Barra bust surface
  |  First Published: March 2010

April in the Whitsundays is usually a fine month for fishing and a host of target species should be on the bite.

In terms of fishing options, the Whitsunday area is a prime location featuring countless different places to fish and an abundance of target species. You can fish for tropical saltwater fish around the islands, target big barramundi at Peter Faust Dam or fish the rivers and creeks for estuary targets.

Shallows – a hidden treasure

The shallows of the Whitsunday islands are home to many tropical fish species. The shallow edges are often overlooked by a lot of anglers who often fish the deep reefs and shoals. This deep water fishing will usually produce bigger fish but it’s the shallows that offer more visual action and exciting fishing.

Many of the islands have some great fish holding features in the shallow water. Mangrove lined shorelines are often productive places to fish during the high tide. These shallow mangrove edges can come alive with fish life such as sharks, rays, bream, cod, flathead, mangrove jack, coral trout and you may even see large queenfish and big GTs occasionally passing through in the clear water.

A small baitfish or crustacean imitation soft plastic matched to a lightweight jighead is a good choice of lure for this particular area. The fish are usually quite flighty in the shallow, clear water so using light fluorocarbon line is a good idea.

Cast the soft plastic right up into the mangroves and use a slow retrieve with small hops to make it look naturally injured. At the same time you can look around the clear shallows and try to spot any cruising fish.

These moving fish are usually different trevally species, queenfish and small reef fish. By being observant, patient and stealthy in the shallows, you can spot some great fish.

We have seen some amazing fish swimming on the sand flats, including a very large permit finning in the shallows, a giant trevally about 45kg cruising past in the clear water and a nurse shark around 200kg slowly moving along the shoreline.

Having an electric motor on your boat is an excellent tool for slowly moving around the shallows quietly. While rear or bow mount electric motors are available, the bow mount electrics are much better for lure fishing as you can control the speed and direction of the boat with your foot while you’re standing.

We have a Minn Kota Maxxum and it is excellent for sneaking up on big spooky fish in the shallows.

Impoundment barra

The closest barramundi lake to the Whitsundays is Peter Faust Dam, situated about half an hour’s drive from Proserpine. Like most of the barramundi impoundments, the water level at Peter Faust Dam has had a recent rise during mid to late February.

By March the lake had rose about 10% while the Mackay lakes, Kinchant, Teemburra and Eungella, received a lot more inflow and are now all at full capacity.

In terms of fishing, the rise in water levels floods all of the weedbeds in the lake and drowns the bank side vegetation. After large water level rises the lake water often becomes very dirty but gradually clears out after the rise.

The fish can be caught from the same areas such as fallen timber cover in the shallows, points and bay features on the lake. Isolated lay-down timber positioned in the right area can be a good fish attractor as the absence of weed lined shorelines means less shallow water cover.

If you catch a fish from a particular spot, try to see where the fish was caught and why it was there. Then, try to find a similar spot and see if you can repeat the process. The barramundi will tend to position themselves in similar areas because of favourable features the area holds. There are many fishing options and opportunities around during this month so get outdoors and get amongst it!

To check out more articles from us, visit our fishing blog at www.cyandkerrintaylor.blogspot.com. It has various articles on fishing as well as techniques and tips to catch more fish.

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