Finding a place to cast a line in Brisbane isn’t tricky – the River City is surrounded by waterways in every direction – it’s knowing which spot is going to deliver the goods (aka the fish) that’s the hard part.
The best fishing spots in Brisbane are a combination of beaches, creeks, rivers and the odd island or two. From land fishing to fishing off the side of your best mate’s tinny, there’s a fishing spot close by wherever you are in Brisbane and surrounds. So grab your rods! We’re goin’ fishin’!
Wait, I’m From Sydney! Read: 5 Great Fishing Spots in Sydney
Best Fishing Spots in Brisbane
1. Hornibrook Bridge
Location: Brighton, Brisbane
Time from CBD: 30 min
Type of fish: whiting, bream, flathead, tailor
The Hornibrook Bridge is mostly demolished now, but the pylons are still standing, which makes them the perfect place for fishies to hide, dip and dive below the water.
The bridge stands where the Pine River mouth meets Bramble Bay, meaning there’s an abundance of fish about and currents to refresh the waters. Plus it offers almighty views of the river and bay, so you don’t need the excuse of fishing to make the trip.
2. Bribie Island
Location: Bribie Island, Moreton Bay Area
Time from CBD: 1 hr 45 min
Types of fish: Heaps! bream, flathead, jewfish, dart, whiting, snapper, cod, parrot and Moses perch
Just a short drive north of Brisbane, you’ll find Bribie Island. Despite being an island it’s accessible by car, making it a popular spot for fishers and adventurers alike.
What you want to catch depends on where you cast your line. The beach on an incoming tide will give you bream, dart, flathead, whiting and if you’re lucky, a sneaky jewfish.
Pumicestone Passage is the canal that separates the island from the mainland and offers up all kinds of fish, including jewfish, snapper, bream, flathead, cod, parrot and Moses perch, trevally, prawns and mud crabs. Perch up on Bongaree Jetty or by the entrance to the canals, known as The Lock.
Be aware, there’s a small no fishing zone within the passage, right by Long Island, so keep rods out of the water as you pass by.
3. Shorncliffe Pier
Time from CBD: 30 min
Type of fish: bream, whiting, tailor, flathead, garfish
Shorncliffe Pier is a pretty little spot to catch sunrise or sunset over the water and if you’re lucky, you might catch some dinner too. At 350 metres, this is Brisbane’s longest wooden pier, so even with other fishers and tourists about, you’ll manage to find your own space to set up and cast off from.
The pylons that hold up the pier are the perfect spot for fish to hide out so try to drop your line close by.
4. Wellington Point Jetty
Location: Wellington Point
Time from CBD: 40 min
Type of fish: flathead, bream, snapper, tailor, squid
This jetty extends out from the eastern tip of Wellington Point peninsula, so if you make the trek all the way to the end of the jetty, you’ll really be plonked out in the sea, without having to fuss around with a boat. Plus it’s a lovely spot to drop a line (even after you run out of bait).
At low tide, you can wander out to the adjoining King Island on the western side of the peninsula and take a crack at casting out from the sandy shores. Just make sure to come back before the tide comes in!
5. Kookaburra Park
Location: Karana Downs
Time from CBD: 20 min
Types of fish: mullet, catfish, mud crabs
If you’re after somewhere to spend the day with the whole family, with a splash of fishing flicked in, Kookaburra Park is the place to go. Sitting pretty alongside an ‘S’ bend in the Brisbane River, Kookaburra Park has a fishing platform to cast from, plus a gorgeous picnic area with a playground, BBQs and sheltered tables.
To top it off, the park’s dog-friendly, so the whole family can tag along.
6. Breakfast Creek
Time from CBD: 10 min
Types of fish: flathead, bream, threadfin salmon, jackfish, mangrove jack, jewfish
Flowing into the Brisbane River just near Newstead, Breakfast Creek is a tributary to the city’s main waterway and a top spot to drop a line. Head out onto the jetty just by the creek mouth, or wander through Newstead Park to find a spot along the creek edge. High tide is your best bet if it’s bream you’re after, but there’s also been jackfish and threadfin salmon caught around here with the right conditions.
It’s best to get in in the early morning or later in the evening when ferries aren’t disturbing the waters.
7. Nudgee Beach
Location: Nudgee Beach Reserve
Time from CBD: 25 min
Types of fish: whiting, flathead, trevally, bream
Nudgee Beach Reserve is surrounded by wetlands, waterways and a bunch of sandy beaches, meaning there’s plenty to explore even if the fishing’s slow. A boardwalk meanders around the reserve, plus a picnic area, playground and dedicated dog-friendly park means there’s fun for the whole family.
There’s a kayak ramp by Nudgee Beach Road if you’re keen to go for a flick from the water itself.
8. Manly Boat Harbour
Time from CBD: 35 min
Types of fish: bream, trevally, cod, flathead
Fishing at Manly Boat Harbour is at its best around two hours either side of the changing tides. By walking out along the rock wall or jetty, you’ll be able to cast off into deeper water. There are a bloody lot of boats anchored here, which can also be hiding places for some fish, so don’t dismiss fishing within the harbour itself.
9. Mud Island
Location: Moreton Bay
Time from CBD: 30 min (to boat ramp)
Type of fish: mackerel, tailor, bream, long tail tuna, crab
If it’s a spot of saltwater fishing you’re after, Mud Island in Moreton Bay will do very nicely indeed. It’s a 5km boat ride to the island from the Brisbane River mouth, but that doesn’t deter many – it’s still a damn popular spot!
Fishing here’s best at dawn or dusk, so make sure to pack a head torch, some snacks and a few brews!
10. Brisbane River
Location: The whole city!
Types of fish: threadfin salmon, snapper, jewfish, flathead, bream, Bull shark, catfish,
The city’s dividing waterway is now clean enough to be fished in. The beauty of the Brisbane River is you can cast a line from almost anywhere in the city! Find a boat ramp, put the tinny in and fish from the water or just drop a line from the riverbanks.
The most popular spots are anywhere between the river mouth and the Gateway Bridge, but fish can be caught as far along the river as Mount Crosby.
Brisbane Fishing FAQs
Can you fish in Brisbane River?
Yes! For ages the Brisbane River was incredibly polluted, but since dredging ended in 1993, fish have slowly made their way back to the river and you can fish there again.
Do I need a licence to fish in Brisbane?
For the most part, no, you don’t need a licence to fish recreationally in Queensland.
The exception to the rule is if you’re fishing in some stocked impoundments where a stocked impoundment permit is required.
Are there limits on how much fish I can catch around Brisbane?
The bag and size limit heavily depends on the type of fish and whether it’s been caught in freshwater or tidal waters.
For any fish type not listed by the Queensland Government, a limit of 20 fish per person is in place.
What kind of fishing equipment can I use while fishing around Brisbane?
In order to prevent overfishing, the Queensland Government has strict rules about what type of fishing equipment can be used to catch specific types of fish.
‘It is also your responsibility to ensure a piece of equipment you are using is not prohibited for the species you are trying to catch, or the location you are using it in.’
Best to know before you go!
Top Fishing Tips
- Fresh bait is best
- Fish as light as possible (jighead/sinker and line) – heavier gear doesn’t always mean heavier fish
- Use a rod, reel and line that are compatible with each other
- Fish during turning tides – check the tides before you head out with the Tides Near Me app or the QLD tide tables
- Burley, burley, burley!
- Bring a net to help secure your fish when reeling it in
All photos thanks to Tourism and Events Queensland