Guide to Australia

Your Tour, Travel & Vacation Guide to Adventures in Australia!

Australia Fishing Guide

The act of travelling to exciting new angling locations is not, in itself, a guarantee that you will automatically enjoy exceptional fishing! In fact, many footloose fishers come home from major expeditions rather disappointed with their results, and with a newfound respect for the calibre of angling available on their own doorstep.

Making use of professional fishing guides, charter boats or specialist angling lodges while on the road may well swing A beautiful Murray Cod from a severely bushfire-affected upland river, that later experienced several ash-induced fish kills. Nevertheless the Murray Cod was carefully released in the hope that it will survive. Catch and release is strongly encouraged with wild Murray Cod, which are very vulnerable to fishing pressure.results in your favour. However, you still shouldn't expect immediate and spectacular results simply because you've travelled a relatively long distance to go fishing.

Chances of success are dramatically increased by careful planning and pre-trip research. Efforts in this area are usually repaid many times over, and can spell the difference between an extremely enjoyable and memory for all the wrong reasons.

Closely examine all the books, magazine articles and other material you can find concerning the destinations you plan to visit on your trip, and carefully read any brochures or other literature supplied by tourism associations and
commercial operations such as fishing guides, lodges and charter boats operating in those areas. Be alert for what's not said in this promotional literature, as much as for what is! If you do intent to use a guide, lodge or charter service, contact the operators of this business well in advance and ask for references, including the names of past clients, whom you can call or write to for an honest assessment. If the operators are serious and confident about their performance, they should have no hesitation in supplying such contacts.


There are many species of fish in Australia, and fishing is a popular Australian activity. Most of Australia's fish species are marine. More than 4,400 species of fish inhabit Australia's waterways. 70% of Australia's freshwater fish have affinities with tropical Indo-Pacific marine species that have adapted to freshwater.

Fishing Tour Companies in Australia
Fishing Down Under

Davidson's Hunting and Fishing Safaris

NT Barra Fishing

BK's Gold Coast Fishing Charters

Game Fish Charters

Tasmania Trout & Fly Fishing Centre

Broome Billfish Charters
Wright '1' Gamefishing Charters

Gove Fish & Dive Charters

Australian Gamefishing

Boomerang Sportfishing Holidays

Geeveston Salmon & Trout Fishery

Big Red Fishing Charters

Types of Fish in Australia

In Australia, the barramundi is used to stock freshwater reservoirs for recreational fishing. The fish's white flesh is delicate, mild-flavoured, and relatively boneless, making it a popular (and sometimes expensive) food which can be prepared in many ways.

The Flathead is a popular sport and table fish found in all parts of Australia. Dusky Flathead are found in estuaries and coastal bays, from Cairns in Queensland to the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria.

The South Australian cobbler Gymnapistes marmoratus (Cuvier 1829), often just called "cobbler" in Australia, is a brown coloured fish that lives in estuaries in southern Australia, both on the eastern (New South Wales) and western (Western Australia - near Perth) coasts. Its dorsal fin's spines are poisonous.

The cobbler Cnidoglanis macrocephalus is an eeltail catfish found along the coasts of Australia, favoring shallow protected waters near river mouths. It is also known as "deteira", "estuary catfish", and "South Australian catfish".

Flake is a term used in Australia to indicate the flesh of any of several species of small shark, particularly Gummy Shark.

The Queensland Lungfish is native to the Burnett and Mary River systems of south-east Queensland, but has been introduced into other nearby rivers, including the Brisbane River.

Freshwater Fish

The Australian continent, which is larger than the continental United States, has relatively few freshwater fishes, only some 280 species or so. A large proportion of these species are endemic to Australia. Australia is unique in that the Percicthyidae (Temperate Perches) family and other families suspected in reality to lie within it (eg Gadopsidae, Nannopercidae) have risen to prominence in and dominate many of its freshwater systems, in contrast to the Northern Hemisphere where freshwater fish faunas are overwhelmingly dominated by the Cyprinidae (Carp) family. (Not a single Cyprinid species is native to Australia. Unfortunately due to the illegal introduction of Carp (Cyprinus carpio) the Cyprinidae family is now present in a destructive form in Australia.) The Galaxiidae have also risen to unusual prominence in Australia, with the bulk of the world's Galaxias species found in Australia and its neighbouring land mass New Zealand.

The most important freshwater system in Australia is the Murray-Darling Basin which drains approximately 13% of the continent and is home to some of Australia's most significant freshwater fish species including the iconic Murray Cod, Australia's largest.

Australian freshwater fish have not fared well since European settlement of Australia in 1788. The majority of Australian freshwater fishes are poorly understood and are under threat due to human activities such clearing of riparian vegetation and siltation associated with agricultural practices, snag removal, overfishing, river regulation through dams and weirs, introduced fish and diseases. Two native fish populations that may have been separate species or sub-species, Richmond River Cod and Brisbane River Cod, have already been lost, and a number of other species are listed as endangered or critically endangered.

Murray Cod: Murray Cod inhabit a wide variety of habitats, from cool clear streams with a rocky substrate in upland areas to large slow flowing, meandering rivers in the extensive alluvial lowland reaches of the Murray-Darling. Murray Cod in previous decades (particularly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) were caught in enormous numbers by both recreational anglers and professional fishermen.

Australian Bass: The Australian Bass, Macquaria novemaculeata is a species of fish in the family Percichthyidae that occurs in coastal waterways along the east coast of Australia. Australian Bass are a small to medium fish with a moderately deep, elongated body and laterally compressed. Australian Bass are keenly fished for as they are an amazing sportsfish, incredibly fast and powerful for their size.

Other types of freshwater Australian fish:


Australian Grayling


Australian Smelt


Climbing galaxias


Common galaxias


Eastern Freshwater Cod


Eel-tailed Catfish


Estuary perch


Flathead galaxias


Golden Perch


Inanga (fish)


Macquarie Perch


Mary River Cod


Mountain Galaxias


Morwong (a fish found in Port Phillip, Melbourne, Australia)


Queensland Lungfish






River Blackfish




Short-finned eel


Sleepy cod


Trout Cod


Two-spined blackfish


Western Carp Gudgeon


Australian Capital Territory

Fishing is quite popular in Lake Burley Griffin with the most common species being the illegally introduced Carp. The lake has been stocked annually with a variety of introduced and native species and over 1.26 million fish have been released since 1964. Annual monitoring is carried out to determine fish populations. The 2001 survey only returned Carp and Redfin Perch, both introduced species, and native Golden Perch. However a number of less common species also inhabit the lake, including native Murray Cod, Western Carp Gudgeon and Silver Perch, as well as introduced Goldfish, Gambusia, Rainbow trout and Brown trout.

There have been many changes to the fish populations in the lake as well as stocking practices since it was first filled. Stockings of introduced Trout have been abandoned as the lake has proved to be a warm, eutrophic habitat that is not suited to the survival of introduced Trout species.

Regular stocking since the start of the 1980s have established reasonable populations of Golden Perch and highly elusive Murray Cod; native fish that were indigenous to the Molonglo River before the lake was built. Today Golden Perch and Murray Cod are the only fish stocked in the lake. Murray Cod are remarkable as freshwater fish for the extreme sizes they achieve and this is particularly the case for Lake Burley-Griffin; specimens to approximately 38 kg have been recorded and there is no doubt there are a few even larger Murray Cod in the lake.

Through natural breeding the introduced Redfin Perch has become a prominent fish species in the lake. The Redfin numbers cycle due to regular onslaughts of Epizootic Haematopoietic Necrosis (EHN) Virus, a mysterious endemic virus that is highly lethal to juvenile Redfin. After an onslaught of EHN Virus, the remaining Redfin achieve very large sizes over the next few years due to reduced food competition. During these periods of reduced competition Redfin can grow up to 50cm, unusually large for this species. These large Redfin offer excellent fishing.

Carp are best pursued in the lake with a small hook baited with tinned corn kernels and little or no lead weight. Redfin are best pursued with the various small soft plastic jigs in worm and fish shapes. Golden Perch and Murray Cod are best pursued with live yabby baits or deep-diving lures and spinnerbaits. Golden Perch are not too difficult to catch but the Murray Cod are extremely, frustratingly elusive. Lures are best used in areas of medium depth that have weedbeds, rocks and drop-offs as fish-attracting structure,

The Golden Perch and Murray Cod in this food-rich lake develop high levels of fat and a muddy taste in their flesh, which make them poor eating. Anglers are encouraged to release these native fish and retain the introduced species for eating, particularly Redfin which are excellent table fish.