It’s not all carp and redfin on offer in Canberra’s lakes and rivers. You might be lucky to catch a golden perch or Murray cod. Venture further into the region to try your luck with trout, salmon, flathead or snapper.

If you’re a casual angler – especially while on holiday – Canberra offers some great locations to throw in a line.

Recreational fishing in ACT public waters won’t require a licence, but there are some fishing rules to help manage our fish populations. For NSW waters, you’ll need a fishing licence, available from most tackle shops or online.

Now grab some bait or lures and rig up your rod, it’s time to explore the waterways.

Lake Burley Griffin spots

Canberra’s central and spectacular Lake Burley Griffin spans 40km of shoreline, offering plenty of easy-to-find locations for fishing.

According to locals, some of the best spots around the lake are Bluegum Point near the Yacht Club (the best place to hire a boat), Black Mountain Peninsula, and near historic Blundell’s Cottage.

Not far away, you can take a kayak up Molonglo River towards Pialligo and try your luck with catching a golden perch – though be careful of the snags.

Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin at sunset.
Throw in a line at sunrise or sunset at the spectacular Lake Burley Griffin.

Local angling

Beyond Lake Burley Griffin, you can explore fishing spots on Lake Ginninderra or Lake Tuggeranong, or try local public ponds like Yerrabi Pond in Gungahlin.

For river explorations, try the impressive sites along the Murrumbidgee, Cotter River or Queanbeyan River. Wandering these waterways searching for just the right fishing spot is half the fun.

The Cotter Avenue Recreation Area is ideal for picnics, swimming and fishing – plus there’s a playground and barbecues, so you can make a day of it with the family.

Open season for trout waters starts the October long weekend to the end of the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June.

Yachts, sail boats and canoes on Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin.
Join the sail boats and canoes on Lake Burley Griffin

Coast and country

Neighbouring Canberra are some highly prized fishing spots.

Head about two hours by car to the south coast and you’ll be spoiled for options with beach and estuary fishing. Plus there are some great rivers for boat or shore fishing – try Moruya River, Tuross Lake, Clyde River and Wagonga Inlet. Common catches in these areas are flathead, bream, snapper and whiting.

If cool climate is more your style, or you’re a keen fly-fisher-person, the pristine Snowy Mountains’ lakes and streams offer stunning backdrops to a day or two of fishing. Only about a two hours away from Canberra, Lake Jindabyne, Lake Eucumbene and Thredbo River all offer great fishing for any type of angler. Spring and summer are the best times to fish in the alpine region (when the snow has melted).

Local inspiration

If you’re seeking some guidance from those who have spent their lives fishing waters in and around Canberra, try the Flick and Fly Journal or Tackle World Canberra.


For your guide on fishing in the ACT, download the Recreational Fishing Brochure. Stay up to date with details of fishing tours and adventures, subscribe to our enewsletter.