Bligh Reef

If you like variety of species and fishing options, Bligh Reef is for you.

  • Great GT fishing, with lots of GTs between 10-20kg, and enough seriously big ones to keep you on your toes!
  • Cast the shallow reef flats with light or heavy spin gear for incredible variety of species
  • Troll the outer edge of the reef for huge dogtooth tuna, yellowfin, mackerel and wahoo
  • Black marlin are also a likely species while trolling the reef edge
  • Light & heavy jigging for coral trout, wrasse, emperor and a huge variety of other species
  • Common to catch over 50 fish per boat per day lurecasting the shallow reef flats
  • Bligh Reef is visited as part of the Far Northern Explorer Program

Part of the Far Northern Explorer Trip zone, Bligh Reef is named after the famous captain Bligh, who visited this area on his way to Tahiti. This is one of the most remote areas of Australia, and is rarely visited. The general sportfishing here is simply amazing, and this reef provides the opportunity to combine inshore sportfishing for mackerel, barramundi, mangrove jacks and queenfish, with all of the fabulous bluewater options such as GT casting, lurecasting the reef flats, deepwater jigging, marlin trolling and general bluewater sportfishing. Of course, the exact types of fishing done on each trip will be decided by what the majority of guests each week would like to do, so barra fishing may not be available on all Bligh reef mixed group trips. Bligh Reef is visited as part of our Far Northern Explorer trip schedule, with a limited number of annual trips. Bligh Reef can be visited on a 4 or 5 nigh trip package, and is also visited on the 6 Day Bligh/Forbes/Margaret Bay Ultimate Adventure once per year . Check the Rates and Dates page for exact trip times.

Bligh Reef Species Guide

Bligh Reef Species Guide The bar chart shows how Bligh Reef compares to our other locations in terms of the main sportfish that we target. Fishing for GTs at Bligh reef can be absolutley spectacular, but you will find the GTs on average to be smaller(10-20kg on average, so still nice fish!) than other destinations, but there’s plenty of them. Of course there’s also some quite large GTs at Bligh as well, with plenty of 40kg+ specimens coming from this area in recent years. The GT fishing, while spectacular, is not the main reason for visiting Bligh reef, it’s the huge diversity of species you can be catching that brings anglers back to this area. It is possible to be walking a sand flat and sight casting to a GT or golden trevally in the morning, and then trolling a reef entrance in the afternoon for a big dogtooth, with maybe a spot of lurecasting on the reef shallows on the way.

Depending on which area we choose to fish, there are beautiful protected islands to anchor behind, rivers teeming with barramundi and mangrove jacks, and then of course the spectacular bluewater casting trolling and jigging.

The common reef species that you’re likely to catch include coral trout, red throat emperor, long nose emperor, spangled emperor, red bass, maori wrasse, maori sea perch, bluefin trevally, many varieties of groupers, green jobfish, big eye emperor, and the list goes on and on.

When do we fish Bligh Reef?

As part of the Far Northern Explorer Trips each year, Bligh Reef is usually visited on the 4-5 night Far Northern Explorer Trips, however, the Far Northern Explorer trips visit a massive Reef area covering over 5000sq Nautical Miles of Reef. Aside from one Ultimate Adventure each year we do not schedule specific trips to Bligh Reef, but fish it as part of the Far Northern Explorer trip options, which may visit any variety of locations based on weather and fishing.

Getting to Bligh Reef

Even though this reef complex is only 85 kilometres offshore, there is simply nothing else here. To access Bligh reef, you’ll board a plane in Cairns and fly to Lockhart River(population of about 300 people). You’ll be met at Lockhart River and driven by 4wd on a bush track through the remote Cape York wilderness for a 1 hour trip to Portland Roads(population 20 people). The mothership will be anchored in the bay at Portland roads, where we’ll be waiting to pick you up from the beach and travel the short distance out to Bligh Reef to start fishing. We’ll fish our way out to the reef, or head north to fish the islands and rivers, depending on guests choices.

Available Dates & How to Make a Booking

It’s Easy! Just Contact Us and tell us what species you are interested in catching, or which trip you like the sound of, and we’ll get back to you with pricing, available dates and all the info you need. Alternately, you can choose your own trip dates and location from the Rates & Dates page, and then email or fax us a completed Booking Form. We would love to discuss your next trip, so please Contact Us and we look forward to making your next fishing adventure a reality.