cairns map

FAR NORTH WINTER FISHING CHARTER FEATURE

WHERE

• Far North Queensland
• North to Torres Strait, and west of the city of Cairns
• Home to three World Heritage Sites

GETTING THERE

• Getting around from Cairns is very easy
• Privately hired people movers are the best option
• Loads of other options

CLIMATE

• Tropical
• Each day is about 25 degrees
• You will love winter

cairns

FISHING IN THE FAR NORTH IN WINTER

The first thing you should know winter is a very short season in northern Queensland. It’s even shorter in the far north. We’re also in the southern hemisphere and that means our winters are often the opposite of visitors to our country. For Australians, we know we can get away to Queensland and escape the winter cold. I stay up here and I love fishing. Fishing in winter extremely enjoyable.

The last winter I went around all northern Queensland, starting at Cairns and eventually heading up to Weipa with some great results on everything I was looking for, and you know my favourite is Barramundi, right? Unlike many other places, we have so many options here in north Queensland. Even when the winds are blowing there are plenty of Queen Fish are out to be caught. Most fish in northern Queensland tend to run in big schools and that makes for loads of fun.

GET UP EARLY FOR THE TIDE

I’ll set my alarm for as early as 4am so that I can catch the fish on the big run out tides early in the morning. There’s a few hours fishing in the morning and there’s a few hours fishing in the afternoon as the tights come back in. Cairns is a great place to finish.

SO MANY SPECIES TO GO AFTER

There are so many different fish species to go after. I take winter as my holiday and spend the whole month fishing. I get up early and I head out to the creeks not far from the centre of town and I can catch my favourite of all, Barramundi. It’s easy enough to catch Jacks and Grunter in those same creeks. I’m no expert but I’ve taught myself what works up here in the shallow creeks.

For example, if I’m after Barramundi, I like to use surface walkers and other lures like poppers that bounce along the surface. It’s not always the case that these fish will go after the same set ups. I’ve always got to try something new.

ELECTRIC BOAT MOTORS ARE A MUST

Sometimes these 3 species will look for deeper calm water, which requires a stealthy approach. I’m one who uses an electric boat motor when I’m out fishing the creeks. You need that silence if you are going to catch these fish because the slightest sound will let them know you are coming.

SO I WENT ON A CHARTER

On my last adventure to Weipa, I was lucky enough to join a skipper on a stunning ship. I wasn’t expecting a charter fishing trip but there has been some spectacular fishing in both the creeks and offshore from the gulf with Barra numbers so numerous you could not believe it.

Softbody lures are the best option when you’re fishing in the creeks because they don’t get lost and snagged. Losing your lures and untangling snags can take the fun right out of fishing.

Soft plastic lures are also great for chasing Threadfin Salmon and Black Jew. These are only some of the species you’ll find abundant especially in northern Queensland.

WE HEADED OFFSHORE

I’m really glad I joined the charter. It was a last-minute decision because I had planned to be fishing on my own. The winds had calmed down and the skipper asked us all if we wanted to go out offshore. Offshore fishing in winter is unreal. The waters are packed with so many Spanish Macs, Trout, Reds and Black Marlin, to name a few.

All in all, we spent 5 days on the charter and I must say it was one of the best experiences in my life. It’s just never too cold in northern Queensland to go fishing, to catch fish and to enjoy eating them. There is nothing like this place in the world. It has the Great Barrier Reef and some of the most spectacular rainforests you can fish for days.

You will need a 4WD to get around anywhere outside of town. The roads turn to mud especially when you start heading north of Pt. Douglas.

LOOK FOR WINTER DEALS

It doesn’t matter whether you want to fish salt water or fresh water there’s plenty of fishing for you. If you’re looking for accommodation, you might be able to get a better deal because it is the winter season – the same goes for fishing charters too. There’s plenty of charters that run during the winter season just make sure you choose the right skipper.

 


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Jackson Williams
jacksonw@dinga.com.au

Jackson Williams has been fishing around Australia for 20 years and loves his home region of far north Queensland.