Wild Weipa!

Wild Weipa!

For ‘southerners’ like myself, there’s nothing quite like a fishing trip to Northern Australia…


This part of the country is synonymous with big, lure-hungry fish, and lots of them! Throughout my relatively short life, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a number of different fishing destinations in Northern Australia. From my travels, there’s one place that has a real hold on me… Weipa!


Located along the western side of Cape York, Weipa is a coastal mining town famous for its abundance of bauxite. Whilst the bauxite enhances the natural landscape producing spectacular ‘red cliffs’ that run along the coastline, this is not what draws me back time and time again… It’s the fishing of course! The quality of the fishing and the variety of options is something that every keen angler needs to experience.


For me, the biggest drawcard to Weipa is its versatility as a fishing destination. From flicking lures at Barra and jacks in the rivers and creeks, to skipping surface lures through schools of ravenous mackerel, tuna, queenfish and Trevally, to slow jigging patches of reef and rubble for trophy-sized fingermark, black jewfish and any number of other Demersal species, to stalking permit and other trophy flats fish on fly…


Weipa truly has it all! There’s even a billfish scene, with impressive numbers of sailfish and the odd black marlin making an appearance at certain times of the year. I’ve had some unbelievable days in the past where we’ve racked up 50 Barra for the morning, before spending the afternoon ripping stickbaits and poppers through unlimited numbers of meter+ Queenies and other Pelagics, before finishing the day with trophy fingermark, black jewfish and other impressive bottom fish… It’s bloody hard to come back to Sydney fishing after a week of that!



I’ve recently returned from my 6th trip to Weipa. As always, it was a blast! We spent most of this particular trip targeting Barra and other snag-dwellers in the creeks. Overall, we racked up plenty of fish, with around 170 Barra landed for the trip. Whilst we missed our only shot at a meter+ fish when it shook a 5” Z-man Herculez mid-air in typical barra fashion, we still landed plenty of nice fish up to 90cm. Unsurprisingly, the standout performer was the Jackall Squirrel 79sp. These lures consistently outperformed everything else in most scenarios, accounting for both quality and quantity. They’re a must have for the Barra box! We also had some enjoyable sessions skipping weedlessy rigged 4” Z-man Diesel Minnowz and 4.25” Baby Goatz deep into shallow mangroves for plenty of Barra and jacks. When the fish are deep in the mangroves, this is the only way to access them… Extracting them, however, can be quite a challenge!


We also managed to sneak in a few very cool topwater sessions… You’d be forgiven for thinking that throwing surface lures around in 1-3’ of water in the middle of a sunny day isn’t likely to produce much, however, you’d be wrong! We did exactly this and it produced excellent results, with quite a few quality Barra landed and some crackers lost in a short bite window. This is without a doubt my favourite way to chase these fish… It’s very hard to beat the excitement that follows from a ‘boof’, especially when it’s a larger model… 100mm+ Lucky Craft Sammys, 120mm Bassday Sugapens and 130mm OSP Bent Minnows were the standout performers for us, however, plenty of other floating stickbaits and poppers up to 130mm or so will work too. Work them slowly with plenty of pauses.



Whilst most of the trip was spent in the creeks, we did sneak in a couple of brief offshore sessions when the weather allowed. The sharks made life hard at times, however, some epic sessions were had nevertheless. Little Jacks and Nomad Gypsys in the 60-100g range and the 65g Nomax Vertrex Max Vibes did the bulk of the damage, claiming fingermark, queenfish, golden/bludger/brassy trevally and a variety of other reef fish. It was actually hard to access the schools of large fingermark on the bottom as our lures were constantly being eaten on the drop by hungry pelagics… Not the worst problem to have I guess!


This was a great opportunity to test out a new slow jigging outfit that I recently put together – a Daiwa DB Solid rod matched to a 13 Concept TX3 reel with 30lb Sufix 832. All I can say is that I’m extremely impressed! For a relatively inexpensive rod, the DB solid packs a punch and is beautiful to jig with. The TX3 reel features a large power knob and a huge amount of drag, which allowed me to really push the rest of the outfit to its limits… It’s amazing how much hurt you can put on a fish with pe3! Food for thought.

All in all, there’s a reason that I’m constantly drawn back to Weipa… As a versatile sportfishing destination with options galore, it’s right up there! So, if you’re considering a trip up north, keep it in mind! I know I’m already planning my next adventure…


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