Cairns Reef Fishing Charters

Cairns Reef Fishing Charters

Best Reef Fishing Charters in Cairns

Cairns: 18 fishing charters available
Just added to our fleet
Cairns
trips from US $1,669
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(45 reviews)
Cairns
trips from US $353
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(18 reviews)
Yorkeys Knob
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $257
Cairns
trips from US $2,439
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(12 reviews)
Cairns
trips from US $2,066
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(5 reviews)
Portsmith
trips from US $122
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(88 reviews)
Port Douglas
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $106
Excellent
4.8 / 5
(53 reviews)
Port Douglas
 Instant Confirmation
trips from US $106

Reef Fishing in Cairns

Cairns reef fishing has to be on everyone's bucket list. Located in the north of Queensland, Cairns is known as the "Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef" due to its proximity to this natural phenomenon – it's just 27 kilometers (16 miles) away from the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef! The Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and the only living thing that can be seen from space. That’s not something you’ll easily forget! The fish here are varied and beautiful, ranging from small Clownfish to huge Maori Wrasse and trophy-sized Marlin.

What to Catch

Although Cairns is known as a Marlin Meccah, when reef fishing, expect to see huge Maori Wrasse, Giant Trevally reaching 100 pounds, Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel, Red Bass, Coral Trout, Sweetlip, Nannygai, Queenfish, Red Emperor, and many more amazing species that swim in these waters. The Great Barrier Reef is the richest in marine biological diversity, and over 1,400 species make their home here – fish and coral structures rule under the water.  

Where to Go

The Great Barrier Reef can be split into different areas that should be explored fully. The further out you go, the better the visibility – great for both divers and those sight fishing. The mix of marine life is huge, from tiny fish to trophy-sized. There are many feeding sites for big predators, especially where the ocean floor drops from 100 to 1,000 fathoms. Make sure you have a packed lunch with you, it can be a long ride out to the best spots.

Inner Reefs

Around the islands, such as Whitsunday Islands, you’ll find the inner fringing reefs. These can be reached on a day trip, and offer a lot of juvenile fish species.  It’s also possible to find Giant Trevally, plenty of Sharks, and Maori Wrasse on the inner reefs. If diving here, you’ll have around 5 meters of visibility – also perfect for spearfishing and sight fishing, perfect for a day trip.

Outer Barrier Reef

A long day trip or an overnight trip are best to explore the outer parts of the Great Barrier Reef, which are over 60 kilometers from Cairns. Here, the continental shelf drops off, leaving you with some record-breaking fishing opportunities. Top spots to choose from include Bait Reef and Hardy Reef.

Ribbon Reefs

These narrow reefs, also called the Northern Reefs, need a multi-day trip to fully appreciate, due to the 96 km distance from Cairns. Remote but bountiful, not only can you hook reef fish, but game fish too. Black Marlin fishing is incredible here, and you are sure to hook a personal best. You’ll also catch Sailfish, Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Coral Trout, Yellowfin Tuna, Red Bass, and many more.

Holmes Reef

This reef is split into two sections known as West Holmes and East Holmes. There are two pinnacles here that are home to a multitude of Barracuda, Trevally, Nurse Shark, and Stingrays amongst others.

How to Fish

Reef fishing is locally called “bottom bouncing,” and with 10% of the world’s coral reef ecosystems here, you’ll be bottom bouncing to your heart’s content.

  • When reef fishing, many methods can be used with great results. Overall, use short 2 m rods.

  • The currents are strong here – to counter them, use heavy lead sinkers.

  • The fishing action is non-stop, so use a minimum 50 lb braid to prevent your line from breaking or snagging.

When to Go

Don’t forget that the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite to the northern hemisphere.

There is a closed season on the reefs in October and November (four days in each month around the time of the new moon) where you won’t be able to fish.

For excellent Red Emperor and Coral Trout fishing, head over between October and December.

Head down under for the ultimate reef fishing experience and dive in!

 
Cairns
Excellent
4.2 / 5
Based on 28,542 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Reef Fishing in Cairns

This short trip is great value for money and an easy way to get on the water to catch fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This short trip is great value for money and an easy way to get on the water to catch fish.
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns
Brodie definitely knew where the fish were . We caught so many Barra and were totally impressed . He helped and advised us on all Aspects and any questions were answered . Will definately recommend. A great day out
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Brodie definitely knew where the fish were . We caught so many Barra and were totally impressed . He helped and advised us on all Aspects and any questions were answered . Will definately recommend. A great day out
Tropic Barra Adventures
Tropic Barra Adventures
Great way to see the inlet & fish whatever the tide. You might see a crocodile. Minimal travel time.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Great way to see the inlet & fish whatever the tide. You might see a crocodile. Minimal travel time.
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns
Yes. We had a great time even though we did not have any prior experience.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Yes. We had a great time even though we did not have any prior experience.
Paradise Sportfishing Adventures
Paradise Sportfishing Adventures
Mornings are best for the wind, choose your target fish and charter to suit.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Mornings are best for the wind, choose your target fish and charter to suit.
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns Foxborough, MA
Be prepared for all types of weather and that any catch is a good catch. We went in May and this day was cloudy and the temp had dropped. It was an estuary morning half day trip, I caught a Blue Salmon..other species caught on the trip were Trevally, Mangrove Jack and Grunter. So although the dream was of a Barramundi...just remember to enjoy the thrill, the company and that each day brings a different catch!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be prepared for all types of weather and that any catch is a good catch. We went in May and this day was cloudy and the temp had dropped. It was an estuary morning half day trip, I caught a Blue Salmon..other species caught on the trip were Trevally, Mangrove Jack and Grunter. So although the dream was of a Barramundi...just remember to enjoy the thrill, the company and that each day brings a different catch!
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns Sydney, New South Wales
If you are planning to take cached fish back, ensure you make arrangements to transport it in the car. You may not get good bags and blood may drip from the given bags to take the the catch home at the end of the trip.
Very good
4.0 / 5
If you are planning to take cached fish back, ensure you make arrangements to transport it in the car. You may not get good bags and blood may drip from the given bags to take the the catch home at the end of the trip.
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns Melbourne, Victoria
Book a private charter with one that caters to your numbers. Highly recommend Gone Fishing charter. I think they can take up to 8 but check that
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Book a private charter with one that caters to your numbers. Highly recommend Gone Fishing charter. I think they can take up to 8 but check that
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns Quincy, MA
Eat light before going on the water and when you are on the water, drink coffee.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Eat light before going on the water and when you are on the water, drink coffee.
All Tackle Sportfishing – River
All Tackle Sportfishing – River Brisbane, Queensland
Any fishing is luck of the draw , some days your lucky some your not , its all about being on the water and relaxing, taking in the new experience
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Any fishing is luck of the draw , some days your lucky some your not , its all about being on the water and relaxing, taking in the new experience
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns Huntington, VT
Relax and have a good time learn the ways of the experienced angler like the captain
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Relax and have a good time learn the ways of the experienced angler like the captain
Gone Fishing Cairns
Gone Fishing Cairns Brisbane, QLD
Must book this fella had an awesome day even had home made muffins very nice indeed ! 10/10
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Must book this fella had an awesome day even had home made muffins very nice indeed ! 10/10
Fish Hunter FNQ
Fish Hunter FNQ Lewisham, TAS
Make sure you use Paradise Sportfishing Adventures.. A great way to see the Cairns waterway inlets and catch your live bait before you fish..
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure you use Paradise Sportfishing Adventures.. A great way to see the Cairns waterway inlets and catch your live bait before you fish..
Paradise Sportfishing Adventures
Paradise Sportfishing Adventures Woolloongabba, QLD
Go with a pro, they work hard to put in the best position to catch quality fish
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Go with a pro, they work hard to put in the best position to catch quality fish
Paradise Sportfishing Adventures
Paradise Sportfishing Adventures Palm Beach, QLD
Fishing without a boat can be difficult. However, doing some research beforehand can result in some success.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Fishing without a boat can be difficult. However, doing some research beforehand can result in some success.
All Tackle Sportfishing
All Tackle Sportfishing Macleod, VIC
Summer months are better however if you are there in winter, hook up with Justin & All Tackle Sportfishing.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Summer months are better however if you are there in winter, hook up with Justin & All Tackle Sportfishing.
All Tackle Sportfishing
All Tackle Sportfishing Adelaide, South Australia

Top Targeted Reef Fishing Species in Cairns