Land, ship or shore, Whitsunday has it all
  |  First Published: March 2012

The passing of summer has brought the long-awaited cool climate of autumn to our shores. March will hold a wide range of fishing opportunities in the Whitsundays area with summer species still feeding and the cooler month species starting up again.


If you don’t own a boat, or the weather is too rough to go out, you still have plenty of opportunities to get into some great fishing. You can try fishing land-based around the rocky shorelines of Airlie beach and Cannonvale. Popular areas include the VMR rock wall to the left of the boat ramp when the tide is relatively high. Notable catches here in the past include large golden trevally, big queenfish, barramundi, fingermark, mangrove jack and even several large, rare permit.

There is also some excellent fishing available along the rocky edges to the right of the boat ramp. Mangrove jack, bream, fingermark, trevally species and barramundi often feed amongst the broken rocks near the shoreline.

The best times to fish these areas are when there’s plenty of bait fish hanging around, such as mullet, garfish or herring. They seem to attract predatory fish into the area and the place can come alive at night with plenty of action.

There have been quite a few catches of barramundi recently with the main size being around 60-70cm. A couple of fish over a metre have also been caught, which shows there are some big fish are roaming around these areas.


The islands should fish very well in March and GT will be an excellent target throughout the month. These fish can grow quite large around the many islands. The average size GT when using heavy gear and large lures seems to be around the 20kg mark, although there are plenty of GT of 40kg and up swimming around the deep, blue waters of the Whitsundays.

Surface fishing with large poppers and stickbaits is without a doubt the most exciting way to catch GT.

Reef fishing for fish such as coral trout, emperor and sweetlip will also work well this month. These fish can be caught on live and dead baits, casting soft plastics or metal vibes or even trolling hardbody type lures tight to structure.

You can fish either deep reefs or shallow, fringing reefs. Many anglers overlook the shallows but there are some quality fish available in these spots. When searching for places to fish in the shallows, try to find large coral bommies which rise out of deep water. More often than not, large reef fish will hold right down underneath the rock in the shaded areas. You need to get your lure as tight as possible and let it get right down to where they’re hanging out.

Good lures to use in this situation are metal vibration baits or blades. We’ve found the 1.5oz TT Switchblade to work very well on large, shallow reef species, especially on coral trout. These lures also catch a range of other species including golden trevally, fingermark and a host of others.

Peter Faust Dam

Although the temperatures are gradually decreasing, the fishing at Peter Faust Dam should be very consistent throughout the month. The lake has been alive over summer, with plenty of large fish being caught using a range of casting and trolling techniques.

The average size barramundi being caught at the moment is around 80cm. There seems to be plenty of this size of fish around. Metre-plus fish are also around in numbers which is great to see. It’s excellent to have good fishing on 80cm size class fish with big fish thrown in for variety!

There are plenty of ‘fishy’ locations and the barramundi seem to be scattered all over the lake throughout these areas.

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