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A Local’s Guide to Secret Fishing Spots Around Proserpine

A Local's Guide to Secret Fishing Spots Around Proserpine
on 07 March 2022 in Travel & Lifestyle

Experience the best of fishing in Proserpine as we take you on a local journey to the secret fishing spots around the area.

Not known to many, there lies a fair few spectacular fishing spots just a short drive from Airlie Beach in the Proserpine region. 

Here are some of the best fishing spots as revealed by locals.

Estuary fishing in Proserpine

Offering some fantastic estuary fishing, you will find plenty of popular tropical species in the area. The Proserpine River makes its mark as being the most popular place for estuary fishing throughout the Whitsundays. 

Other great estuaries within the Proserpine region include the Repulse, Thompson and O’Connell rivers. 

Spanning a large length that extends around 3 kilometres inland toward Proserpine town, the Proserpine River can be accessed by boat ramp along Conway Road. 

For those with a love for king salmon, the Proserpine River is the place to throw in a line. Other common species in the river include barramundi, grunter, flathead, queenfish, fingermark, and bream.

Head toward the deep bends of the river to fish for king salmon, as the species tend to linger in these terrains. Other good spots to fish include submerged drop-offs and timber structures where there’s shade and deeper waters that provide security for the fish to hang near. Combine these spots with some in or out tide flow, and you’ll find yourself with higher luck.

The best bait for catching king salmon in the Proserpine River include small mullets, live prawns and other freshly caught small baits. Casting and trolling lures are also effective. Soft vibes used as lures work great in catching salmon, while dead baits have been reportedly successful in catching good sized grunters.

If you’re looking for more fishing options at Proserpine River, head to the top of Repulse Bay, north of the mouth of Proserpine River, where you’ll find huge grunters with some anglers reporting them to be around 70 cm in size. 

Repulse Creek is full of rocks, making it a natural habitat to a good share of mangrove jack, some barramundi and mud crabs in the smaller creeks.

Lake Proserpine fishing 

For the big game, make your way to Lake Proserpine, also known as Peter Faust Dam. It’s one of the hottest spots in Queensland to catch some big barramundi, where many anglers set as the gold standard to barra fishing.

Lake Proserpine is quite a big body of water that’s relatively close to the coastline, meaning sea breezes can impact a successful catch.

The best spots to head to include standing timber where the fish tend to congregate. These spots will typically be barely navigable by boats, which means excellent fishing for you. Other productive spots to fish include lay down trees and branches, drop offs, shallow flats and weeded shallows. Combinations of these features tend to hold more fish, and it’s usually a good idea to fish these areas thoroughly before moving onto the next spot. Use different lures and retrieve styles to get a bite.

Barramundi are known for feeding on bream, gunter and redclaw crayfish. These baits are around 70mm to 159mm long, meaning your lures should be around this size range to work best. The three main lures that work well in Lake Proserpine include soft plastics, top waters and hard body divers. Trolling with a range of lures is also effective in Lake Proserpine, especially in the main water basin. 

In fact, Lake Proserpine is a truly untapped potential for the ultimate fishing experience, offering amazing chances of landing over a metre long barramundis – making it an international attraction waiting to happen. 

The lake is regularly stocked by the Faust Dam Fish Stocking Association with fish including barramundi, sooty grunter and saratoga.

There aren’t any boating restrictions at the lake, however you will need to be cautious when navigating its waters, especially where there are areas with submerged trees.

Camping is not permitted around the lake, and a stock impoundment is required to fish. 

Reef fishing

Offering a first class experience in reef fishing, the Proserpine region extends its fishing over to the Whitsundays. Most islands have shallow flats that extend out and drop off into the deep, creating the optimal spots to land a catch. These are the areas to fish, especially with soft plastics with the aim to land your lure right up against solid coral bommies for best results. The best soft plastics to use are crustacean and baitfish imitations that are around 60mm to 150mm in size. 

Great reef fishing spots include the edges of Hook Passage, the shallow reefs of Bird Island, the northern side of Haslewood Island, the north eastern side of Hook Island, and the fringing reefs of Apostle Bay.

The range of species is phenomenal and includes coral trout, emperor fish, tusk fish and grassy sweetlip. With reef fishing, sizing may be an issue as they tend to lean on the smaller scale compared to catching in deep water. 

No luck fishing?

If fishing luck isn’t on your side, head to the Hotel Metropole in Proserpine for a seafood experience that will satisfy.

Featuring decadent meals that include freshly caught seafood served with an Aussie flare, you’ll be sure to hit the cravings in the right spot. With cold, fresh beers on tap, a welcoming atmosphere and friendly waitstaff at hand, you’ll feel like a winner dining at the Hotel Metropole.