Bait To Plate – Kevin Collins Guide To Fishing in the Whitsundays

When you travel one of the best parts is being able to enjoy the local food and seeing first hand where it came from and how it got to your plate.

Our mate, Kevin Collins, local restaurateur (Fish D’vine is his award-winning restaurant, check out our Best Eats blog post for more) and all-around Airlie Beach legend, has put pen to paper with his Bait to Plate blog. A great read for fisherman keen for insider tips on fishing the Whitsundays or anyone that simply LOVES seafood and on the hunt for new & creative ways to serve up delicious takings from the sea.

This extraction from his latest post is sure to be helpful for future charterers looking for local tips on fishing from their bareboat and what you may find below…

Bait to Plate

“When we travel, away from the day to day time constraints of work, food can and really should be a big part of our day. We have time. Time to gather good raw ingredients, be it at local market stalls, farm gates of local harvesting, which can include fishing when we are on or near the water. It really is and should be a chance to reconnect with food, away from the supermarket shelves and help our kids understand the food heritage we are blessed with in this country.

Bait To Plate Kevin Collins

A whole fish, baked in foil, with just some lemon, butter and a few herbs are one of life’s great simple meals. Up the ante and make this fish a Coral Trout, which regularly fetches upwards of $50 a kilo these days and it can be a meal which would be eye-watering expensive in a restaurant but a cost-effective and amazing food experience to share with family or friends.  On a trip through Hong Kong some years ago I saw a Coral Trout in a live fish tank in a Hong Kong restaurant where the conversion rate put that single fish a little north of $1000 Australian dollars, and here we are for the cost of a packet of pilchards and a bit of time, able to do it just about any time we get on the water.

Bait To Plate Kevin Collins

I do get asked a lot by people hiring bareboats, ‘How do I catch fish like these?’.  The simple answer is to moor the yacht and get into your tender to fish. The clear waters around the reef islands mean it is easy to see the edges of the fringing reefs and drifting along the bombie edges or even trolling some 3-meter-deep lures along the reef edges at or near low tide is just about a sure-fire way of picking up a trout for dinner.

The fish used in this story came from Shaw Island and fantastic protected anchorage to the South of Linderman. We caught some lovely Coral Trout and a heap of Grassy Sweetlip on the North Eastern end of the little island located 20 29 05 S and 149 03 16 E fishing in about 12 meters of water, just of the fringing reef edge.”

To read more from Kevin & follow his adventures head over to his website & blog, Bait To Plate, and to find out more about fishing while on charter check out our Fishing page

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