Bad tide with severe neap, but still a beautiful day exploring. Only one baby cod for Ryan.





A last minute decision was made to head north to one of the beautiful beaches that smatter the coastline between Port Douglas & Cairns. The water was quite clear and as we explored two fishy points we saw many signs of fish life. Tens of thousands of small bait fish showered in all directions as pelagic fish threatened from all directions. Some spanish flag (stripeys) and a few others that wouldn’t show themselves properly hanging deep, as well as two small barra.

We fished hard, casting constantly for around 2.5 hours. Everything from hardbody barra lures to plastics, fizzers and surface walkers. With the exception of one follow from a large barracuda right to Mark’s feet and something small that had a good last minute go at my lure as I pulled it from the shallows not much was happening. Casting out near a rock bar that jutted into a serene wind sheltered point, my dark plastic was jammed and after a short fight in came a wire netted cod, small size. As we tried mostly in vain to take a decent underwater photo of the cod, he regurgitated a decent size little crab. It’s amazing what fish really eat and he had that certain ‘off’ smell associated with oyster and crab munching fish.

Above: Awesome photo LOL

The first time I saw this bay in 2008 I honestly fell in love with it and swore that one day, I’d live there. Time will tell, but last night was awesome, this spot holds so much potential and I can see myself spending some time here for sure. It’s the perfect locale for some beers and a lazy live bait!

Location: Point north of Cairns, south of Port Douglas (O)
Tide: Incoming 1m-2.3
Wind: Moderate winds 10-15 SE
Retrieve: Slow roll with the odd twitch

Lure: Large paddle tail soft plastic rigged texas exposed, owner hook
Line: 20lb Sunline Castaway
Leader: 30lb Evergreen Seil Fluorocarbon
Reel: Daiwa Hyper Custom 2508
Rod: St Croix Legend Xtreme XS66MHF


Went out to a local reef close to Cairns. Overcast and calm day on the water. While we were going trolling for Mackeral, they were too busy chasing a big bait school around and it was nearly impossible to follow. Instead we drifted the shallows casting small and medium sized lures.

Mark got smashed by a good sized coral trout that he just couldn’t stop, a different rod and reel maybe. He had no chance, but it was entertaining none the less. Would have been an impressive and big fish. He also had a huge hit while trolling, we presume it was another coral trout, this one bricked him before long and bent the metal bib on one of his larger ‘swains special’ trolling lures. Not the best day for Mark, but I think next time he’ll be better prepared!! He did catch a mother-load of small Dwarf spotted rockcod (wire netting cod) and Hexagon rockcods.

I mentioned to Mark that I was going to catch a coral trout as I haven’t caught one yet on a lure. I cast out as far as possible at the edge of the coral drop off and the lure got nailed. Feeling a good weight and the fish taking off tight drag, I went pretty hard on the fish. I don’t like being bricked on shallow reef, nor did I want to lose one of my favourite (impossible to get) lures. No less than 30 seconds after my initial statement I’d caught a bar cheeked coral trout (Plectropomus maculatus). Stoked! How good is that?

Bar Cheeked Coral Trout, Plectropomus maculatus

Also another cod, that I assume is a blue spot rockcod (Cephalopholis cyanostigma?), although I’m not sure as the flanks of it’s fins were not the right colour, but I can’t find anything closer. **It’s a Coral Cod (Cephalopholis miniata)!** I also caught a heap of small assorted rod cods, greedy little buggers can’t resist a paused lure sometimes and they will hit anything, even lures bigger than themselves!

Coral Cod, Cephalopholis miniata

And lastly caught a flowery cod (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) that put up a hell of a fight for a small fish.

Flowery Rockcod, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus

Great day out on the water casting lures, perfect. Looks like we found some good spots and we’re starting to map out where the good coral patches are and areas that hold trout.


Went out to Vlasoff Cay on a catamaran over the weekend, which was awesome. Conditions weren’t as perfect as last time but the wind made for good sailing.

Caught a heap of little reef fish (couldn’t help myself) and dropped a good sized cod and a nice spangled emperor (don’t think it was a grassy) right at the surface. The emperor gave a very good account of itself and tried to bury me in the reef a few times but was no match for the new rod.

Also took this cool photo of a little blue spot rockcod. The background is the deck of the cat, with no photoshop or anything. Other pic is the emperor just after I struck it, last picture is a total cracker taken by Laura on her iPhone.

Reef Cod
Emperor on the line

I’ve lost part of my battery charger (again), so I need to get that sorted and start taking photos again. Sorry for the lack of updates 😀