Sure Fishing on the Shores
  |  First Published: July 2009

There will be many species of fish available to catch in the Whitsundays in August. A successful and fun way of catching most of these species is to fish from the shorelines of the islands and mainland. The Whitsundays have some excellent shorelines that hold great fishing and are often overlooked by anglers.


Fishing from the shore this month will be a great technique to hook into a variety of tropical sportfish. In the winter months more species of fish seem to move into the shallows for the food and warmth it provides. By fishing from the shore you are covering these shallow waters where most fish patrol for food. Many different species move into these areas with an incoming tide to search for food. A range of baitfish and crustaceans are available in the shallows, which attracts big fish.

Soft plastics are an excellent lure choice as they can be fished ultra shallow and look very natural. After placing a long cast out into the deeper water, try a mix of retrieves to see what’s out there. Sometimes winding flat out can bring on a bite. Other times using a slow retrieve with lots of hops with the rod tip will produce results. Be observant too, look for bait being chased and other signs of fish feeding; use lures that imitate what the fish are eating.

Another reason this style of fishing is so productive is because it eliminates the boat from the fish’s worries. By walking and fishing along the edge of the rocks or the mangroves the fish nearby are less aware of you which gives you a better chance of catching one. Crouching down low and hiding back in the shade of mangroves while casting out can also reduce the chance of spooking the fish.


The main targets that are usually encountered fishing from the shore in the Whitsundays are widely varied. Queenfish, GT, coral trout, flathead, bream, mangrove jack and tuskfish all usually inhabit the shallow, sandy shorelines with mangroves nearby. These species range in size from small to very large, so be prepared for anything!

On one recent trip we were casting from a sandy corner when a large flathead visibly ate the lure and then spat it out right in front of us. We watched the flathead as it became interested in the lure again and swam back for another look at it. Then from nowhere an even larger coral trout raced in and stole the lure from the flathead!


The best areas we’ve found are the large sandy bays of the islands with mangroves fringing the shoreline. The mangroves are a great natural fish attracter as they offer shade and structure for the fish. Deeper water nearby can also potentially produce larger pelagic fish.

The islands where we’ve had success recently are the sheltered bays of Repulse Island out from Conway Beach, Windy Bay on Haslewood Island and Apostle Bay on Whitsunday Island.


Tides are important if you’re fishing from the shore with a boat anchored nearby. We’ve found a rising tide is the best time to fish as it’s easier to monitor your boat from becoming stranded. When you’re choosing a spot to fish from the shore have a good look around for the easiest areas to access. Pulling your boat up onto a sandy beach to anchor is the easiest and safest way to position it while you walk off and enjoy the fishing!

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