Below you will find several excellent fishing options for both land-based and trailer boat anglers for the Cairns Net Free Zone.
There’s some important things to consider before undertaking these trails. Firstly, crocodiles inhabit all these areas and care should be taken when in close proximity to all waterways including beaches and headlands. Second, many of these fishing spots are most productive during the warmer months. Cairns can be very hot and humid, so take plenty of water and cover up, mosquito repellent is also important. Finally, take care of the area you are fishing and the fish you catch. Only take what you need not what you can catch.
The Cairns NFZ is blessed with some amazing stretches of clean sandy beaches. While popular with tourists for swimming and taking in the FNQ sun, they are also exceptional fishing spots, especially for land-based anglers. In fact, land-based anglers are blessed with a myriad of beach options in the NFZ, with the main ones being Machans, Holloways, and Trinity Beach. All can be fished in a single session and are all easily accessible straight from their own main beach esplanades.
Like the headland trail, its best to fish these areas over the rising tide, and bigger tides and calmer weather with little swell is best. When starting your beach fishing trail, it’s best to start at the southern end of the NFZ at Machans Beach. Machans has many fishable attributes, especially with its close proximity to the Barron River mouth. Fishing around the mouth with live and fresh baits (which can also be cast netted in this area at low tide) can produce some monster barramundi and salmon.