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GT turn up the heat
  |  First Published: August 2012



August should be a productive time to fish the Whitsundays region with many different species present in the area. It’s just a matter of deciding what you want to catch, getting prepared and getting out on the water to give it a go!

One species of fish that many sportfishing anglers like to target is the giant trevally, and it’s no wonder as they’re one of the most powerful and hard fighting species of fish to be found in the Whitsundays oceanic waters. These fish are usually found in schools patrolling the currents searching for any vulnerable or injured baitfish.

GT just can’t resist large surface lures that create plenty of disturbance on top of the water column. The outer islands will generally have bigger fish, however large GT have also been caught in close to the mainland. Outer hotspots include the fringing reefs around Hook Island and Hook Passage. Inshore areas that are worth trying are the western side of Long Island and the deep reef edges around Shute Harbour.

Coral Trout

Another popular species to target is the coral trout. Torut are spread throughout the Whitsunday Islands and are a common catch for anglers using bait fishing methods in the deeper waters close to reef structure.

An effective technique is to cast and retrieve various lure types around the shallower, more visual reef edges that fringe the shorelines of many of the islands.

Ideal lure types for this method include jig-head rigged soft plastics, for example a Squidgy Fish rigged on a 1/4oz TT jighead, metal blades or vibes like the TT switchblade and any other similar lure style that you can sink down into the edges and gaps in the reef edge.

Using this technique around the Whitsunday islands will also account for many other different reef species including sweetlip and cod. Some proven spots to use this technique are Apostle Bay on Whitsunday Island and Windy Bay on Haslewood Island.

Other species that will likely to show this month include golden, tealeaf and spotted trevallies, and Spanish, school and spotted mackerel.

All these fish can be targeted by trolling; a quick and easy technique that can be highly effective. Start out by finding a suitable spot with some structure and signs of fish activity in the area. A good example of this would be a deep reef edge drop-off with baitfish on the sounder or visually spotted on the surface. Then simply cast your lure or rigged trolling bait and begin trolling the area. Persist and give the area a thorough go-over and be sure to vary your trolling speed and change lures.

Many fish will lurk behind and follow your lure for a while before deciding to take it or not, so you need your offering to be as natural and as enticing as possible. Proven spots to try trolling include the passage between Hayman and Hook islands, Double Rock, Nara Inlet and Leeper Shoal.

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