If serenity and joy are what you look for in a fishing expedition, there aren’t many places comparable with what Lake Maraboon has to offer.
With sparkling fresh water that is clean from toxic chemicals or industrial waste, you can be at ease knowing your catch is safe for consumption.
Lake Maraboon is nestled at a magnificent location allowing fresh blown breezes flowing in while you leisure your time away.
The endless aquatic activities range from fishing to swimming and even water skiing.
A popular fishing paradise, many enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the rewards of a successful catch could bring in up to eight different varieties of fish.
Varieties include Red Claw Crayfish (of which there are bountiful, and the lake is most well-known for it), Saratoga, Fitzroy Yellowbelly, Murray Cod, Silver Perch and Barramundi to name a few.
The history of Lake Maraboon’s stocking dates back to the late 1980s where there was an influx of Murray Cod stocked on a large scale. Lake Maraboon is virtually the only water body where Murray Cod was stocked at this level throughout all of Queensland totalling 81,000 fish stocked between 1989 and 1992.
Despite no further stocking attempts of Murray Cod being made post 1992, there have been incidences where people have lucked in by catching the occasional fish every now and then.
If you’re hoping to catch some Murray Cod, the ideal strategy is to observe the water levels. Where eater levels have been high for a good amount of time, position yourself along the rocky backs in the main basin to get lucky. Murray codfish are known to move out of the river and into an ambush and better feeding locations when water levels are high.
Saratoga fish have strived since the stocking of 100 fish back when the Nagoya Dam was constructed. Due to breeding habits, these fish won’t be at a shortage any time soon despite low initial stocking numbers.
The Fitzroy strain Yellowbelly have been present prior to Nagoya Dam being constructed and have done very well in breeding. Most popularly known to the Lake Maraboon’s angler’s fish, the Fitzroy Yellowbelly catch can come in large numbers, especially in the upper regions. The local angling scene witnesses some eager beavers travelling up to 50 clicks upstream looking for the Fitzroy Yellowbelly.
When it comes to stocking numbers, the silver perch takes the lead with a record of over 200,000 fish stocked up to 1994. A similar species known as the leathery grunter come in numbers here at Lake Maraboon too.
The trick behind catching silver perch and leathery gunters is to fish from the bank with a hand line and a packet of worms. They don’t take so well to anything that pulls drag.
Although you will catch a barramundi ever so often at Lake Maraboon, the low sticking numbers of a mere 9,000 means it’s a rather rare occurrence to cross paths with one.
And last but not least, the most popular fish in Lake Maraboon is the redclaw crayfish. A fishing adventure at the lake will rarely leave you disappointed as it’s hard to miss landing a catch of crayfish.
Do note that you will need a fishing permit to fish at Lake Maraboon so be sure to come prepared to avoid disappointment!
Where is Lake Maraboon?
Positioned midway between Longreach and Rockhampton, Lake Maraboon is close to Emerald which is just under a 7 hour drive from Townsville.
Blackwater town, which is known for its coal mining and Sapphire Gemfields, is only an hour away.
The great thing about Lake Maraboon is that you don’t have to fish to enjoy your time there.
Be sure to gear up with sunscreen, hats, your sunnies and some shade (like an umbrella) to prepare yourself for a hot day ahead.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated as the sun and heat can quickly leave you feeling dehydrated.
The best time to visit Lake Maraboon is in the early hours where the temperature is cool, and the place is less crowded. This headstart will make your experience less stressful as you are able to pick your favourite spots to settle down and to familiarise yourself with the area without feeling pressured.
A dip in the pool, a walk around the lake, a delicious picnic, and a smoky barbecue are some of the things you can do in Lake Maraboon that go beyond fishing.
Don’t let the winter bite fool you if you’re thinking of heading to Lake Maraboon during winter. All you have to do is come prepared by dressing warmer and preparing your gear to suit the mood. Think hot thermos flasks, waterproof boots, hand and foot warmers, fleece blankeys, flashlights and lots of layers.
In terms of food, opt for hot foods such as hot sandwiches, wraps, hot coffee and tea, and so on. Simply store these in an insulated bag or thermos to keep the food warm until it’s time to eat.
Needless to say, Lake Maraboon is definitely a winner for the entire family. With plenty of things to see and do while an astounding scenery of nature surrounds you, it may be worth staying for longer in Emerald to enjoy the attractions.
A good fishing trip is always guaranteed when your bellies are happy. So what better way to fill them up than to feast like a king at the infamous Maraboon Tavern popular among the locals in Emerald?
With a trained chef heading the kitchen, you can expect nothing short of fresh delicacies sure to leave your mouth watering and appetite at its peak. Customer service is impeccable, and the drinks are reasonable.
If you’re here with the kids, it’s good to know that there’s a play area for them to burn their energy while the adults relax a bit when on parenting duty.
When it comes to variety, the menu is wide enough to guarantee satisfaction for everyone. From juicy steaks that will have you aching for more to Asian influences like crispy pork belly to fresh seafood such as the barramundi fish and chips, a meal at the Maraboon Tavern is a must in Emerald.