Beach Rock Fishing


Being a Queensland boy, born and raised, some of my fondest memories were forged on the south Queensland coastline. The Tailor run was a highlight of my year. Instead of sitting in the gym like most teenagers, I spent my formative years fighting Tailor with a low-cost surf rod and reel combo. Those things were so heavy I was fighting the rod as much as the fish. I cut my teeth on surf fishing and still get as much of a buzz from it now as I did then.

The only thing that has changed, is I no longer use bait. I made the switch to lures in my early 20s and couldn’t go back to the slow game of bait fishing. There has definitely been a learning curve, but that was part of the draw. Taking Tuna and Mackerel on a lure brings so much more excitement to the sport.


We have plenty of beach locations in Queensland. If you are on foot, plenty of places can be reached in an hour or so from the nearest town. In the area I grew up, my mates and I used to set off on foot from Sandgate, past Brighton and see what we could find.

If you have a 4WD the possibilities are endless. The whole area around Bramble Bay is a goldmine for beach fishing. If you cross the bridge, there are heaps of rocks to fish from between Woody Point and Scarborough. You also have the Brisbane coastline just an hour’s drive away, and the Gold and Sunshine coasts are worth exploring. For a little further afield, Fraser Island and Stradbroke Island make great getaway locations.


The colder months deliver the best beach catch rates, but really with the right location and lure, you can catch species from the shore all year round. Similarly, traditionally sunrise and sunset have been the times when lures come into their own, but I have enjoyed success with lures during daylight hours too. I like to capitalise on the midday sun when all the bait fishermen call it a day.

You can even use lures for night fishing, but use something which uses sound to attract the fish. Poppers or stickbaits work fine, I have also seen great results with glow in the dark squid jigs. You need to expose these to plenty of light from a UV torch first though.


Fishing off a jetty or pier can be a great place to start. The height will give you a longer cast and you should get better eyes on your lure to see how it’s performing in the water. Unless there are indicators from birds, or visual signs of fish activity, just choose a spot and slowly fan the casts to cover as much ground as possible.


I like getting stuck in and getting wet, so beach fishing has always been a personal favourite of mine. Look for deeper sections of a gutter to put your lures for the best results. Unless you are throwing poppers for Whiting, a longer cast is always advantageous when fishing from the beach. You want to drop your lure behind the breakers to get the bigger beasts. I usually look for schooling fish, then put a lure behind them and drag it back quickly to draw out a bite.

There’s nothing like have a great pair of chest height waders complete with sealed boots when wading the sandbanks but be careful not to get in too deep because if a big wave comes along and your waders get flooded it can get dangerous.


The danger is higher off rocky headlands, but so are the rewards. Because heaps of species visit rocky areas, you never know what you are going to take from the rocks. You really have to be on your toes when fishing from the rocks though. I have heard plenty of horror stories which I won’t repeat here.

Without trying to sound like I am selling the things, the fishing waders with lug soles are also good for sharp rocks because they give you feet extra grip as well as keeping you dry from spray, which reminds me, an all-weather PFD with long sleeves that zip off in warmer weather makes sense to be wearing. It’s only sensible to be wearing a Level 150 auto inflating life jacket when you are on the rocks.


Is there anything you would like to add to this article? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Peter Hollingsworth

Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.