To put it simply, Airlie Beach reef fishing is colorful and packed with fish. And like most of Australia’s fisheries, the fish somehow seem bigger than elsewhere. Facing the Whitsunday Islands, and with a quick access to the Great Barrier Reef, there is much anglers can enjoy here. Most charters offer half or full day trips to the local reefs simply teeming with fish.

What to catch around the reefs

With all the fish out there, we’ve had a hard time figuring out what to put first. The reefs attract schools of Coral Trout, Sweetlip, Red Emperor, Snapper, and Giant Trevally. To begin with, that is. If you’re coming onboard for the first time, these fish will be something to boast about. They are big, they are fun to catch, and they are cute. Well, most of them are.

We all know it, but don’t want to jinx it by saying it out loud. Yes, we’d all like to catch a ‘grander’ Black Marlin around these reefs. Fishing for these beasts is any hardcore angler’s dream, and here, you can do it almost as much as you desire. A full day trip should be enough when the season peaks—and the local records confirm it. If you’re on vacation, you’ll still have the time for many other summer activities.

To do justice to other fish around here—yes, you should try fishing for Giant Trevally, Sailfish, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and Tuna.

Now, how to do it? Well, fishing around reefs is productive. You can go trolling for the likes of GTs, Mackerels, Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi. Of course, any Billfish as well. Trolling is great—you’re soaking up the sun, listening to the rhythmic drumming of the waves—and bam!—the drag starts screaming, and the chase begins. Most of the local captains will try lure trolling, trolling and switching, using live or dead bait. For a bit more of the local flavor—do try using poppers. Marlin often flock to the sound.

Then again, bottom fishing can be really rich. Snapper, Red Emperor, Coral Trout—they are tasty, shiny, and like going at the bait. Book a bottom fishing charter and these reefs will reward you.

Airlie Beach

4.45
Based on 8,746 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

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Top Targeted Reef Fishing Species in Airlie Beach

Trevally (Giant)

Cobia

Trevally (Golden)

Coral Trout

Top Reef Fishing Charters in Airlie Beach