New snacks on sale now for a limited time! Use code NEW for 15% off.

Fishing Gear - Tidal Waters and Freshwater

Recreational fishing rules

Fishing gear

Restrictions apply to fishing gear to prevent overfishing.

Tidal water fishing gear

Note: You can use a drone to deploy fishing gear.

Prohibited fishing methods

  • Jagging or foul hooking.
  • Using underwater breathing apparatus (other than a snorkel) to catch fish.
  • Using a crab hook.
  • Using fishing gear (including nets) across a waterway or navigation channel if it makes more than half its width impassable to a boat or fish.

Responsible crabbing


  • Make sure your crab pot/dilly is heavy enough and has enough rope attached to the float so it’s not lost in strong tidal currents. Lost crabbing gear can harm animals and becomes litter.
  • Make sure your pots/dillies are in water deep enough at all stages of the tide so animals caught in the gear are not exposed to the sun and unwanted crabs can be released alive.
  • Sort your crabs on a pot-by-pot basis to remove any no-take crabs before moving on. If you don’t, any illegal catch in your pot is considered to be in your possession.
  • Check your pots/dillies regularly to ensure any bycatch or no-take crabs can be released unharmed. Ideally, you should not leave gear unattended.
  • Report derelict, abandoned or lost crab pots.


  • Hook crabs – hooking crabs is illegal.
  • Interfere with another person’s crabbing gear – this is a serious offence that carries heavy penalties. Stealing crabs or crab pots is a criminal offence. If you’re caught you will be reported to the police.

Fishing gear


Cast nets

  • Maximum net size is 3.7m – measured from the point of attachment of the cord or rope to the rest of the net, the net leadline or the bottom of the lowest pocket of the net (whichever is greater).
  • Maximum mesh size is 28mm.

Crab pots and dillies

  • You can use up to 4 crab pots or dillies (or a combination of these) per person.
  • You can’t have more than 4 pots or dillies per person on a boat in the water.
  • A pot or dilly must have a tag attached with the surname and address (number, street, town, state and postcode) of the person using the pot/dilly – this information must be clearly visible, legible and in English.
  • The pot or dilly must be attached by a rope to either a:
    • solid, light-coloured float at least 15cm in all its dimensions and marked with the user’s surname
    • fixed object above high water (e.g. a jetty or tree) – the rope must have a tag attached to it above the high water mark with the user’s surname on it (sunken and unmarked pots are illegal).
  • You can’t use inverted dillies (witches hats).

Fishing lines

  • You can use up to 3 fishing lines with up to 6 hooks in total (in any configuration).
  • An artificial fly, lure, bait jig or gang hook is counted as 1 hook.
  • A fishing line may be handheld or attached to a rod or reel, but you can't use a cross line, drum line, free-floating line or set line.
  • You must stay with all your fishing lines at all times.

Digging forks

  • You can use a digging fork to catch bait, except on foreshores with a worm digging closure or in certain marine park zones.
  • You can’t use digging tools in fish habitat areas, other than a hand pump.

Read about fish habitat areas and marine park zoning.

Read about marine park zoning managed by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority.

Hand pumps

  • A hand pump may be used on foreshores in tidal waters to take bait only.

Lobster loop

  • You can use a lobster loop to catch lobster while snorkelling.
  • Pole with a loop on one end that can be drawn around the lobster to secure it, without anything attached that may pierce the shell.

Scoop or dip nets

  • Maximum net size is 2m in any dimension.
  • Maximum handle length is 2.5m.
  • Minimum mesh size is 25mm.
  • You can use a gaff or landing net to secure a line-caught fish.

Seine nets (bait nets or drag nets)

  • Maximum net size is 16m in length and 3m in drop.
  • Maximum mesh size is 28mm.
  • It can’t contain a bag, pocket or similar device.
  • It can’t be anchored, staked or fixed.
  • No part of the net containing fish can be out of the water other than to immediately remove the fish.
  • You can keep fish caught in a seine net as long as they meet size and possession limits.
  • Any fish you don’t keep must be released into water deep enough to allow the fish to escape.


  • You can use a spear or spear gun (including a bow for propelling a spear) in selected tidal water locations.
  • You can’t use underwater breathing apparatus (other than a snorkel) to catch fish.
  • A power head is not permitted other than for defence against sharks.

You can’t spearfish for barramundi between 6pm and 6am.

You can’t go spearfishing in fresh waters.

Closed waters apply.

Freshwater fishing gear

You can’t use

  • hand pumps or worm digging forks
  • a spear or spear gun (including a bow for propelling a spear)
  • underwater breathing apparatus (other than a snorkel) to catch fish
  • a cast net or seine net
  • a crab pot.

You also can’t interfere with gear that you didn’t set – this is a serious offence that carries heavy penalties.


  • You can use canister traps, collapsible traps, dilly nets, funnel or round traps, or open-top pyramid traps – up to 4 traps in total.
  • All traps must have a tag attached with the surname and address (number, street, town, state and postcode) of the person using the trap – this information must be clearly visible, legible and in English.
  • If a trap is not fixed to something stationary (e.g. a branch or boat) above the surface of the water, it must have a solid light-coloured float attached, which is at least 15 cm in all its dimensions and marked with the user’s surname.

Fishing gear


Canister traps

  • Maximum trap length is 60cm and the maximum width, height or diameter is 50cm.
  • It must be open at one end.
  • The width, height or diameter of the trap – measured anywhere along its length – must not be more than the width, height or diameter of the trap’s open end.
  • If the trap does not have mesh made of rigid material, the maximum mesh size is 25cm.

Collapsible traps

  • The trap must be made of rigid material and with 1 or more collapsible sides.

Dilly nets

  • Maximum net diameter is 125cm,
  • Maximum mesh size is 25mm.

Fishing lines

You can use:

  • handheld fishing lines, with or without a pole, reel or rod – up to 6 fishing lines in total
  • 1 hook, artificial fly or lure attached to a fishing line.

You can’t:

  • use a set line
  • use a float line
  • set a fishing line as a cross-line.

You must stay within 50m of all your fishing lines.

Funnel and round traps

  • The maximum funnel trap size is 70cm long and 50cm high or wide.
  • The maximum round trap size is 70cm in diameter and 50cm in height.
  • The maximum mesh size of funnel and round traps is 25mm, with up to a maximum of 4 entrances made of rigid material.
  • Funnel and round traps with a maximum rigid opening size of 5cm in all dimensions can be used in all Queensland fresh waters.
  • Funnel and round traps with a maximum rigid opening size of 10cm can only be used in fresh waters west of a line following the Great Dividing Range and west of the Gore Highway (A39) or in the following impoundments—Atkinsons Dam, Baroon Pocket Dam, Bill Gunn Dam (Lake Dyer), Bjelke-Petersen Dam, Boondooma Dam, Borumba Dam, Burdekin Dam (Lake Dalrymple), Callide Dam, Cania Dam, Connolly Dam, Cooby Dam, Coolmunda Dam, Cressbrook Dam, Eungella Dam, Ewen Maddock Dam, Fairbairn Dam, Fred Haigh Dam (Lake Monduran), Glenlyon Dam, Gordonbrook Dam, Hinze Dam, Kinchant Dam, Koombooloomba Dam, Lake Awonga, Lake Gregory, Lake MacDonald, Lenthalls Dam (Lake Lenthall), Leslie Dam, Maroon Dam, Middle Creek Dam, Moogerah Dam, Mount Morgan Big Dam, North Pine Dam, Peter Faust Dam, Ross River Dam, Sideling Creek Dam (Lake Kurwongbah), Somerset Dam, Storm King Dam, Teemburra Dam, Theresa Creek Dam, Tinaroo Dam, Wivenhoe Dam, Wuruma Dam, Wyaralong Dam.
  • Funnel and round trap usage map


  • You can only use a scoop or dip net, or landing net.
  • You can’t use any other net (e.g. cast net, seine net, bait net, drum net).

Scoop or dip nets:

  • maximum net size of 1 m in any dimension
  • maximum handle length of 2.5 m
  • maximum mesh size of 25 mm.

Open-top pyramid trap

  • Must have a single, rigid top opening, with a minimum size of 15cm in all its dimensions, parallel to the base of the trap.
  • Maximum mesh size is 25mm.
  • Maximum base size is 60cm long and wide.
  • Minimum trap height is 15cm.

Search our shop