All posts by WFS Admin

Who is WFS Admin? Over about 45 years I fished most of the Aussie mainland and Tasmania. I mapped Top End river rockbars, reefs and wrecks using early sonar mapping software. I published the North Australian Fishing and Outdoors Magazine (closed it when COVID took off), and still publish the biennial FISH FINDER book of fishing maps. I was Sunday Territorian fishing columnist for two decades. Perhaps more importantly, I have caught 20lb+ snapper off Adelaide's metro jetties :) Also have great memories of catching tommies, chow and slimies at Port Giles and Edithburgh with my dad, and fishing in England for everything from carp and grayling to cod and plaice. This site is pretty much a love job, so be patient with site issues. Fishos can help by posting useful comments, fishing reports and feedback. Fish on!

Tasmanian East Coast trout fishing spots

Tasmania’s East Coast is warmer and drier than the rest of Tasmania, and is best known among fishos for its great beaches and bluewater fishing.

However, there is trout fishing to be had.

Because it is warmer, trout fishing spots here tend to fire earlier after the season opening, with early insect activity.

Late in summer and autumn, low rainfall and heat can slow trout activity on some waters, especially the smaller lakes and rivers.

The river fish tend to be small, so arm yourself with an ultralight fly or spin outfit and small flies and lures.

Bigger fish are caught in the stillwater locations.

Keep in mind each location changes with annual seasonal variations.

Here are the best spots.

Georges River

This river begins west of popular St Helens and is made up of North George and South George Rivers.

The upstream sections have clear water running through forest, with abundant insect life.

There are many brown trout to be caught, but mostly small.

Insect activity picks up earlier here because it is a warm area, so you’ll get a chance at dry fly fishing soon after season opening.

The rivers join at Pyengana and flow through a combination of farmland, forest and plains before reaching St Helens’ Georges Bay.

Bigger fish are caught in the lower reaches, with sea trout in the tidal section in late winter/spring, and black bream.

Ringarooma River

This river starts in the Ben Lomond ranges and flows through farmland through to Brankholm, Ringarooma and Derby.

The upper river above Branxholm has many mostly small brown trout that usually respond well to flies and small lures.

From Branxholm the river gets bigger, with Maurice River, Legerwood Rivulet, Federal Creek, Dorset River and New River adding more flow, however access becomes difficult, and below Derby there are problems from legacy tin mining.

Big and Little Waterhouse Lakes and Blackmans Lagoon

These lakes are north-east of Bridport and very near the coast.

They have tannin-coloured water and thick weed growing around the banks.

Blackmans Lagoon and Big Waterhouse Lake have abundant insect life and consequently produce big fish.

The shorelines are tricky when the level is up because of the weed, so a boat helps.

Little Waterhouse Lake is smaller and tends to drop low in summer, but it has better bank access.

All three of these locations are stocked with brown and rainbow trout.

Lake Leake

This lake north-west of Swansea has historically produced big rainbow trout, but in recent times is producing more brown trout.

Read more about Lake Leake fishing here.

Tooms Lake

This lake south-west of Swansea produces great fish at times.

The lake was a marsh before the dam wall was built.

The lake is in woodland but there aren’t many snags throughout much of the lake, with weedbeds in some areas and clear rocky banks in others.

The water is often slightly cloudy.

Neck Inlet is one of the best fishing areas, with some fallen timber.

Insect activity in summer is usually good, and lure fishing works from the deeper shorelines.

There is easy vehicle access from Midlands Highway, with a 4WD track to Neck Inlet.

Boats can be launched at various spots, and there is informal camping.

Frome Dam

The impoundment is on Kent Hill near Moorina. The water is tannin stained and full of old stumps.

A boat is needed as there is not much bank that can be fished except when the water level falls.

There is good summer insect life and usually plenty of fish as the dam has a spawning stream.

Cascade Dam

The dam is on the Cascade River upstream of the Ringarooma River inflow.

The track in is rough and there is little shoreline to fish unless the water is low, so a boat is needed.

Once again, the water is tannin coloured, with many tree stumps.

Expect mostly small brown trout, this dam also has spawning streams.

Pioneer Mine Dam

The Pioneer Mine Dam is an old mine site filled with water, located near the town of Pioneer.

It is stocked with brown and rainbow trout.

There is good vehicle access and bank that can be fished.

Big trout can be caught here, but expect water skiiers in summer on the weekends.

Scamander River

The upper river produces brown trout, but tends to run low in summer and is far better known as a black bream location in the tidal section.

Read more about Scamander River fishing here.


Outside of the East Coast, here’s some of Tasmania’s best trout fishing spots.

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Tasmanian fishing regulations
Tasmanian marine reserves
Tasmanian saltwater fishing seasons
Trout fishing spot access programs
Fisheries assessment reports
Buy a freshwater fishing licence
Tasmanian lake levels (hydro)
Tasmanian river flows (govt)
Tasmanian lake webcams
Tasmanian river flows
Bag and size limits
Private Tasmanian trout fisheries
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Gladstone landbased fishing spots

Gladstone has some excellent landbased fishing locations for a range of species.

Local tides are quite large, exceeding 5m, so landbased fishing is mostly done around high tide.

Expect to catch a mix of tropical and sub-tropical species.

Big barramundi and threadfin salmon are realistic targets, with whiting, flathead and bream also popular among local fishos.

Mangrove jacks, cod, queenfish and trevally can all be taken by landbased fishos.

When fishing from land around Gladstone, keep in mind that saltwater crocodiles exist here and they can show up almost anywhere.

Rock walls are arguably the best landbased fishing spots around Gladstone, with the broadest range of species, but local beaches also produce fish.

Here are some local landbased spots to get you started.

Power station hot water outlet – fishos target warmth-loving barramundi in winter in the warm water outflow. This is a big-fish location so use heavy gear. Follow Hanson Road towards the NRG Power Station and turn left before the bridge.

The marina – coral trout are caught here, along with many other species, including mangrove jacks , barramundi and trevally.

Auckland Creek – this tidal inlet has several jetties, wharves and other structures. Barramundi, blue salmon, queenfish, mangrove jacks , cod, trevally and barramundi. Use cast net catch local sardines, mullet and prawns for bait.

Lilleys Beach – this beach has summer and winter whiting, blue salmon, queenfish, flathead, bream and mackerel. A permit is needed to drive on this beach.

​Benaraby Bridge – barramundi, blue salmon, queenfish, flathead, bream, trevally, mangrove jacks on the downstream side. Upstream has mainly mangrove jacks and tarpon. There is a free camping ground on the south bank of the Boyne River. Access off Gladstone Benaraby Road and after the Caltex Service Station.

The Narrows – better fished by boat, but barramundi, salmon and bream can be caught here from the shore on the upper tide.

Turkey Beach – this community is south of Gladstone. There is fishing to be had off the sheltered beach around high tide for most local species, but a boat is a better option. Jenny Lind Creek is to the east and is a superb whiting fishery.

Gladstone has a popular annual fishing competition called the Boyne Tannum Hookup.

Gladstone fishing is tropical, with barramundi activity best in warm weather, keeping in mind the Queensland closed season that applies to tidal waters.

Jacks, mud crabs and golden snapper (fingermark) are also best in summer.

Grunter and bream are caught all year.

Blue salmon are also caught all year, usually on the rising tide. They show up almost everywhere, sometimes in numbers.

When Lake Awoonga floods the big barra escape and make their way down the Boyne River, and the fishing goes silly, with landbased fishos getting a share of the big fish.

Eventually the fish disperse throughout the harbour.

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fish finder book

Gladstone tides
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QLD dam levels
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South Alligator River, NT

The South Alligator River lies within Kakadu National Park, on the Top End’s Arnhem Highway.

The river has a sealed boat ramp next to the highway into tidal water.

The ramp is subject to strong currents and at times can have a mudbar that restricts access.

Barramundi are by far the main target and almost all barramundi fishing in the tidal river is done during and just after the wet season when floodplain run-off is flowing.

Boaters go upstream or downstream from the ramp depending on flood conditions.

In the dry season the river forms waterholes in the upper section around Cooinda, many of which can be reached by track and have camping areas.

Cartopper dinghies are generally used in the waterholes, with limited landbased fishing available, keeping in mind large crocodiles are common in all Kakadu waterways.

Yellow Water is one of the better known freshwater locations.

Downstream, outside the river mouth, there is shallow reef around Field Island with large golden snapper and jewfish.

Fishing the South Alligator River is quite complex because of huge tides and sandbars, and the best fishing spots are in a few small areas.

There are detailed fishing spot maps for this river with rockbar micro-charts in the North Australian FISH FINDER book.

Every year the river’s wetlands fill with monsoonal floodwaters and fish life becomes supercharged through the bait cycle.

The wet season and shortly after is the best time to fish the tidal waters, concentrating efforts where bait has collected, especially where clear or green floodwater is flowing into the turbid tidal water.

The freshwater locations are fishable only in the dry season when tracks have dried out.

Wet season fishing requires a boat, although there is a good chance of catching barramundi by casting around flooded culverts, however crocodiles are common and extreme caution is required when fishing from land as saltwaters crocodiles will attack people.

Accommodation near Kakadu is at Corroboree Park Tavern on the Arnhem Highway.

Darwin also has a range of accommodation options.

South Alligator River mouth tides
East Alligator River mouth tides
Note that the river mouth high tides occur almost three hours earlier than at the upstream ramps
East Alligator Cahills Crossing tides
NT tidal variations
Latest Kakadu access report
Kakadu fishing rules
Recent NT rainfall – important for run-off fishing
NT Million Dollar Fish promotion
NT fishing regulations
North Australian FISH FINDER fishing map book

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