Excitement Month in Whitsundays
  |  First Published: April 2006

April is the month of excitement, the month for big fish and most importantly, the month to experience fun fishing.

Experience the thrill of a 20lb mackerel tearing line from the reel, a cobia hitting your heavy spin outfit or the flashes of silver through clear, shallow flats as a resident queenfish gulps your fly down its large raspy jaws.

April Targets

If you want to seriously put your fishing gear to the test on some scary sized pelagic fish then position your boat in locations with three simple essentials. Areas with structure such as coral bommies, drop-offs or rocky points are great areas.

Look at the tidal flow near this structure - slamming currents equal slamming big fish! If there is flowing current moving past the reef then the chances of a passing school of trevally, a darting mackerel or a roaming queenfish are high.

Make sure the structure and current are holding baitfish species. This is essential. Tropical baitfish such as hardiheads, garfish and herring ball up and travel around these structured areas hiding from the current and the big, fast predators feeding on them.

Locations like this are common throughout the Whitsunday Islands. The quick currents of the Hook Passage are a good place to start searching as the edges of the passage are lined with endless coral reef edges, studded coral bommies and deep blue drop-offs. Other top spots include the waters of the western side of Haslewood Island and the deep northern points of Hayman Island. All you have to do is explore and trial areas to find big fish holding hot spots.

The best and surely the most exciting presentation you can present to these fish is to surface fish. It’s a dangerous area for surface poppers, enter them at your own risk! They can be smashed and taken from the surface by big fish and bricked into the submerged reefs and bommies in an instant of whitewater mahem. Fish fast for fast fish. Throw surface poppers on big spinning tackle as far as you can over and around the visible structure and retrieve either as fast as you can or a little slower with big attracting pops on the water surface.

Shute Harbour is also a fun area to fish in April. Coral trout, fingermark and other species will rip your jigs if you present them to the various deeper drop-offs and holes in the deeper channels. Areas such as the channels and edges of reefs around the small surrounding islands are excellent. Using your sounder for this style of fishing is the best way for finding fish fast.

Another technique is to cast soft plastics such as the Squidgy Flick Baits and Squidgy Fish at the base of standing structure like the navigation pylons surrounding the Harbours waters. Let your presentation sink slowly down near the growth encrusted pylon and flick it. Any resident fish will love it! Current flowing past this structure can turn them from likely areas into definite fish feeding areas.

The Whitsunday Islands’ shallow, clear, reef flats can provide fast combat fishing with some big and colourful coral trout too. Search for islands with a reef or rocky flat that extends out from an island. Large rocks and reef ledges in these shallow waters are definite signs to look for. Areas such as the rock and reef scattered bays of Southern Hook Island and the large shallow reef zone near the Hook Passage are proven locations. Big coral trout are feeding in these areas right now! You can catch these fish on a range of soft plastics and hard body lures fished up close to their rocky hang-outs. Soft plastics such as the Atomic 3” Jerk Minnow are perfect. The Killalure Flatz Rat is also a great choice for this style of fishing. Pull the fish out fast as coral trout fishing over sharp, shallow reefs is a challenge.

April is the time to fish in the Whitsundays. The diverse ranges of species that roam and lurk in the Whitsundays can be enjoyed by all types of anglers, including you! Fish and have fun.

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