It is a beautiful morning in Cairns, perfect weather conditions for a reef raid aboard “Blue Whaler”. One of the many charter operations working out of the Cairns Marina. Yep, it doesn’t matter how big your boat is there is always someone who will outdo you. This one is owned by a Swiss businessman. We are heading to the nanny grounds about two hours steam from Cairns due east on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
Onboard are a competitive bunch of ARB Crew in town for the upcoming ARB Open Day who are keen to hook into a few fish. Roger is the State Manager, so it’s only fair he should hook up first! On our first drop of the morning, we have a very nice largemouth nannygai and it seems to be the cue for this crew to open up its shoulders. Chiming in is the local boy Lachlan Brosnan proving that a bit of local knowledge goes a long way, Lachlan does a lot of fishing in this region and loves it!
Speaking of fisherman Scott Jennings from the Sunny Coast loves to wet a line so the opportunity for him to hook into a few big redfish has him frothing. Our hardworking Deckie Jason has a bit on today with plenty of fish coming over the gunnels. We have taken a few off this patch of the reef so the skipper Jason ups anchor for another location and the chance to pick up a couple of world-famous north Queensland Coral Trout.
On the next drop, Lachlan is into them again! And hooks a different species, but another huge fish. Meanwhile, on the other side of the boat, quiet achiever Al has hooked a Mackerel. While the fishing has been fast and furious a couple of the crew may have fared better from a couple of extra hours kip.
While these blokes are talking Big Al has bagged the first Trout of the day closely followed by Mark. These fish are perfect specimens and it looks like we are right on the mark. After lunch and a kip we leave the Trout mark and head back to the deeper water looking for trouble and as they say in the classics, you should be careful what you wish! Jesus that’s a shark! I just got sharked then. Our second cameraman Mark caught all the action on his mobile phone.
Of course, the next problem we faced upon our return was how quickly we could enjoy eating them. Thankfully Lachlan had already addressed this issue calling ahead to one of Cairns best restaurants the Salt House who will cook your fish for you if your back early enough. When the Chef saw our catch, he was only too eager to help. While he got to work on the fish, we cleaned ourselves up gathered our families and friends back to the Salt House in the early evening to celebrate what had been a perfect day.
Cairns Reef Fishing runs seven days a week and is weather dependent. Head to the website for all the details. The Salthouse Restaurant is on the northern end of the Cairns Marina. Don’t forget to check out Episode 36 of the Campr series for all the fishing action at Cairns.