Information for travellers

Best places to fish on the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is blessed with a diversity of brilliant fishing experiences.

Best places to fish on the Sunshine Coast

You can either DIY on a minimal budget or charter a fishing boat and escape to fishing nirvana - the choice is yours.

Need more information? Join Rob Paxevanos on You Tube as he shows you where to fish, what to catch and how to catch it in the beautiful waters of Caloundra.

1. Caloundra Board Walk

This is a great place to bring your family to catch their first fish. The waters are loaded with a variety of family sized fish (and the occasional lunker) and amenities include seats, rod holders, bait boards, taps, sun shelters and more. The board walk is close to cafés and restaurants and the wonderful family ‘drift swim’ so everybody’s kept happy while you wet a line. 

Hot tip: Fish the change of tide when the currents not strong, use a little burley a tiny hook and no sinker. Kids love trying to hook the fish you can usually see coming up to the burley. 

Hotter tip: when the high tide occurs during a sunny day the water is usually bright blue and clear and a photographer's dream.

It’s a brilliant family friendly fishing platform

2. Golden Beach

Just a few casts from the board walk is the suitably named Golden Beach.  Whiting bream and flathead are the main fare.  A running sinker rig with a small hook is the go. 

Hot tip: Keep your bait moving if you want to avoid the small nibblers, or use a bigger bait that will last longer.

Hotter tip: More advanced anglers can use lures for whiting bream and flathead.

Whiting are are great fun and great tucker.

3. Pumicestone Passage

Get afloat in a hire boat, tinny or kayak and apply any of the techniques above.

Hot tip: Go one better and catch sizable flathead and plentiful jewfish or the elusive mangrove jack.
Hotter tip: Target the bigger fish on larger baits, especially at night.

Giant flathead are fun, but they're classified as "breeders" and must be returned to the water.

There are more species to discover and tricks to learn at these three locations, so to aid anglers I have prepared a list of webisodes covering the above three locations, you can find them on the Visit Sunshine Coast You Tube Channel

4. Maroochy River, Mooloolaba River and Noosa River

These three locations all produce wonderful fishing for the species mentioned above.

Hot tip: Check out the Noosa Everglades for bass. It’s a kayak fisho’s dream.
Hotter tip:  More experienced anglers can add some good sized trevally and the highly sought after mangrove jack -  and big ones at that!

The Noosa Everglades in the upper parts of the Noosa River are something special.

5. Hinterland Fishing: three beautiful lakes

The gob smacking greenery of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is complemented by awesome freshwater fishing.  As well as  the region's beautiful rivers, there are three specific lakes that I love: Baroon Pocket Dam, Ewen Maddock Dam and Lake MacDonald.

These three lakes teem with Australian bass which out-fight overseas bass by an outback mile.  You will also find the beautiful saratoga and big golden perch (to name a few).

To catch them, it’s best to use lures, or, where you're allowed, try a bait.

Hot Tip : Google the user guide and fisheries rules for each specific freshwater lake before  your visit – you don’t want to get in trouble or cop a fine.

Hotter Tip: Trolling deep diving lure behind a kayak is not only a magic way to explore these lakes, it will almost guarantee a bite from one of the aforementioned species.  Stick on deep side of the lilly pads to help keep your lure weed free, and begin your lap of fishing luxury. The fish will bite somewhere along the way.

Trolling a lure around the Hinterland lakes is a wonderful experience and it's a dead set easy way to catch fish like this fat bass.

6. Beach Fishing

Cripes, there’s more than 50km of surf beaches to chose from on the Sunshine Coast.  Whiting, dart, bream and flatties are the main species you'll find here,  but more experienced anglers may catch snapper, tuna and even Spanish mackeral. 

Hot Tip: Check the wind forecast and if it’s above 10 knots choose a spot with either shelter or where it will help carry your cast out to sea.  

Hotter Tip: May I suggest walking down and talking to the friendly fishing locals to see what’s biting? They love a yarn in between bites.

Hottest Tip:  On a calm day you can paddle out past the breakers in a yak and the tuna and snapper fishing is epic.

I often paddle out with Paul O’Leary and Lynette Parker for some fresh long tail tuna sushi – yum!

7. Offshore Fishing

The blend of tropical and subtropical waters produce a delectable variety of species unmatched by any destination I know of.  Favourite reef fish include snapper, pearl perch, maori cod and tusk fish.  Light game fishing includes exceptional sight fishing for tuna, various mackerel species, cobia and billfish.  The heavy tackle Giant Blue Marlin Fishing is world class.

Hot tip: The Mooloolabah Bar is the safest to cross and is worth towing your boat there.

Hotter tip: See charter boat below.

Brilliant fishing on the offshore reef.

8. Charters

Want to hand over your cash and fast track your way to big fish?  If so a charter boats are the go.  Whist the charter boat fleet at Mooloolaba focus on reef and game fishing there is a growing number of operators offering the option of estuary and hinterland fishing.  

Here is a list of a few I have personally enjoyed, some are small group boutique experiences and some suit larger groups.  

Sunshine Coast AfloatOdyssey ChartersSmithys Fishing ChartersNoosa River Fishing

More information 

Sure I can nab most of the above fish in double quick time, but I do it for a living and have had plenty of practice. If you're results driven, as opposed to just relaxing and trying your luck, then allow your self a couple of days to fine tune your techniques.

Families can find all the extra tips and tricks you need for DIY Fishing in my daughters user friendly Kids Fishing book .  Experienced anglers looking for serious fishing advice can find loads detail in my “Australian Fishing Basics” book.  Both are available at   

Rules and regulations

You don’t need a licence in the saltwater but must follow rules as to what gear you're allowed to use, protected species, size and bag limits. Queensland salwater fishing rules and regulations >

Watch the Caloundra Fishing Webisodes series here >

Explore places mentioned in this guide