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Fishing + Red Clawing

A guide to the top spots in the Central Queensland Highlands to cast your line or lay your crayfish pot…

BEDFORD WEIR

A popular boating, camping and fishing spot on the beautiful Mackenzie River, 25km north of Blackwater.

What to catch: Saratoga. This fish is native only to the Fitzroy Basin, including Mackenzie, Dawson and Isaac rivers. That means nowhere else on the planet can offer the prospect of catching a wild southern Saratoga!

The weir is also stocked with Barramundi and Yellowbelly, or throw in a pot to catch some of our freshwater crayfish, Red Claw.

You can also catch sleepy cod, eel tail catfish, long tom and sooty grunter.

What else is there: The area is suitable for overnight stays and water (not potable), toilets and showers are available. Wood-fired barbecues and a playground are set in shaded areas by the river.

Don’t miss the annual Saratoga Spectacular fishing contest held in October.

Best time to fish: From July / August when Mackenzie and Upper Fitzroy catchment waters start to clear.

How to get there: Here’s its location on Google Maps.

BINGEGAN WEIR

65kms north of Dingo and it’s a favourite for fishing and boating.

What to catch: Saratoga. This fish is native only to the Fitzroy Basin, including Mackenzie, Dawson and Isaac rivers. That means nowhere else on the planet can offer the prospect of catching a wild southern Saratoga!

What else is there: Camping is allowed but the camping area is quite small and you need to be self-sufficient because there are no on-site facilities.

Best time to fish: From July / August when Mackenzie and Upper Fitzroy catchment waters start to clear.

How to get there: Here’s its location on Google Maps.

LAKE MARABOON

Located 25km south-west of Emerald, Lake Maraboon is Queensland’s second largest lake.

What to catch: Murray Cod, Yellowbelly, Saratoga and Barramundi. A fishing permit is required and can be obtained from the Emerald Post Office or online here.

Red Claw, a freshwater crayfish, is abundant and is best caught in opera house traps. When it comes to bait, every fisher has their own theory, but generally fruit, partially cooked vegetables or pet food are most popular.

What else is there: A popular spot for boating, water skiing and swimming. Picnic tables and electric barbecues. Camping is not permitted around the lake, however camping and cabin facilities are available at the privately-run accommodation provider nearby.

Best time to fish: All year round.

How to get there: Here’s it’s location on Google Maps.

OTHER FISHING SPOTS

  • Bottom Weir, Nogoa River, Emerald. Fish for Sarotoga, Yellowbelly, Silver Bream.
  • Zamia Creek, Bauhinia. Fish for Golden Perch, Yellowbelly, Sarotoga or Jewfish 10km south along the Dawson Highway.
  • Comet. Drop a line into the Comet River under the railway bridge at the Comet Weir, or in the Mackenzie River at Riley’s Crossing.
  • Mackenzie River Crossing has Saratoga, Baraamundi, Yellowbelly and Red Claw. It’s known to the locals as Duaringa Beach due to the large sandy banks on the southern side of the river. Huge paperbark trees overhang the river, creating a great shady spot for a day trip, where you can swim, fish, kayak and watch the bird life. Located approximately 20km north of Duaringa on the unsealed Apis Creek Road. A 4WD is recommended for access onto the sandy river banks and it’s not suitable for caravans.

Special thanks to Guided Fishing DownUnder.

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