Wish for a Whitsundays Christmas
  |  First Published: December 2011

December is a great time to be in the Whitsundays with a fishing trip planned.

The wind isn’t usually as strong as most other times of the year and the water temperature is higher which creates some hot fishing for a range of Whitsundays fish species.

Land based

There are some great options around the Whitsundays area for fishing land-based and for a variety of species too. The fishing pontoon located near the boat ramp at Shute Harbour is a popular spot for tourists and locals anglers. There have been some impressive catches from this pontoon recently of large queenfish and GT.

Early morning and late afternoon provides the spike in activity as the large pelagics seem to be on the hunt and willing to feed more around this time. Fishing around this spot is also best when there is some decent tidal movement too either running in or out as the fish seem to move past the pontoon with the tide.

Another good spot for land-based fishing is around the rock walls at Cannonvale and near the boat ramp at the VMR. You can expect some quality fish from these spots and species such as barramundi, mangrove jack, grunter and fingermark are likely on either lures or baitfishing methods.

Fishing around low light times is also recommended here to improve your chances at finding active fish.

For those who are interested in doing more of a long distance shore based trip there are some great spots around Dingo Beach that you can drive to. The beaches and headlands here can provide a great walk and some fun fishing for flathead, GTs and queenfish along the way.

The beaches around Montes Resort north of Dingo Beach are also productive spots to cast a line from. To catch flathead, GTs and queenfish in these spots, try using small soft plastics and hardbodied lures and cast them in over any sort of shallow water structure like sandy drop-offs and rocks. Any visible, solitary structure on a featureless sandy shoreline is also a hotspot for these fish.

We recently fished from this area in a couple of Hobie Pro Angler kayaks. Launching them from the beach was quick and easy and it allowed us to access some great areas where it’s usually hard to get a boat to.

The mirage drive system on the Hobie Pro Angler kayaks is amazing too. It was a very enjoyable experience effortlessly cruising along the coastline totally hands free. This allowed us to cast at any fishy looking areas while manoeuvring the kayak at the same time and it really made the overall experience much more pleasant than using a paddle.

Out wider

Out in the deeper waters of the Whitsundays there should be a wide range of fishing options as usual. Coral trout and sweetlip should be well worth targeting this month around the islands, fringing reefs and deeper drop-offs. These fish are an excellent sportsfish and can be found fairly easily around Whitsunday waters.

Lures are not often considered to be a suitable technique to target these fish, as most anglers use conventional baitfishing methods. However, lures can be a fun way to catch these fish and are often just as productive.

Look for reef bommies and rocks off the shoreline. These provide shade and cover for the coral trout and sweetlip, which they use for protection from larger predators and to ambush bait.

Sinking soft plastics underneath these spots can produce quality fish and be sure to use quite heavy leader and braid to prevent bust-offs around coral.

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