Fishing is undeniably one of the absolute highlights of being in Bowen. With so many different terrains that attract a wide array of different fish species, the fishing experience in Bowen is nothing short of exciting.
From creek systems to offshore reefs and coral studded islands, the Great Barrier Reef that hugs the shorelines of Bowen guarantees an abundance of fish that enhances the adventure.
Creek fishing in Bowen
In the creeks, you will find bream, whiting, and mangrove jack. Come during the right season between 1 November and 1 February, and you may chance upon a catch of some barramundi.
South of Bowen will have you stumbling upon Adelaide Creek and Duck Creek, which is only accessible by sea through the beach ramps. And to the north of Bowen, you’ll find Bob Moses Creek, Meatwork Creek and Boat Creek, which are accessible via sea during high tide embarking from the Don River Boat Ramp.
With creek fishing, you need to be aware of the tide as most of the creeks become landlocked during low tide as a result of tidal flats, making access highly limited.
Mainland fishing in Bowen
So you don’t have a boat. Don’t let that stop you from having an amazing Bowen fishing experience. Secret is, you can still catch a big one even without a boat. Here are the top secret spots in Bowen for a great catch.
The Bowen Town Jetty, where the Bowen Family Fishing Classic is held, is where you want to be to catch a big one. There are a ton of fishes here, with a good variety range including species like pilchards, mackerels, travellies, and coral trout.
Head to the creek mouths such as Doughty’s Creek at the Western side of town, Magazine Creek near Boat Harbour, or Sandhills Creek by Kings Beach for your chance at catching some whiting.
A line in Don River will put you up for a chance to catch some whiting, flathead, trevally or bream.
For more varieties, the areas around Horseshoe Bay have seen success in reeling in some blue tusk, trevally, mackerel, and coral trout. Rose Bay is known for its blue tusk and trevally, and further south of the bay will find you some whiting and flathead.
South of Kings Beach is where you’ll find trevally, blue tusk, mackerel, and coral trout while Boat Harbour is known for its mangrove jack and bream. Gordon beach is home to bream, flathead and whiting.
Offshore fishing in Bowen
Fishing on a boat in Bowen offers an endless realm of options that require a short amount of effort to get there. The inshore islands and reefs will impress fishing enthusiasts with the abundance of coral trout, sweet lip and spotted and spanish mackerel, not to mention the stunning ocean views that come with the experience.
Popular fishing spots include Lighthouse Island, Stone Island, Middle Island and the Gloucester and Holbourne islands, featuring coral reefs that lure in tons of fishes, presenting endless fishing opportunities including painted crayfish.
Gloucester Island is ideal for larger boats as there are no restrictions on weather conditions, time or tide, and is an accessible 20 kilometres from Bowen Boat Harbour Ramp. Stone Island is great for large coastal trout fishing in its southern edge, which is an easily accessible 4 kilometres from Bowen Boat Harbour Ramp.
If you’re looking to catch the renowned Bowen mackerel, you’ll have to time your expedition between June and September, with the best spot for it being a short 5 kilometre boat outing from the Grays Bay Boat Ramp. Come at the right time and you’ll see hordes of Bowen mackerels, which arrive in big numbers - making fishing here a first class experience.
No luck fishing in Bowen?
Fishing certainly requires some level of luck and skill, and sometimes an adventure can lead to a no catch reward. Nevertheless, the journey is often one you will fondly reflect upon with stunning views and fresh ocean breezes that are enviable.
And nobody said you had to go home empty handed (or with an empty stomach).
Head to the Grand View Hotel in Bowen for some quality seafood the likes of a fried Red Throat Emperor fish burger, spicy Rhode Island calamari, saucy Spanish prawns, Moreton Bay bugs, firecracker prawns, scallop tostadas, Asian cured salmon, Tasmanian Pacific oysters, beer battered fish and chips, to name a few.
And if you’re over the smell of the sea, there’s always a greater menu beyond seafood, such as premium steaks, pastas and pizzas, and more.
Pair your meal with fresh beer on tap, wines, or spirits from the extensive menu range of drinks, and you’ll be left feeling complete and accomplished.
Banner image credit: Whitsundays Regional Council