Cape York is still very much a wilderness area, stretching for over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres, this pointy end of Australia is a fisherman's paradise. Cairns, only 974 kms from the top via the Telegraph Road, is generally regarded as the last major town when heading north to "The Cape" and many a visiting angler will stock up on major supplies in this modern tropical city before making the big trek.
Distances are measured in hours, or days, in this remote part of the world. What looks like a few short kilometres on the map can actually take hours to transverse when conditions are not ideal and most roads are not sealed. It pays to plan very carefully before making the trip of a lifetime, meticulous in every detail. A well maintained 4WD vehicle is a must - appropriate safety and recovery gear, modern communication equipment and a well thought out route. Checking road conditions for the next leg can be as easy as contacting the local Police station or a quick check with the RACQ. These precautions could save a life and should not be taken lightly.
Having said that however, many travelers make the big trip and quite a few return each year to get their fishing fix. From the end of the "wet" (April and onwards), hundreds of 4WD vehicles towing all sorts of campers, vans and trailer boats arrive from the southern states of Australia, many with only one thought in mind - to experience some of the best fishing Australia has to offer in a truly magical, wild and isolated place.
For thousands of years this land has defied the onslaught of civilization. Until a little over 100 years ago only indigenous Australians enjoyed this unique paradise. An association that to this day is still not fully understood by most, and every effort must be made to respect the traditional rights, customs, sacred sites and lifestyles of the Cape York aboriginals.
Still a wild and sparsely populated wilderness, and trafficable only during the dry months of May to December, to travel overland to the Cape is very much a cherished adventure, opening up to the traveler some splendid and diverse scenery.
To stand at the most northerly point of Australia, overlooking the scattered islands of the Torres Strait, is indeed an awe-inspiring and overwhelming experience.
Imagine yourself fishing uninhabited islands, wilderness coastline, remote tidal estuaries, lagoons and pristine outback rivers. Chasing barramundi, mangrove jack, queenfish, trevally, mackerel and tuna, and then relaxing with a cold beer around an open fire (or an air-conditioned cabin or modern motel room) at the end of the day, while the day's catch gently cooks in the embers. You will be absolutely amazed at the clarity of the waters, the wilderness experience, and the diversity of life, and the vivid memories will last a life-time.
If you don't feel like having the 4WD experience, Bamaga, at the very tip of Cape York is accessible in just under two hours flying time from Cairns five days a week. From here you can explore by vehicle back down into the Cape, or visit some of the more "civilized" spots like Seisa.
We trust this Cape York guide will help you better understand the region and assist with your fishing / holiday plans.
The Cape is huge and the experience is dynamic and ever changing. From the Daintree River, only 100 kms north of Cairns, Cape Tribulation and Cooktown (Australia's first settlement) to the fish rich waters of Princess Charlotte Bay and Lakefield National Park. To Temple Bay, Shelburne Bay, the mighty Jackey Jackey with its marvelous mangroves and on to the Tip itself, the names ring with expectation and we have only briefly covered the east coast of the cape.
There are rivers and tidal estuaries, huge dry season billabongs full of juvenile barra, rocky headlands where monster barra lurk amongst the oyster covered rocks, and near shore reefs teeming with coral trout!
From the very "Tip" comes some of the best black jew fishing in Australia, and a sweet little tidal stream aptly called Crocodile Creek only 500 metres from the top boats blue salmon, king salmon, mangrove jack, queenfish, trevally, cod, bream, barracuda, and of course barra. And most pleasing to the eye is the lack of floating junk you so often find spoiling the scenery in southern waters. Not a Coke can or a VB stubby in sight.
Heading back from the tip of The Cape and down the western gulf coast you pass Punsand Bay, Seisia with its unbelievable wharf where 40 kg Spaniard's and monster GT's have been landed, Mutte Head (more black jew), the Jardine River and to Weipa, the barra capital of Queensland.
The Aboriginal settlements of Arukun, the Mitchell River and Kowanyama follow as you visit rivers like the Dulcie, the Wenlock, Staaten, Nassau, and Gilbert that all beckon with the promise of unbelievable fishing immediately after the wet.
Entering the eastern edge of the gulf country you arrive at still more angling mecca's including Normanton on the Norman River, Karumba on the coast, Burketown, and the offshore island of Mornington and the Sweers Island Fishing Resort.
Now I could spend days or weeks copying maps and directions to these and many other fishing places in the Gulf and Cape York but the best way is to purchase the latest copy of North Australian Fish Finder. The info found here is just superb and very detailed, local marks and GPS points included, and for just A$29.95 a very worthwhile investment if planning a trip up this way.
And of course if your looking at that very special fishing charter to one of the world's true angling 'hot spots' just follow these links to Fishing Cairns and we'll show you how easily it can be done.
Thanks for dropping by.
Polarised Fishing Sunglasses By Fuglies