With 15 knots of breeze tossing around a sloppy sea, it probably wasn’t the best day to be punching out to the Great Barrier Reef. However, it was our last day fishing around the beautiful Orpheus Island area and nothin’ was going to stop me from making the big 25 nautical mile run east.


Luckily Orpheus Island offered up some protection. 


With all the locals opting to stay home on account of the weather, we launched the Stabicraft 1650 at the empty Taylors Beach boat ramp and slowly negotiated the maze of submerged sand banks. The destination for the day was Bramble Reef but we didn’t make it far before running into some huge schools of mack tuna feeding on micro bait. No matter the fish, if it’s busting up on the surface in big numbers, you’ve just got to have a cast – and we did.  


Danny loving the mac tuna sessions (left). The nosey locals (right).



After some insane action on the light spinning rods, we grimaced and averted our gaze from the fish frothing all around us. We had to catch the tide change on the reef and the mac tuna distraction had cost us an hour. As we left the lee of Orpheus Island, the sea really picked up. We knew we’d have protection from the elements out at Bramble, but it didn’t change the fact that we still had to slog out the sou’easter for 10 long nautical miles.


As the swell dropped and the wind died, it was clear we’d made it out to the reef. Brown from afar but rainbow coloured up close, the protruding coral adjacent to the deep drop off certainly looked fishy. A lone commercial mackerel boat zigzagged past us as we plopped the first lures into the water.


With the tide change only an hour out, we trolled, popped, stickbaited and even bottom bounced our little hearts out for an awesome booty consisting of Spanish mackerel, cobia and coral trout – mmm. A couple of hours later we made the call to head on home as we were famished and a tasty dinner was on ice in the esky.


The first Spanish of the trip!


Trout time.


Cool as a cobia.


Crazy fun on light tackle.


As we cruised back to the ramp I had a good feeling that we might run into our good friend, the mac tuna again. And whadda know, there they were, smashing bait in exactly the same spot. As the sun set we all had a cast and rounded out an awesome days fishing with a couple of screaming runs. 


"Last cast".



Is there a fish you want me to attempt to catch? A location I should fish? A photographic challenge? You tell me. Either email fishfingers18@yahoo.com or leave a comment below.


Until next week.


Jack Murphy


© JackMurphy Fishing and Photography



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