Outer reef as good as it gets

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT / REELIN’ IN -

Rock walls and beaches

THE rock walls around the Whit­sun­days have been fish­ing ex­tremely well af­ter the cy­clone with good re­ports of barra, fin­ger­mark and man­grove jack be­ing caught on live baits.

An­glers fish­ing the rock walls have also had some good luck catch­ing a few nice size grunter on the run in tide, fish­ing with peeled prawns.

There was one re­port of a cou­ple of red-throat em­peror even be­ing caught off the VMR rock wall last week.

Beaches have been fish­ing well for whit­ing and flat­head on beach worms and small prawns.


THE is­lands have been fish­ing well for sweet­lip and red-throat em­peror.

They are be­ing caught in great num­bers around all is­lands.

Co­ral trout have started to show up in small num­bers in deeper wa­ter but most have been re­ally good size, be­ing 45-70 cm long and should only im­prove as the tides get a bit big­ger.

Re­ports of span­ish mack­erel have been very slow with most peo­ple catch­ing co­bia on livies put out for mack­erel un­der bal­loons.


THE Proser­pine River has been crab­bing well with most peo­ple catch­ing a few crabs over Easter.

The bar­ra­mundi and sal­mon have been a bit slow in the river for guys flick­ing lures around.

The guys fish­ing live baits are reporting good size sal­mon and a few barra on live mul­let and prawns.

Lo­cal rivers have been pro­duc­ing some good size man­grove jack with a fair few small ones and the odd barra.

Best bet is to fish around the mouths of these creeks us­ing live mul­let and her­ring.

— Ryan Fuller, Whit­sun­day Fish­ing World


MIXED ex­pec­ta­tions head­ing out to the reef last week since Cy­clone Deb­bie, won­der­ing what we may find. As with Cy­clone Ului I ex­pected the co­ral trout num­bers to be down and this was what we found.

I think the trout make a dash to the deep wa­ter, es­cap­ing the shal­lows and tak­ing cover.

Other than the wa­ter clar­ity be­ing some­what stirred up from a com­bi­na­tion of the cy­clone and the big tides that’s where any neg­a­tive ef­fects of the cy­clone fin­ish as the fish­ing has been ex­cep­tional.

In 17 years of liv­ing here and fish­ing the Great Bar­rier Reef, I have never seen so many big red throat em­peror be­ing caught.

They truly have thrived af­ter the cy­clone.

These big red throat seem to be ev­ery­where and good catches have also been re­ported around the is­lands.

Other species we have en­coun­tered over the last week in­clude mar­lin, sail­fish, span­ish and shark mack­erel, big gi­ant trevally, long tail and mac tuna as well as mixed reef fish.

We haven’t had a chance to fish the deeper shoals as yet with the stronger winds keep­ing us closer to the reef edge. I ex­pect the red throat to be com­pet­ing with the co­ral trout, nan­ny­gai and red em­peror out there.

The com­ing week doesn’t look too good weather wise with strong winds fore­cast. Here’s hoping the winds ease soon.

— Ash Matthews Sea Fever Sport­fish­ing


HOLY MACK­EREL: Yudi Lloyd, from Mel­bourne, with a solid span­ish mack­erel caught at the reef on Sun­day with Sea Fever.


Randy Togo with a nice gold spot cod caught with Reel Ad­dic­tion Sport­fish­ing.

Richard Smith and Yudi Lloyd caught and re­leased these two solid GTs at the reef with Sea Fever Sport­fish­ing.


Karl Bur­ton with a stom­per of a golden trevally caught while on char­ter with Reel Ad­dic­tion Sport­fish­ing.

Pa­trick Bren­nan hold­ing a solid gold spot trevally caught on char­ter with Reel Ad­dic­tion Sport­fish­ing Whit­sun­day.

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