Cairns Reef Fishing

Fish Tales Charters Cairns offers a truly Sportsfishing adventure; only a short distance from Cairns-into the Great Barrier Reef, on board vessel dont know, your fishing guide Darryl, this is our Cairns Reef Fishing Charter.

Within the world famous Great Barrier Reef Marine Park their are numerous wrecks, reefs and islands with up to 1400 known fish species. 

Fishing methods include 

  • live-bait and/or dead-bait fishing,
  • bottom fishing,
  • jigging
  • as well as lure and popper fishing with surface lures.

We ask you to meet vessel `dont know` and our experienced fishing guide at the Cairns 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.

From 6.30 am to 3.00 pm (app). 

Common Reef fish species caught but not limited too:

  • Cobia,
  • Trout including Common Coral and Barred cheek,
  • Fingermark,
  • Mackerel Species including Spanish, Doggie, School and Spotted,
  • Trevally species including Golden, Giant, Bludger and Tea leaf,
  • Nannygai species including Small mouth and Large mouth,
  • Barracuda,
  • Red Emperor to name a few.
  • On all our Cairns Reef 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 a 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 https://fishtales.com.au/fish-gallery/

    CORAL FIN FISH CLOSURE

    The following dates are for the Coral Fin Fish Closures.

    More details can be found https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/recreational/rules-regulations/closed-seasons-tidal-waters

    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

    FULL DAY REEF FISHING FROM CAIRNS SHARE CHARTER

    From 6.30 am to 3.00 pm (app.)

    Maximum of 6 people per share charter

    Live/dead-bait & bottom bouncing fishing

    Only a short distance from the Cairns Marlin Marina your charter may start with the gathering of live bait before moving into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Multiple locations are selected for bottom bouncing based on tides, weather conditions, current movement and target fish species. Bottom bouncing simply means dropping baited hook with heavy sinkers in the water; this is a productive way of fishing.

    Let us know before the fishing charter if you have a preferred target fish species (happy to help out with the bucket list!).

    We supply the following for your fishing charter

    • all top quality rods and reels,
    • all bait including dead and live and tackle,
    • cooled bottled water,
    • esky with ice,
    • a delicious lunch,
    • you will be guided by our experienced fishing guide.

    We ask you to wear

    • a long sleeve cotton shirt,
    • one wide brim hat.

    We ask you to bring along the following

    • your sunglasses
    • your camera,
    • your sunscreen,
    • a few beers are Okay (cans only please)

    Require more information? Email us

    $270 per person plus EMC-Reef Tax

    FULL DAY REEF FISHING FROM CAIRNS PRIVATE CHARTERS

    From 6.30 am to 3.00 pm

    Up to 4 people only

    Private charter only

    Live/dead-bait & bottom bouncing

    Only a short distance from the Cairns Marlin Marina your fishing charter starts; your fishing guide may start with the gathering of live bait via a cast net, before moving into the Great Barrier Reef. Mulitple fishing locations are selected based on tidal movement, weather conditions, current movement, target fish speciesBottom Bouncing simply means dropping baited hook with heavy sinker into the water; this is a productive way of fishing.

    Let us know if you have a preferred target fish species (always happy to help you tick off your bucket list!)

    We supply on all our fishing charters

    • all top quality rods & reels,
    • all bait including dead and or live and tackle,
    • cooled bottled water,
    • a delicious lunch,
    • esky with ice,
    • you will be guided by our experienced fishing guide.

    We ask you to wear the following

    • a long sleeve cotton shirt,
    • one wide brim hat.

    We ask you to bring along the following

    • your sunglasses,
    • your sunscreen,
    • your camera and or video,
    • A few beers are Okay (Cans only please).

    Require more information? Email us

    $1080 plus EMC-Reef Tax

    Additional people $270 each

    From 6.30 am to 3.00 pm (app.)

    Private charter

    Up to 3 people only

    Lure and/or Popper fishing only

    Within a short distance from Cairns, on the Great Barrier Reef are numerous wrecks, and inshore reefs. All these make potential target sites for you, your rod & reel along with a selection of lures and or popper attached. Ideal Popper fishing-with tidal flow over rocky outcrops and exposing reefs. With a little technique, vessel positioning and a keen eyes….It`s your turn!

    We supply the following on your fishing charter

    • all top quality rods & reels,
    • all lure and poppers (supplied on bases if lost to be replaced),
    • cooled bottled water,
    • esky with ice,
    • a delicious lunch,
    • you will be guided by our experienced fishing guide.

    We ask you to wear the following

    • a long sleeve cotton shirt,
    • One wide brim hat.

    We ask you to bring along the following

    • your sunglasses,
    • your sunscreen,
    • your camera and or video,
    • a few beers are Okay (cans only please).

    Require more information? Email us

    $1080 plus EMC-Reef Tax

    GT Popper fishing on the Reef

    Up to 3 people only

    Private charter only

    Popper fishing only

    From 6.30 am to 3.00 pm.

    Only on short distance from Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef, on the reef edges & bommies, with the low tide exposing and the sun shining, let the battle begin. Giant Trevally commonly referred to as GT`s will not only continually smash poppers, they will ambush deep diving lures, in, under and around structures; all done with great speed, hard fights and mind blowing runs. To add to your fun day, the GT or GT`s maybe in schools, shoulder charging through the water in pursuit. While conditions have to be right, is it your turn to experience the mighty GT or GT`s caught on popper…..Let the fun begin!

    We supply on your fishing charter

    • all top quality rods & reels,
    • all lures and/or poppers (supplied on the basis if lost to be replaced),
    • cooled bottled water,
    • a delicious lunch,
    • esky with ice,
    • your experienced fishing guide.

    We ask you to wear the following

    • long sleeve cotton shirt,
    • one wide brim hat.

    We ask you to bring along

    • your sunglasses,
    • your sunscreen,
    • your camera and/or video,
    • a few beers are okay (cans only please).

    Require more information? Email us

    $1080 plus EMC-Reef Tax

    COMMONLY CAUGHT
    REEF FISH SPECIES

    Barred cheek Coral Trout

    Plectropomus maculatus
    Can be found around inshore and coastal reefs, islands in the warm tropical waters.
    Have distinguishing horizontal elongated spots to the head.
    Colour pattern can vary, depending on where they live for example living in deep water they can be bright red while those species that live in shallow water can be dark brown.
    Minimum size take is 38 cm.

    Bludger trevally

    Carangoides gymnostethus
    Can be found around Coral and Rocky Reefs. Prefers shallow sand flats and/or reefs with access to deeper water. Recognised be their round, muscular body shape and lack of scales on their belly. Typically blue, green to grey in colour, often with scattered dark orange spots on their sides. Perfect fish species for a little stretching of the arms!

    Cobia

    Rachycentron canadum
    Known as a Black king fish. This is a pelagic species with dark brown on back and down sides ; two sharply defined narrow silvery bands; and yellowish belly. Minimum size: 75 cm and are common up to 1.1 metres. An excellent table fish.

    Common Coral trout

    Plectropomus maculatus
    Minimum size 38 cm. 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. These are highly regarded for their eating quality.

    Chinaman fish

    Symphorus nematophorus

    Known by the locals as a `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 horizontal blue stripes on body and elongated spines on the soft dorsal fin, growing to long filaments. A highly regarded eating fish.

    Fingermark

    Lutjanus johnii
    Fingermark as adults can live on the reef. Their bodies have a bronze to silver sheen, shading to silver-white on the belly and underside of their 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. An excellent table fish.

    Giant trevally

    Caranx ignoblis
    Referred to a `GT`. There is 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.

    Gold band snapper

    Pristipomoides multidens and Pristipomoides typus
    Minimum size is 38 cm with possession limit of 5. Has a forked caudal fin; yellow/rosy colouration with 6 broken gold stripes; top of the head has yellow bands; side of snout (below the eyes) has 2/3 golden strips bordered by some blue; dorsal fin is covered with with yellow stripes or rows of spots.

    Gold spotted trevally

    Carangoides bajad

    Commonly called `Gold Spots`These trevally species are a strong and robust sports fish. They have aggressive feeding patterns making an excellent target fish species for the sports fisher. They have silver belly colouration’s and golden to yellow colouration’s in the upper torso`s and fins. They have orange to gold coloured spots throughout the side of their body with a small mouth with small teeth.

    Golden trevally

    Gnathanodon speciosus
    These trevally species have no size limit. The body of older fish has yellow-green back, pale belly, The Golden Trevally like all trevally species is a strong and robust sports fish.

    Large mouth Nannygai

    Lutjanus malabaricus
    Known as a Saddletail snapper. There minimum size 40 cm. Has crimson all over with dark saddle blotch becomes less distinct with age has bigger mouth than crimson snapper (small-mouth nannygai). Known for there excellent fighting abilities and known as an excellent table fish.

    Mackerel Tuna

    Euthynnus affinis
    Can be referred to as Mack Tuna. While known as a smaller tuna, they have gained the reputation of a feisty and unstoppable stamina, no second chances when encountering the Mackerel Tuna. Easily recognised by their distinctive mackerel patterns on their shoulders. Have 3 to 5 small black spots below pectoral fin. Can grow up to 15 kg, however not uncommon for 6 kg species.

    Painted sweetlip

    Diagramma pictum subsp. labiosun
    Live fish are flushed with bronze that fades to slate-grey with death. They may have irregular dark spots scattered over the upper body. Have small mouths with large fleshy lips. This fish species undergo dramatic colour changes as they grow. Minimum size is 25 cm with a possession limit of 5.

    Pan fry snapper

    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.

    Pennantfish

    Alectis ciliaris
    Can grow up to 130 cm. Commonly lives on inshore reefs. Has a high body with rounded head; Metallic silver sheen. Adults do not have filaments unlike the juveniles that have long filament trailing from their dorsal and anal fins.

    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

    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.

    Robinson`s sea bream

    Gymnocranius grandoculis
    They commonly referred to as sea Bream they are not related to the Perch or Bream family. They are a highly sought after table fish found in the northern warmer waters. Have large eyes for feeding at night with wavy blue lines across their snout and check. Minimum size is 25 cm with a possession limit of 5.

    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.

    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. Not only are they an excellent target fish they have excellent fighting abilities.

    Tea leaf Trevally

    Carangoides Chrysophrys
    Can be known as a Long Nose! The tea leaf trevally is a strong, robust sports fish. Have aggressive feeding patterns making them highly sort after sports fish. The name Tea Leaf derives from the small, dark tea leaf like patterns found on their body. Their bodies can be from silver to gold, green to grey in colouration’s with lightly coloured fins. Can grow up to 12 kg and up to 90 cm typically caught around the 4 kg.

    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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