Time for October!
  |  First Published: October 2006

If you visit the outer Whitsunday islands during October, you will have plenty of opportunities to catch some big fish!

This month we’re going to share some of our great Whitsundays fishing stories and give you some tips as well.

The Golden moment

The light spin outfits were set in the boat’s rod holders. The large orange sun was setting over beautiful Hook Island and we were maintaining a slow and steady 4 knots while trolling beside an 8m reef drop-off. The tide was low, and there were green garfish schools balled up around the rocky reef edges. It was trevally time – we could sense it!

A large Bumpa Bar jig was making its way along the reef edge when it suddenly stopped. We gazed out the back into the light bluewater. Then, the rod bucked. We were on!

It was an awesome battle, with line tearing out from the spool. A large golden trevally rose up out of the bluewater. We were pumped for a tail grab landing. Suddenly, we spotted another golden trevally following the hooked fish. We acted fast, sinking a Raider jig down and lightly jigging.

Bang! The fish slammed the jig and we were battling an awesome double hook-up on golden trevally.

Jetty sessions

In the Whitsundays, jetty pylons are one area that will always produce. The fish stay there to feed on the large bait schools that hold in tight to the pylons.

The saying ‘find the bait, find the fish’ rings true in the following fishing situation.

6am was approaching and the islands slowly brightened with the dazzling morning sun. The agitated bait was thick, clinging to the pylons and the floating dock. We were standing on the Long Island resort jetty, staring with amazement down into the bait school below.

We could see mack tuna, GTs, golden trevally and spotted mackerel cruising the clear shallow water on the fringes of the bait. Big GTs were our target and we knew we had a good chance at landing one.

We cast some Killalure Cone Poppers and a Bumpa Bar jig around the frantic bait to excite the predators. The Cone Poppers were the first to be slammed, with two nice mack tuna. The next two fish were spotted mackerel, caught on a quickly retrieved Squidgy Slick Rig and our fish-catching Bumpa Bar jig.

By this time the water was so alive with predator activity that we forgot our target species! We moved out towards the end of the wooden jetty and on to the floating dock.

There they were! Enormous GTs hanging about everywhere. Our friend, Josh Keen was ready with the Bumpa Bar. Standing on the dock, he fired a cast out and worked the lure enticingly.

One of the fish burst onto the lure, creating a whitewater explosion. This fish was huge! The Bumpa Bar lure was set well into the side of the fish’s mammoth mouth. The drag started to bellow and the line trailed out towards deep water at a rapid rate.

Josh was on! He had the fish of a lifetime connected to his line. This was awesome, we thought.

We peered at the sizzling reel, examining the outgoing line. A spool job was becoming increasingly evident, so Josh tightened the drag.

The bustling fish ran harder and before we knew it the Bumpa Bar was gone and the leader broken. We lost it!

Sometimes, solid preparation is not enough. Even heavy leader and tight drag settings were not enough to stop this fish. But we’ll be back!

Soft and plastic Coral Trout!

Many anglers who are new to soft plastic fishing constantly ask if plastics actually work. They sure do!

The Whitsunday islands are an explosive place to catch fish with soft plastics; however, finding where the fish live and feed is essential for success.

Coral trout can be hooked throughout shallow reef flats, reef edges and rocky points. On a high tide, coral trout love to feed in the shallows, and on a low tide they hang around deep water bommies and reef edges.

The Squidgy Flick Baits were being cast towards the reef bommies in the deeper water with heavy lead jigheads. Baitcasters were our chosen rods and we were setting the hooks into a spectacular variety of colourful reef species.

We were targeting big coral trout, sinking our lures into the dark side of a large coral bommie. A fish smashed the Flick Bait from under the bommie and darted back to cover.

Keeping the 30lb line tight to the fish, we managed to pull the fish out, and back towards us. The bright blues and browns of a large coral trout reflected in the crystal clear water, giving us a stunning view of a well-fought battle. What an awesome fishing moment!

Whitsundays, get out there!

All of these moments that we have described have been around the Whitsundays amazing islands. Anglers can experience thrilling and magical sessions that they will remember for a lifetime.

Like Josh, you may even connect to the fish of a lifetime. We just hope you land it!

The variety of fish-holding features gives anglers the chance to create their own fish-catching techniques. The Whitsunday islands are also an awesome place for other activities, such as snorkelling and diving. Get out there, the fish are waiting!

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