The best fishing spots from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast

Photo of sunset beach fishing

The best fishing spots from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast

Some people will tell you that fishing isn’t actually about catching fish. It’s about the thrill of the chase. Focusing on the art. Escaping for a few hours or even a few days and appreciating all Mother Nature has to offer.

And you know what? They have a point.

If you’re going to spend your spare time chasing fish, South East Queensland’s rivers, lakes and stunning coastal waters are a spectacular place to do it.

Having said that, your fishing trip will be a whole lot more satisfying if you do actually catch something. (Especially if you have the kids with you on your fishing adventure.) Which is why we’ve put together a list of some of this region’s best fishing spots, from the Sunshine Coast right down to the Gold Coast.

The chase can also be made a whole lot more thrilling if you have the right means of transport. With a boat like the Yellowfin Plate 7600 Southerner, the thrill factor goes up, oh, we’d say about 1000%. With a fishing machine like this you could be carving across the ocean, wind in your hair, to reefs near and far where you could reel in some serious fish.

What’s even more thrilling is that this ultimate off-shore fishing rig, valued at over $150,000 could be yours for the price of a pack of prawn bait (or live worms if that’s more your cup of tea).

So, grab your your ticket in our Ultimate Lifechanger Lottery, then start researching the best fishing locations South East Queensland has to offer.

SEQ’s best fishing spots

It can be a fickle business this fishing caper. The spot that’s jumping one day can be a complete non-event another. But that’s all part of the challenge, right?

Having a bit of local knowledge certainly helps. While we can’t reveal our sources, we can let you in on some of the best spots to throw your line in from the waters off the Sunshine Coast all the way down to the Gold Coast.

Best Sunshine Coast fishing spots

Just an hour north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast is known as an angler’s haven with wonderful fishing conditions and opportunities year-round. From amazing surf beaches to rivers, dams and estuaries, not to mention the deeper waters offshore, the Sunshine Coast offers a diversity of fishing options that’s hard to match.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of amazing fishing locations along the coast:

Noosa River

At the top end of the coast, two hours from Brisbane, this spectacular river meets the ocean at world-famous Noosa Heads.

North of Noosa, the river flows downstream into Lake Cootharaba then Lake Cooroibah and to Noosa’s South, Lake Weyba is also fed by the mighty Noosa River.

What you could hook: the river has a significant population of bream, snapper, tusk-fish, flounder, mackerel and whiting

Photo of hire boats at Bribe Island QLD
Hiring a tinny is a fun way to explore the sparkling blue waters of Pumicestone Passage.

Pumicestone Passage

This long channel runs between Bribie Island and the mainland offering some great family-friendly fishing. You can fish off the shore or off the jetty at Bongaree. Or for the full Pumicestone Passage experience, hire a tinny from one of the local operators, if you don’t have a boat already, and putter your way through the sparkling water till you find the perfect spot to cast. The Passage is quite shallow so keep an eye on the water’s depth unless you fancy being rescued. While you’re looking out you might even spot a dugong, dolphin or sea turtle.

The Caloundra Boardwalk deserves a special mention as one of the most family-friendly fishing spots on the Sunshine Coast. The Boardwalk is a popular spot for anglers of all ages. The clear water beneath the boardwalk gives younger fisher-people the opportunity to spot their catch approaching their line, before they’ve even hooked it.

What you could hook: bream, tailor, flathead

Ewen Maddock Dam

Just five kilometres north of Landsborough, this beautiful dam provides water for South-East Queensland and is also teeming with fish life. There are loads of things to do on and around the dam like kayaking, canoeing, sailing, bushwalking, mountain-biking, and of course, fishing.

What you could hook: yellowbelly, Mary River cod, saratoga, Australian bass and spangled perch.

Beach fishing

With over 50kms of open surf beach stretching along the length of the Sunshine Coast, there are endless spots to throw in a line. Make sure you have a surf rod so you can cast over the break or a sandbar, and stay away from the rocks unless you enjoy stringing your line as a hobby.

Beach fishing is a great option for families where not everyone is keen to throw a line in (as hard as that is to believe). Pack a couple of beach chairs and a picnic and settle in with the family for a day at the beach.

What you could hook: Tailor are often biting and in the winter months then when the weather warms up, whiting, dart and flathead are on the menu.

Photo of Maroochy River
Maroochy River is a spectacular spot to drop your line

Maroochy River

This vast but shallow river system is home to a wide variety of fish. Talk to a local to find out where the holes are for your best chance of catching some dinner. Generally, though, the north and south shores of the river mouth are good spots to cast a line.

What you could hook: Flathead, cod, mulloway, sand whiting, tailor, trevally and bass.

Offshore Sunshine Coast fishing

The waters off the Sunshine Coast are known for the wide variety of dishing opportunities.

Not far offshore, the reefs between Coolum and Caloundra offer an abundance of reef fish. Or if you’re more of the ‘go big or go home’ type, there are lots of game fishing locations well within striking distance of Mooloolaba.

What you could hook: Reef fish including snapper, tailor, maori cod and pearl perch. With a little luck, your offshore fishing adventures could also net you some tuna, mackerel and cobia.

Fishing in Moreton Bay

Straight out from Brisbane is a plentifully stocked fishing oasis commonly known as Moreton Bay. Great for kayak fishing or boaties year-round. The waters of the bay are quite shallow at only approximately 1.8m deep in most areas but deeper water can be found in the shipping channel that carves through the bay.

What you could hook: Bream, flathead, snapper, sweetlip, tailor and whiting. Deeper water fish like cobia, tuna, mackerel, trevally, cod and mangrove jack have also been hooked in the Bay.

Gold Coast Spit photo
The Gold Coast’s Broadwater and Seaway offer endless fishing opportunities

Best Gold Coast fishing spots

Southport Broadwater

With its spectacular water quality and diverse fishing, it’s easy to see why this vast expanse of water is a favourite with amateur and experienced anglers alike. As long as you don’t mind sharing the water with dolphins, dugongs and turtles, this could be the spot for you.

What you could hook: Dusky flathead, trevally, mulloway and tailor.

Gold Coast Seaway

This fast-moving channel connects the Broadwater with the ocean deep. A fish super-highway of sorts, huge volumes of fish travel through this passage daily meaning that the odds are good that one of them could end up on the end of your line. Fishing from the rocks that border the Seaway is generally more suited to experienced anglers so if you’re a freshie, it might be worth honing your skills at one of the other great fishing spots listed here before you take on the challenge.

What you could hook: Yellowtail, flathead, kingfish and jewfish to name just a few

Photo of Jacobs Well
Jacobs Well has long been a favourite for anglers and boaties alike

Jacobs Well

At the gateway to the Gold Coast seaway, Jacobs Well is roughly half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. At the mouth of the Pimpama River, this fishing village is a great spot to camp or spend the day. The calm waters are a huge hit with families and the fantastic fishing opportunities draw anglers from far and wide.

This is also an ideal spot to put the boat in if you are heading out to explore around North Stradbroke, South Stradbroke or the smaller islands in the passage. The Jumpinpin channel between North and South Straddie, is a favourite with boaties and the perfect spot to reel in a big one.

What you could hook: Flathead, bream, whiting and tailor

Snapper Rocks

One of the most famous surf spots in Australia, Snapper Rocks also has quite the reputation in the fishing world. on the point at Coolangatta, North or South of the rocks you’ll find large gutters where fish love to hang out just waiting to be caught.

What you could hook: Dart, flathead, and tailor in winter

Gold Coast Offshore

The Gold Coast isn’t just famous for beaches. There’s lots of good off-shore fishing to be done in the waters off the Gold Coast. A highlight is Cotton Reef, about 5km off-shore from the Gold Coast seaway.

What you could hook: Snapper, pearl perch, cobia, tuna and mackerel.

Win the ultimate off-shore fishing machine

Hand-built from ultra-tough welded aluminium plate and with a Mercury 300HP Pro XS engine out the back, the Yellowfin 7600 Southerner is built for serious excitement and ready for anything.

The Southerner has plenty of room onboard to get your rods out and can accommodate up to seven passengers. The 7600 is also equipped with a huge 380L fuel tank meaning you can travel a long, long way off shore and, most importantly, all the way back as well.

And with a 220cm long v-berth and a cabin electric flush toilet, you’ll be able to stay out overnight in comfort before returning home.

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