Cairns Reef Fishing Tours

Only a short distance from Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia is numerous wrecks, reefs and islands. There are a huge variety of fish species that inhabit these waters. Fishing methods include live-bait and/or dead-bait fishing, bottom fishing, jigging as well as lure and popper fishing with surface lures.

On all our Reef fishing charters we include all top quality bait and tackle, a delicious lunch, bottles of water, esky with ice on-board and our experienced fishing guide `Darryl`.

We do ask you to bring along wide brim hat, long sleeve cotton shirt, sunglasses, sunscreen, camera and a few beers are Okay. From 6.30 am to 3.00 pm (app.)

We ask you to meet vessel `dont know` at the Marlin Marina in front of the Pier Shopping Centre on Finger D berth 2 at 6.30 am. Parking is available underneath the Pier Shopping Centre.

Common Reef fish species caught but not limited too: Cobia, Coral Trout, Fingermark, Mackerel Species include Spanish, Trevally species including Golden, Giant and Tea leaf, Nannygai species including Small mouth and Large mouth, Red Emperor.

On all our Bluewater fishing charters we supply the following gear PENN 560 slammer reel on a 15-20 kg ugly stick rod with 50 lb. braid fishing line.

For our popper fishing charter we supply Shimano Saragosa reel on Jawbone Popper rod with 50 lb. braid fishing line. If you prefer you can bring along your own fishing gear.

Check out our fish gallery


The following dates are for the Coral Fin Fish Closures.

More details can be found

25 October 2019 to 29 October 2019 and 24 November 2019 to 28 November 2019

14 October 2020 to 18 October 2020 and 12 November 2020 to 16 November 2020

3 October 2021 to 7 October 2021 and 2 November 2021 to 6 November 2021

22 October 2022 to 26 October 2022 and 21 November 2022 to 25 November 202

12 October 2023 to 16 October 2023 and 10 November 2023 to 14 November 2023

This applies to following groups of fish species Cods & Groupers, Emperors, Parrotfish, Sweetlips, Wrasses, Trout, Fusilliers, Surgeon Fishes, Tropical Snapper and Seaperch.

Cairns Reef Fishing
Cairns Reef Fishing
Cairns Reef Fishing


Up to 6 people can be on a share charter for live-bait/dead-bait fishing and/or bottom bouncing.

Require more information? Email us

$270 per person plus EMC-Reef Tax


Up to 4 people can be on a private charter for live-bait/dead-bait fishing and/or bottom bouncing.

Require more information? Email us

$1080 plus EMC-Reef Tax

Additional people $270 each

Up to 3 people only for a private charter for lure/popper fishing only.

Require more information? Email us

$1080 plus EMC-Reef Tax

Up to 3 people only for a private charter for GT (Giant Trevally) Popper fishing.

Require more information? Email us

$1080 plus EMC-Reef Tax


Cobia (Black King Fish)

Rachycentron canadum

A pelagic species with dark brown on back and down sides ; two sharply defined narrow silvery bands; and yellowish belly. minimum size: 75 cm; common up to 1.1 metres. An excellent table fish.

Coral Trout

Plectropomus maculatus

Minimum size 38cm. These are a bottom-dwelling fish species. Horizontal elongated spots to the head distinguish this species; wide colour variations; from brilliant reds/oranges to pale red/oranges within each species and similar colour forms between species can make some trout difficult to identify. Highly regarded eating fish.

Chinaman Fish (Galloper)

Minimum size 50 cm to maximum of 80 cm. The adult fish are mottled pink and red, forming indistinct vertical bars (stripes). The small adults and juveniles have horizontl blue stripes on body and elongated sonies on the soft dorsal fin, growing to long filaments. Highly regarded eating fish.

Spanish Mackerel

Scomberomorus commerson

Minimum size 75 cm. A pelagic species; has numerous thin, wavy vertical bands on body; iridescent blue-grey back; silver sides with bluish reflections; juveniles frequently spotted.

Golden Trevally

Gnathanodon speciosus

No Size Limit, body of older fish has yellow-green back, pale yellow belly, The Golden Trevally like all trevally species is a strong and robust sports fish.

Giant Trevally known as GT

Caranx ignoblis

No size limit. The body and head are silvery grey; with a black back; usually paler belly; fins are usually uniformly grey to black. Excellent sports fish for popper fishing

Large Mouth Nannygai (Saddletail Snapper)

Lutjanus malabaricus

Minimum size 40 cm. crimson all over with dark saddle blotch becomes less distinct with age has bigger mouth than crimson snapper (small-mouth nannygai),

Red Emperor

Lutjanus sebae

Minimum size 55 cm. Juveniles and young adults have broad dark red bands which converge at a point beyond the top of the spiny dorsal fin; bars fade with age and fish become pink-red all over; dark edges with fine white margin may still be visible on dorsal, anal and top and bottom of tail fins; each scale carries a white dot.

Red Bass (Pongo)

Lutjanus bohar

NOTE: The red bass is a no-take species. It is a known ciguatoxin carrier and must not be eaten. Has dark red-brown upper body paling to reddish on sides and belly; fins dark red with almost black outer edges. Excellent sports fish for popper fishing

Spangled Emperor

Lethrinus nebulosus

Minimum size 45 cm. Has large eyes for night time feeding. The top of pectoral fins are blue in colour. Distinct scales and strong spines on their fins. Pale blue spots are ‘spangled’ over the upper body, blue lines radiate from eyes over snout.  Their is a presence of a pale-blue spot located centrally on each scale that forms longitudinal streaks along the flanks.


Reef Fingermark

(Golden Snapper)

Lutjanus johnii

The body has a bronze to silver sheen, shading to silver-white on the belly and underside of head. On back a round black spot/saddle(usually above the lateral line but below the anterior soft dorsal fin rays). Scales have a reddish-brown spot often in the centre of each scale, giving an overall appearance of horizontal lines on the body.

Mon 6:30am–8:30pm
Tues 6:30am–8:30pm
Wed 6:30am–8:30pm
Thur 6:30am–8:30pm
Fri 6:30am–8:30pm
Sat 6:30am–8:30pm
Sun 6:30am–8:30pm

(07) 4045 0234

0418 194 517

1 Pierpoint Road, Cairns, Queensland, Australia, Cairns City QLD 4870

4 Victory Close,

Edmonton, Queensland, 4869, Australia.

© Fish Tales 2017

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