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.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.
Making use of professional fishing guides, charter boats or specialist angling
lodges while on the road may well swing
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
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
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
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
Queensland to the Gippsland Lakes in
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
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
Flake is a term used in Australia to indicate the flesh of any of several
species of small shark, particularly Gummy Shark.
Queensland Lungfish is native to the Burnett and Mary River systems of
Queensland, but has been introduced into other nearby rivers,
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
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:
Eastern Freshwater Cod
Mary River Cod
Morwong (a fish found in Port
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
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