THE elation on every kid’s face when they catch their first fish is a family memory in the making.
THE elation on every kid’s face when they catch their first fish is a family memory in the making. Tom Huntley

Top beach fishing spots near Gladstone

DIP a line these school holidays and ensure the kids have something to brag about.

1 Yellowpatch at Curtis Island

GPS: 23.5217251°S,151.2124187,17°E

How to get there: The only access directly to Yellow Patch is via boat, but more than worth the trip. Pass by Cape Capricorn before taking note of the floats indicating the entrance into the channel. Red and green drums have been placed to mark the channel entrance and white drums mark the edges of the sand banks. However, do not rely on these to always be there.

Why it is great: Right on the Tropic of Capricorn, Yellowpatch earns its name from the dramatic ochre coloured sand stretch on the north-eastern side of Curtis Island. From the beach you need only to look into the water to choose your next meal. Whiting and bream are abundant in these waters. Clear blue water and a sheltered bay provides an ideal spot to drop a line in, pitch a tent and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. Yellowpatch delivers on beauty, serenity and isolation and tops the list for local weekend getaways that encompass great beach fishing.

Tips: Take care of the local wildlife. Marine park surrounds Curtis Island and is home to turtle rookeries. Yellow Patch is one huge yabby patch so your first port of call is rounding up the kids to pump for the prime bait. 

2 Lillies Beach at Boyne Island

GPS: 23.932132° S, 151.347828° E

How to get there: Access to Lillies Beach is via Handley Drive, from the Boyne Island sewage treatment plant. Four-wheel-drives are permitted onto Lillies Beach - get a 12-month permit for $25 from Gladstone Council Administration Centres or the Boyne Tannum Community Centre.

Why it's great: One of the most popular local getaway spots for beach four-wheel-driving, camping and fishing, Lillies remains one of the only beaches in the greater region which allows for the three recreational activities in one location. Whiting is the most popular fish caught at Lillies, but don't be surprised if you find a fingermark or other bream species on the end of your hook.

Tips: Pack a 4WD recovery kit if you are going off road. Most drivers are happy to help a vehicle in trouble, as long as they don't have to use their own snatch strap. Take a shovel; even the most experienced beachgoers get bogged.

3 Turkey Beach

GPS: 24.0783949° S,151.651589,16° E

The township of Turkey Beach is little more than a sleepy fishing village. It began as a few dozen shacks huddled together and is today still a relatively untouched coastal community. A convenience store stocks stocks fuel, bait and ice. Accommodation is available - there is no camping in the township - and there is a good boat ramp and a hard sandy beach to launch from.

Why it is great: The fishing at Turkey Beach is second to none for variety and reward - mangrove jack, fingermark bream, mackerel, flathead, whiting or grunter. 

The options are endless at Turkey Beach. If the fish aren't biting, There are many nearby beach locations to try. Elephant Rocks, Bustard Bay, Ethel Rocks and Rodd's Bay are the crowning jewels of the Turkey Beach locale, all within a short drive.

Tips: Insect repellent is essential.

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