Whitsunday

8 Fishing Charters

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Fishing in Whitsunday

Writing about fishing Whitsundays is an arduous task. Why? Indigo waters, scores of fish, pristine beaches, Black Marlin, Great Barrier Reef—it seems like one could go on for days and essays. But, that’s exactly why. There’s so much you can fish for, or generally enjoy there, that it makes it really hard to pick one thing to start with. Luckily, this collection of 74 little islands boasts a variety of goods. World records rise and fall on a daily basis, and the books just keep adding names of anglers landing ‘granders’. The question is—are you fit to land the next one?

Known For

Whitsunday fishing spots have big and colorful fish. The islands boast awe-striking landscape, snorkeling, sailing, and other water activities. It’s like the ultimate angling emporium working 24/7. Whitsunday fishing charters are blessed with an easy access to the Great Barrier Reef. This means numerous fishing spots teeming with fish. Anglers follow fish, which means that there are many charters that can take you out to the reef.
Even if you’re staying on the mainland, hire a charter and go fishing around these waterways. Then head to the GBR.

Is it possible to overstress just how awesome reef fishing can be? We dare say ‘no’. Especially not with the biggest natural structure of the kind at your doorstep. You don’t need to fare far to make a decent catch - there are Coral Trout, Trevally, and Sweetlip hiding around the rocky bottoms of the reefs. The islands are rimmed with reef edges and bommies, and that’s where the fish hide. Do have in mind that the line can easily break, especially if the fish go hiding below the boulders once they take the bait.

Once you’re done fishing (as if that’s ever possible), you should definitely visit the Whitehaven Beach. Some claim it’s the most beautiful beach in the world, locals take pride that the beach is part of Australia. Either way, the water is beautiful. You should also pay a visit to the Hill Inlet. Lying in the northern part of the Whitsunday Island (the biggest of them all), this inlet produces stunning imagery. The tide will shift, and so the blue and white colors will create patterns. Worth taking your camera! As you go fishing around these waterways, you will stumble upon secluded beaches, estuaries, bommies, and crevices. The fish will be swimming nearby. Other hot spots are the Hook Passage, Daydream Island, Long Island, and Hayman Island.

Rules & Regulations

It’s really important to pay attention to the zones where fishing is prohibited.  Otherwise, you risk being fined, but even worse, you risk damaging the natural habitat of lush marine life. If you’re a recreational angler, you don’t need a fishing license. Still, be nice and follow the local guidelines. It’s best to check them out before the trip to stay up to date. There are some fish that have been reported to cause tropical fish poisoning. You want to stay away from Chinaman fish, Paddle tail, Red bream, Barracouta, and Moray eel.

Types of Fishing

Around the reefs, you can get Giant Trevally, Sweetlip, Coral Trout, Spangled Emperor, or Nannygai. Basically, you have two options. One, you go trolling around the reef edges, and try getting GTs, Spanish Mackerel, or Tuna.

Or, moor your vessel nearby and sink your bait. This bottom bashing is another great strategy, and you can catch solid table fare. Use a rod, or hand reel, apply live bait, and soon you should have Spanish Mackerel, Coral Trout, GT, and Red Emperor. Mind the tide for optimum results - an hour before or after the high tide should suffice. Just be careful not to damage the reefs. After all, they make fishing so superb. As for the bait, you can use prawns, squids, pilchards.

Surely, you’re wondering where game fish is. Well, here. Record Black Marlins have been caught, and each year records are broken. These famed fishing grounds are where billfish come. Some charters head out from the mainland. Book a full or an extended full day trip for best chances. Black Marlin, Sailfish, and Swordfish are readily caught during the summer, and peak in November and December. Find a charter that goes around the islands or out to the Barrier Reef. There you can also find Spanish Mackerel. They bite well year round. As for Tuna, they come in large numbers from October to April. Look out for the birds diving, as they signal the predators nearby. You definitely want to try out the ‘Paddock’, the waters northeast of Hayman and Hook islands.

Whitsunday
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Whitsunday Fishing Seasons

January

What a better way to kickstart another angling year than by claim a big game prize. Black Marlin are ripe for fishing. You can also get other Billfish, and the Tuna offer might surprise you. Find a charter to help you get to the hall of fame.

February

Fine game fishing. If you’re here to set a record, you still have solid chances. Black Marlin, Sailfish, Yellowfin and Dogtooth Tuna are swimming around. Sharpen your gear, and go get them.

March

Big game fishing is on, and you can land Marlin, Sailfish, or Tuna. If this is not enough, you can head out to the reefs and taste your luck there. You might get Coral Trout, Red Emperor, or Nannygai.

April

Fishing can get a bit slow in April, but you might get some Trevally. Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin can also be caught, but not in large numbers we all are looking for.

May

You can get yourself some Coral Trout, Tuskfish and Sweetlip. Do expect Mackerel to rise in numbers. Some anglers manage to get fingermark or Jewfish. Further out, you can get Red Emperor and Nannygai.

June

Mackerel are biting, and the bottom around reefs rewards with Sweetlip, and Coral Trout. Further out, you can get Red Emperor and Nannygai. There are sightings of Tuna.

July

Spanish Mackerel, Red Emperor and Jewfish are on the chew. Sweetlip fishing can be really productive, so head out to the reefs. Mackerel can be a bit timid.

August

Reef fish are out there, and you can find schools of Red Throat Emperor, Sweetlip, and Tuskfish. Find fringing reefs and their drop-offs. you can also get Queenfish, Trevally, and Mackerel, Coral Trout, and Black Jew.

September

Around the reefs, go for Sweetlip, Giant Trevally, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, or head further out to get a Black Marlin, Yellowfin or Dogtooth Tuna.

October

Tuna time! Go trolling for Yellowfin. They can be found around the islands. Some anglers recommend spinning. You can also catch Spanish Mackerel, as well as Black Marlin.

November

Prepare your gear for big game. Sailfish, Swordfish, Black Marlin are big and hungry. Go trolling for them. Or go around the reefs, and you may catch Coral Trout, Red Emperor, or Giant Trevally.

December

The to-do lists are wrapping up before the year ends, but not game fishing. It’s hot and everywhere. Find a charter to take you and yours for an early Christmas gift.

Whitsunday Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Whitsunday

Afternoon half day trip on 18 Sep.
Yuk Yee Helen Leung fished with Whitsunday Fishing—Reel Deal on September 18, 2019
Everything ready onboarding, friendly crew and beautiful scenery.
Half day trip with Adam and the legendary skipper!
Alex M. fished with Airlie Beach Fishing Charters on June 30, 2019
A little bit windy but the weather was gorgeous. Sunny and clear.
Afternoon half day trip
Ross L. fished with Airlie Beach Fishing Charters on April 14, 2019
Get out on Airlie Beach Fishing Charters! Just Sensational!
Half Day trip with Ollie
Avril R. fished with A-One Fishing Charters on July 31, 2018
Go with someone who knows the waters and the area well.
Half day trip with olly
Craig Y. fished with A-One Fishing Charters on July 20, 2018
Don't expect to drop the line and be on the fish straight away! If it happens count yourself lucky!
Fishing with Oliver
Tracy V. E. fished with A-One Fishing Charters on May 9, 2018
Don’t waste your time fishing off the bank go with A one if really want to catch a feed you won’t be disappointed
A ONE FISHING CHARTER
Sonya R. fished with A-One Fishing Charters on December 4, 2017
Wear your sunscreen lol and prepare for a great day out
Half day trip with captain Mike
Cabbie H. fished with Airlie Beach Fishing Charters on June 23, 2017
Definitely have good mood and ready to catch big one.

Top Targeted Species in Whitsunday