Adam Finlay of Audacity Charters is one of Townsville’s top fishing charter guides.
Adam Finlay of Audacity Charters is one of Townsville’s top fishing charter guides.

5 of NQ’s top fishing charters revealed

WITH an abundance of creeks, rivers and reefs within casting distance North Queensland has no end of fishing options.

Local knowledge goes a long way in unlocking its potential and there are plenty of guides armed with as much wisdom as lures in their tackle boxes.

One of the newest operators on the scene is Adam Finlay, who this year started venturing to the reef.

"For the last four years I have been a barra guide with a 6m boat. I've now got a business partner and gone halves on a bigger boat," he said.

Mr Finlay aims to get his clients onto a fish they will remember for a long time, even if they do live in the area.

He said 90 per cent of customers were local who wanted to hook into tasty red emperor, large mouth nannygai or coral trout.

"It's good to get four or five big fish each. We tend to like getting those trophy species," he said.

"We customise our charters to suit our clients."

 

Fish City Sportfishing Charters

This charter is operated by one of the most recognisable names in the industry in North Queensland - Eddie Riddle.

 

Eddie Riddle was pretty happy with this large mouth nannygai.
Eddie Riddle was pretty happy with this large mouth nannygai.

 

Mr Riddle came up to Townsville more than 30 years ago for a fishing trip and he's still on it.

Customers can go on half-day or full-day trips, targeting reef species out wide, mangrove jack and barramundi in the mangroves or jungle perch and sooty grunter in freshwater streams.

 

Aussie Barra Charters

Guide Andrew Mead offers clients a chance of tangling with sportfish species such as barra, fingermark, mangrove jack.

 

Fishing guide Andrew Mead helps Jeannette Shi with her 94cm barra.
Fishing guide Andrew Mead helps Jeannette Shi with her 94cm barra.

 

The captain has been operating the business for about 20 years and spent 10 years fishing as a deckhand and captain during the annual marlin season off Cairns.

He also ventures out targeting spanish mackerel, nannygai and queenfish.

Trips are targeted at the many estuaries in Cape Cleveland or south of the Haughton River. If the weather permits, anglers could venture around Magnetic Island or Cape Cleveland.

 

 

Ian Moody Sportfishing

Another name synonymous with the area is Ian Moody, brother to former charter operator Ryan.

 

Shaun Muhlnickel (left) caught this 111cm barra while fishing with guide Ian Moody.
Shaun Muhlnickel (left) caught this 111cm barra while fishing with guide Ian Moody.

 

Ian focuses on inshore options around Hinchinbrook and Townsville.

Armed with a 5.7m boat, he can take four anglers out targeting the many species around the mangroves such as the iconic barra.

 

Northern Conquest Charters

Northern Conquest offers more than 20 years experience in extended reef fishing charters in North Queensland.

 

Jack Rushton shows off a hefty red emperor caught while fishing with Northern Conquest Charters.
Jack Rushton shows off a hefty red emperor caught while fishing with Northern Conquest Charters.

 

With live-aboard boats, clients can venture over to the Great Barrier Reef and wrestle monsters from the deep or target shoals closer to home.

It also offers a range of smaller boat options, allowing anglers to target barra and spots 15 nautical miles off Townsville.

Anglers can enjoy half-day trips or extended stays aboard one of the vessels.



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