Fishing Tours in Cairns - Great Barrier Reef - Rivers - Estuary

Just ask a Cairns local – the Tropical Far North Queensland waters of the Great Barrier Reef are a fantastic place for fishing tours. Not only does this part of the world enjoy beautiful warm weather most of the year, but the tropical waters are brimming with exotic sea life. Recreational fishing is a major pastime in the area, for obvious reasons and attracts world travellers on fishing tours.

During the Black Marlin & Sailfish seasons sporting anglers from the world over flock to Cairns to book fishing boats for weeks on end to live on the high seas to catch these giant monsters of the deep

Cairns is known world wide as having the biggest Black Marlin fish sizes on the planet.

Cairns fishing boats are also recognised as world leaders in conservation as they all work on a tag and release conservation basis to preserve these species for future anglers enjoyment in years to come

When fishing in the Far North, please respect fishing seasons, bag limits, and the fragile tropical ecosystem. If you don't intend to eat your fish, release it back to the wild to live another day.

Please note big fines and jail terms apply if you do not follow the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorities Green Zone guidelines

Fishing in Cairns

What fish can I catch in Cairns Tropical North Queensland Australia?

 The two most famous fish to catch in this area are Barramundi and Black Marlin.

Barramundi is an elusive fish that spawns in freshwater creeks and then migrates to saltwater estuaries and grows amongst the fragile Mangrove eco system. During this transition, the Barramundi changes sex from male to female. Barra, as is it commonly called in the north, is a delicious table fish and is without doubt the most sought after catch. Please note that Barramundi must be released back into the wild between midday 1st of November to midday on the 1st of February to ensure the breeding cycle is not interuppted.

In Cairns Black Marlin are big game. These monsters of the deep are the equivalent to trying to catch a lion on a rope in the African wilderness, without the danger of driving it to extinction. Boat tours operate seasonally to hunt for the Black Marlin and they are normally booked out many months in advance if not years. These are large fish, several meters long and they provide an exciting fight for any angler.

Sensibly Cairns fishing boat operators operate on a tag and release basis to preserve these fish for the enjoyment of future anglers. This sustainability will ensure the future of these magnificent animals and their growth to ensure more fish populations of the future. 

 Other prized fish in the Cairns area include:

  • Mangrove Jack
  • Black Marlin
  • Coral Trout
  • Flathead
  • Sooty Grunter
  • Barracuda
  • Snapper
  • Red Emperor
  • Sweetlip
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Jungle Perch
  • Queenfish

…the list goes on…

Here are some Cairns Fishing Tours for you to look at

Species Illustration Size J F M A M J J A S O N D
Barramundi 30kg
Threadfin Salmon 15kg
Mangrove Jack 4kg
Trevally 30kg
Queenfish 15kg
Marlin 600kg
Sailfish 60kg
Mackeral 30kg
Yellowfin Tuna 100kg
Snapper to 15kg
Shark 1,000kg
Brown Trout 8kg
Rainbow Trout 6kg
Quinnat Salmon 15kg
Best Months   Average Months   Not Recommended

In the Tropical Far North of Cairns Queensland, there are multitudes of fishing environments to experience.

  • Estuary Fishing – Mangrove-lined creeks such as the Cairns Trinity Inlet are the nursery and fertile breeding ground for many marine creatures thus they are highly important eco systems that need to be protected from development and pollution. Top catches in the local esturaries include Mangrove Jack, Flathead and Whiting. While fishing in this area, place a few crab pots alongside the mangroves and score a feed of fresh mud crabs but just be careful of the ferocious saltwater crocodiles.
  • Beach Fishing – There is very little surf in this part of the world, making beach fishing relatively easy. Large scavengers patrol this area of water, including small sharks and mackerel and you can even catch prawns on the beaches in the green season.
  • Reef Fishing – One of the most popular areas to fish because of the crystal clear waters and exotic table fish you can catch in great numbers. Coral Trout and Red Emperor are the big prize when fishing the reef.
  • Deep Sea Fishing – This is where the big boys play. Seek out marlins, big sharks, and barracuda.
  • Freshwater Fishing – Creeks, lakes and dams are home to large varieties of fish. Tinaroo Dam on the Atherton Tablelands, 1.5 hours drive from Cairns, is home to the biggest wild barramundi in the world.

Here's a small selection of just some of the fishing companies and tour operators which leave from Far North Queensland. Click on their business names below to see their tours. You may also find many individual charter operators as the members of the Cairns Professional Game Fishing Association.

Estuary Fishing

  • Fishing The Tropics - A long-term Cairns local business, Fishing The Tropics is a very well known local fishing tour. Offering lure & fly fishing, river fishing and estuary fishing, Fishing The Tropics provides quality Daiwa fishing tackle on all charters.

Reef Fishing

  • Cape Tribulation Wilderness Cruises - With full day reef fishing charters form just $165 with all tackle included, this charter is hard to go past. Additionally, their set off near the Daintree Rainforest location means it takes just under 1h to reach the great fishing areas of the Cairns Great Barrier Reef.

Deep Sea Fishing

  • Moana Cairns Marlin Fishing - Clocking up the biggest marling award in last year's Lizard Island Classic, Moana Marlin Fishing is one of the best operators if you are looking for a heavy tackle charter, or hoping to do a spot of black marlin fishing. Skip Daniel is mad keen and highly experienced.
  • Billfish Sports Fishing – Highly celebrated crew in Cairns, MV Billfish specialises in heavy tackle marlin fishing, popper casting and light tackle sports fishing.

For comprehensive information about fishing throughout Tropical North Queensland, please click here. This website provides detailed instructions about the best fishing spots in the region and how to catch the silver giants beneath the waves.

Many groups of men and woman come to Cairns & Port Douglas to either compete in fishing tournaments or to take a shared charter or private charter fishing boat out for a day or for a few days to catch our prized local fish.

For liveaboard fishing charters the first night in Cairns is normally spent in a hotel so we always recommend you stay in a central Cairns Hotel near the Cairns Marlin Marina so you can make an early getaway on the boat and have your first line in the water by around morning tea time. The same applies on your liveaboard fishing boat tours return as you can never be sure the boat will get back to harbour in time for you to catch a night flight.   

In Port Douglas again the same applies, stay close to Macrossan Street so you are able to walk down to restaurants and to the Port Douglas Boat Marina. 

For more information on Cairns & Port Douglas Accommodation speak to our Reservations Team on 1300 780 806

And to book a fishing tour from Cairns or Port Douglas speak to our Reservations Team on 1300 761 612 

 

Small Group | Light Tackle Shared Charter | Cairns Tropical North Queensland

From AUD

$395.00

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Fishing Cairns | Light Tackle Shared Fishing | MV-BF
  • Departs From: Cairns Marina C-31
  • Duration:

    10 - 11 Hours

From AUD

$395.00

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1 Day Private Charter Heavy Tackle Fishing 34ft Vessel | Port Douglas North Queensland

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$250.00

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1 Day Shared Charter Fishing Boat 48ft | Port Douglas | MV-DGNLDY II
  • Departs From: Port Douglas
  • Duration:

    8 hours (approx)

From AUD

$250.00

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From AUD

$95.00

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Fishing The Tropics - Estuary Fishing
  • Departs From: Cairns Marnia E Finger
  • Duration:

    Half day or full day: 

From AUD

$95.00

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Catch A Crab Vessel

From AUD

$95.00

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Cairns Catcha Crab - Fishing & Crabbing
  • Departs From: B Finger Cairns Marina
  • Duration:

    4 hours (approx)

From AUD

$95.00

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From AUD

$95.00

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Fish Tales Charters - Trinity Inlet Cairns
  • Departs From: Cairns Marnia D Finger
  • Duration:

    Morning or Afternoon tour: 4.5 hours

    Full Day tour: 2x 4.5 hours (no lunch supplied)

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$95.00

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Port Douglas Reef Fishing

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$256.00

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Port Douglas Reef Fishing Shared Charter - Great Barrier Reef
  • Departs From: Port Douglas
  • Duration:

    7.5 hours approx

From AUD

$256.00

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From AUD

$95.00

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Paradise Sportfishing Adventures Cairns
  • Departs From: B Finger, Cairns Marlin Marina
  • Duration:

    Half Day or Full Day Tours

From AUD

$95.00

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From AUD

$95.00

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Fishing Tour Cairns - Calm Water Fishing - Gone Fishing
  • Departs From: Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal, Finger C
  • Duration:

    Half Day
    Full Day

From AUD

$95.00

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From AUD

$95.00

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Great Day Fishing & Crabbing
  • Departs From: D3 Finger, Marlin Marina, Cairns
  • Duration:

    4 hours

    Morning Trip: 8:30am to 12:30pm

    Afternoon Trip: 2:00pm to 6:00pm

From AUD

$95.00

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Happy Days Reef Fishing With Norseman

From AUD

$256.00

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Port Douglas Reef Fishing Shared Charter - Great Barrier Reef
  • Departs From: Port Douglas
  • Duration:

    7.5 hours approx

From AUD

$256.00

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From AUD

$260.00

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Fishing Tour Cairns - Cairns Fishing Charters
  • Departs From: Finger D, Marlin Marina, Cairns
  • Duration:

    9 hours approx

    From 6:30am to 4:00pm

     

From AUD

$260.00

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From AUD

$276.50

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Fish Tales Charters - Cairns Full Day Bluewater Reef Fishing
  • Departs From: Cairns Marnia D Finger
  • Duration:

    8 hours approx

From AUD

$276.50

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Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns
Cairns 5 Star Luxury - Hilton Hotel Cairns

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$254.00

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Hilton Hotel Cairns

Located on the Cairns Waterfront, the Hilton Hotel is a great base for your Cairns Fishing holiday. Ensure to ask us about our Accommodation Specials when booking your Cairn Fishing adventure.

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$254.00

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Mantra Trilogy Cairns overlooking Cairns Esplanade

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$127.00

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Mantra Trilogy Cairns

Mantra Trilogy Hotel and holiday apartments located on the Cairns Esplanade in the heart of Cairns.  With night markets, Cairns Lagoon and restaurants at your door step it's a great base to explore Cairns and the region.

From AUD

$127.00

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Premium Harbour View Room - Pullman Cairns International Hotel

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$178.00

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Pullman Cairns International Hotel

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$178.00

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View of Shangri-La Hotel Cairns from the Marina

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$193.00

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Shangri-La Hotel The Marina Cairns

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$193.00

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Deluxe Room with Ocean Views - Pacific Hotel Cairns- Pacific Hotel Cairns

From AUD

$154.00

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Pacific Hotel Cairns

From AUD

$154.00

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Harbour View Rooms available Cairns Harbour Lights Complex

From AUD

$180.00

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Cairns Luxury Apartments in Harbour Lights Complex

From AUD

$180.00

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Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns