Dream summer in Karumba
  |  First Published: October 2011

You can’t beat Karumba for a great place to catch big barramundi and this was certainly the case this year with many people apprehending their first 1m+ fish, some even off the beach.

Our season shuts on midday the 4 October so make sure any fishing you do for barramundi stops then. These mighty fish need time to breed and annoying them after this time will only stop the cycle.

The strong wind gusts will continue, making trips outside unavailable to most people. Please check your safety gear before putting the boat on the water, as you do not get second chances if caught out in the sea when the wind starts hammering.

Normanton will be an awesome place to fish through the hotter months. Fishing off the old bridge at night when the weather is much friendlier will produce great results and the king salmon will play as the night goes on.

Live bait is the best option but try whatever you can get because they will take all sorts when the mood suits. They can be fussy as well so be patient if you find them just mouthing the bait and remember king salmon have soft mouths so don't use too much drag.

A good feed of mud crabs is on the menu now as they feed in the warmer water. Please check to see that you have correctly labelled your pots and float to avoid any fines. All sorts of bait work well so there is no reason not to put some pots in along the mangroves in enough water so they do not come out of it at low tide. Check them regularly for the best results

There are good amounts of blue salmon to go with the king salmon out the front of the airport so get out there when the wind allows and have some fun. A simple running sinker rig is all that is required with live bait the way to go.


It’s been another great fishing season over on Sweers Island, with a really good variety of species being caught this year and it’s also good to see more people practicing catch-and-release.

The weather was variable with more wind than usual, which frustrated a few fishos, although the enforced sessions off the beach and in the more sheltered bays proved that you don’t have to motor the dingy as far as you can to catch good fish. One group of day guests caught heaps of good sized grunter right in front of the filleting table.

Another group sat and fished from the moored dinghies on a bare sandy bottom (the seafloor, not the guests!) and surprised everyone with some fine catches of passing queenies and sweetlip. Perhaps the moored dinghies are acting as fish attracting devices.

The extended winter also affected the fishing. The reds seemed to be more active, with good catches this year of larger than usual scarlet sea perch and red emperor. To our surprise, however, the Spanish mackerel were rather shy, with fewer and smaller fish being caught compared to earlier seasons.

Our elusive barramundi were their usual surprising selves, popping up in unexpected places, like the jew hole. This has happened before, but is always a surprise, as we tend to think the rocky headland beach near the lodge is the best spot to try for a breakfast barra, on a high morning tide with an offshore breeze.

Don’t forget that the Gulf barra season closes on October 4 and doesn’t re-open until 30 January 2012. It is prohibited to deliberately target barra for catch-and-release during the closed season, as the stress of capture may prevent a fish from spawning.

Fortunately, there are plenty of reef species around to keep us busy during the summer months!

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