Fishing In The Whitsundays
Today a Boy Became a Fisherman
We quite often have a picnic lunch at Shute Harbour. Today was one of those days. Of course we took the cameras along for a few shots, as the weather can only be described as perfect, which is not unusual for this time of the year in The Whitsundays.
After gulping down our salad sandwiches, talking to a couple of tourists from Bribie Island and enjoying the glorious sunshine and sea views from the lookout, we took the time to take a walk to the designated fishing jetty at Shute Harbour.
Wow, so glad we did, as a young boy experienced what every fisherman dreams of. He caught a big golden trevally and pulled it in all by himself.
I took this photo, raced back to the office and printed it out, then took it back to the jetty. The smile on his face was a mile wide as I presented it to him. An avid fisherman was born today. Dad was pretty excited and very proud also. (More photos of the catch here.)
This is nothing out of the box. Fishing from piers, jetties and rock walls can be very productive around Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday islands. There are many good spots, yet the Shute Harbour jetty seems to produce good catches regularly.
For the very keen fishermen, mackerel and coral trout are the fish of choice. Fishing for mackerel is like going big game fishing where you troll a lure. And in The Whitsundays you could just catch a swordfish or marlin instead of a mackerel any day you try your luck.
From the beaches, good catches of whiting are common and bream, perch and large parrot fish can be caught near rocks.
We have been on a day cruise with Illusions Whitsundays several times and the skipper has got lucky, hauling in some mighty fish during the course of each cruise.
Illusions is primarily a snorkel, dive and sailing cruise vessel, but the skipper, Josef, really loves handing over the rod to a visiting tourist so they can experience the thrill of pulling in a giant mackerel. If he hooks a massive marlin then he usually has the fun of pulling them in himself.
(Again I must repeat that Illusions is not a fishing charter operator. Josef throws the line overboard, trolling during the couse of sailing to and from Blue Pearl Bay and always throws back marlins and swordfish. He does this primarily as a tourist attraction and to show visitors what they could catch on a local fishing charter.)
There are many charter boats from Abel Point Marina that can take you fishing if you haven't got a boat yourself, or are just travelling though the area. Most of these charter groups are half day fishing cruises where you will be taken to the most likely spots.
Most local fishing charter operators charge around the $90 to $100 pp for half day trips. Most are similar to Gone Fishing Airlie Beach, offering great service with hotel pick up and drop off services. They supply all the gear and bait and will even fillet your catch for you.
Staying on one of the Whitsunday island resorts? No problems. Each resort will book a fishing trip especially tailored to your needs or you can hire fishing gear and try your luck on a quiet pier or beach.
Hamilton Island has great beach fishing near the airport. Fishing on Daydream Island is best near the old jetty. See the info desk at whatever resort you are staying on and they will point you in the right direction.
As you can see, fishing in The Whitsundays is very good. Like all fishing spots there are times when the fish just don't want to bite. At those times, be patient and enjoy the scenery. After all, you are in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet.
I'll get some photos from dedicated fish charter operators and update this page as soon as possible. Just wanted to share the young boys excitement at the top of the page in catching that trevally.
Personally, I don't fish anymore. I prefer to snorkel and capture them with the underwater camera. In The Whitsundays that is just another way to enjoy the abundent sea creatures.
Do I eat seafood?
Of course. In Airlie Beach we have excellent restaurants with fresh local seafood dishes that are equal to anywhere in the world. And who doesn't like a feed of fish and chips by the beach.
Forgive me for straying from original topic, because today belonged to the boy who became a fisherman.
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