18 Dec 2017
Updated August 2022
There are so many fishing hot spots in Australia, but what are you catching and where?
If you don't know your Trevallies from your King George's, check out this guide to some of the most popular species of fish from around Australia.
What else should be on our list?
Fishing for Whiting
Thirteen species of this coastal fish live in large numbers in Australian waters. The most popular (and tasty) is the King George Whiting, which is predominantly found off the coast of South Australia, and more specifically the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas.
The King George has delicate, sweet white flesh and thin fillets that are easy to overcook, but we're sure you'll agree - well worth the extra attention.
Fishing for Tailor
This hard-fighting fish is popular with surf fishers and those who love the rocks and beaches of the east and west coasts of Australia. This means you’ll find these energetic little biters anywhere from the top end of Fraser Island in the east, down to he popular coastal town of Onslow in the west.
Large schools migrate north during autumn and winter to warmer Queensland waters, and while they’re a lot of fun to catch, they also have sharp teeth - so approach with care!
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New South Wales
Fishing for Jewfish (Mulloway)
If you’re not in New South Wales or Queensland you’ll probably know this little saltwater beast as a mulloway. Known for a distinctive croaking sound they emit from their bladders, the mulloway has been recorded from southern Queensland right around the southern coast of Australia to the central shores of Western Australia.
This means you’re in with a chance of catching a ‘jewie’ just about anywhere, but don't call it a jewfish in South Australia, they call it butterfish.
Fishing for Wahoo
Sports fishermen always get a kick out of this fast-flying tropical bullet, while the wahoo’s high-quality flesh also makes it a prize game fish.
This well-known species can grow to over two metres long and are commonly found off Western Australia’s Rottnest Island, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Montague Island off New South Wales’ southern coast is another popular breeding ground.
Fishing for Mahi-Mahi
Otherwise known as dolphin fish or dorado, these bright blue migratory fish can be found in tropical water around the world. In Australia that means they can be found off WA, NT, Queensland and Montague Island in NSW.
A favourite among anglers who prefer a lighter tackle set up, the species is considered fast-growing with an estimated maximum size of 200cm in length, but more commonly clock in at around the metre and a half mark. Known to gather around floating objects, look out for its acrobatic flips and twists in the air.
Fishing for Flathead
They’re not particularly pretty to look at (check out that big flat noggin) but the bar-tailed flathead, dusky flathead, Northern sand flathead and yellow tailed flathead are both great sport and table fish.
You’ll find these dusky dudes laying in the sand, mud, gravel and seagrass in estuaries and coastal bays like Port Phillip in NSW and Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, all the way up the east coast to Cairns.
Fishing for Trout
According to The Australian Trout Foundation Inc, trout fishing is readily available within a one or two hours drive from most of Australia’s capital cities.
Trout prefer cool, clean, flowing water but can also be found in still water lakes. In New South Wales trout are common in the streams and lakes across the New England, Snowy Mountains and Blue Mountains regions. They are also found in the streams and lakes of Victoria’s Great Dividing Range, western Victoria, and most freshwater lakes and rivers in Tasmania.
Fishing for Luderick (Black Bream)
Also known as black bream, these handsome devils are a favourite of sport fishermen. Preferring to take bait that looks natural, be sure to bring along your best lures and floats.
On a good day, you’ll snag one over two kilos and they can be found in large numbers in estuary and inshore waters in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and occasionally pop up in southern Queensland and southern parts of Western Australia.
Fishing for Silver Trevally
Found just about everywhere in the southern coastlines of Australia, Western Australians call this fighting fish ‘Skippy’. Weighing in at around six-to-eight kilograms on average, the silver trevallies are much smaller than their cousins the giant trevallie, which can weigh in at up to 55 kg!
Preferring estuarine and coastal waters, they love hanging out and feeding around reefs, jetties, harbours, channels and wrecks. A fun breed for new and old anglers.
Fishing for Snapper
However you serve it - poached, steamed, baked, fried or grilled, the snapper is one tasty fish and therefore highly sought after by fishers everywhere.
There are many types of snapper too, and although most prefer the warmer waters of northern Australia, including the Gulf of Carpentaria (Brownstripe, Golden) there are still breeds that spend their days along the cooler east coast, especially around the Shoalhaven region on the central New South Wales coast.
Fishing for Garfish
Widely distributed around Australia, the Southern Garfish in particular loves the cooler waters of the northern part of the Gulf of St. Vincent in South Australia.
Also regarded as a good eating fish, garfish is popular as bait to lure some of the bigger catches and game fish in the areas they thrive in. Eastern Sea Garfish are more commonly found in sheltered bays and occasionally in the lower reaches of estuaries from Moreton Bay in Queensland to Eden in New South Wales.
As always, pay attention to size restrictions in your home state.