Queensland is the holiday heart of Australia. It is the most desired destination for Australian holiday-makers and the main destination for one in every two international visitors. Occupying more than one-fifth of the vast continent, Queensland’s attractions include the largest and most spectacular reef in the world – the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s best beaches, wet tropics and the outback.
And there is no part of Queensland more colourful than the people. You’ll find the locals laid-back, friendly and helpful. Queensland’s vibrant lifestyle and tropical climate makes it an ideal spot for fishing and boating. Queensland’s coastline stretches along more than 7400 kilometres, and we have an abundance of inland and coastal waterways, rivers, lakes and estuaries. 16 million people visit Queensland each year, and with so much on offer you can see why.
Where else but Queensland would you go fishing?
Of all the wonderful places in the world to go fishing, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the one I would pick if I knew I could only ever go fishing one more time. When North Queensland’s green, rainforest covered mountains, with their chuckling mountain streams and sparkling pools with tumbling waterfalls, are a blur in the distance and the languid estuaries baking in the harsh tropical sunlight are hidden below the horizon we are just entering the wonderful world of the planet earth’s greatest coral reef.
On any given morning we awake to the gentle lapping of wavelets against the hull of our gamefishing boat or its larger ‘mother boat’ companion. Sunrise happens quickly in the tropics with a sudden burst of color on the horizon brightening the bottoms of fleecy tradewind driven clouds. Already natures’s fight for survival is underway with delicate ters diving to catch small minnows frantically leaping to avoid the predatory tuna, mackerel and queen fish. Later in the day we may well use these mid-size predators in their turn as live or dead natural bait for the mightiest predators of all, the giant Black Marlin.
Many of us have travelled half way round the globe in our search for angling’s greatest prize but usually our mornings are spent in more rlaxing but equally fantastic pursuits. Indeed, more people come here just to swim with snorkel or scuba gear among the sensory overload of coral and colourful reef fish than ever came to go fishing, and close by where we are anchored is the best of the best.
Because of the giant marlin’s tendency to feed more actively later in the day , we spend our mornings inside the walls of the outer barrier fishing with light tackle, swimming, or simply relaxing, surrounded by the creatures of the world’s largest marine park. We might spear a tasty coral trout for the evenings dinner or amuse ourselves catching and releasing any of more than a dozen light game species, but the anticipation is building for the afternoon’s main event. The cobalt waters outside the reef heave to the oceanic swell that is missing in the calm water in the reef’s lee. Here along the edge of the continental shelf even mighty gamefish like wahoo and yellowfin tuna become prey. Starting sometime in late August and ending around Christmas an aggregation of Black Marlin occurs like none other in the world.
We have come to pit our strength and skill against fish that commonly exceed half a ton in weight and 4 meters in length. Nowhere in the world are marlin found in such numbers in these enormous sizes. Whether we are successful today or not, the anticipation is always there. It’s my favourite fishing spot in the world.
Captain Peter B Wright
Peter Wright has fished around the world for marlin. He is the sports fishing columnist for Motor Boating & Sailing magazine and in his travels beside catching numerous world records and winning dozens of tournaments has caught more marlin over 1000 pounds than any captain in history.