Fishing Report - March 2024: Dive into the insights of reef fishing from Port Douglas

Angler holding a freshly caught Red emperor fish

The month of March provided a mix of weather including wind, rain and absolute glamour days, and we certainly maximized our opportunities with those great days of weather hitting the reef with our clients. I would like to clarify one thing to all, and that is that north Queensland is open for business! Everything is as usual up here so please disregard mainstream media who wants us all to believe the world is ending, and phone or email a local operator to obtain the correct and real state of the region. Our fishing charters from Port Douglas and Cairns are in full swing!

Our far north Queensland traditional wet season is ticking along nicely and flushing the creeks and rivers out well pushing plenty of bait schools out wider. Here is another false impression so many have of our region this time of year; it does not rain all day, every day! Most of our days are beautiful with rain occurring in the evenings, and it is a great experience to treat yourself to. Surface water temperature is still a balmy 30/31 degrees celcius. The bottom reef fishing has been consistent with good quality Coral Trout, Nannygai, Spangled Emperor and Red Emperor coming onboard. Wonky holes are firing so luckily I have plenty to choose from, and they have been producing some ‘Dino’ model Large Mouth Nannygai. There are also plenty of Spanish Mackerel around, if you know where the bait schools are holding and always a great option if you want to go light tackle sportfishing. Remember bag limits for Spanish are one per person, and a maximum of two to a boat. Tip for the month is to know and understand which way the current will be travelling depending on what tide you are fishing. Admiralty charts will show it (“Feathers = Flood”, if you know you know this narrative), or download digital maps onto your phone/tablet that have these features.

Fishing pressure points is critical for success on top water, and still very important if you fish reef edges. Example: if you fish a reef edge on the northern side with current pushing south to north, you will limit your success as opposed to if you are fishing the pressure side. Weather conditions (comfort) play a bigpart in this too andI do get that often. Unfortunately sometimes we cannot have our cake and eat it too! Good luck in April and I hope you all get plenty of engine hours on the water, or come join us on one of our reef fishing charters from Port Douglas or Cairns.

View other articles