Ribbon Reefs

The iconic northern Great Barrier Reef, a sportfishing paradise

  • Excellent GT fishing
  • Light tackle lurecasting the reef flats for groupers, red bass, emperors, and much more
  • Big spanish mackerel trolling the reef edges
  • Great reef fishing for coral trout, emperor and other reef fish
  • Black marlin, Yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dogtooth are possible on the outside edge of the reef
  • Incredible snorkelling and scuba diving, and spectacular sand cays to explore
  • Accessed on a Mothership Drive out trip

Ribbon Reef Location Information

The Ribbon Reefs were the scene of the iconic and groundbreaking video by Malcolm Florence titled “The Great Reef Exploration”, filmed in the late 1970’s. Back in the seventies, this area was considered the ultimate in remote Sportfishing locations – incredibly remote, pristine reefs that could only be accessed by large vessels with significant fuel capacity.

Not much has changed really….And the fishing is just as good as it ever was. It’s still very remote, and rarely fished.

The Ribbon Reefs are famous for the incredible fishing for giant black marlin, and this 100 mile stretch of reef is the single best place in the world to catch giant black marlin. But it’s not just marlin that find these waters incredibly appealing. This stretch of reef is home to a massive variety of species, so no matter what bluewater species you want to catch, this is a trip not to miss.

Ribbon Reefs Species Guide

The bar chart shows how the Ribbon Reefs compare to our other locations in terms of the main sportfish that we target. Cast the reef edge for GTs, pull a coral trout from a shallow reef or troll the reef edge for big mackerel, yellowfin and wahoo. What will you do on the second day?

Every day on the ribbon reefs brings new possibilities, and with such a variety of fishing styles and species available, this location is perfect for anglers wanting to do a bit of everything.  There’s lots of GTs here, but they are not often as big on average as at some of the other areas we visit, but they can be prolific during October and November.

We’ll work our way between different anchorages each day, and you’ll fish a very large area of reef on this trip, meaning plenty of options for different types of fishing.

When do we fish the Ribbon Reefs?

The Ribbon Reefs provide excellent year round fishing, but we access the area on our Extended Special Adventure trips & Whole Boat Corporate Packages. Please check the Rates and Dates page for more information

Getting to The Ribbon Reefs

The Ribbon Reefs can be visited as part of our Extended & Special Adventure trips flying out from Cairns directly onto the reef.

You’ll then have up to 9 full days fishing depending on trip choice.

You can also customise a Ribbon Reefs trip if you want to book the whole boat, just contact us for more details on a customised charter option.

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. Because we have so many trip options available, we like to either talk to you or chat by email before you make a booking so we can be sure that you’re doing the trip that best matches the species you want to catch and the styles of fishing you want to do.

Alternately, you can choose your own trip dates and location from the Rates & Dates page, and then Contact us to confirm availability and trip details.

For full information about all aspects of  a Ribbon Reefs trip, or any other trip, please call or email us and we’ll be able to send you a detailed information booklet that covers every question you’ll ever have about any trip, as well as a brochure, and a 2 hour promotional DVD that highlights all of the locations we visit.

Rates&Dates Contact Us Booking Form Information Booklet

Location Guide

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Location & Species

Species guide at each location


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Detailed description of each package charter & the fishing styles they offer