Fishing hot spots in Far North Queensland

The beauty of Far North Queensland is something, that, if you haven’t experienced, you truly need to. It’s a place where heritage-listed rainforest meets glorious hues of green and blue, which form the Great Barrier Reef.

Tourism is a driving force up there. With so many great operators offering so much to visitors, your time in the region, we can guarantee, will be a memorable one. For the fishos among us, diversity is certainly the buzz word. There is no shortage of freshwater creeks, rivers and dams to explore. Renowned as hotspots for iconic North Queensland fish like Sooty Grunter, Jungle Perch and of course, the mighty Barra.  

One particular spot is Copperlode Dam. It’s less than an hour outside of Cairns and provides the city with it’s water. But there is one bloke who is allowed to fish it, better yet, he can take you with him! 

Kim Anderson from Copperlode Fish and Kayak literally know the dam like the back of his hand. It’s his hands that we part of its original creation, then also the stocking of it in 2016. Back then, thousands of baby Barra were released and have now grown to a hefty 90 centimetres plus. The dam also has a healthy population of Sooty Grunter and Archer Fish (who are great fun on fly, might we add). 

Travel further north up the coast from Cairns and you’ll hit Port Douglas. Being on the doorstep of the reef, there are dozens of good offshore operators working from there, and one of the best is East Coast Angling. Their team is highly skilled and incredibly knowledgable of the region. We had the delight of fishing with young Flynn. At just 19, he has fished in places and caught species that would make many of us jealous. He loves his GT fishing but is equally passionate about the incredible reef flats action that is also on offer.  

We stayed with the amazing team from Peppers at Port Douglas and the Novotel in Cairns. Both are super central to town and the ideal base to set yourself up if you’re fishing the region. Can we also recommend their restaurants onsite. Run by passionate chefs who use local ingredients… you can’t beat it! 

Your first stop when you get into town should be BCF. There are two stores in Cairns, both packed with all the gear you could ever need to tackle Far North Queensland. We used a variety of kit, including a range of hard bodies from Savage Gear, as well as a few Daiwa outfits to tackle the reef. 

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