Bait to Plate

Kev Collins

Well known Restauranter and co-owner of Fish D'vine & The Rum Bar in Airlie Beach. When Kev's not working he's out fishing in the amazing food bowl of the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park or in his tinnie in the estuaries crabbing! His blog imparts wisdom, tales and info on all things fishing and food.

About me - Kevin Collins

A lifelong fisherman and passionate chef I co-own and operate Fish D'vine, one of the Whitsundays most successful restaurants (seafood of course). I want to blog about the available and the not so high profile fish, the seasonality and taking , quite literally from the bait (or lure) to the finished restaurant meal.

I will post some recipes and photos, some fishing tips, and some “secret spots” and hope to encourage readers to think beyond the normal north Queensland staples like barramundi and coral trout to some of more low profile but just a delicious local fish. I have always taken a view that fishing is the ultimate locavore scavenging. The waterways on our doorstep are just the same as the forests and fields.

My pantry is the sea, the mangrove creeks and the Great Barrier Reef. We use local small scale commercial fisherman for most of our supply, preferring to deal with small scale local operators, who, a bit like farmers, tend to look after their own local patch rather than the larger factory style operations which hit areas as hard as they can, extract maximum amounts, and then just move on.

The modern trend of catch and release has always left me a bit conflicted. After all if the sole point in going fishing is to catch some creature, clearly inflict pain or at the very least stress for one’s personal enjoyment, then this is a bit hard to justify. If however the reason is to eat it, then this is an end game I am absolutely comfortable with as every meal of fish eaten is one less meal of high intensity farmed animal meal.

I fish a lot. Not for me the golf course, the theatre or the shops. Last week was a 1am start for a great session on the large mouth nannygai and coral trout. A few days later some great little “whole plate” fish called Indonesian Snapper and this morning flicking lures around the local bays for the flathead which come into the bays this time of year.