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Fishing The Whitsundays - Long Island Report

The Mad Hughesy

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Only having one 15kg bag between us limited what gear I could take with me to the Whitsundays, so I opted for a 3-5kg travel rod matched to a Shimano Sahara 2500 loaded with 10lb braid and 16lb leader. Threw in a few bags of soft plastics, hard bodies and I was ready to fish. We flew into Proserpine then transferred to Airlie Beach for one night. Then we had a boat transfer to Long Island the next day departing from Shute Harbour.


For anyone who has been to the Whitsundays, you will know how awesome of a place it really is. For those who haven’t been id highly recommend going! If not for the fishing then for the pure relaxed lifestyle they live up there. You can still see some cyclone damage, but they have done a great job to get back on their feet again.


Second morning on the island, e managed a load of small tuskies on bait land based, then on the last afternoon we really had our hot fishing session. We had tried a few other times trolling some hard bodies behind a kayak for no luck, but on the last afternoon I tied on a ZMan 4inch Streakz in glow white…the poor lure got hammered time after time. We headed out the front of our resort in a two man kayak to try the edge of the reef area. For my fiancé, it was her first fish on a soft plastic which was pretty special catching a wire net cod. I managed another tuskie and a flounder before I nailed a new species…


As I slowed hopped the SP over some coral clusters I felt a small tug, so I set the hook to find it was a small critter, but when it reached the top of the water…I was yahooing pretty loudly. My first ever coral trout…though it was only a baby, I was absolutely stoked. Few happy snaps then back in the drink. As then sun started to set, we made the call to head back in... but before we did I said to Lauren “just one more cast” lobbed it out, and started the retrieve. About 5 m from the yak it got hammered, the poor little 3-5 rogue BCF special travel rod loaded up and the fight was on. I knew that with only 16lb leader, I had to get it out of the coral fast. I cranked it off the bottom as fast as I could, I knew it was a decent size as I could feel its weight the whole fight to the surface…I couldn’t believe my eyes! She measured 39cm…my first LEGAL trout. If I thought I was happy before, now I was ecstatic! The only downer on the after was the fact that the measuring ruler I had didn’t have QLD coral trout size on it, so rather than potentially taking an undersized fish, I let it swim away to freedom (I know, it’s a cardinal sin to release a legal coral trout) but given I wasn’t sure of its size, I didn’t want to risk it. I was just happy to be fishing in such a beautiful location, catching such stunning fish. Just goes to show, that “one last cast” could potentially land your most prized fish to date, you just never know!!


Oh yeah and the resort we stayed at (Palm Bay Resort at Long Island) was awesome. Secluded, quiet, picturesque and relaxing to say the least. It’s a fully self-catered resort (all food must be organised, prepped and cooked by ourselves) at a big communal kitchen. They did have a little store to buy food from at the resort, but we just loaded up with food from woollies at Airlie beach before we went there. This style of resort isn’t for everyone, but we loved every minute of it. Cracking sunsets, cabins on the beach, bush walks with breath taking views, whales, turtles, eagles, goannas and some amazing fish just to name some of the highlights. 10/10 holiday!



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