Finding new spots Fishing Cairns

Fishing Cairns

In late 2020, we moved north and I started fishing Cairns and finding new spots.

Our first trip we headed south, and found some good Wonky Holes holding  good Scarlet Sea Perch.

On the second we headed north. The topic of this blog.

While I have been fishing Cairns before in my marlin boat days, I didn’t get a chance to fully explore the area.

Too busy trolling off the shelf and up at Lizard.

Plus that was many years ago now!

So it was great to be able to spend some time in an area that has long fascinated me.

Fishing Cairns and finding new spots has been great fun in terms of fish catches. Check out the video below.


Finding new spots is my absolute favourite thing to do.

It's also how I am so successful catching trophy fish.

What looks like nothing on the fish finder screen to most anglers (even experienced weekend warriors) is often missed because they just haven't spent years on the water.

Take a look at our Pearl Perch blog to see what I mean.

Because time on the water with a attitude of discovery really matters!

To give you an idea, watch my Fingermark Strategies Workshop for ideas that you can adapt to species in your area.


Getting back to our day Fishing Cairns and finding new spots around that area.

Finding new spots using deep water side imager fish finder

To explore the area I used my GARMIN 8412 with GT51 transducer.

This allows me to look for anomalies in the bottom that indicate a closer look is required.

To help you get the most of your electronics, we cover the fundamentals in our Sounder Skills 1 course.

It's only $20 Australian at the moment and well worth a look.

If you don't learn anything let me know and I'll give you your money back.

How to use your fish finder

Our most popular course to get you finding new spots and catching good fish.


First steps finding good fish.

So we headed out for our day fishing Cairns and the first thing on my mind was finding some rubble or other flutter on the bottom.

It wasn't long before I stumbled across something that looked promising.

Using slow pitch jigging, I picked up some Gold Spot Trevally.

These hard fighters can be a bit of a nuisance as they hang a bit higher in the water than the good eating fish.

Hence they grab the jigs first.

Fishing Cairns and our newly discovered spots was initially proving frustrating.

Lures or Bait

Switching to bait (pillies) I was immediately hit by a large cod.

These large fish fight HARD for the first 10 metres then they are a dead weight.

This guy raced for cover and actually succeeded in bricking me.

But as I demonstrate in the video, you can outsmart them.

By giving a little slack and being patient, really focus on your line.

At the slightest movement (indicating they are moving from the hole) get stuck into them again.


Large cod caught fishing cairns

Finally got this guy to the boat after a tussle on the bottom. Big cod like this are very susceptible to barotrauma so try and bring them up slow - if the tax man is not present.

But they are very susceptible to Barotrauma.

So if there are no sharks around, try and bring them up slow.

If they do have some bloat, I use a venting tool (get them at tackle shops) to vent the air so they can swim back down.

This guy released easily as I didn't scull drag him up.

Slow pitch jigging on Wonky Holes

Of course I wouldn't have a day fishing Cairns without looking for some Wonky Holes.

These submerged aquifers are easy to find if you know how.

Which I explain in my Wonky Holes course.

And we picked up this nice Nannygai and a Robinson's Sea Bream (one of the best eating fish in the sea) for dinner.

To see what Wonky Holes look like underwater click >> here.

Scarlet sea perch fishing Cairns

Beautiful eating size Scarlet Sea Perch caught on a Wonky Hole we found while finding new spots fishing Cairns.

Robinsons sea bream caught fishing Cairns

Robinson's Sea Bream have delicate super white flesh and are delicious.

Gear Used

I hope by now you can see the benefits of finding new ground.

To do so it will also help if you have a good grasp of your sounder settings.


We offer a comprehensive course on how to best use your sounder called Sounder Skills 2.

Sounder Skills 2 online course



get started today



I hope you enjoyed the video of our day fishing Cairns and finding new spots.

In addition, here are a few more free resources you may find helpful and entertaining.



New here?

Enter your name and email to go in the draw for a Masterclass with me and to receive tips and action fishing videos fortnightly.


About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

Facebook comments

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field