Australian Fishing Calendar
No matter what time of year your holidays happen to fall in, there's somewhere to fish. Steve 'Starlo' Starling shares his top spots and target species for every month in the calendar.
JANUARY: Every man and his dog is on holidays and our waterways are busy, but it’s a great time of the year to go fishing! It can pay to get up early to avoid both the crowds and the sea breezes, the effort is worth it. Coffin Bay, in the west of South Australia, is a wonderful summer destination for boat fishers, and at this time of the year it offers everything from prolific garfish, tommy rough and King George whiting in the shallows to kingfish and snapper further out. Bring the squid jigs, too.
FEBRUARY: Bluewater game and sport fishing along the south-eastern seaboard really begins to hit its straps in February. Water temperatures are consistently high and the cobalt currents flowing along the continental shelf now carry all manner of tropical visitors; from marlin and tuna to wahoo and even mahi-mahi (dolphin fish). Port Stephens, on the mid-north coast of NSW, is the place to be, and this port plays host to several major fishing tournaments in February and March.
MARCH: Exmouth, in the north of Western Australia, is a real angler’s town, and represents a wonderful destination for the footloose fisher. March can be one of the best months for a variety of species off Exmouth: both in the Indian Ocean and inside the Gulf. The annual GAMEX Tournament takes place late in the month and typically sees records broken on everything from billfish to trevally and queenfish.
APRIL: This month sees the weather settling into more predictable patterns in southern seas, and with those settled conditions comes some of the best fishing of the year. Southern bluefin tuna stocks have bounced back spectacularly over the past decade, and there are few better places to target these exciting sportfish than the blue waters off Eaglehawk Neck and Tasman Island on Tasmania’s south-east coast. Both school-sized fish and heavyweight jumbo tuna will be taken in numbers here right through April and into May.
MAY: As the weather cools down south, many footloose fishers begin to look north, and with good reason. May is a productive month for targeting barramundi in the tropics. The run-off may have finished, but the water is still warm and the barra are hungry. Iconic waterways such as beautiful Corroboree Billabong, an easy drive south east of Darwin, provide not only great fishing, but memorable wildlife watching at this time of year.
JUNE: Daytime deep-dropping for broadbill swordfish has revolutionised the pursuit of these most highly-prized of all the ocean’s predators. From Coffs Harbour in northern NSW to the southern tip of Tasmania, keen anglers will be braving