Exploring Carnarvon’s Best Fishing Spots – A Local’s Insight for 2024

Located 900 km north of Perth, within the coral coast region of Western Australia, the scenic coastal town of Carnarvon provides some fantastic fishing opportunities for both visitors and locals within the area. 

guide to fishing in Carnarvon western australia

Whether you are looking to fish off the shore or to head out for some boat fishing, Carnavon is ideal as it offers plenty of options to suit all types of anglers.

In this article, we cover everything from fishing spots in Carnarvon to the different fish species you’d like to catch and any other relevant information to help increase your chances of landing a fish of a lifetime in Carnarvon.

What fish can you catch at Carnarvon?

Depending on where you’re fishing in Carnarvon will impact the type of fish species you can catch. Below is a list of the common onshore and offshore species being caught in and around Carnarvon.

Land-based species

  • Whiting
  • Tailor
  • Herring
  • Bream
  • Flathead
  • Shovel nose shark
  • Trevally 
  • Dart
  • Spangled emperor
  • Cobia
  • Mulloway
  • Shark
  • Mangrove Jack
  • Threadfin Salmon

Offshore fishing species

  • Pink snapper
  • Black snapper
  • Baldchin groper
  • Mulloway
  • Cobia
  • Rankin cod
  • Blueline emperor
  • Pelagics
    • Sailfish
    • Marlin
    • Tuna
    • Mackerel (Spanish & spotted)

Carnarvon Fishing Spots

Carnavon provides some fantastic fishing options for both land-based fishermen and those anglers fortunate to own a boat. There are a number of locations including offshore, onshore, rocking fishing, jetty fishing or beach fishing.

Some great fishing spots in Carnarvon include:

Marina Creek (South Carnarvon)

Towards the south end of Carnarvon, you have a creek leading into Carnarvon’s marina.  This spot is ideal for flicking soft plastics which often produce species such as flathead, whiting, bream and sometimes mangrove jack.

There are a few different spots to try along the banks, though ideally, you want to try and flick a line out into the deeper channel of the creek, where larger species are likely to wait for the shallow runoff.

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Carnarvon Town

If you’re staying in town and you don’t want to travel far then there are a few spots and structures you can fish along Canarvon’s esplanade.  Fishing here is likely to produce bream, whiting and flathead. 

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Carnarvon Jetty (currently closed)

Carnarvon Jetty in Western Australia
A photo of the Carnarvon jetty before it was destroyed during a cyclone

Unfortunately, the Carnarvon jetty is no longer open to the public due to cyclone damage, however, the remaining structures still provide good fishing grounds for those who have a boat.

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Gascoyne River Mouth and break walls

Accessible via Babbage Island Road, the break walls and timber structures along the edge of the river mouth provide a good opportunity to get into some decent fish.

Species caught here include whiting, flathead, bream, the occasional queenie and mangrove jack.

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One Tree Point

Located on the north side of the Gascoyne River is a spot known as One Tree Point.  Due to the number of mangroves in the area, one tree point is known as a great spot for targeting mangrove jack, flathead and other smaller species that like to take cover in the shallow banks.

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Miabooyla Beach

Another land-based spot that is worth trying is Miabooyla Beach.  Miabooyla Beach is located north of Gascoyne River, though on the coastal side.  

Being a beach fishing location, Miabooyla is the ideal spot for targeting the likes of Mulloway, threadfin Salmon and Tailor.  You’re also likely to pick up whiting, bream, flathead and other smaller saltwater species.

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Land-based spots further out

If you’re keen to explore the surrounding areas of Carnarvon for some decent fishing grounds then you won’t be disappointed as to the south you have the Shark Bay region and to the north, you have Quobba, which is known as one of the best land-based fishing locations along the west coast.  Check out our two guides for these areas below:

Stay safe whilst fishing in Carnarvon

Although fishing can be rewarding and is a great activity for all ages, please always practise safe fishing and always be aware of your surroundings.  

Depending on the type of fishing you’re doing, please visit our fish safe page for helpful info on how to fish safely and more importantly, return home to your family and friends.

Where can you catch squid in Carnarvon?

two west australian squid
two squid we caught whilst fishing out of our tinny in Carnarvon, WA

The waters off Carnarvon are home to some decent squid.  When I’ve been fishing in Carnarvon I would often fish off the jetty for squid, however since the jetty is now closed this isn’t an option.

If you have a boat then I’d recommend heading out and drifting the weed beds around the old jetty structure.

If you’re land-based fishing then as the water is relatively shallow around Carnarvon your best bet would be areas where you can access deeper water channels, structures and especially lighting in the evening which can be great for attracting squid.

See also: Info on catching Squid in Western Australia

Can you catch blue manna crabs at Carnarvon?

Blue swimmer crab standing ground when free diving at Busselton
Blue Manna Crab (Aka Blue Swimmer Crab)

Blue manna crabs are often caught in and around Carnarvon with most fishermen having luck by dropping crab nets or scoping for them in the shallows.

If you’re keen to catch a feed of blue manna crabs, then those with boats often do very well dropping nets around the old structure of the one-mile jetty.

See also: Info on how to catch blue manna crabs in WA

Can you catch mud crabs in Carnarvon?

Mud crab fishing in Carnarvon, WA

Fortunately, Carnarvon’s water temp is warm enough for mud crabs to inhabit the shallow creeks and mangroves. 

If you’re keen to get a feed of muddies then your best bet would be to safely venture around the shallows of the creeks whilst checking out the roots of the mangrove trees where mud crabs love to take shelter.

Can you catch crayfish in Carnarvon?

Catching Crayfish via helicopter off the coast of Carnarvon, Western Australia

Yes, crayfish can be caught off the coast of Carnarvon with a a number of different species inhabiting the offshore reefs, including both southern rock lobster and painted rock lobster.

Check out the above video of when a local WA youtuber took a helifish crayfish charter out to one of the islands off Carnarvon to get himself a nice feed of southern rock lobster.

See also: Info and tips on catching crayfish in Western Australia

When is the best time to go fishing in Carnarvon?

As the tide starts to play a factor as you head further north up WA, I’ve found the best times to fish are both dawn and dusk, along with the switch from high to low tide where the water is running out into the deeper channels where larger predators await small fish and like to be flushed out on the outgoing tide.

Boat fishing at Carnarvon

Video of a over night boat fishing trip in Carnarvon

Although Carnarvon has some decent land-based options, offshore boat fishing is definitely a different level from what can be caught fishing from the land.

Whether you’re bottom bouncing for demersals or trolling for pelagics you shouldn’t have a problem catching a decent feed!

Carnarvon boat fishing spots

Here are a couple of the well-known Carnarvon boat fishing spots:

Bernier and Dorre Island

Located approximately 30 nautical miles west of Carnarvon, Bernier and Dorre Islands provide some fantastic fishing opportunities, not just for anglers but also for spearfishermen.

Fishing the reefs surrounding the islands will produce a number of different species including the likes coral trout, red emperor, pink snapper and groper whilst trolling will yield the likes of spanish mackerel, cobia, tuna and even the larger pelagics such as sailfish.

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One Mile Jetty structure

Unfortunately, since the one-mile jetty was destroyed during a cyclone, land-based anglers can no longer fish off the jetty, however, there are still plenty of fish that inhabit the remaining structure of the jetty.

With this in mind, those locals with access to a boat, often head out to fish the surrounding areas of the jetty which is known to produce the likes of mulloway, tailor, threadfin salmon, queenies, mackerel, small shark, flathead and other smaller species such as bream and whiting.

In addition, the surrounding area is also known to produce a decent amount of squid and blue manna crab.

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Massey Bay

With a number of small inlets connecting to a shallow bay, Massey Bay is a great fishing spot with a number of nice fish to be caught.  

Being a shallow bay you’re likely to pick up the likes of whiting, mangrove jack and flathead.  You may also get the likes of threadfin salmon or trevally moving through the bay looking for bait fish.

Please note that the connecting creeks can only be accessed on high tide, hence always be mindful of the tide times to avoid getting your boat stuck.

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Gascoyne flats

Located to the south of Carnarvon is what is known as Gascoyne flats.  

Only accessible by boat, Gascoyne flats is known to produce some nice fish with the likes of flathead, whiting, bream and other shallow-based fish species often caught here.

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Where can I launch my boat in Carnarvon?

Carnavon has a number of boat ramps in the area to launch from. Head over to our Carnarvon boat ramps page which has a map and a list of boat ramps in and around Carnarvon.

Where can I get fuel for my boat?

If you need fuel for your boat there are a number of service stations within the town of Carnarvon where you can get fuel, bait and other snacks or refreshments for your day out.

Kayak fishing in Carnarvon

Kayak fishing in one of the Carnarvon creeks

For those into kayak fishing, Carnarvon provides a number of good fishing options to consider.  

With the Gascoyne River heading down past Carnaron you have the option to head out and explore the river and connecting creeks, or alternatively, you can head out on the ocean side.

As mentioned earlier though, due to the tidal change always be careful exploring the creeks as a lot of these creeks dry up on low tide leaving you stranded.

Bait and Tackle Supplies in Carnarvon

Telomac fishing tackle located in Carnarvon, Western Australia

If you need to stock up on tackle or need some bait, there are a couple of fishing tackle shops in Carnarvon.  These are:

If you do happen to drop into a local tackle shop, it’s always worth asking the owners for any extra info or tips they can provide for fishing in and around Carnarvon.  

Being local, they can often point you in the right direction of spots to try, along with telling you what species are being caught of late and what rigs to use for them.

Carnarvon Fishing Charters

Silverado Fishing Charters in Carnarvon, Western Australia

When it comes to fishing charters in Carnarvon, there are a couple of fishing charters to choose from.  These include:

Where can you not fish in Carnarvon?

Although there are some good fishing spots in and around Carnarvon there are also some marine sanctuary zones where fishing is not permitted, hence before you head out have a read of the Carnarvon guide which provides a map of where you can and can’t fish.

Carnarvon fishing competitions

An insight into the Carnarfin Fishing Competition held in 2019

Due to the excellent fishing on offer, there are a couple of fishing competitions held at Carnarvon with a popular one being the annual Carnar Fin Fishing Competition held annually.

This comp is well known with many participants travelling from different regions of WA or interstate to compete.

Fishing destinations nearby

If you’re looking for information on other fishing destinations nearby, then check out our main Fishing Guide page which has heaps of info on fishing spots in the Coral Coast region.

Locations close by that you may like to consider are:

Useful info to help plan your Carnarvon fishing trip

If you’re planning to head to Carnarvon to do some fishing, then here are a few links that may be of assistance:

Keen to learn more about Carnarvon, Western Australia? Check out the links below:

Or, if you would like to see other towns close to Carnarvon, then check out the Coral Coast region of Western Australia.

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