Fishabout

Lockhart River / Bligh Reef Tour

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If you like variety of species and fishing options, a Bligh Reef Lagoon Explorer trip is for you.
Great GT fishing, with lots of GTs between 10-20kg, and enough seriously big ones to keep you on your toes!
Cast the shallow reef flats with light or heavy spin gear for incredible variety of species
Troll the outer edge of the reef for huge dogtooth tuna, yellowfin, mackerel and wahoo
Black marlin are also a likely species while trolling the reef edge
Light & heavy jigging for coral trout, wrasse, emperor and a huge variety of other species
Common to catch over 50 fish per boat per day lurecasting the shallow reef flats

Bligh Reef is named after the famous captain Bligh, who visited this area on his way to Tahiti. This is one of the most remote areas of Australia, and is rarely visited by anyone. The general sportfishing here is simply amazing, and this reef provides the opportunity to combine inshore sportfishing for mackerel, barramundi, mangrove jacks and queenfish, with all of the fabulous bluewater options such as GT casting, lurecasting the reef flats, deepwater jigging, marlin trolling and general bluewater sportfishing. Of course, the exact types of fishing done on each trip will be decided by what the majority of guests each week would like to do, so barra fishing may not be available on all Bligh reef mixed group trips. Bligh Reef is visited as part of our Lagoon Explorer trip schedule, with 3-6 trips per year scheduled sometime between September-December.

Bligh Reef Species Guide
Fishing for GTs at Bligh reef can be absolutley spectacular, but you will find the GTs on average to be smaller(10-20kg on average, so still nice fish!) than other destinations, but there's plenty of them. Of course there's also some quite large GTs at Bligh as well, with plenty of 40kg+ specimens coming from this area in recent years. The GT fishing, while spectacular, is not the main reason for visiting Bligh reef, it's the huge diversity of species you can be catching that brings anglers back to this area. It is possible to be walking a sand flat and sight casting to a GT or golden trevally in the morning, and then trolling a reef entrance in the afternoon for a big dogtooth, with maybe a spot of lurecasting on the reef shallows on the way.

Depending on which area we choose to fish, there are beautiful protected islands to anchor behind, with spectacular bluewater casting trolling and jigging.
The common reef species that you're likely to catch include coral trout, red throat emperor, long nose emperor, spangled emperor, red bass, maori wrasse, maori sea perch, bluefin trevally, many varieties of groupers, green jobfish, big eye emperor, and the list goes on and on.

When to fish Bligh Reef?
Bligh Reef is an amazing area to visit in spring and early summer, anywhere between September-December is an ideal time to be here, providing the best access to all the species available.

Getting to Bligh Reef
Even though this reef complex is only 85 kilometres offshore, there is simply nothing else here. To access Bligh reef, you'll board a plane in Cairns and fly to Lockhart River(population of about 300 people). You'll be met at Lockhart River and driven by 4wd on a bush track through the remote Cape York wilderness for a 1 hour trip to Portland Roads(population 20 people). The mothership will be anchored in the bay at Portland roads, where we'll be waiting to pick you up from the beach and travel the short distance out to Bligh Reef to start fishing. You'll fish your way out to the reef, or head north to fish the islands and rivers, depending on guests choices.

 

Spanish Mackerel Flies high on a Bligh Reef trip!