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Cairns Reef Charter Services

We wrote the book on fishing, cruising, sailing and diving the Great Barrier Reef and Tropical North Queensland.

With many years of experience and thousands of successful charters behind us we know that we can put together an individual fishing, cruising, sailing or diving package tailored to fit any request no matter how unusual. Our boats are world class, the crews friendly and expert, the environment unbeatable!

We can arrange the right boat to fish ANY tournament or location on the East Coast of Australia. Our vast experience gained from putting together thousands of successful fishing and boating charters as well as world renowned game fishing tournaments gives us an intimate knowledge of the area which allows us to ensure the best possible experience for you or your clients.

We've got boats for cruising, sailing, snorkelling and diving the Great Barrier Reef to suit individuals, couples or groups. Many incentive/conference programs and group tours now prefer to join more personal boating options which can also work out to be very economical.

Our inbound operation allows us to design a package for you or your clients including accommodation, tours, airport transfers, car hire and domestic travel Australia wide.

Seaplane and Helicopter flights to the Great Barrier Reef and specialised photographic and scenic flights can also be organised.

Australia is a big country and we have a wide variety of Fly or Drive Outback Safaris and Inland Fishing Safaris.
Giant Black Marlin - The Cairns area has long been recognised as the Black Marlin Capital of the World. Without a doubt, the area stretching from Cairns north to the reefs around beautiful Lizard Island would be the finest fishing region in the world. The Black Marlin of the Pacific Ocean migrate to this 240km section of the Great Barrier Reef annually to spawn. Beginning with the arrival of the first fish in early September, the marlin season extends through til late December. During the season our superb range of game boats and motherships are to be found on the outer edge of the reef in the Coral Sea. This quest is for the biggest and most powerful of all game fish - the legendary Black Marlin. There are various methods of fishing for the Giant Black, most successful being a live aboard game boat or game boat and mothership, providing flexibility to move where the fish are and not be restricted to a set area in this 240km stretch of the Great Barrier Reef. To overnight on the Great Barrier Reef has many advantages. Because these boats are located just minutes from the action, there is ample opportunity for the light tackle enthusiast or sportfisherman to also catch some table fish or battle with some of the speedsters that the reef is teeming with such as Wahoo, Mackerel, Barracuda, Dolphin Fish, Sailfish and Tunas, just to name a few! Or perhaps a morning dive or snorkel!

Live Aboard Game Boats - If not restricted by time constraints there are very definite advantages to be gained from overnighting on the reef. Firstly there is the opportunity to fish until later in the afternoon on day one, many of the skippers believe this to be the most productive part of the day. Secondly you avoid the trip home and then thirdly, the next morning you can be having breakfast, swim and snorkel on the reef before commencing fishing, while the day boats are travelling out to the reef. Our fleet of large sophisticated sportsfishing machines range in size from 12 metres to 20 metres (40' to 64') and are fully equipped with every conceivable comfort that one may require while at sea for any length of time.

Standard Packages include:
Fishing equipment (international standard), all meals on board, experienced crew (minimum of 3), while our Deluxe Packages also provide staterooms with ensuite, TV/stereo/video, fully airconditioned, ice-maker etc. Optional Extras: Dive equipment compressor, dive master-instructor, foreign language guide/interpreter.

Mothership/Game Boat Combination - This option provides the angler with even more luxurious accommodation. Our motherships range in size from 18 metres (60') to 33 metres (110') allowing the angler accommodation and cuisine to the standard of a five star hotel. Anglers live aboard the mothership and fish from our highly specialised game boats every day. As many as three individual game boats and their parties can use the facilities of the mothership.

Various motherships include:
1st class accommodation, highest standard meals (qualified chef), all drinks (open bar), scuba & snorkelling equipment/dive compressor, laundry facilities, windsurfers, waterskiing, up to 6 crew, seaplane transfer modern communication facilities.

Day Boats - For those preferring to be land based at night we have packages which include Lizard Island Resort or accommodation in Cairns. The anglers who regularly fish from a land base say that it is definitely worth having your feet on 'terra firma' each night. Haven't got much time? Don't worry, we also have fast day boats from I0 to 14 metres (30' to 46') capable of getting you out to the marlin grounds closest to Cairns in the shortest possible time. Very big fish are caught here every year and last season was no exception, when anglers on day trips caught Marlin over 1000 pounds. This is ideal for the visitors who want to fit in some of the area's other attractions, but still have a shot at that fish of a lifetime!

Medium to Heavy Tackle offshore lure fishing - (Adding a new dimension to fishing the Big Fish Capital of Australia) A recent development has been the discovery that sufficient medium to large blue marlin exist in the warm waters of the Coral Sea off Cairns to justify fishing for them as a target species. The really exciting thing about fishing the cobalt blue water above the deep canyons and sea mounts out off the edge of The Great Barrier Reef, is peering into the depths to get a glimpse of which marine missile it was that just exploded on to your lure! Is it a Blue Marlin or could it be a black? Or maybe a 150lb/68kg Dogtooth Tuna (imagine a Yellowfin Tuna with the teeth of a Rottweiler and the manners to match!) or a giant Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna, Barracuda, Mackerel or Mahi Mahi. Plenty of variety, plenty of action! A very exciting alternative to the giant black marlin fishing that has made Cairns famous and importantly this season commences just as the season for the giant blacks comes to a close, effectively extending the period in which anglers can fish for BIG fish through until at least Easter. A charter for 2 days or more will be custom designed to suit your individual requirements.

Salt Water Fly... Why?

All species targeted with conventional tackle can be caught on fly and saltwater fly fishing is proving to be a fantastic fishing challenge on the Great Barrier Reef. Big fish, including marlin and sailfish and ultra light tackle…the world records are here just waiting to be broken. The action can be red hot and our guides are equipped and expert.
LIGHT TACKLE BIG GAME - Every salt water game fisherman has a dream - a dream of finding and fighting the giant game fish over the magic four figures - the granders. The Cairns/Lizard Island fishing area of Australia's Great Barrier Reef has in every year since its first in 1966, given the anglers of the world their best chance of taking or tagging and releasing a game fish over 1000 lbs. The giant black marlin are the super fish of the GBR that make this dream come true. Every year more grander black marlin are brought to boat, some to weigh, some for tag and release in this Australian super hot spot than anywhere in the world. US angler, Richard Obach in 1966 landed the first of those giants of the Great Barrier Reef with his 1,064 pounder on 37 kg (80 lbs) test) while fishing with Captain George Bransford on Sea Baby. This fish became the first of many IGFA world records for black marlin from the Great Barrier Reef. This giant black marlin was not an isolated super fish. Every season in these beautiful and productive reef waters some anglers' dreams will come to reality in this home of the granders.
Peter Goadby

The options are endless - Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Pacific Sailfish, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Barracuda, Wahoo, Dogtooth Tuna, Dolphin Fish, Giant Trevally, the list goes on. So if you are looking for your first billfish, an elusive line class world record or just a great fishing trip with non-stop fishing action -Cairns is the place to be!
Cairns is always in the thick of things when world records are being mentioned and the past few seasons have been no exception, with record Black Marlin, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Giant Trevally just to name a few. With "tag & release" gaining momentum very few billfish are weighed these days and this conservation ethic is responsible for continuing world class light tackle action. With the constant evolution of boats, equipment and crews there are some top class young Captains and crews coming through the ranks to challenge the established masters, some of whom are recognised as amongst the best in the world. We have boats that specialise in trolling lures & baits or fishing live baits, casting lures and even saltwater fly for the impressive array of speedsters that haunt the warm turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Casting surface popper lures adds an exciting visual dimension to fishing for the "never say die" Giant Trevally. The sight of these brutes jostling each other out of the way to eat a piece of painted wood is guaranteed to give even the most hardened angler an adrenalin rush. This very specialised form of fishing has been perfected by our leading guides into a real art form and comes into the category of "not to be missed" while in Cairns.

Packages include: Day or extended trips, including all fishing equipment and meals. Day share charters also available.

Reef Fishing - Fishing for the delicious bottom dwelling fish of the Great Barrier Reef can be lots of fun. Superb eating fish such as Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Nannygai, Sweetlip head the list of dozens of species likely to be caught while fishing the deep holes around the reefs. Not knowing what you're going to pull up next certainly adds to
the anticipation and many of these fish pull hard enough to be more than worthy quarries even on the heavy hand lines necessary for this style of fishing. For the
sportsfishing enthusiast, rod and reel fishing can be arranged. A typical day starts at 07.00 and returns 17.00. Night trips, weekends and extended charters also available by special arrangement.
Home of the Barramundi

Cairns - Calm Water
The guides we use are experts in the use of light and even ultra light tackle. They have the equipment and skills to enable you to take full advantage of the chances that present themselves. Several I.G.F.A. world records have been established here in the past couple of years (on Queenfish and Barramundi) and there are plenty of others just begging to be broken. Thrill to the wild jumping of our famous Barramundi and Queenfish or the lightning strike and almost unstoppable run of the Mangrove Jack as he heads for cover. These low cost fishing trips journey through some of the finest mangrove and rainforest areas the Tropical North has to offer.

Many locations are surprisingly close to Cairns and provide the angler with a truly rewarding environmental experience. The incredibly prolific mangrove areas are just teeming with life from the majestic sea eagles and other bird life to the ultimate survivor "the saltwater crocodile". The photographic opportunities are magnificent. We have a range of packages available from 1 to 3 days or more.

Heli-Fishing - Sportfishing in the Far Northern Tropics takes on a new dimension as we fly into places so remote, it takes a helicopter to fish them. Soaring over the rainforest clad mountains you will visit isolatedlagoons and crystal clear mountain rivers that abound with fish and wildlife. We target such renowned species as the Barramundi, Sooty Grunter, Jungle Perch, (Mountain Trout) and Tarpon.You are guaranteed the trip of a lifetime with our experienced pilots and guides. Whether lure fishing or fly casting we ensure you use the latest tackle technology. Hunting for wild boar or a combination hunting/fishing trip can be tailored to your requirements.

Packages include: day or extended trips, all fishing tackle, meals and drinks.

Fly Fishing - (The fastest growing method of fishing in Cairns!) Increasing demand for this style of fishing has meant that we now have expert guides available to tackle everything from fresh-water species such as Jungle Perch, Sooty Grunter and Tarpon to estuary fish like our famous Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Queenfish and Trevally. The Barrier Reef offers another dimension to this fast growing sport with Marlin and Sailfish truly the ultimate achievement for the saltwater flyfishing enthusiast and we have the best guides available.

Blue Water - A very specialised branch of the art is practised here by some very talented guides who have notched up world record captures recently on the abundant small Black Marlin in the winter and spring months. Other species targeted are Tuna, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Giant Trevally, Wahoo, Dolphin Fish etc. Typically using 10 weight to 16 weight tackle.

Estuary and Rivers - The powerful jumps of the mighty barramundi with their flared gills will make you appreciate why this is the most sought after light tackle sportfish in Australia, and they just love flies. Other candidates for wet fly or "popper" fly are Mangrove Jacks, Trevally, Estuary Cod, Queenfish, Archer Fish etc. Typically using 10 weight to 16 weight tackle.

Freshwater - These fast flowing rainforest streams are home to the aerobatic little "chrome plated" variety of Tarpon that we have in Australia, the plucky little Jungle Perch and the particularly bold Sooty Grunter- all 3 are suckers for fly! Typically using 6 weight to 9 weight tackle.

Packages Include: Quality gear is available, however anglers are encouraged to bring their own.

Lake Tinaroo - Surprisingly close to Cairns, Lake Tinaroo has a lot to offer the angler who seeks "bigger and better" fish. The stories that abound about the size of the "Barramundi" in this gentle lake prove themselves in the record books. We offer fully guided day trips, although, why not stay for a little longer? Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton tablelands offers a very picturesque and civilized alternative to our more remote locations. Choose from 4 star lodges to cozy cabins to charming B&B's - the
family will have plenty to see and do whilst you pit your skills against the biggest "Barra" you ever saw.

Weipa - Situated on the West Coast of Cape York in the Gulf of Carpentaria lies the mining town of Weipa. There are daily flights but all the roads leading into and out of Weipa are unsealed maintaining it's remoteness. Weipa is the starting point and base for a wide variety of fishing expeditions including an extended liveaboard safari. The waterways adjacent to Weipa are extensive; blue water, beaches, headlands, mangrove rivers and creeks. Combined with the diversity of species available to be targeted and the wilderness of the coastline this is the fishing safari of a lifetime,
a dream come true! Weipa is best known for it's Barramundi and the proximity of its very large rivers. As well as the "Barra", the variety and size of other species available continue to surprise and impress anglers fishing inland as well as offshore with a huge number of light tackle salt water species reported. The prevailing south easterly trade winds that blow for most of the dry season are all off shore providing ideal inshore conditions, making this side of the cape a fly fishing and light tackle sport fishing mecca.

Seisia - Seisia provides a base from which to access the remote wilderness of Cape York for a week of the most mind blowing fishing you will ever experience. Fish two oceans - both sides of Cape York, just 15 minutes ramp to ramp. The sportsfishing opportunities both salt water and fresh are exceptional. The Jardine and Jacky Jacky rivers are one of Cape York's pristine wilderness areas and home to a vast array of tropical sportsfish. Our professional guide based in Seisia will take you to some of the best fishing spots in the world - whether you are after your first "Barra" or want to experience the thrill of never knowing just what you're going to pull up next, Seisia is the place to visit. Gateway to the Torres Strait, Seisia is located on the beachfront, 8km NW of Bamaga and is the smallest of the communities of the Northern Peninsula. Daily flights to Bamaga airstrip maintain year round access as during the "Wet" this northern most tip of Australia becomes isolated by road. It is an absolute paradise for the angler, adventurer, birdwatcher, naturalist, history buff and beach comber alike!

PRINCESS CHARLOTTE BAY - Extended Charters. This enormous bay is located approximately 500kms NW of Cairns and is largely protected from the prevailing SE trade-winds. The Bay has a large number of river systems draining into it and offers every type of fishing within a radius of 40 miles. Because of the remote nature of this area, it hasn't been subjected to the fishing pressures that places closer to major population centres have been. There are so many choices here you won't know where to start! This is truly a light tackle sports fisherman's heaven, everything from superb Barramundi fishing in the waterways running into the Bay to light tackle game fishing on the nearby reefs for Giant Trevally, Tuna, Mackerel, etc. Uninhabited tropical islands and deserted sand cays dot the turquoise blue waters offshore to complete this idyllic setting. Delicious prawns and succulent mudcrabs are abundant and so too are the big rock oysters. Combined with fresh fish you catch daily they will provide seafood banquets fit for a king. The key to these packages is not only the variety of fish available but the flexibility offered by our very experienced guides, who can cater for every facet of fishing from fly fishing, lure casting, livebaiting through to light tackle gamefishing to enable you to get the most out of this fishing paradise.

Options include: Live aboard gameboat or mothership with aluminium sportsfishing dinghies, seaplane transfer or boat ex Cairns.

Lizard Island - A luxury resort, located 240kms (150 miles) north of Cairns and 27kms from the mainland right on the Great Barrier Reef. A maximum of 64 guests can be accommodated in private suites which are nestled amongst coconut palms situated on 1000 hectares of unspoilt National Park. The island already enjoys an international reputation for marlin fishing, however this is only one aspect of bluewater action that can be experienced within a 45 minute boat ride. The area is one of the best in the world for light and medium tackle game and sport fishing, offering potential records for species as diverse as Yellowfin, and Dogtooth Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin Fish, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Giant Trevally, Cobia, Rainbow Runner and a score of others. Not only is Lizard Island famous for its fishing but just a short boat trip away lies the ultimate dive and snorkel locations such as The Cod Hole and the famous Ribbon Reefs.

Packages Include: Return transfer from Cairns (one hour flight), all meals on the island, 40' game boat, crew and fishing equipment, windsurfing, catamaran sailing, water skiing, glass bottom boat trips, paddle skis, archery and bird watching.

Cape York Fishing Lodges - Both these lodges are remote but comfortable, situated at the northernmost tip of Australia providing natural rainforest and bushland. With the tides of two great oceans swirling at your feet, the blue waters of the Torres Strait Islands on your doorstep and hundreds of miles of meandering jungle clad waterways (including the mighty Jardine River within an hours drive) you'd expect great fishing and you'll have it. Our guides can provide you with practically every form of fishing, blue water trolling, rock fishing, beach, estuary and fresh water fishing. Immediately in front of your accommodation you can hook up with Trevally, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Barracuda and Queenfish or fish the Jardine River and Jacky Jacky Creek for tackle busting, Barramundi and the prehistoric Saratoga.

Your package will include: Return transfers from Cairns, all meals, accommodation at the Lodges or live aboar mothership, guide, boats and fishing equipment. Fly fishing
enthusiasts are encouraged to bring along their own tackle.

Moreton Bay - Brisbane - Just 17 nautical miles off Cape Moreton near Brisbane (Queensland's Capital city) is one of Australia's best Blue Marlin fisheries. In the deep waters off the continental shelf fish for Blue Marlin of over 800lbs (Australian World record) Black and Striped Marlin in the 136kg (300lb) vicinity and Sailfish up to 55kg (120lb). The best light tackle months for marlin and sailfish are December through to May, while your chance of a record Blue Marlin is all year round. The Moreton Bay area is a great option for those seeking big fish outside the Cairns' Giant Black Marlin season. Moreton Bay offers some great alternatives with very large Tiger Sharks and Yellowfin Tuna available.

Packages Include: Day or extended trips, fishing equipment, meals and drinks plus hotel transfers.

Cape Bowling Green -Townsville (Light tackle gamefishing for Marlin and Sailfish)
Cape Bowling Green is ideal for light tackle gamefishing and saltwater flyfishing for small Black Marlin and Pacific Sailfish. The fish range in size from I0 to 80kg (20 to 180lbs) for Marlin and 15 to 55kg (30 to 120lbs) for Sailfish. Prime time to fish Cape Bowling Green is July through mid-September. Anglers can expect up to 10 billfish per day. Multiple hook-ups are commonplace and the pace of fishing is hectic and anglers can usually expect fishing activity throughout most of the day.
Other species caught on the Cape Bowling Green grounds include Narrow Barred Mackerel, Longtail Tuna, Mackerel Tuna, Dolphin Fish, Trevally and Cobia. Cape Bowling Green is best fished by extended live aboard charter, although day trips are also possible. On extended charters, overnight anchorages are in perfectly protected waters in the lee of Cape Bowling Green itself, only 15 minutes from the fishing grounds.

Cardwell - Hinchinbrook Channel (True Wilderness Fishing Close to Cairns)
It's no longer a secret that this area has consistently been producing outstanding numbers of Barramundi! Over the last few seasons the impressive catch rates (mostly tag & release of course) have been matched only by the beautiful scenery and make it very worth while to travel down to this naturally beautiful area for a few days fishing from Cairns. Largely protected from the South East by the imposing mountainous beauty of the largest National Park Island in the world and sheltered from the South West and West by the Cardwell Range there are some superb little pristine estuaries ideally suited to lure casting, fly fishing or live bait fishing for Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Threadfin, Salmon, Fingermark, Trevally, Tarpon, Queenfish etc. The serious estuary anglers will think they're in paradise - and they are!

Packages Include: Transfers, accommodation, meals, fishing equipment and customised fishing boat. (Suggested maximum 2 anglers per boat.) Some fly fishing guides have gear available however you are encouraged to bring your own.

Whitsunday Islands - Laguna Quays The "Whitsundays" is a group of islands dotted around in the sheltered waters between the Great Barrier Reef and the Mainland. The natural beauty of these islands, the warm blue sheltered waters and surrounding reefs makes this the premier sailing/cruising location of Australia. Ideally located on the mainland within a few miles of the Whitsundays is "Laguna Quays", a new resort which boasts a superb David Graham designed golf course and a 15 hectare man made water
sports lagoon for activities such as sailing, windsurfing and learning to scuba dive. There is very good light tackle gamefishing available between April and January, fishing for small black marlin, Pacific sailfish, mackerel and tuna. Guided barramundi charters are also available.

Gamefishing Packages Include: Hourly rates, half day or full day charters.

Mooloolaba - Sunshine Coast Just one hours drive north from Brisbane International Airport, Mooloolaba offers an all weather safe port with some of the best on shore facilities in Queensland. Light tackle Black Marlin & Sailfish abound just 20 minutes from port during the months of November through to April, their size averages about 35 kg. Heavy tackle for Black, Blue & Striped Marlin during the months of January through to July. Fishing is just over an hour to the Continental Shelf where 1000lb Blue Marlin have been fought but there is still to be one landed. Reef fish abound on the Barwon Banks all year round, only one hours steam from port.

Cairns Reef Charter Services
P.O. Box 5788
Cairns Queensland 4870
1800 119 044

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