August 24, 2017

Fishing on the Great Barrier Reef

If someone were to ask, I'm not one who necessarily enjoys fishing. However, if an offer to fish on the Great Barrier Reef comes along there is no way I am passing it up! And that opportunity was offered up by my first WWOOF hosts who are avid fishers and were keen to show Georgina and I the reef.

While I was staying in Rossville, Queensland we were very lucky the weather cooperated and we were able to get out on the ocean. Based on the size of my host's boat we needed near perfect conditions to safely handle the reef, meaning waves and wind had to be minimal.

We loaded up the car at 5AM and set out for the Bloomfield river ramp which is a few hundred meters away from the mouth of the river where it opens up to the ocean. From there we continued on for 45 minutes until we reached Pickersgill Reef, about 20km out.

Once we got out there it was slow going. It was difficult to find a spot where the fish were in big groups; on the sonar it appeared the fish were dispersing as soon as we set anchor. Our hosts have previously gone out and completed their boat's quota in a few hours. And during this trip it took a few hours before we even had any bites! Grandpa Foss caught the first fish of the day, and had probably caught at least ten before I snagged my first one. And while we didn't come close to filling our boat quota but we at least didn't go empty handed.

A blacktip rockcod - my first catch of the day!

After everyone else had caught several fish, I was sure I would return home without catching a single one... this was probably three hours in already. But as soon as I caught my first one they just kept coming! Of the nine fish I caught I think I had seven different species. My first fish, a blacktip rockcod was by far the highlight of my day. Look how cute he is! Kudos to John who abandoned hopes of catching any fish so he could re-bait Georgina and I's line every five minutes. For about an hour the two of us we're pulling up fish every few minutes.

My Trevally fish on the right was the biggest of the day!
Even though I was a late bloomer I brought in the biggest fish of the day, and I reel that sucker in all by myself! Georgina and I held first and second place for our trevally catches, clearing giving a good show for our first fishing expedition.

I would love to get out again and hopefully have some more active fish. It's not unheard of for people to catch reef sharks in the area. Or tuna! All I wanted was a fat, fresh tuna... mmm fresh sashimi I'll keep that dream alive until next time.

Georgina brought in the biggest haul for the day.

Pretty fishy with camouflage designs. I would love to know the name of this one. 


  1. Your pictures are awesome. Thank you for these updates, I love being able to follow your adventures.