1 Lake Awoonga
GPS: 24.0583747 E,151.3059226 S
How to get there: It's only 30km from Gladstone central. Head to the junction of Gladstone-Benaraby Road and the Bruce Hwy. The exit onto Awoonga Dam Road is well signposted to the left about 3km further south.
Why it's great: Each year, 300,000 fish are released into Lake Awoonga; among them an estimated 200,000 barramundi. Floods and weather have hit populations over the past 14 months but the likelihood of catching the famed fish is still high. The largest documented barramundi caught from Lake Awoonga was a huge 36.5kg.
Tips: Mullet and mangrove jack also populate the lake, providing a close and promising family fishing trip.
Look out for: With no closed barra season on the lake, seasonal catch limits and size limits apply. Check the Gladstone Area Water Board website before your fishing trip.
2 The Narrows - Ramsey's Crossing
GPS: 23.6832498E, 151.0994125S
How to get there: Turn off the Bruce Hwy at Mount Larcom and head along the Narrows road for about 30km. The road is mainly graded gravel.
Why it's great: Absolutely the best spot to catch the famous Gladstone mudcrab, Ramsey's Crossing is for the diehard angler who enjoys taking on the elements.
Tips: Rocky outcrops, deep water channels and mud banks provide an ideal haven for barramundi, bream, mangrove jack and flathead.
Watch out for: The Narrows, a wild and untamed bushland, is also famous for its relentless sand flies. Prepare well with boots and ample insect repellant.
3 Pancake Creek, Turkey Beach
GPS: 24.0800013 E ,151.7108765 S
How to get there: About 47km from Miriam Vale on the Round Hill road to the Town of 1770, the Eurimbula turnoff is on the left. About 6km down this unsealed road is a branch to Middle Creek campground in the Eurimbula National Park. This 13km section is 4WD only and can take more than half an hour. From the launch site at the campground close to the mouth of Middle Creek, it is an 18km paddle to the Pancake Creek campsites.
Why it's great: Behind Bustard Head lies a perfect boating and sea kayaking option for those fishermen who love a challenge. As remote as remote can get, Pancake Creek is not accessible by vehicle or road. The only viable way in is via the waterways. Nearby Aircraft Beach is an indigenous cultural site, where stone tools and implements can still be found.
Watch out for: Large tidal surges can rule out any chance of progress against the tide. Pancake Creek is not for the inexperienced. The higher the tide, the greater the tidal flow. Insect repellant and supplies to remain self-sufficient are essential. Ensure you have the appropriate tools to call for help if required.
Plan your trip with due consideration of tides, gear and time allowances.
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