Port Douglas Fishing- What’s it like?

I get asked a lot “what is Port Douglas fishing like?” The short answer is “pretty damn good!” There are a variety of Port Douglas fishing options, so it depends on what sort of fishing you want to do.

Port Douglas Fishing – Estuary

For some reason people tend to look down on estuary fishing, but let me tell you that Port Douglas fishing in the estuary is AWESOME. It does however depend on who you go with though. Not all the estuary fishing companies are equal. Estuary fishing is great also for families and anglers that get seasick because there are no waves up the inlet. The inlet has 20 miles of navigable waterways and it is ALL salt water. There are resident sport fish like Mangrove Jack, Barramundi,Fingermark and Estuary cod. Plus at certain times of the year there are some exciting pelagics like Queenfish, Tarpon and Trevally. And some REALLY big coastal Barramundi. Spawning females come up the estuary chasing the bait fish. The best Port Douglas fishing tours of the Estuary catch live bait at the start of the cruise. That way you have fresh frisky bait to tempt the big predatory fish. It’s heaps of fun watching the guide throw the cast net and see what comes up. Some of the fish they catch in the cast net are 10 inch mullet! These bigger baits are Barra lollies- and the bigger the bait the bigger the fish! Or so they say. I have had heaps of fun fishing on the estuary, and have seen some pretty good fish. Best moment ever for me was catching a 44cm Tarpon on light gear one fine day in October. It pulled so hard I thought I had caught a hippo! Have seen some very interesting critters when I have been fishing the estuary including Estuary Eels, and Salmon. I have even had a sneaky croc pinch a Mangrove Jack I caught. It ended up getting hooked but luckily it broke off after a few very exciting minutes.

Port Douglas Fishing- Reef

If you don’t want to charter your own boat and you want to do some bottom bashing for table fish then there are two companies that do shared charters from Port Douglas fishing on the reef. The Port Douglas fishing shared charter boats primarily use hand lines. Now I know that all the fishing programs on TV show you reef fishing with rod and reel, but to catch table fish like Coral trout, Red Emperor and Sweetlip- seriously hand lines are the best. You need to be able to feel the fish expressing interest and set the hook before they bury you in the coral. I have been out on boats and seen guys messing around with rods trying to catch reef fish with not much success. Meanwhile I was pulling in fish after fish- biggest one ever was an 11kg Red Emperor.. much to the boys disgust! Pulling in big fish on a hand line is fun I think!
If you charter your own boat you can do some sport fishing out on the reef. Then you can play around with soft plastics, do some trolling and live baiting as well as do some bottom fishing.

Port Douglas Fishing- Game

The big daddy of Port Douglas Fishing is game fishing. Serious boats, serious gear and serious fish! Port Douglas fishing for Black Marlin, Blue Marlin and Sailfish is the top of the bucket list for any serious fisherman. Port Douglas Fishing on the game boats for the heavy tackle season is also in high demand, so if you want to do it, start organizing it well in advance.

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