Lock a barra at Lakefield
  |  First Published: June 2012

This is the best time of year for any diehard barra fishos who are planning a trip to the Cooktown region as the last week in May usually sees one of the best barra fishing spots on Queensland’s east coast open and ready for action.

I’m talking about the mighty Lakefield National Park. After a good wet season the park will be firing and for keen lure fishos, Lakefield offers some of the best land-based barra fishing in Queensland, if not Australia.

Lakefield is one of Queensland’s largest national parks and during the wet season the swollen rivers and flood plains allow barra access to an immense amount of waterholes, lagoons, creeks and also access to the and from the upper reaches of the large rivers in the area.

The southern access to the park is an easy 90 minute drive to some decent fishing areas including one of my favourites: Leichardt Lagoon. This is an easy way to spend the day flicking lures from the bank and produces some decent fish at times. Later on in the year landing good fish is easier as water levels recede and there are a few shallow, sandy sections of bank where you can walk down to the water’s edge without putting yourself at risk of becoming something’s next meal.

The further into the park you travel, towards the various major river mouths, the fishing becomes more consistent. A boat is a massive help in most sections, as it can become quite an overwhelming area to fish for the first time angler due to the sheer size of the park and the massive array of fishing options.

Without giving away exact locations for readers to try, heading towards Bathurst Heads will see even the most rookie anglers get stuck into some quality saltwater barra. By using a bit of common sense, land-based anglers should also find it fairly easy to get their barra score counts up and for experienced Lakefield lure fishos, on a good day, three digit catch and release numbers are not unheard of.

When planning a trip to Lakefield National Park this year, be aware that there are no longer self-registration campsites available for campers in the park. The easiest way to ensure that you have a campsite to go to is by pre booking online at the DERM online website. If you do not have access to a computer, alternatively you can call the DERM booking number on 13 74 68 and they will issue you with an E-Permit. This looks like the way all Cape York National Parks booking will be heading, so get used to it to avoid disappointment.

Lakefield’s famous rivers and waterways really do offer world class fishing on a good day and like any fishing destination, good trip planning will ensure that you can have a trip of a life time in one of the most beautiful parts of the Cape.

Before planning a trip to Cooktown, give Russell at The Lure Shop a call on (07) 4069 5396 or email them for all of the info and gear that you could need for the local area as the Lure Shop is Cape York’s largest range of Fishing, Hunting and Boating equipment.

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