Cool water, cooler fishing
  |  First Published: May 2010

The cool weather of June will slow some types of fishing in the Whitsundays whereas others will become more productive.

Surface GT

Giant trevally should be a fun fish to target around the Whitsunday islands this month. The many islands create very good habitats for GT and all of them seem to hold these fish.

We have caught big GT around the Repulse islands, out from Conway Beach and all the way up to Gloucester Island south of Bowen, which shows they’re spread out all over the waters of the Whitsundays.

The most exciting way of targeting the bigger specimens is casting and retrieving large surface lures. Big surface poppers or stickbaits with a very noisy retrieve are the best as they imitate a large baitfish, something GT are always on the lookout for.

These big lures catch big fish – the average size GT we catch in the Whitsundays tends to be around 22-25kg. On a good trip, casting for about five hours, getting about five strikes and landing at least two is a good result.

These fish are not easy to catch; you need to have a fairly good idea of the spots they like to rest and feed around as well as the best times to fish for them.

Good spots include long rocky points, reef points, large bommies, edges of rocky passages and isolated rocks. Deep water nearby is also an important part of a productive GT spot. Other places you will occasionally find big GT include sandy points, shallow coral flats, mangrove lined beaches and jetty pylons.

Some good GT surface lures are the Halco Roosta Haymaker; this popper is very easy to use and casts a long way on heavy spinning gear. The Nomad Ulua stickbait and Cubera popper are also very effective on big GT.

Sebile lures also have some very interesting lure designs for GT fishing. The Sebile Stick Shadd in the 155mm and 182mm versions as well as the 228mm Magic Swimmer have been producing some great GT catches for the guys out at Nomad Sportsfishing.

Estuary fishing

Although some anglers might consider June a less productive month for river and estuary fishing, there is actually some very good fishing if you know where to look. Even in the cooler months the Proserpine River, Thompson Creek and Repulse River are home to an abundance of tropical targets.

On a recent trip fishing around the Proserpine River we caught four barramundi up to 70cm; three fell to lures and one to a live mullet.

These fish tend to hang around any tree cover in the water, usually around deep gutters on a bend in the river. Medium sized barramundi can be caught on a range of diving lures and soft plastics.

We like to use the 80mm and 100mm Squidgy Slick Rigs as well as hardbodied lures like the Stiffy Twitch Bait. The Sebile Koolie Minnow and Ghost Walker also have a good action in the water.

The Proserpine River is also home to lots of estuarine crocodiles. They are great to watch as they slide down the muddy banks of the river into the water. But there are some very big crocs in the river so make sure you’re ready with a camera – and don’t fall in!

Spanish Mackerel

Large Spanish mackerel should be around the Whitsundays in numbers during June. These fish can grow to huge sizes and some very big fish are on offer. Trolling wolf herring is a very good, highly proven technique of catching big mackerel.

You can usually buy a ganged hook, mackerel trolling rig as well as frozen wolf herring from most tackle stores. Try to troll at a slow speed around deep, rocky points, isolated rocks and passages.

Look for baitfish on your sounder as deep schools of baitfish can also be very productive places to fish. Jigging around these types of spots will produce some very big mackerel as well as other species such as GT.

Sink the jig to the bottom and wind very fast back up to the surface with an erratic motion. This will usually stimulate any large predators hanging around the bait school.

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