The country which is famous for its natural beauty has become an anglers paradise. From fishing regulations to the best hidden fishing spots, here are 10 things every angler should know about fishing in Australia before going to this magnificent place.
For some, it might seem that Australia is somewhat inaccessible, yet the detached position of the country is what makes it such a unique land. More than 80% of its natural life cannot be found anywhere else in the world. From koalas to kangaroos, sharks, snakes, and spiders, Australia is the home of just about 1 million local species. Don't let anything stop you from exploring the country, especially if you are a fishing enthusiast.
With more than 16,000 miles of the coast, it is no wonder that the Australian beach is part of the daily life of the locals in the nation. It is not difficult to find a quiet beach to relax, surf and, of course, to fish.
#1 - License and rules
Australian angling rules remain moderately unlimited, particularly when contrasted with different nations. In many regions, it is needed to have a permission to go fishing. When fishing in New South Wales (NSW), for example, both in freshwater and saltwater, you must carry your recreational fishing license or a receipt showing your payment of the recreational fishing fee, at all times. You can easily apply for a recreational fishing licence. All you need is your personal details; your residential and postal address; the license starting date and duration; a valid credit card for the payment of the license fee.
When it comes to the rules of fishing, Australia has size limits that aim to allow fish to reach maturity and complete their breeding cycle, while bag limits help make sure everyone gets a fair share of the resource and species are not overfished. You can see all the fishing rules and regulations for both freshwater and saltwater. Since the rules change according to each region, we highly recommend having a guide during your fishing trip.
#2 - Climate
You should keep in mind that Australia's seasons are inverse toward the northern side of the equator. Christmas falls in the warmth of summer and July is the coldest month of the year. This makes Australia the perfect place to hide from the cold European winter.
The tropical north has a stormy season that reaches out from December through February. Some of the best fishing for many species takes place in the more settled and mild “shoulder” periods: September to November and March through May. However, you should get in touch with your guide and make sure you will visit the country in the best season to catch your favorite fish.
#3 - Unique fishes
It is hard to tell which one is the best fish in Australia since the country has over 2000 different species of fish. But there are indeed some species that stent out such as the barramundi (giant perch live in both fresh and saltwater), the giant black marlin, and the mackerel. The black marlin can be found from September until early December in between Cairns and Lizard Island, in far northern Queensland. When it comes catching the barramundi, they are biting all year long, but the peak season is March and April. And the mackerel is best found during the colder winter or dry season months. Naturally, there are plenty of other options. Australia spans such a massive range of climates and ecosystems, variety is the key. Trout to tuna, mackerel to marlin: they truly do have it all. You can download the calendar for each fish.
#4 - Visa and Vaccines
Some things should be taken care of before leaving home, such as visa and vaccines. When it comes to visa, all nationalities must apply for a visa before leaving home, unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen. In order to apply for a tourist visa and holiday visa, you should get in touch with the nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Control website.
Regarding vaccines, even though there are no obligatory shots required to enter Australia, it is certainly worth having a Tetanus/Diphtheria shot done if you haven’t taken it in the previous 10 years. Taking the shot will give 10 years of Tetanus insurance and implies that in case of a cut, it won't be important to search for a Tetanus shot. It is also recommended getting a Yellow Fever shot. Dengue Fever represents a risk in the north of Queensland, so the use of mosquito repellent is also highly suggested.
#5 - Local food
Knowing the cuisine of a country is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in one of the most delicious parts of its cultural manifestation. Luckily, Australia is full of great options food-wise. From damper, a traditional basic kind of bread that is made with flour and water, which is a staple in the diet of Australian Aborigines, to the Australian barbecue, the local cuisine is delicious and unique. But, of course, you can also easily find famous dishes that are a heritage of the British colonization such as Fish and Chips that combine perfectly with a pint of beer.
Remember of also trying the Vegemite, a paste of beer yeast very used in toasts and pieces of bread. If you are adventurous when it comes to food we also recommend tasting the kangaroo meat. This free-range meat has high levels of protein, iron and vitamin B, and, different from most meats, is virtually fat-free. No wonder it was the main food for Aboriginal tribes all over Australia. Do not miss the chance to taste this delicacy!
#6 - Best fishing spot
Again, with such diversity, it is nearly impossible to choose the best fishing spot in Australia. But once more, we will try. The Great Barrier Reef is undoubtedly worth mentioning in this list. It is one of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts. The reef contains a richness of marine life and includes over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays.
The region has hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches literally. This wonder is the most extensive coral reef system in the world and is considered the only living thing on earth visible from space, which makes it even more unique. In this region, you can catch the red emperor, nannygai, Spanish mackerel, and coral trout. While fishing in the Great Barrie Reef, be aware that while licenses are not required for recreational fishing in Queensland, regulations do limit fish size, the number of fish, and even gender for some species. If you would like to know more about fishing spots in Australia we recommend checking the Explore Australia blog. They have a bunch of good tips when it comes to fishing locations.
#7 - Aboriginal Australia
Australia’s Aboriginal population might be the world’s most ancient living culture, and it has a considerable influence on the country’s culture until now. A big part of Australia’s culture around fishing comes from the aborigines. For them, fishing is as natural and as necessary as breathing. They have a deep cultural and spiritual connection with their waters and marine resources, whether saltwater or freshwater. Fishing is not a sport or a hobby, it is a matter of cultural practice. Much coastal Indigenous fishing is done on the beach or in shallow pools. Shellfish such as cockles and crabs can be dug up from under the sand. The heritage of this people can be easily seen all around the country. In Sydney, you can find markets where you can shop for aboriginal products and appreciate a little bit of their culture while watching music presentations, dances and even smoking ceremonies.
Of course, you can also come across many other cultural heritages since Australia is a genuine mix of different people. About a quarter of the population was born in another country, and over 40% of Australians are descendants of other cultures. Many came from Italy and Greece after World War II, but recent immigration has come from New Zealand and the UK, as well as China, Vietnam, Africa, and India, among other countries.
#8 - Wildlife
When it comes to wildlife, this country has much more than just some few exotic fishes. Australia is a continental country which has such immense proportions that it can be considered as a continent by itself. At the same time, it is a large island isolated from the rest of the world. And much of its exotic features arise because of this isolation, with its fauna having been developed uniquely compared to the rest of the world. Today, much of Australia's local animals are threatened with extinction because of their rarity and human behavior. But tourists visiting Australia can still observe some of the most different species in their natural habitat or in animal protection sanctuaries. If you would like to discover some of them, lots of ethical activities with animals are proposed to tourists, as mentioned in this article from the Crowded Planet.
Marsupials are extremely common in these lands, and they should be on your list of animals to see. They are mammals which are born very premature and need to develop in the pouch until they are ready to face the world. Kangaroos, koalas and Tasmanian devils are examples of this species of animals that can only be found in this region. In addition to the marsupials, Australia still has other species of mammals that are typical of the country as the platypus, which features soft fur, duck beak, and beaver tail. This species, however, is extremely rare and difficult to be seen.
#9 - Road trip
Australia is such a big country that is difficult to choose only one city or region to visit. That is why a road trip might be a good idea. The country has a vast road system which is kept in excellent conditions and is probably the most beautiful road trips scenarios in the world. Take after Victoria's as it embraces the fantastic southeast coastline or experience Australia's in an epic drive over the desert. There are car rental companies at major airports as well as at central city locations. But be aware of the rules in every region you plan on visiting by car.
In Australia, driving regulations are different from state to state. Some regions require you to carry an International Licence with your current overseas license. In some other states, you are obliged to carry your current foreign driver's license together with an official translation of your license into English. You can have more information about laws and driving regulations as well as registration and licenses online.
#10 - Other water activities
If you are the type of angler who likes to combine fishing with some other sports, Australia will definitely suit you well. In this region, the water activities are countless. Since the country’s mind-blowing natural scenery is not limited to what you can see above the ground, we highly recommend you to trip down under with some snorkeling. Once you get to glance beneath the surface of its coastal waters, you will be amazed by vibrantly colored corals, tropical fish, massive rock formations, and historic shipwrecks. Some of the best places to snorkel are Low Isles, Green Island, Michaelmas Cay and Heron Island.
Another very popular activity in Australia is surfing, and Gold Coast is probably the favorite spot for lovers of this sport. With about 70 kilometers of beautiful beaches and four epic point breaks, it is not hard to see why this region has been attracting surfers from all over the world. Another good news is that the beaches in this area are patrolled all year around by professional lifeguards and conditions suit all skill levels. Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay, Duranbah Beach and Burleigh Heads, are the most visited places for surfers.
So basically, when fishing in Australia, be careful with the fishing regulations of each region, before leaving home do not forget to apply for your visa and take your vaccines shots. Once you are there, enjoy the peculiar cuisine when trying Vegemite, damper and even kangaroo. Get to know the aboriginal heritage - which is the root of the connection between Australia and fishing -, meet wild-one-of-a-kind animals such as the marsupials and fish for the most exotic species in the world. Enjoy every single moment in one of the best fishing spots, the Great Barrier Reef, and try to catch as many barramundi, giant black marlin, and mackerel as you can. If you get the chance, definitely take a road trip on the well-maintained roads and try snorkeling and surfing.
We hope that after reading all these tips, the natural beauty of Australia has awakened your appetite for adventure, and of course, for fishing! Do not miss the opportunity of exploring Australia as a whole: the cities, the dream beaches, the people. If possible, try to watch a rugby match and get to know one some of the local food markets. If you experience all these fantastic things, you probably will never want to leave this country again.
Subscribe to The Angler's Truth | Fishtripr
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox