A decent coronation trout.

Persistence pays off at K’gari

With trips offshore few and far between for me of late, I jumped at the chance to get up to K’gari for what looked like a nice little weather window.

Those who frequent K’gari and beach launch inside Waddy Point would be well aware of the preparation and planning required for such trips.

On this occasion, the weather person was correct and, despite messy conditions early on our first day offshore, we were greeted largely by calm seas and a light northeasterly wind.

One of the most appealing aspects of this trip were the neap tides.

For those not aware, the term neap is used to describe the period in which there is minimal difference between the high and low tide.

Typically, these smaller tides mean there is less water flow and hence slower currents.

This is not always true though – more about that later.

Any offshore trip in a 5.5m trailer boat requires preparation and beach launching takes that to a whole new level.

Near perfect conditions at K’gari.


Any little weakness in your trailer or vehicle can be quickly exposed and lead to an unenjoyable and expensive experience.

On this occasion, it was largely smooth sailing for us getting the boat in the water.

Over the past few months there has been a real absence of gutters deep enough to launch at Orchid Beach.

With little to no residual swell and a light wind, we quite easily dropped the boat in the calm water inside Waddy Point and made our way offshore between sets as they rolled around the point itself.

From early on day one, it was obvious that fishing was going to be fairly challenging.

K’gari can offer up some of the best offshore fishing on the planet, yet it can also greet you with strong currents and aggressive sharks.

On this particular trip, the combination of the latter two was going to haunt us.

Matt’s quality grassy sweetlip.


Live bait was scarce, though on the first drop of the morning one of the few yakka we managed to snag was immediately nailed.

Unfortunately, whatever nailed it was almost immediately smashed by what was presumably a fairly sizeable shark.

As I re-rigged, the spot lock on the Minn Kota gave up and a glance at the sounder showed we were drifting at 5-6kms per hour.

Good old K’gari!

So that stuff I was saying about neap tides meaning less current offshore… yeah, well just be mindful, it’s a guide not a rule.

A frustrating morning ensued and by about 1pm, the shark and current theme had continued at almost every spot we fished.

Apart from a nice coronation trout, we had very little to show for our efforts.

Our challenge was to find an area where the current wasn’t as strong, hence we’d be able to drift slower and present our bait and lures in a more natural fashion.

One of the Waddy Point locals.


Varying depths will often throw up different conditions with regard to current, and I didn’t think deeper was a viable option, so it was to the shallows we went.

When I say ‘shallows’, we moved from fishing depths of 40-55m to 20-30m in closer to the island.

One of the great things about K’gari is that there are plenty of spots with rubble ground and structure in close to the island, especially at the northern end.

The many large rocky headlands, such as Indian Head, Waddy Point and South Ngkala Rocks, provide rubble and coffee rock for a fair way out to sea and are always worth a look for reef species and pelagic.

By mid-afternoon, our luck finally changed as we came across a decent patch of fish in an area where we could drift at 2-3kms per hour.

Thankfully, the fish were chewing and we started to chip away at some very nice venus tuskfish, redthroat emperor, moses perch and grass sweetlip.

My friend Matt nailed a cracking grassy and was then lit up a few minutes later by what we suspected was an even bigger model.

Unfortunately, we’ll never know, though it certainly was a great little afternoon session, which helped us salvage the day.

A lovely pair from the K’gari shallows.


With only a few hours to fish on day two, we wanted to make the most of the morning session.

Based on our learnings from the day before, we made our way to shallow ground, similar to what we’d fished the day before.

The early signs were good, with a few more nice tuskies smashing our squid bait, however the joy was short lived.

The current was a lot stronger than the previous day, mirroring what we had dealt with out wider.

By 10am, in close to glassed out conditions, we called it a day and headed back to the island.

By no means was it an offshore trip to remember, but any time at K’gari is magical and we had a couple of decent bags of fillets, thanks to persisting in tough conditions.

As the weather starts to cool and we embark on the colder months, super strong currents will become less frequent and we’ll be able to go on K’gari trips with much more confidence.

We’ll still have to battle the sharks though.

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