On our recent annual pilgrimage to Cape Kimberly, just north of the Daintree River, we discovered a new fishing approach to add to our growing collection of options. Cycling to fish is just as much fun as taking the boat and a lot less hassle.
The weather gods were certainly shining on us as we picked four days of perfect weather. Snapper Island beckoned on day two and the good ship Top Ender did a shuttle run to the coral sand beach on the back corner. There were plenty of other boats enjoying the flat seas but the fish were non-existent.
Instead, we decided to do a crabbing run. Having lost crab pots in previous trips (mostly to crocs), I decided not to leave them in overnight. We set the pots up a side creek and did a spot of bait fishing between checks. The fish did not want to cooperate but the crabs were plentiful, even though they were mostly undersized jennies. The kids had a ball checking the pots and we came home with one good buck, which was cooked and put on ice.
However, our fishing luck was to change with a casual 15-minute cycle to the mouth of the Daintree River. The last of the run-out tide displayed a flurry of fish. I managed a good flathead on a silver Tropic Angler Rattling Shad.
The mouth of the Daintree offers quite a few fishing options with shallow sand bars right on the corner. As you move up into the river, there is a deeper section that holds jacks and barra. In spring the mouth is a popular spot for queenies, GT’s and golden trevally.
The low tide is the only real time to make the trip on wheels. At the top of the tide the sand is too soft and you cannot get around the corner to the mouth in high tide. Using mountain or BMX bikes is the best option as the tyres are much wider than road bikes and handle the soft sand better.
During our stay, we heard disgruntled talk concerning some out-of-town pro netters cleaning out the annual mackerel run. This upset the local pros as well as the recreational anglers. The local pros have a gentlemen’s agreement to only line fish the area and these netters are jeopardising their livelihood.
After three hours of trolling and live baiting the speculations appeared to be true. There seemed to be no mackerel in sight and other anglers in the area confirmed the species absence.
Nevertheless we spent a fruitful day fishing around Cape Kimberly and discovered a relaxing and handy way of getting around where many other modes can’t.
Cape Kimberly is about 15 minutes’ drive north of the Daintree River ferry. It cost $16 return for a car and boat trailer and the ferry runs from 6am to midnight every day.
Koala Resort (Cape Kimberly camping grounds) has all styles of accommodation from unpowered campsites to small cabins. Bookings are required for all but unpowered campsites, which cost $10 per night for adults and $5 per child.
There is a bar and restaurant, as well as a store for basics like bread, milk and ice. There is a general store about 20 minutes’ drive north for a wider range of groceries and fuel.
A boat can be launched from the beach in good weather but you need to obtain a key from the office to gain vehicle access to the beach. Other launching spots are back at the ferry crossing, into the Daintree and up towards Cape Tribulation where there are a couple of basic ramps. See local maps for details. The best time to visit is between May and October, during the dry season but before it gets too hot.