Coral Bay - outside the reef

Hi Folks

Heading to CBay next week and will be the first time with a boat capable of heading out behind the reef and beyond.  Would appreciate some of the groups wisdom about do's and don't s, how far out do we need to head to find a nice big red and if there are any good spots to take the family (13 & 9yr old) for a fish or day trip etc.

What's your experience???

Cheers in advance


Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 16481

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 Best tip that was given to

Wed, 2021-03-24 05:06

 Best tip that was given to me was . Don't throw old bait or carcasses overboard , store in a bucket . Also don't wash your hands in the water either have a bucket of clean water on board for that . Any blood or scraps will bring the sharks in quicker. Throw scraps over well away from area your fishing 

Using this method last time up there we only lost a handful of fish to sharks over 2 weeks. 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

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Date Joined: 11/12/17

 Thanks Faulkner family.  

Thu, 2021-03-25 22:49

 Thanks Faulkner family.   really appreciate that and based on other comments throughout fishwrecked it seems that the sharks are getting worse each year.   we will definitely follow your advice.

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Date Joined: 19/06/14

South passage

Wed, 2021-03-24 06:19

Treat it with a more than healthy dose of respect. Always carry enough fuel to get back in the North passage if the swell is big. If you're unsure of conditions don't risk it, there's plenty of good places to fish out of the northern passage.


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Rob H's picture

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Date Joined: 18/01/12

 Also many aren't aware that

Wed, 2021-03-24 06:30

 Also many aren't aware that swell doesn't need to get bigger to change the conditions there.

Just the tide change to outgoing will make a substantial change to it even if the swell is dropping.

As you mentioned suffice to fuel and daylight to give you an alternative especially as while it is easier to come in than exit it is also harder to see the conditions from outside.


 Give a man a mask, and he'll show you his true face...



The older you get the more you realize that no one has a f++king clue what they're doing.

Everyone's just winging it.


Posts: 9

Date Joined: 11/12/17

 We certainly will Silver

Thu, 2021-03-25 22:52

 We certainly will Silver Fox.   Last time we were there we sat and watched the south passage for a while and it got pretty gnarly.  for this trip I think we'll do our searching via the north passage.

Iceman's picture

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Date Joined: 17/03/09

North Passage & Mackies

Wed, 2021-03-24 07:42

 As a first timer years ago I decided to go out via the north passage. Takes a bit longer but a safer option if the swell is up.

If chasing mackies along the back of the reef I was told not to troll in a straight line but zigzag along the drop off. Had great success in one day hooking up to a dozen mackies in a 2 hour session. Use both 7mtr and 3 mtr lures.

Good luck



Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers - Level 1, 11 Hobsons Gate Currambine 


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Date Joined: 14/05/13


Wed, 2021-03-24 09:30


North passage for first timers - and stay very close to the markers - there are bommies ready to get you if you stray a little.

If you want to go South passage would advise to watch a few go thru first and maybe follow the pro boats. Even without much swell the current can turn it into a washing machine, we always wore life jackets whilst crossing and that was in a 27ft Noosa. 

Don't want to scare you but be extremely vigilant and careful - i lost 2 close friends up there and have attached the coroners report - note the 3 recommendations.

1) wear a life jacket, 2) have a water activated epirb, 3) notify sea rescue.

Sea rescue was in the shopping centre last time i was there and we always went and said gday and registered details before our first trip out (normally after booking into accomodation).



Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 16481

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 If it's the 2 I know they

Wed, 2021-03-24 09:38

 If it's the 2 I know they were extremely experienced and in a big boat. Was a sad day for those that knew them 


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Posts: 9

Date Joined: 11/12/17

 Thanks Mooseknuckle.   Great

Thu, 2021-03-25 22:55

 Thanks Mooseknuckle.   Great reminder for everyone hey!   sorry to hear about your mates.

Posts: 9

Date Joined: 11/12/17

 That is great Iceman,

Thu, 2021-03-25 22:53

 That is great Iceman, hopefully you'll see me on here in a couple of weeks with a Mackie or two.

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Date Joined: 21/05/12

 all before posts is true and

Wed, 2021-03-24 11:41

 all before posts is true and by now u should be sos hit scared to never use south passage

 dont write south passage off, pick your weather, keep an eye as u go out where the leads are- once u out  S passage turn south and do fig 8's behind reef -just outside the sanctuary zone

i always trawl up some spaniards there,not yet not got any there, no need to go further than about 1 nm south then back to the passage , turning maybe 200m from the transit leads line

80m used to have good reds in - but they been hammered

good 1 for the kids 

head out towards north passage- way to mauds landing

where u would normally start thinking of turning for north passage keep going northish- u will see the sand drop off fairly sharp - anchor on there - burley - can of catfood with holes and a half brick the 1st time i got shown 20 yrs ago

the kids will catch loads of emperor there they feed on the sandbar on tide changes - but best on dusk

if u want i have coords for the manta cleaner station and the best dive sites well outside the reserve, the gentlemans agreement is no fishihng in these spots


Posts: 9

Date Joined: 11/12/17

 Hi Shark1, that is so

Thu, 2021-03-25 23:05

 Hi Shark1, that is so generous mate.   would love to get some further dive spots and cleaner station info from you.   This is my first time posting on here so not sure of the process in sharing that info???

Looking forward to sharing the story about the kids fishing spot too mate.   Nothing better than a day out watching the kids catch fish all day!

Posts: 169

Date Joined: 27/05/11

 @Shark1, when chasing

Sat, 2021-04-03 16:55

 @Shark1, when chasing spango's in the area you describe above, what hook size do you suggest. I assume a light running sinker or floating a bait in the buely trail? Hoping to get my kids onto some next week.

Simo_'s picture

Posts: 1778

Date Joined: 13/11/06

 What app you using for

Fri, 2021-03-26 18:01

 What app you using for weather forecast? I recommend buoyweather, you have to pay for it but.



Bring on April

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Date Joined: 11/12/17

 Hey Simmo, I use Willy

Fri, 2021-03-26 21:12

 Hey Simmo, I use Willy Weather mostly.  Seabreeze sometimes but I don't trust that too much.


Posts: 9

Date Joined: 11/12/17

I can confirm...

Thu, 2021-04-08 15:23

That whenever you get a decent fish on the line up here the dreaded tax man is always there to take his share.  Did not manage to pull one decent fish up from the deep without getting chomped.  We were only in 60-70m of water though.  The local news is that you need to go well into the 100s to get around them and even then there are no guarantees. 

We did however manage to land a nice Wahoo and then when back inside the reef had an awesome experience of sitting in the boat getting ready for a swim when all of a sudden we looked in the water and there were squid everywhere.  Swimming right at us.  So happy we were out of the sanctuary zones!  

After landing dinner we got in for a swim and had two Dugongs swim around with us for a while.  Mumma and Bubba.  Despite not much luck on the first trip out behind the reef there will be more (provided the Cyclone passes us by).  

Simo_'s picture

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Date Joined: 13/11/06

 Not good to hear about the

Thu, 2021-04-08 18:31

 Not good to hear about the sharks. Did you go north or south?


Bring on April

Posts: 9

Date Joined: 11/12/17

 We went out through the

Tue, 2021-04-13 09:24

 We went out through the South and back through the North.  We had a great day weather wise and followed a couple of other boats out.  Wind kicked up in the afternoon so the North passage felt much safer plus we had worked our way north anyway.