Mind-blowing action
  |  First Published: June 2014

Winter in Cape York is a mild by almost anyone’s standards and a light spray jacket with a pair of thongs will get you through the most treacherous weather this time of year. There certainly are a few brisk mornings, but the days are typically picture-perfect, with patchy blue skies and an endless, unspoilt horizon.

Down the west coast of the Cape, good catches of pelagic species are making their presence felt in schools of tuna, mackerel and trevally racing after baitfish just offshore. Small trailer boats will be getting anglers ever keen on a bent rod into some mind-blowing action in June. Finding the dark clouds of bait shimmering the surface on a brisk winter’s morning will be foremost on minds of the offshore brigade.

The Cape is a huge piece of land and to summarise the barramundi fishing is difficult to do without accounting for locational and seasonal fluctuations in rainfall. Different parts of the Cape received a non-uniform amount of rainfall between January and April.

A quick look at the three-month rainfall totals for Queensland on the www.bom.gov.au site will tell you the places that had a good ‘late kick’ to their wet season. This is hugely important in discovering weather lagoon, billabong and upstream-pool residing barra have had a chance to get back into the main river systems where anglers like to target them.

You will notice in the three-month rainfall map included that the west coast of Cape York between Mapoon and Kowanyama received a very good flush over that period. Interestingly, the bottom of the Gulf received comparatively little rainfall, which will have a direct impact on the barra fishing throughout the winter months. Early June can still see some estuarine fishing and expect the rivers all the way from the Wenlock River in the north, down to the Mitchell River in the south to be firing.

It is about this time of year that thousands of travellers begin to fit out camper trailers and 4WDs to tackle to harsh roads of Cape York in an effort to reach the tip. The number of people heading off on the June-July school holidays and right into September will be significant. But despite this, efforts by local government and development committees to turn Cape York into a tourist wonderland have had no significant impact. Resorts, camping areas, safari camps and charter operations have come and gone, just like they have always done.

Every year there are think tanks and a plethora of government sponsored bodies with acronyms as long as your arm, trying to come up with ways to conquer, sponsor and develop the Cape. But besides the stretches of bitumen growing longer, very little changes in Cape York and in many respects there are less people exploring the place then there were 30 years ago.

This is in many ways is due to people being less adventurous, less hardcore, less willing to take the time out of their busy lives to give remote areas their just deserve. And most importantly, travellers are far more discerning with their cash and increasingly more aware of different opportunities around the world.

All the way from the Kimberley, throughout the Territory and into Cape York, generally less remote places are being reached by rugged off-road travellers. While charter operations are offering exclusive trips to far away places, it gives the perception to your average Joe-Bloe, that these rugged frontiers have been conquered. Quite the opposite, these operators are treading already well-trodden paths to less fishy locations.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that Cape York is crying out to be an adventurers paradise and anglers are only limited by their own imaginations and ability to use the increasing amount of Aboriginal Land, parks and other areas to their strategic advantage. June is the time to get out there and get amongst it!

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