Curtin Artificial Reef is Moreton Bay’s biggest artificial reef in terms of the sheer number and size of components.
The reef is north of Cowan Cowan on the west side of Moreton Island in depths ranging from 16m to 27m.
The site was created in 1968 by the Underwater Research Group of Queensland, whose members have sunk vessels, cars, tires and pontoons over several decades.
The reef is a “junk reef”, meaning it is not made from purpose-built components.
The first wreck sunk was the Amsterdam barge in 1968, and the last installed was the Hustler in 1998.
The largest wreck is the 50m coal barge Bremer.
The smallest wreck is the concrete 10mk yacht Solace.
Other wrecks include two whale chasers from the former Tangalooma whaling station on Moreton Island.
A total of 32 ships, car bodies, buoys, concrete pipes and tyres were installed.
While there are many structures to fish, this site gets very busy on weekends.
Strong currents flow through this area and heavy sinkers are required.
Anchoring off the wrecks on sand and dropping baits back can work well the tide is flowing.
The turn of the tide and night are the best times to fish.
Curtin Artificial Reef Fish Species
This site attracts a huge range of fish, including large rays, sharks and groper.
Boaters can expect kingfish, cobia, trevally, pink snapper, tricky snapper (“grassies”), bream, flathead and spotted, school and spanish mackerel.
Barracuda school on the wreck, and wobbegong and leopard sharks are often present, as well as passing whaler, hammerhead, bull and tiger sharks.
Curtin Artificial Reef Fish Species GPS Marks
The reef is marked with buoys and the components are spread in a rough north-south direction.
The site is at WGS84 mark 27 06.700S 153 21.780E.
Sound around and mark the various lumps before picking a spot to fish.
This reef was created by divers and is still popular with divers, so take care when dive boats are using the site.