TOP CATCH: Reef Underwood with his first-ever fish on a fly rod - a nice tarpon.
TOP CATCH: Reef Underwood with his first-ever fish on a fly rod - a nice tarpon. Mick Underwood

Monster mangrove jacks on the move

Dingo Beach/Hydeaway Bay

VERY little has changed since last week.

The winds are still blowing, the water is still filthy and basically things are just not what we'd like them to be. There are still some nice fish to be caught though.

The reef fishing scene is continuing to be the mainstay and baits are still our fishing lures due to the water clarity (or lack of it).

The key to getting a few good coral trout has been to regularly move locations.

On arrival at each new location, the bite has been fairly good straight up and then begins to fizzle before too long.

Keep pulling your anchor and moving around to stay on active fish.

There are still some solid bait schools hanging around in the Gloucester Pass region.

To locate these bait schools, keep an eye out for nervous water (bait flickering) or where the terns are dipping.

Underneath the terns there have been good numbers of school mackerel and the odd nice chunky grey mackerel.

Most of the other inshore pelagic species are absent from class at the moment. Hopefully they will return as the weather settles.

Mick Underwood, Reel Addiction Sport Fishing Charters

Shore fishing/rock walls

The rock walls around Whisper Bay boat ramp have been fishing well, with anglers reporting good size grunter being caught in the early morning and late afternoon, fishing with prawns and garfish fillets on the rising tide.

Anglers fishing with live baits from Whisper Bay have reported a few good size fingermark bream and golden trevally being caught using live herring.

Shute Harbour has still had reports of giant trevally swimming around in the early morning and late evening into the night with anglers reporting live baits working better than poppers/lures at the moment off the wharf.

Anglers fishing from the rock walls around Port of Airlie have been reporting monster mangrove jack swimming around the rock walls, which they have hooked and got busted up.

Shingley Beach hasn't been a bad place to be fishing, with a couple of anglers catching a few bream and flathead off the beach.

Creeks and rivers

Mangrove jack in the coastal creeks around Airlie have been firing with all this rain and should only get better as more fresh runs into these small creeks.

Anglers have been reporting half pilchards and mullet fillets being the best baits to catch a mangrove jack.

A few anglers have also been reporting catching mangrove jack on weedless soft plastics, casting them deep into the mangrove roots.

Thompsons, Billies and Six Mile have all had decent numbers of crabs being caught with a fair few anglers getting a good feed of crabs in these creeks.

They have also been reporting good flathead around the mouths of the creeks and plenty of barramundi. It is closed season so these need to be released as soon as possible.

Proserpine River has also had a good run of crabs but you do need to keep moving your pots with the tides for the best results as the crabs have been moving fast in the Proserpine River. This will slow down as the tides get smaller.


Not too many reports are coming from the islands due to weather conditions.

A few anglers who have braved the winds and rain and gone over to the Molle group of islands have been reporting coral trout and sweetlip in good numbers around South Molle and Mid Molle Islands, fishing around 10-15m deep with pilchards and squid.

One angler put a live bait on at Unsafe Passage and was lucky enough to catch a spanish mackerel around 15kg.

Unsafe Passage between North and Mid Molle Islands has also had reports of some monster queenfish and the odd giant trevally at the moment with a couple of anglers reporting the action was firing at Unsafe Passage when they were throwing poppers.

Grant Spees, Whitsunday Fishing World