Karumba Capers
  |  First Published: April 2007

Recently the weather has been volatile with the weather patterns shifting from monsoonal rains to clear blue skies and cool air. This has naturally affected the fishing in the area.

What’s been happening

There have been some good barra catches in many of the flooded creeks and drains in the Karumba area as well as in the Norman River, especially around the mouth. Some good catches have also been reported at the head waters of the creeks that join the Norman.

The road in to Karumba, which shut due to flooding, is open once again, but care should be taken if people want to get out. Keep an eye on the flood reports. It doesn’t have to rain in Karumba for the waterways to flood.

A welcomed change of pace has been the timely arrival of the big fingermark and queenies. The weather has been kind enough on selected days to allow anglers to venture offshore a little for some serious fishing. Water clarity has been as good as it gets in this part of the gulf with huge schools of queenies visible under the boat waiting for a feed. Soft plastics are always a sure thing for big fingermark and the queenies will eat just about anything, including a bare hook.

King salmon have been plentiful along the beaches and river mouth for the past couple of months feeding on prawn and small mullet. The crab situation has not improved yet, even with the fresh water flushing them out. The conditions offshore have started to improve so it’s time to gear up for some toothy critters.

What to expect

We should start to see the mackerel fire up in the coming weeks with the weather pattern hopefully steering away from more rain. Barra catches should improve as the water in the rivers clear and slow down with some great tides coming up. Grunter and blue salmon should start to appear in better numbers on the flats and the schools of mullet should make bait gathering a bit easier than the previous months. The big fingermark and queenies will make themselves at home for a couple of months around the fairway beacon, as will the spotted mackerel. Be sure to check dates on flares and EPIRBs before venturing out.

The caravan parks will start to fill up so if you’re thinking of coming over, best you book ahead. There have been a number of big croc sightings again close to the ramps so exercise caution near the water. – FMG


Keith Graham of Bransfords Tackle in Cairns enjoys the rewards of jigging for big FMR in the gulf. This one went a cool 18.5lb.


Queenies are plentiful at the moment. this one fell to a JJ Aussie Jumper with the bib removed, skipping the lure across the surface.

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