Amazing August Action
  |  First Published: August 2007

August is a great month of the year for fishing the Whitsunday region. There are a lot of options for everyone, everywhere. In the following we will discuss hot techniques for mad-keen bait, lure and land-based fisherman.


If you like to use bait, there is a tonne of options to catch Whitsunday fish in August. A good technique to catch a range of big and small fish is to use berley on the reef edges. It is a simple process of gathering some pilchards and making it into a sloppy mix.

Anchor your boat near a deep coral drop off of about 15m and scatter the berley in the current every five minutes. It is important to remember that you only need a tiny bit to attract fish. A host of fish will rise up to the berley trail. The most likely targets are golden trevally, giant trevally, queenfish, coral trout and mackerel.

There are several optimum places to use berley. Recommended sites are a drop off from the reef edge, a point of an island and a passing current. Good ledges and drop-offs can be found around most Whitsunday islands. The hot places include Alert Bank on Long island, further out Hook passage, Windy Bay point and Apostle Bay reef edges.

Loving lures

August is the time for casting and trolling lures in the Whitsundays. Recently we had a trolling session on a reef edge catching everything from fingermark to coral trout. While predominately only catching small fish, we still had so much fun!

Our technique is easy to do. Tie on small hard-body lures and plastics and slowly troll them around the reef edges and bommies. We trolled shallow divers and deep divers and worked our lures with pauses and twitches, imitating an injured baitfish moving along the edge.

Any reef edges with bait on the surface or on the sounder are good places to try this particular technique. If you hit the reef, let some line out and the lure will float up over the structure.

land based

Fishing on the shore can result in a surprisingly fun session. The rock walls around the Airlie Beach Sailing Club always hold a heap of mullet and herring. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to fish here. Barramundi, queenfish, trevally and fingermark are popular targets around the rocks and can be caught on surface lures like the Killalure Cone Popper.

Shute Harbour is also a great place to explore from the shore. Big GT often come in to hunt at low light around the pylons and the floating docks. Large stickbait style surface lures are superb for these fish and can also catch mackerel and big queenfish.


1 – Mack Tuna are fun to catch on the surface

2 – This big Queenfish smashed a popper

3 – GT like these are enjoyable around the reefs

4 – Baitfish being attacked by a pack of GT near a reef edge.

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