Location Location!
  |  First Published: May 2009

The Whitsunday Islands is a great location to fish in the month of June with heaps of different fish species living and feeding in this expansive area.

Finding the fish

The many Whitsunday Islands provide lots of cover for resting and areas for feeding for a range of tropical fish. The key to a successful day on the water is finding these places, then you will find the fish.

In the following article, we’ll discuss top sportfish, techniques and where to find them feeding and resting in Whitsunday waters.


Queenies are a very entertaining fish to catch when you find them. They will chase surface poppers and fizzers in schools and fight for the lure, which is fun just to watch!

They are a renowned surface feeder and once found, can’t resist a fast moving topwater lure over the top of them. Surface or topwater fishing is a highly proven technique for queenfish, but another style that not many people use are big soft plastics.

The 118cm queenfish pictured was caught on a 170mm Slick Rig plastic using a slow rolling retrieve. The 130mm Slick Rig is also highly effective with a slow roll and some very fast rips of the rod. For casting plastics and surface lures we like to use a 4000 size Shimano Twin Power reel and a Tcurve snapper rod.

Good places to find a queenfish are around sandy and reefy flats, drop-offs, large boat hulls and rocky points. Any of these places that hold a lot of baitfish increase chances of holding queenfish.


Like queenfish, GT are notorious for their love to chase and smash-up big baits on the surface. These fish grow a lot larger and are much stronger than queenfish, which makes them a highly regarded surface lure target.

In the Whitsundays, GT around 20-28kg are quite common, with fish around 35-40kg a top catch. A recent trend, quite new to many anglers, involves casting very large poppers and stickbaits with heavy tackle. This style of fishing with large surface lures has become popular and known as GT popping.

Finding GT around the Whitsunday Islands is fairly easy. The islands hold many deep rocky headlands, isolated rocks, bommies and reef drop-offs, which are all good places to start. Combine these spots with bait and current and the fish should be close-by.

Impoundment barra

The freshwater at Peter Faust Dam is home to a large number of big barramundi and locating these fish will be the key to catching them in June. The cooler water temperatures usually mean the barramundi will feed less often than in the warmer months but are still readily catchable on lures.

A good technique with the cooler water is to slow your retrieve down and keep making casts to areas that the fish might be. Using suspended soft plastics and hardbodies is a good option as you can pause them in the zone for longer. A slowly worked and constantly paused lure with a lot of vibration should be an excellent retrieve for these fish in June and too hard for a big barramundi to resist.

Casting to different areas is a good way of finding a pattern to where fish might be on the day. Try casting in the very shallow water with a slowly worked surface lure, shallow diving hardbody or soft plastic and then try out slightly deeper with deeper lures. Cast to the shallows near gullies, weedy areas and then fish the weed edge line, casting along it.

Trying these different techniques and areas will eventually lead to success and then you can repeat the style in another area for more success. And keep casting, because persistence works best on barra!

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