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Reef Exploring - With Plastics!
  |  First Published: March 2007



If you’re fishing in the Whitsundays in March be sure to pack a few plastics and do some reef edge exploring.

Around the many islands there are lots of fishy coral drop-offs just waiting for anglers to cast lures at. It’s simple, easy and can provide great quality reef fish.

Location

Many of the Whitsunday islands have great reef edges to target and these are a few of our favourite places to fish.

The northern ends of Haslewood Island near Pallion Point is loaded with reef fish around all of the coral bommies and island ledges.

Another great reef edge lies along the southern side of Langford Island where the shallows are full of big coral bommies. Perfect for reef fish!

There is another hot spot on the eastern shores of Hook Island. This is the perfect place to drift along and fish the awesome coral drop-offs while watching coral trout race out to smash your soft plastics.

These are only three of the many hot spots to catching reef species and there are many more on offer.

Technique

Anyone can have fun fishing reef edges with soft plastics as it’s so simple and easy to do. Here are a few things to remember when giving it a try.

When you approach the edges of one of the Whitsunday islands you will usually see deep bluewater that rises to a steep coral drop-off. This drop-off is a prime spot to cast your soft plastics around as big, hungry fish call these places home. There will be big bommies, deep dark crevices and holes in the reef. All of these areas are great places to concentrate your casts as reef fish will pounce out to eat your offering.

Soft plastics are great lures to tie on as they are cheap, look natural and can sink into dark, fishy lairs in the reef. Plastics such as the 80mm Squidgy Slick Rig, the Squidgy Fish and the Squidgy Flick Bait all work well around the reef.

The best retrieve to use is to wind slowly, giving the lure a flicking and dying action as it sinks down past the head of a bommie. It’s also a good idea to wear polarised sunglasses so you can see your lure, the coral ledges and the fish as they crunch your lure.

Tackle

The best rod and reel choice for this style of fishing would be a light threadline or spin set-up. A quality 1000 or 2500 size reel with a tight drag will be perfect for extracting reef edge fish from the coral.

Attach a light and strong spin rod, which can cast light lures, and you will probably land most of the fish you hook. The main line needs to be strong enough to stay together when a coral trout pulls it around the reef. A tough line for this is 20lb Fireline which is both thin and strong. A good leader choice would be 40lb Beast Master connected with a uni knot.

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