Looking for a good spot to fish in Northern Queensland? Why not head to the Mackay Region? There’s plenty of fish in the sea up here… and the lakes and rivers.
With a smorgasbord of options to choose from, fishing in Mackay is second to none. With world-class diversity and plenty of options, the Mackay Region will bring out the inner fishing enthusiast in you. If you’re looking for an awesome place to drop a line, check out these great fishing spots in Mackay.
Shipping channels and reefs
You will need a boat (or arrange a charter) to access the shipping channel and reef systems which are a considerable distance offshore, but it will definitely be worth your time. Mackerel, trevally, and coral trout are just some of the hard-fighting, great-tasting fish you can find on the reefs, making your journey out there a delicious one.
Fishing at Eungella Dam
Built in 1969, Eungella Damn is a long-established fishery with a surface area of 8.9 square kilometers. Mackay Area Fishing Stocking Association (MAFSA) stocks the dam with various barramundi, Saratoga, sooty grunter, and sleepy cod. The dam is also home to the World Sooty Championships in May each year. Eungella Dam unrestricted to boats and they can easily access the dam via a single lane concrete boat ramp (PS: Eungella Dam is the place to go if you want to tick off a 50cm sooty grunter off your list.)
Built in 1977, the dam has a surface area of 10 square kilometers. Preferred by anglers who like a little seclusion and serenity, this dam offers the opportunity to fish and gaze at your serene surroundings alike. You can catch barramundi and sooty grunter at Teemburra Dam, but bait fish are also available in aplomb.
Kinchant Dam fishing spots
Kinchant Dam is one of the best places in the world to catch barramundi, there are no two ways about it! Barramundi were introduced in 2000 and have done exceptionally well, with huge, fat fish caught. The dam is one of the few places on earth where you can catch the 1-meter barra. So what are you waiting for? Come check it off your list!
The upper reaches of Pioneer River are great to explore both on foot or via kayak. You can find barra and sooty grunter in aplomb here. Pro tip: try surface lures earlier in the morning and late afternoon, focusing your casts on shadowy areas under bank overhangs and tree canopies. As the sun gets higher, switch to spinnerbaits and small, deep-diving minnows (50-80mm). Make sure to pack your togs because you’ll want to take a dip in the crystal-clear water.
Fishing around Seaforth
Seaforth and its creeks are incredibly popular among Mackay’s locals when it comes to fishing. The diversity of fish available in the area is what makes Seaforth special. Whiting, bream and flathead can be caught off the beaches, with jacks, grunter, salmon and barra swimming aplenty in the creeks. In the estuaries, fish move into the mangroves at high tide, including giant salmon, barramundi, jacks, queenfish, ribbon fish and golden trevally.
Halfway between Mackay and Sarina, Alligator Creek is a popular local fishing spot. Walk your way along the beach to the mouth of the creek, where you can fish on either high or low tide. With Whiting and Bream among the catch on offer, this creek has something for everyone. (PS: You can bring your dog along too as there’s plenty of space for them to roam around!)
Rocky Dam Creek
Rocky Dam Creek in Koumala is a secluded spot a little ways away from Mackay. The creek, which is home to a variety of fish is popular amongst locals in the region and is considered a hidden gem. Ideally, on a day at Rocky Dam Creek, you’ll catch plenty of crabs and shrimps along with a few fingermark, blue salmon and a couple nice flathead. If you’re big on diversity in terms of catch, this is the place for you to be.
Drop a line at Hay Point
Located just south of Mackay, Hay Point might be known for its coal terminals but it is also a proven spot to catch some ripper blueys. Take your boat out and stay close to the rocky outcrops of mainland or head towards offshore hotspots like Snare Peak, the Beverly group, Prudhoe and Middle Island chasing coral trout, red emperor, sweetlip and cod.
Fishing on the islands around Mackay
Mackay has been blessed with some terrific islands off its coast. These Islands are not just amazing to look at, but they’re also an anglers paradise. From catching Spanish Mackerel near Keswick and St. Bees Islands to catching tusk fish of Prudhoe Island, angling in the waters off Mackay will make you never want to leave.
For easy access to great saltwater fishing, make your way to Mackay’s marina. Here, you’ve got a pretty good chance at catching mackerel, tuna, queenfish, golden trevally and dart; so, come prepared for anything. That means 60-100lb mono leaders, a big reel, and lots and lots of line, because once a tuna grabs your bait you’re going to love having a few hundred meters of line handy just in case it’s a big one.
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Images supplied by Mackay Tourism.