Gladstone Region Fishing Guide

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Gladstone Region

Fishing Guide

Gladstone and Gladstone Harbour Gladstone is located some 550 kilometres by road north of Brisbane and 100 kilometres south-east of Rockhampton. The city is situated between the Calliope River to the north and the Boyne River to the south. Between the two river mouths, lies the deep water Harbour for which the city owes its existence. The Harbour is protected by a low island to the east called Facing Island and to the north, by Curtis Island. The Gladstone Region provides an absolute plethora of places to fish all year round for the novice fisherman, fishing enthusiast or professional angler. Locals all reckon Gladstone is one of the best places to fish in Australia. Locals and visitors alike rave about the many types of fish on offer and the accessibility of fishing spots. The assortment of fish found in the Gladstone region is endless. Species vary from Sweetlip, Coral Trout, Tuna and Mackerel to Barramundi, Bream, Grunter, Trevally, Jewfish, Queenfish, Saratoga, Finger Mark Perch, King or Threadfin Salmon, Cod and Mudcrabs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a reef or estuary fishing enthusiast or want to fish from a creek, beach or island, the Gladstone Region has many easily accessible spots to cater for your every whim. Many great fishing spots are located within or near the Gladstone Region. In the unlikely event that you need time out from fishing, popular attractions, comfortable accommodation and a range of dining choices are well within reach. The waters in and around Gladstone Harbour are a transitional zone where the warm waters of the tropical north meet the cool of the south. This means the area is a virtual seafood smorgasbord with the best species of the region taking centre stage. Did you know? Gladstone experiences a tropical savanna climate and is one of the southernmost places in Australia to enjoy this type of climate.

Estuaries The Gladstone Region is home to a multitude of easily accessible estuary fishing spots, all of which offer a wide variety of fishing, crabbing and prawning experiences. The district’s estuarine paradise starts about 30 kilometres north of Gladstone Harbour. Known as The Narrows, the area consists of many tidal creeks and inlets and, like all of Gladstone’s estuaries, can be easily reached by both small and large boats. The aquatic environment of The Narrows ranges from gravel and mud banks to deep rocky holes and channels, through to oyster rock outcrops perfect for a day’s fishing or crabbing. You won’t come away disappointed from The Narrows as fishing

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at places like Graham’s Creek, Pacific Creek and Ramsey’s Crossing can produce a haul of Barramundi and other prized species including the famous Gladstone Mud Crab. One word of advice though; Take insect repellent as The Narrows area can be a haven for Sandflies.

proven to be an extremely popular spot with local anglers.

Just around the corner from Gladstone’s central harbour is the mouth of the Calliope River. Upstream the hot water outlet at the rear of the Gladstone Power Station has

This area also has access to a boat ramp, toilet and parking facilities making it the perfect starting point for estuary exploration.

The warm water attracts Barramundi, Queenies, Trevally, Finger Mark Perch, King or Threadfin Salmon, Bream and Whiting magnificent eating fish.

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Boyne Island and Tannum Sands Boyne Island and Tannum Sands are located about 20 minutes drive south of Gladstone and is home to countless creatures of the deep. The area boasts an array of excellent estuary fishing hot spots. The Boyne River is synonymous for its huge Barra, Bream, Jack, and Grunter, while the Lilley’s Beach produces excellent Whiting, Flathead and Bream. The mangroves are home to many fish and test the skills of most anglers. Fishing from the banks of the river can also be a masterstroke as a ready supply of Bream and Grunter wait to be caught. South Trees Inlet and the South Trees pipeline provide safe areas to fish when the weather’s rough. A catch of Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Grunter, Salmon or Bream is not uncommon. Wild Cattle Creek, located at the southern end of Tannum Sands Main Beach, sports a wide selection of fish including Barramundi, Salmon, Whiting and crabs. Wild Cattle Island also has plenty of Flathead, Mangrove Jack and Whiting just waiting to be caught. Access to and from the island can be by either boat or foot at low tide. Be careful though, the area is known for its powerful rips. If planning an expedition by foot, plan your trip carefully as the tide and incoming water level can change very quickly.

Major Fishing Events in the Gladstone Region •B oyne Tannum HookUp is held annually on the May Day long weekend. For more information visit •T annum Crab Classic is held annually in late April, raising much needed funds for local families in need of medical equipment. For more information visit

Climate data for Gladstone


















Average high °C (°F)

31.2 (88)

30.9 (88)

30.2 (86)

28.4 (83)

25.7 (78)

23.2 (74)

22.8 (73)

24.0 (75)

26.4 (80)

28.4 (83)

29.9 (86)

31.0 (88)

27.7 (82)

Average low °C (°F)

22.5 (73)

22.4 (72)

21.5 (71)

19.6 (67)

17.0 (63)

14.3 (58)

13.3 (56)

14.2 (58)

16.4 (62)

18.7 (66)

20.5 (69)

21.9 (71)

18.5 (65)

Precipitation mm (inches)

143.4 (5.65)

143.4 (5.65)

82.6 (3.25)

46.2 (1.82)

60.5 (2.38)

39.4 (1.55)

35.2 (1.39)

32.4 26.5 (1.28) (1.04)

62.3 (2.45)

74.2 (2.92)

128.8 (5.07)

880.0 (34.65)



















Surrounding Islands and Reefs Just across the harbour from Gladstone lie a number of islands – the major land mark Islands being Curtis Island and Facing Island. A 15-minute boat ride will transport you to a place that seems a million miles away. The scattering of rock and reef outcrops around the Islands are a fisherman’s paradise, with many species in close proximity. The southern end of Curtis Island, known as South End, is a fishing hotspot with many reef species residing and frequenting the coral and rocks that litter the coastline from Rundle Island to Cape Capricorn. This area is home to Coral Trout, Nannygai and huge Spanish Mackerel. Yellowpatch and Keppel Creek, both creek systems at the northern end of Curtis island, are home to large Flathead, Barra, Whiting, Mangrove Jack and the sought-after Mud crab.

Facing Island is abundant with coral and rocky outcrops which attract Spanish Mackerel, Long Tail Tuna, Sweetlip, and Coral Trout. The inshore side of the island has Whiting, Flathead, Black Jew, and Barra. The Gladstone Region is the gateway to the heart of the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Here you will find a number of islands where you can camp such as North West Island, Mast Head Island and Lady Musgrave Island. These locations, as well as many other reefs and shoals are well known for their Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Sweetlip, Nannygai, Spanish Mackerel and seasonal Billfish.

Access to these inshore and offshore islands can be obtained through Curtis Ferry Services which offers regular services to Curtis and Facing Island - including vehicular transport plus chartered services and supply to the outer islands. Gladstone is also the main departure point for charter boats to the Swain and Saumarez Reefs, and beyond. For more information about camping permits, visit or call 07 4972 9000. Alternatively you can visit any of the Visitor Information Centres in the Gladstone Region.

The Gladstone Region offers some phenomenal diving and spear fishing locations, with great visibility and numerous species of fish.























17kg Spanish Mackerel caught near North West Island

Turkey Beach

Less than an hour’s drive from Gladstone you will find the peaceful surrounds of Turkey Beach. Sheltered in the waters of Rodd’s Bay, Turkey Beach and the surrounding tidal creeks are home to many aquatic treasures. Anglers salivate at the thought of feasting on Sand Whiting, Flathead, Whiting, Mangrove Jack and Estuary Cod or a tasty Mudcrab from places like Seven Mile Creek, Morris and Colosseum Inlet which is well known for large Jewfish in the deep holes. How does reef fishing in the estuaries sound. Absurd? Well it’s definitely not the case at Pancake Creek and Ethel Rock. Both 640










locations offer coral reef systems in the protected estuary waters. Throw your line in and catch the finest reef specimens here. At Turkey Beach, there is a convenience store which stocks essentials, including fuel and ice. Accommodation is available, as there is no camping in the township, and there is a good boat ramp and a hard sandy beach to launch from. 740












Lake Awoonga Lake Awoonga is located 30kilometres from Gladstone and boasts spectacular lake and mountain views. Excellent recreation facilities are available free to the public by the Gladstone Area Water Board with shelter sheds and barbecues, walking paths and playgrounds. Enthusiastic anglers come to Lake Awoonga to catch the famed Barramundi. Over two million of which have been released into the lake. The largest catch to date weighed in at a hefty 36.5kg! Approximately 300,000 fish are released each year, including 200,000 Barramundi, 100,000 Mullet and some Mangrove Jack. Alternatively, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife. Feathered, furry or scaled, Lake Awoonga is home to a thriving array of small animals, many of which are of conservation significance. Water vegetation maintains a wondrous array of small animals that support the fish, eels, turtles, platypus and birds. Further from the water’s

edge and into the nearby bushland live other species of birds, reptiles and native fauna including Bandicoots, Melomys, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Greater Gliders, Yellow Bellied Gliders and Brushtail Possums. Lake Awoonga hosts almost 200 species of birds. It’s ideal for ornithology with highlights including the Southern Squatter Pigeon (listed as of conservation significance) and a further 15 bird species included on International Migratory Conservation Agreement Lists. Lake Awoonga is arguably one of the most important near-coast bird refuges on the East Coast of Australia.

Lake Facts: Total capacity at full height of 40m is 777,000 megalitres. Fluctuating water levels means, boat users on the lake should be aware that submerged hazards exist. The waters of Lake Awoonga are controlled by Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Queensland Water Police under the Transport Operations (Marine Safety) Act, enforced to prevent potentially dangerous or annoying activities. The onus for safety is on the owner and master of a vessel.

Catch Limits: Barramundi: No closed season for Lake Awoonga but seasonal limits apply. For general enquiries on Lake Awoonga contact: Gladstone Area Water Board T. 07 4976 3000 F. 07 4972 5632

Local Operators: E. Lake Awoonga Rangers T. 0419 661 482

A range of accommodation options are available in the area, including camping and caravanning and cabin accommodation, with hotel and motel accommodation available in Gladstone. The Boynedale Bush camp is a basic camping facility around the southern side of Lake Awoonga, ten minutes from the townships of Many Peaks and Ubobo. Access is via a dirt road which may become boggy in wet weather. There is no potable water at this site.















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Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy are located approximately 125 kilometres to the south of Gladstone and are easily accessible by bitumen road. These idyllic communities are situated on a pristine stretch of beach and headlands. The area is a haven for fishing enthusiasts or those merely wishing to truly ‘get away from it all’. The area is well serviced by a shopping centre and various types of accommodation, including motels, cabins and serviced apartments as well as caravan and camping facilities.

Beach Fishing There is a huge number of beautiful beach fishing locations in and around Agnes Water / Seventeen Seventy – many are quite secluded and some require a 4WD vehicle to access. Some of the species that are available to beach fisherpersons include Swallowtail Dart, Jew, Snub Nose Dart, Tailor, Yellowfin Bream, Mackerel, Tarwhine, Shark, Summer and Winter Whiting, Dusky Flathead, Sand and Bartail Flathead.

Rock Fishing Some of the finest and most consistent rock fishing you will find anywhere is available here! Spots like the famous “catwalk” Agnes Point and, Wreck Rock. can be a mecca for the keen land based fishos. Apart from the usual Bream, Dart, Sweetlip (to name a few), we have a whole range of pelagic game species on offer, from fairly easily accessible rock platforms.

These includes Spanish Mackerel, Mack Tuna, Spotted Mackerel, Giant Herring, Golden Trevally, Giant Trevally, Cobia, Queenfish, Black Jew, Kingfish and Tailor. There is also the occasional visit from species such as Sailfish, Small Black Marlin, Mahi Mahi and Yellowfin Tuna. For those who prefer to fish these areas from a boat, there is easy access from Round Hill Creek for even small boats in calm weather conditions.

Creek and Estuary If you prefer Estuary fishing, there are a large number of options in the area. Some of these include: Round Hill Creek, Eurimbula Creek (mud crab sanctuary), Middle Creek, Jenny Lind Creek and Pancake Creek, to name a few. The range of fish species available is huge but just a few include: Barramundi, Queenfish, Mangrove Jack, Trevally, Estuary Cod, Grunter, Silver and Pikie Bream, Burnett Salmon, Flathead and Whiting. Whether it’s fishing the mangrove lined creeks, drifting the channel edges, casting a fly on the sandflats for Golden Trevally or chasing a feed of sweet prawns and succulent mudcrabs, you will find it here!

Did you know? The Gladstone Region has a number of fishing guides, such as Johnny Mitchell’s Fishing Charters and Gladstone Fly and Sportfishing, along with a number of fishing charter companies operating from Gladstone and Seventeen Seventy. Check out for more information, including a full list of charter companies and services.

Offshore The Discovery Coast is also widely known as an access point to the Southern Great Barrier Reef, with locations such as Fitzroy Lagoon, Boult and Lamont Reefs, as well as iconic Islands such as Lady Musgrave Island to choose from. The Inner and Outer Wides, between the mainland and the reefs, are also favourites. These hotspots are loaded with Coral Trout, Sweetlip, huge Red Emperor, and Spanish Mackerel. Seventeen Seventy has an excellent boat ramp and parking facilities with the closest reef approx. 30 miles offshore. The area has an excellent service station at Agnes Water and on-water refuelling at the Seventeen Seventy Marina. The region has many green zones and restricted areas so ensure you check the zoning maps for this area (map 18) ( ) or pick up a free copy from tackle shops or the Agnes Water Visitor Information Centre.

Baffle Creek

Just over 100 kilometres to the south of Turkey Beach is Baffle Creek; one of the few remaining unspoiled estuary systems in Queensland. The creek’s estuary is protected on both sides by conservation parks and is a 120 kilometres long waterway with a variety of environments to be found, ranging from sand flats and rock bars to mangroves. Although listed as a creek, this wonderful ecosystem is larger than many rivers and boasts over 77 fish species as well as 10 crustacean species. Bream, Whiting, Flathead, Grunter, Salmon, Cod and Jewfish would satisfy most fishers, however, add Prawns, Crabs, Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Queen Fish, Trevally and Tarpon to really get the adrenalin pumping! Turtles, Dolphins and prolific bird life just add to the magnificence of this near pristine water way. The mouth of Baffle Creek is shallow and contains many partially submerged trees and snags which move around with large tides and bad weather. Care is always required when navigating the area.

Further upstream, past the fishing village of Boaga, the main channel divides into three. The northern channel contains mangrove edges, rock bars, fallen trees and weed beds which are great fish holding structures. Flat Rock picnic area, boat ramp and The Sailing Club are adjacent to the rock bars. The middle channel also features rock bars, weed beds and mangrove edges with the southern channel divided by a large sandbar – the Winfield public boat ramp is located nearby. A further two public boat ramps are situated either side of the river at the Ferry Crossing, just below Wartburg State School. Camping and caravanning, National Parks and cabins provide a range of accommodation in the area. For more information about accommodation, visit or call 07 4972 9000. Alternatively you can visit any of the Visitor Information Centres in the Gladstone Region.

Broadwater Conservation Park

Nestled on the Coral Coast between Baffle and Deepwater creeks, Broadwater Conservation Park is a quiet retreat for self-sufficient campers. Foredunes covered by casuarina woodlands are just one example of the diverse coastal vegetation protected here. Between June and October you may see migrating whales breaching out at sea. Go birdwatching, pump yabbies or go fishing. Stroll along the beach as soldier crabs skittle into holes. Explore life behind the dunes in paperbark woodlands and along mangrove-lined creeks.

For those not so keen to ‘rough it’, comfortable, fully selfcontained cabin accommodation is available at Broadwater Haven at very reasonable rates. Located roughly half way between Gladstone and Bundaberg, just north of Baffle Creek, the waterfront cabins feature full kitchen, with TV, DVD and linen supplied.

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Book your ultimate fishing adventure in the Gladstone Region Gladstone Visitor Information Centre

To book your next fishing adventure visit or call 07 4972 9000. Alternatively you can visit any of the Visitor Information Centres in the Gladstone Region.

Marina Ferry Terminal 72 Bryan Jordan Drive +61 07 4972 9000

Miriam Vale Visitor Information Centre Corner Bruce Highway and Roe Street +61 07 4974 5428

Agnes Water / 1770 Visitor Information Centre 71 Springs Road +61 07 4902 1533

Share your fishing adventures with us at #gladstoneregion

@gladstoneregion In the preparation of this publication, Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL) has relied on information which is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, neither GAPDL nor any person involved in the preparation of this publication accepts any form of liability for its contents including opinions, advice or information or for any consequences arising from its use. Š Copyright 2011. This publication is subject to copyright and no part may be reproduced without written permission of Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL). GAPDL Corporate Office Bryan Jordan Drive Gladstone QLD 4680 PO Box 5186, Gladstone QLD 4680. Phone: (07) 4972 4000. Fax: (07) 4972 5006. Email: Web: