Fishing in Far North Queensland [40]

By David Winkworth

See also the trip story, the croc incident story, the sailing story, the camp oven, and the TI paddling story.

We factored fish into our menus for a third of our evening meals….and for a while we thought we might starve! However, once we twigged to the easiest methods we often caught fish almost as soon as we started fishing:

The simplest and easiest method was trolling. A cord line with a heavy mono trace and “Christmas Tree” lures was the most successful rig. Christmas Tree lures have a chrome head with a skirt of brightly coloured plastic concealing a single hook. It is light, rarely snags up, can be trolled over shallow reefs and most importantly, it has very little drag so you can tow it around all day.

Likely areas to pick up fish are along the edges of reefs, deep narrow channels and along the edge of mangroves at high tide. We caught trevally, queenfish, coral trout and striped sea perch in these places. We weren’t particular about time of day or tide level and the fish weren’t either. The fish weren’t fussy about troll speed at all — downwind surfing on wind waves still picked up fish.

We took only what we needed and stopped fishing when dinner was caught. We hope you do the same.

North Queensland has a lot of big bitey things like sharks and crocodiles that want to share your fish with you. When you catch a fish, get it up to the kayak quickly, knock it sharply on the head with a piece of wood (the quickest way to kill it)…and get the hell out of there. DO NOT put your hand in the water to secure a fish….your hand may not be there next time you look!