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Outer reef as good as it gets

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

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.

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

Islands

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.

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

River

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

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

Reef

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.

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

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

Topics:  fishing outdoor-living reef reelin' in whitsundays

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