other species protected by closed seasons, please visit the official website of the DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES.

Giant Trevally- Trevally do not handle the freezing process. If you don't have facilities to cook your catch on the day, it should be released.

Queenfish- Queenfish do not handle the freezing process. If you don't have facilities to cook your catch on the day, it should be released.

Also, remember where you are... this is Tropical North Queensland, and our waterways are home to both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles. Cleaning of fish and dumping fish scraps in or near our waterways is irresponsible, and in our opinion should be illegal. For more information about the dangers of crocodiles, please visit our SAFE TRAVEL page.


We're sorry, but unfortunately Wunderground.com doesn't have weather details for the Port Douglas/Daintree area. There are great opportunities for fishing in this area, though, as you will see if you scroll down the page.