THE REEL BIG 5
You’ve probably heard of Africa’s big five - the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo - but did you know that Australia has its own big five?
There are more than 4,000 fish species in Australia and it can be hard to know which one’s to go after, and where, but the reputations of these five animals (and the skills required to catch them) make for compelling reasons to put them at the top of your list.
MARCH — APRIL
These giant perch live in both fresh and saltwater in our tropical north including the Kimberley region in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory and northern Queensland. They can grow to lengths of 1.4 metres and weigh more than 40 kilograms. They’re an internationally renowned sport fish, taking bait with an explosive strike, gill-rattling jumps and fast, powerful runs. They are biting all year but the peak season up north is in both March and April.
THESE GIANT PERCH LIVE IN BOTH SALT AND FRESHWATER
GIANT BLACK MARLIN
Australia has the world’s most reliable big black marlin fishing. From September until early December each year, giant black marlin (including many “granders” in excess of a thousand pounds) gather in large numbers along the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef between Cairns and Lizard Island, in far northern Queensland.
AUSTRALIA HAS THE WORLD'S MOST RELIABLE BLACK MARLIN FISHING. Image credit: kekoa.com.au
JUNE — OCTOBER
Several species of tropical and sub-tropical mackerel are prolific in Australia’s northern waters. Foremost amongst these is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel. These sharp-toothed predators are a prized catch around the top of the nation, from southern Queensland to the mid-coast of Western Australia. Readily available, they can be caught all year, but are often at their best through the cooler winter or dry season months.
THIS SHARP-TOOTHED PREDATOR IS A PRIZED CATCH FROM SOUTHERN QUEENSLAND ALL THE WAY TO THE MID-COAST OF WA
APRIL — JULY
Giant trevally (GTs) are the bullies of the fish world. The way these mega jacks take to a bouncing “surface popper” lure before powering away into the depths is famous around the globe. The thrill of such encounters attracts keen anglers from far and wide to Australia’s tropical north, as well coral or rocky reefs across the Top End from Western Australia to the Queensland coast, where big GTs are abound.
GIANT TREVALLY ARE FAMOUS AROUND THE WORLD FOR THE WAY THEY CAN ATTACK A SURFACE LURE
JANUARY — DECEMBER
Trout were first introduced to Australian waters during the 1860s, and they thrived in their new home. Today brown trout occur in good numbers in cooler parts of Australia with reliable fishing found in Tasmania, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory. The very best Australian trout action occurs in Tasmania and the higher altitude areas of Victoria and New South Wales.
TROUT WERE FIRST INTRODUCED TO AUSTRALIA IN THE 1860s
GREAT FISHING ADVENTURES OF AUSTRALIA
The diversity of Australia’s fishing experiences is as vast as the country itself