Within an hour and a half drive from the city of Cairns flow some of the finest tropical waterways to be found anywhere in the world. These rivers start their course in the Northern Great Dividing Range and flow majestically through ancient rainforest up to 125 million years old before entering the Coral Sea.

The world renowned Daintree River to the north, the equally impressive but lesser known “twins” the Russell / Mulgrave Rivers to the south as well as the North & South Johnson Rivers and Mourilyan Harbour are all fished regularly by local charter Guides.

These tidal river systems offer excellent fishing opportunities, their physical structure, sand bars, rock holes, weed beds and gutters can yield some surprising light tackle sportsfish.



 Full Day Share Charter From $220 pp
Full Day Sole Charter From $750


All Tackle Sport Fishing

Calm Water River Fishing

Depending on the time of year will determine what our target species will be. Our tropical fish species are seasonal and the catch can vary. Cold drinks/ tea and coffee are available on all trips and lunch is provided on full day river fishing trips.

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FULL DAY RIVER – $220 P/P All river fishing trips are limited to a maximum of 4 unless prior arrangements have been made.

We begin our day at approximately 6:30am with a pickup from city accomodation (via arrangement) then drive south of the city making our way towards The Mulgrave/Russell (Johnstone/Mourilyan harbour) rivers. Spectacular scenery is just the beginning as we venture along the highway to our destination. Once we arrive it’s time to stretch your legs and the boat is launched. Bait gathering is the next job. Live sardines/herring/mullet and occasionally prawns.

A wide range of fish species are encountered in all the local rivers and estuaries. Among them are the Mangrove Jack, Fingermark Barramundi, Giant Trevally, Queenfish, Blue and Threadfin Salmon, Flathead, Grunter and Barracuda.

Don’t forget the camera and hat/sunglasses. After our day is finally finished its time to return to the city. We normally arrive in Cairns city at around 430 pm.

Fish Tales Charters

Calm Water River Fishing

Your Smooth Water River Fishing adventure begins in the shadows of Mountains and takes you through Rainforest covered National Parks the rivers start out as freshwater but turn to saltwater as it moves closer to the mouth, before finally entering the ocean.

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Full Day           $220 per person. (Max 6 pax) Sole Charter   $880. (Max 4 pax) 6.30am to 4.30pm (app.)
The Russell/Mulgrave River is approximately 40kms South of Cairns is lesser known yet is nestled under Queensland’s highest mountain, Mt Bartle Frere. It has premier sport fishing on offer, from bait to lure to fly-fishing. Why not come and join a Fishing Charter for the experience of the REAL Tropical Far North Queensland.

On all our river fishing charters we supply the following gear PENN 460 slammer reel on a 8-10 kg ugly stick with 10 kg mono fishing line. If you prefer you can bring along your own fishing gear. On our popper fishing charters we supply is PENN 360 slammer reel on a Shimano raider rod with 10 kg braid fishing line.

Pick up around 6.30 am from Cairns, to which we transport everything including the vessel and trailer along with the top quality rods & PENN reels, all the bait & tackle, bottles of water and tea/coffee, a delicious lunch and your experienced fishing guide to the Rivers. This is a full day of fun, exploring and fishing. Selection of fishing spots are decided upon on tides, their movements and target species. Drop off in Cairns around 4.30 pm. We take a maximum of six people to the rivers for a GREAT CAIRNS FISHING ADVENTURE.

During May, June, July and August this can fish extremely well with Giant Queen Fish and Giant Trevally moving around the river system. Moving into September, October, November and December target species may include Trevally, Queen Fish, Mangrove Jacks, Fingermark and the famous Barramundi.

Fish Hunter FNQ

Calm Water River Fishing

Come aboard a custom built sports fishing vessel and enjoy our scenic freshwater rainforest rivers and mangrove lined estuaries. Fish the Daintree, Johnstone and other rivers chasing our premier tropical sport fish, the Barramundi, along with many others!

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FULL DAY FISHING     $750  6:30am pickup   Max 2pax

Daintree River, Johnstone River, Russell/Mulgrave Rivers or Tinaroo Dam. The river location will depend on the time of year, weather and fishing conditions – however we can discuss your preferences and make recommendations upon booking.  Estimate a 1-2 hour drive.

HALF DAY FISHING    $450   6:30-11:30am   or  12:30-5:30pm  Max 2pax

Lure & Fly Fishing in the Cairns Inlet targeting tropical fish species including: Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Trevally, Tarpon, Fingermark, Queenfish and a range of other salt water species.

The river location will depend on the time of year, weather and fishing conditions – however we can discuss your preferences and make recommendations upon booking.  Estimate a 1-2 hour drive.

Included in your day:

Transfers to/from your accommodation (Cairns area & Port Douglas)

Morning tea, lunch, softdrinks, tea & coffee

Quality fishing tackle ^

What to bring:

Wide brimmed hat




Lightweight, long sleeved clothing

Footwear (water friendly)

Insect repellent

^ All fishing gear supplied on a replace if lost or damaged basis.

* Charter transfer times may vary depending on availability and specific requirements.

Please note: complimentary food provided may contain gluten and dairy products.

Feel free to bring along a couple of canned beers, but no more than a 6 pack please.

Heli Tours North Queensland

Calm Water River Fishing

Flying west from Cairns we intersect the Mitchell River. This mighty river starts on the Atherton Tablelands, flowing 750km north-west across Cape York to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Along the way, it carves through the rugged highlands of the Great Diving Range. Monsoonal rains swell the river during the summer months.

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An Australian experience like no other. There is just one word to describe this experience with Helitours North Queensland and that is unique. Highlights include: Cairns, Mitchell River, Fishing and the Mt Mulgrave Homestead.

  • Approx 6hrs
  • * Based on 4 PaxThis tour departs from Cairns. Return transfers available from Port Douglas: $49 per person.

Tracking the river, we land at our “secret fishing spot” where we set up on the banks of the Mitchell, before rigging a couple of fishing lines. While we cannot guarantee you will catch a fish, let’s just say that we will be very surprised if you don’t. The river is teaming with Barramundi, not only a great fish to catch, but also fantastic eating as well. Lunch is served on the banks of the Mitchell.


Calm Water River Fishing

Our calm water Fishing and Nature Tour targets Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Trevally and mudcrabs (when in season) whilst enjoying the wildlife and scenic beauty of the Daintree River.

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Half Day (4 hrs) 2-8 pax $120 pp. Full Day (8 hrs) 2-8 pax $240 pp. Night      (4 hrs) 2-8 pax $120 pp Sole Charter Half Day (4 hrs)1-2 pax $400. Full Day (8 hrs)1-2 pax $800. Groups Of 4-16 pax POA

Daintree River Fishing also offer the following…
COASTAL SPORTSFISHING & REEF CHARTERS Visit the local inshore reef and wrecks of the Daintree coast. Use a mixture of live baiting, lure, fly and trolling in search of Spanish Mackerel, Tuna, Coral Trout, Nannygai and reef sharks. Maximum 6 people and dependent on weather conditions. Half Day (4 hrs)2-6 pax $120 pp. Full Day (8 hrs)2-6 pax $240 pp
PERSONALISED SOLE CHARTERS With Daintree River Fishing have the boat to yourself with Dave as your guide. Small group half day and full day sole charters for up to 8 people. Recommended for fly or lure fishermen, birdwatchers and nature photographers. Itineraries and times to suit your schedule. Half Day (4 hrs)1-2 pax $400. Full Day (8 hrs)1-2 pax $800. Groups Of 4-16 pax POA

Akoonah Angling

Calm Water River Fishing

The mighty Barramundi is the sought after species in our northern estuaries and impoundments. Your guide will offer step-by-step tuition on precision casting with out Shimano Baitcasters so that you will be able to place that lure on that trophy Barra’s nose.

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Half Day River $500 for the whole boat (max 5pax) Full Day River $650 for the whole boat (max 5pax)

As well as lure casting you may get to sample a little live baiting fly casting, depending on conditions (BYO fly gear). Other species caught in the estuaries are Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Trevally and Queenfish, just to name a few.

All charters are all inclusive, everything from lunch (full day), cold drinks and snacks to transfers to and from your accommodation and even sunscreen and a hat if required.