Top spot for those who reel-y love to fish

Lake Maraboon’s a top spot for people who reel-y love freshwater fishing.

The lake is part of Nogoa River and about 15 minutes’ drive from Emerald in the Central Queensland Highlands.

Here are Lake Maraboon’s two big drawcards for avid anglers:


Red claw crayfish are so abundant in the lake that you don’t need a permit and there’s no size limit (in fact, you’re asked to not return any to the water).

They’re also really easy to catch. Trap the crayfish using Opera-House pots and vegetables.

Best of all, red claw are easy to cook and delicious to eat!


Cast a line from shore or your boat to catch barramundi, golden perch (yellow belly) and silver perch – which have been added to the water by a local fish stocking group.

You do need a fishing permit but they’re cheap as chips and easy to buy on the QLD Fishing 2.0 app.

Other handy info:

  • Lake Maraboon is Queensland’s second largest lake and is very popular for boating, water skiing, swimming and picnics.
  • The lake is also renowned for its transformation at sunset, with the stunning skyshow reflecting on the water.
  • Camping is not permitted around the lake but privately-run camping and cabin facilities are nearby.
  • While the water is called Lake Maraboon, meaning ‘where the black duck fly‘, the wall and spillway are collectively called Fairbairn Dam. 
  • Call into the Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Information Centre to get your free paper copy of Central Queensland Fishing – the Local Secrets and this mini guide to Lake Maraboon.
  • QLD Fishing 2.0 – Apple users can download the app here; Android users can download here.
  • Click here for more information on this website about fishing and red clawing across the Central Queensland Highlands.

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