Fish recipes to cook when you go fishing and catch dinner - Whitsunday Escape
Skipper yourself bareboat charter company

Fish recipes to cook when you go fishing and catch dinner

Catch your dinner with Whitsunday Escape

Kids and family fishing in the Whitsundays from a bareboat with Whitsunday EscapeWe often get asked if you are allowed to go fishing when on charter in the Whitsundays. Yes! You sure are. There is a fishing zone map which details exactly which areas you are allowed to fish in, and which areas are protected ‘green zones’. We have a copy of this map on every boat. Please pay careful attention to the map to ensure you are only fishing in the permitted areas.

More info on fishing zones.

If you catch something tasty, like an emperor, coral trout, spanish mackerel, and others, you can then cook up a feast! There’s nothing quite like a freshly caught fish, that you caught yourself, cooked up within hours.

All fish should be scaled and gutted prior to cooking. 

Fish cooking recipes for the Whitsundays

BBQ Coral Trout
Alternate: Red emperor, Snapper

Serves: 4-6


·        1 x 2-3kg whole coral trout, scaled and gutted

·        salt and pepper

·        olive oil

·        200g ginger, peeled and grated on the largest side of the grater

·        1/2 bunch green shallots, washed and sliced on slight angle approximately 1 cm thick

·        150ml peanut oil

·        50ml soy sauce

·        50g Asian crisp fried shallots


Pre-heat the BBQ.

Using a sharp knife score both sides of the fish, 3 or 4 times, approximately 2 cms apart, creating a criss cross pattern. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Place the whole fish on the pre heated BBQ plate and cook each side for approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the BBQ and then place the fish on a large sheet of aluminium foil.

Arrange the ginger and the green shallots on top of the fish then wrap the aluminium foil around the fish. Return the wrapped fish back to the BBQ and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Whilst the fish is cooking place the peanut oil in a small sauce pan and heat over a medium heat for approximately 4 minutes until just prior to smoking point then remove from the heat. Remove the fish from the BBQ and check to see if it is cooked by pulling out one of the spikes from the top of the fish – if it comes out with little resistance the fish is cooked.

Just prior to serving unwrap the fish and baste with the hot peanut oil. Drizzle with soy and top with the crisp shallots.

Serve the fish with steamed Asian greens and oyster sauce.


Baked whole coral trout with potato & tomato
Alternate: Red emperor, Snapper

Serves: 4


·        ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

·        2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

·        2 tablespoons rosemary, roughly chopped

·        1 dried bay leaf

·        ½ cup small black olives

·        200ml dry white wine

·        800g canned tomatoes, roughly chopped

·        ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

·        Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

·        6 large potatoes

·        1 x 1.5kg coral trout, scaled, gilled and gutted


Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Heat half the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, add the rosemary, bay and olives and cook for a further minute. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper, return to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile peel and dice the potatoes and place in a heavy roasting dish. Add remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well to coat. Bake for 10 minutes.

Thoroughly rinse the belly cavity of the fish, removing any blood. Check for any remaining scales. Pat dry with paper towel and score both sides of the fish with 3 or 4 angled cuts through to the bone.

Remove roasting dish from oven and push potatoes to the sides of the dish to make space for the fish. Place fish in dish and spoon the tomato sauce over the top. Return roasting dish to oven and bake for a further 30-40 minutes, until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.


Red Throat Emperor Fillets in Coconut Curry Sauce
Alternate: Snapper, Queenfish, Red Emperor

Serves: 4


·        ¼ cup vegetable oil

·        1 small brown onion, finely chopped

·        1 packet curry paste such as green or red curry

·        700ml coconut milk

·        4 x 180g redthroat emperor fillets, skin off, bones removed

·        ¼ cup coriander leaves

·        Steamed basmati rice, to serve


Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add oil and cook onion until soft but not coloured. Add sauce packet and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly. Add coconut milk and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken.

Add fillets and poach over a low heat for 5-8 minutes, until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed rice.


BBQ Mackerel with garlic, ginger & tomatoes

Serves: 2


·        Mackerel fillets

·        2 tbsp sunflower oil

·        thumb-sized piece ginger, finely shredded

·        3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

·        2 fat red chillies, shredded

·        bunch spring onions, finely shredded

·        250g pack cherry tomatoes, quartered

·        1 tsp vinegar

·        1 tbsp light soy sauce, plus more to serve


Preheat the BBQ. Season fillets with black pepper. BBQ the fish for 3-5 mins on each side, until charred and cooked through.

Heat the oil in a frying pan (you can put the pan on the barbecue rack), then fry the ginger, garlic and chillies for about 2 mins until the garlic is lightly golden. Take off the heat and toss in the spring onions and cherry tomatoes. Lift the fish onto a plate, splash with the vinegar, then spoon over the contents of the pan and splash with soy sauce.


Want to go bareboating in the Whitsundays?

Book a charter yacht in the Whitsundays to explore the islands. See our fleet, online availability calendar and where you can go.