What to catch
TROPHY SIZED FISH
As the largest river system on the eastern seaboard of Australia, the Fitzroy River (Tunuba) provides prime estuary and freshwater fishing options with a range of fish species available to catch. The most popular are Barramundi and King Threadfin.
Barra are a fast growing fish and commonly reach legal size in just three years. They can attain trophy sizes of a metre and more in as little as six or seven years, and may survive well into their teens.
The legal size range for Barramundi in Rockhampton is 580mm to 1200mm (58 to 120cm), with a daily possession limit of five fish per angler. However, the Rockhampton Recreational Fishing Voluntary Code of Practice (VCP) suggests the retention of just two fish per day between 580 and 1000mm (58 and 100cm). There is strong local support for the VCP, and visiting fishers are encouraged to sign up to the voluntary code.
Barramundi spawn between the months of October to December each year, making it Barramundi close season from November to January each year.
Threadies are a spectacular, hard-fighting fish that rapidly reach a similar status to barramundi in the eyes of keen sport fishers. There are plenty of trophy-sized threadfin over a metre in length, and while they may be easy to find, they can be a little more challenging to catch.
King Threadfin have a minimum legal size of 650mm (65cm), no maximum size limit, and a bag limit of five per angler per day. However, the VCP recommends that fishers limit their take to two threadfin between 650 and 1000mm (65 and 100cm) in length.
King Threadfin spawn at the mouth of the river at roughly the same times as barramundi, so their spawning aggregations are also protected if anglers refrain from fishing in these areas at those times.
Giant Trevally, otherwise known as 'GT', provide a spectacular sport fishing experience. Similar to a barra fight, Giant Trevally are aggressive when reeling in the catch and can be found in deeper blue water around reefs and rocks, due to their predatory nature.
To fish for GTs, you will have to head out to the Port Alma area and launch your boat, then make your way out to deeper blue waters to the top of Curtis Island. Look for islands, reefs and rocky outcrop areas to fish from.
GTs are best caught on a popper lure, with a long rod and big reel. Get ready for a fight!
Saratoga are a well-known fish species of the Fitzroy River system. Usually a solitary fish, they prefer muddy outcrops with overhanging vegetation. They are jumping fighters and can be caught by fly fishing.
Saratoga have a minimum legal size of 500mm (50cm), with a possession limit of one fish per angler per day.
Head to Fitzroy River's freshwater areas to try your luck at catching a saratoga. You can also head along to the Mount Morgan No. 7 Dam, a great spot for family fishing.