Fishing in Port Douglas
A favorite fishing destination for the avid angler, Port Douglas is known as one of the very best game and sports fishing spots in Australia besides Cairns. While there are big catches to be had, the diversity of the region keeps fishing enthusiasts coming back year after year. There are plenty of varieties of good eating fish that inhabit local waterways year round and as Port Douglas is home to reef, river, estuary game, and beach fishing, anglers are sure to be in for a satisfying fishing expedition in Port Douglas. While there are plenty of tours operated by fishing experts that take you out to some of the hot spots on the Great Barrier Reef, there are numerous places around Port Douglas where you can cast your own fishing line and kick back.
In the Far North, there are multitudes of fishing environments to experience. From calm water estuary fishing where barramundi and mangrove jack are on offer, to big game fishing on the outer barrier reef where marlin are the prize, Port Douglas is a prime fishing hub. Whether you want to tinker with a handline and a wiggly worm on a hook off the beach, or take a guided sportfishing tour with professionals, you will be catered for in Port Douglas. And not only that, the variety of fish that can be caught in this area is staggering. Marlin is big game. It's the equivalent to catching a tiger in the African wilderness, without the danger of driving it to extinction. Boat tours operate seasonally to hunt for the prized Black Marlin and Sailfish. These two species are the monster fish of the sea, several meters long they provide an exciting fight for any angler.
Other prized fish in the area include:
- Mangrove Jack
- Coral Trout
- Sooty Grunter
- Red Emperor
- Spanish Mackerel
- Jungle Perch
- Queenfish…the list goes on as does the type of fishing in Port Douglas.
Port Douglas Reef Fishing
Fishing out on the Great Barrier Reef makes for an excellent day. Whether you hire a boat or book passage on a shared fishing tour or are fortunate enough to private charter a purpose built game fishing boat you will be in for some spectacular reef fishing from Port Douglas Australia. While you are likely to catch Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Nannygai, and Spanish Mackerel out on the reef during seasonal times of the year you will definitely catch some of the afore mentioned fish as well as Giant Trevally, Barramundi, Wrasse, Reef Mangrove Jack, Salifish Tuna, Wahoo, and the prized Black Marlin. The latter being on a catch and release basis nowadays to preserve the species. These Black Marlin numbers are being wiped out from sharks and other predators as well as the illegal long line fishing boats that rape pillage and plunder our Australian waters of everything in their way whether it is edible or not.
Port Douglas River and Estuary Fishing
For a calm water experience, there is nothing like spending a day in the wild Port Douglas rivers and estuary fishing. Like reef fishing, there are a number of companies who offer day and evening fishing tours or you can simply charter your very own boat and navigate the waters yourself. The most popular sites to fish are Daintree River, Muddy Creek, Dickson Inlet, and Mowbray River.
Set your lines for catching some Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Trevally, Queenfish, or Fingermark. Port Douglas river and estuary fishing will provide a bountiful catch year round. When fishing on a Port Douglas river or estuary keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife that reside on the banks and mangroves, and for the myriad of water birds that call the region home. Also be very wary of the salt water crocodiles lurking in the waters waiting for their next meal they want what you catch.
Port Douglas Game Fishing
Port Douglas game fishing is set to get the adrenalin pumping of even the most seasoned game fisherman or woman. Boat fishing companies offer both light and heavy tackle game fishing and you can expect to wrestle with giant Tuna, Sailfish, Wahoo, Trevally, Dolphin Fish, and the prized Marlin. While most of these fish inhabit the waters year round, the best time to game fish in Port Douglas is from August to around March depending on the species targetted.
Port Douglas game fishing is so thrilling, many people opt to stay overnight on the water for extended periods of time. Whether it be overnight or for a few days, there are a number of fishing companies who charter motherships and bigger vessels which can comfortably provide accommodation for larger groups from Port Douglas.
Port Douglas Helicopter Fishing
For the thrill seeking adventure lover, Port Douglas helicopter fishing is the ultimate experience.
Tour companies offer return helicopter flights to top fishing locations from Port Douglas where you will spend the day casting off with local fishing experts.
Port Douglas helicopter fishing adds just a little twist on a day out angling. Not only is the helicopter ride exhilarating, you get the opportunity to enjoy some amazing views from high in the sky.
You will also get to experience locations that may not be accessible by vehicle or if you are short on time and just want to experience that fishing trip of a lifetime then Port Douglas helicopter fishing is a great option.
Port Douglas Land Based Fishing
If it is a quiet days fishing you are after, Port Douglas has many top spots for you to cast off, kick back and enjoy the day. Local fishermen recommend purchasing bait from local seafood outlets.
Despite the higher price, they say that the results will far outweigh the costs and time it takes to find your own bait. Locals recommend using prawns, squid, or pilchards for bait. It is recommended that you do not purchase baits from overseas as they are puported to carry viruses that can cripple the Australian fishing industry.
Four Mile Beach Port Douglas– There could not be a prettier place to cast off than the stunning Four Mile Beach. The southern tip of the beach provides the perfect spot for some early morning or late afternoon fishing. Here you are likely to catch Whiting, Trevally, Blue Salmon, Queensfish, and Dart.
Rex Smeal Park Port Douglas– This quaint seaside park is a popular spot for weddings as the views of the Coral Sea and rolling mountains are second to none. Enjoy the view as you cast off on the rocks and soon you will have a Queenfish, Trevally, or Barramundi tugging on your line.
Shipwreck Wharf Port Douglas– Located just behind the picturesque St Mary's by the Sea Chapel this is a good spot to catch a Bream or Grunter. This is a popular spot on Sunday's as the area is filled with the hustle and bustle of the weekly Port Douglas Markets.
If you like eating mud crab then Port Douglas rivers and estuaries are the place for you to sink a few baskets and find yourself a sizeable catch. Just be aware females are not to be taken at certain months of the year with a total morotorium on all crabs at other specified times to ensure the reproductive season is not interupted. See the local fishing supply store in Port Douglas for more information.
Please note you need to take care when launching your boat into the Port Douglas rivers and eustuaries. The ramps are slippery more often than not and crocodiles do inhabit these waters although they are only seen on rare occassions.
When out in the mangroves do not get out into these murky waters as you never know who is under there. And be aware of the tidal changes so you do not get caught in the mud.
Please do not fillet fish on the Port Douglas waterfront as you may only attract unwanted dangerous visitors.
Prior to fishing on the reef please see the zones where you are permitted to cast a line and the zones where you are not permitted to cast a line.
Also note all fishing is closed once a year for the fish to breed and that is around the back end of the year near the coral spawning season when the reef is going nuts with fish coming from miles around to enjoy this abundant free for all buffet and mating season.
When fishing in the wild rivers of Port Douglas make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, insect repellant, a hat and food and water and advise someone of the location you intend on going fishing and the time you intend to return to the Port Douglas marina.
Enjoy your Port Douglas fishing and crabbing tour and make sure you take your camera to enjoy the sightseeing and to show the size of those fish that did get away.