Top Take for Tropical North
  |  First Published: June 2011

June is an excellent time to be in the Whitsundays as the day temperatures are just right to take pleasure in the enjoyable fishing that is on offer. There are some quality fish to be caught in this cooler weather in the estuaries and in the blue water.


Fishing the shallow sandy flats around the many Whitsunday islands can be a very enjoyable technique. This is because most of the action you’ll encounter is all visual. Sight fishing is where you generally see the fish before casting to them and it’s considered by nearly all anglers as one of the most exciting forms of fishing.

We have found the cooler times of the year to be the most productive for fishing the flats in the Whitsundays. The shallows usually aren’t too hot like they would be around the mid summer months and this makes it a far more comfortable environment for attracting the bait fish and predatory fish from the deeper water. Fish with the incoming tide as the fish will be more confident of moving up into the shallow waters knowing they have a rising tide beneath their bellies.

Many types of species are moving into these freshly flooded shallows to hunt for food and also access areas with more protection from predatory fish. Expect a wide variety of species if you’re fishing the flats including golden and giant trevally, queenfish, coral trout, sweetlip, flathead and bream.

The best areas to try flats fishing around the Whitsundays are sandy bays where the shallows extend well out from the shoreline. Be on the lookout for locations with clearer water clarity too as some areas can be murky from tidal flow making it too difficult to see the fish. The outer islands usually offer a wider range of species although quality fishing can still be discovered in close to the mainland.

Your choice of gear can also be very important to fishing on the flats. Have a range of rods rigged and ready with different lures, so when you’ve seen a species of fish in the shallows you can just pick up the rod with the most suitable lure and fire out a quick cast. Be sure to bring light and heavier gear as you may come across any size of species.

A pair of quality sunglasses are vital to help you scan through the water for fish and structure to cast at.


Spanish mackerel will be an excellent fish to target in June. These wonderful, striped speedsters of the ocean will be quite commonly found around the many Whitsunday islands this month.

Trolling diving hardbody lures and baits as well as jigging are productive techniques for targeting these highly regarded species. Many small to medium sized mackerel can be tempted to bite on diving hardbody lures trolled fairly fast around likely mackerel locations. These fish can be great fun to catch and the technique is very simple and easy.

Jigging is also an easy method of fishing where an angler sinks down a jig or blade type lure and retrieves it straight back up again trying to tempt a mackerel from deeper depths in the water column. This technique has been accountable for some large sized fish in the past so be sure to give it a try if you’re targeting the bigger specimens.

Remember to use wire leader as Spanish mackerel own one of the sharpest sets of teeth in the sea. And only keep what you need. Limit your catch if you have no need to catch your limit.

Top spots to target Spanish mackerel in the Whitsundays include the aptly named Mackerel Bay, Leeper Shoal and Dolphin Point on Hayman Island.

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