Holiday fishing options
  |  First Published: April 2005

The Port Douglas region during the Easter period can be a blockbuster, with tourists flooding from all directions. One of the downsides is that traffic on the water can be busy, depending on weather conditions. The last two years have been disastrous in the weather stakes so we are due for a change in luck.

If you are coming to our region and are doing the camping and boat towing procession, one of the following places might be up your alley.

Cape Kimberley Koala Beach Resort and Camping Grounds has small boat access on the beach adjacent to Snapper Island. It is great for mackerel, tuna, queenfish, giant trevally and also fingermark at night. Access to Rudder Reef and Undine Reef is only half an hour away for coral trout, nannygai and red emperor.

Pinnacle Village at Wonga Beach has boat ramps nearby on the Daintree River at the ferry crossing or south arm. The Daintree River during the holiday period can produce barramundi, mangrove jack, fingermark, queenfish, grunter and trevally. If there has been rain, run off drains hold all sorts of predatory fish and the river mouth is very popular for pelagic species.

Pandanus Caravan Park in Port Douglas is within a short drive of the local boat ramp situated on the Dickson Inlet. Access to Muddy and Sandfly Creeks is possible on higher tides as well. Recently, these three systems have been producing quality barramundi, decent mangrove jack and quality bream and grunter. There is access to surrounding inshore reefs at nearby Cooya Beach and Port Douglas and you should find coral trout, stripies, queenfish and the odd mackerel.

Glengarry Caravan Park in the Mowbray Valley has quick access to the Mowbray River, which in recent times has been producing big queenfish and blue salmon at the mouth. The snags along the banks hold good mangrove jack and barramundi. Outside of this river you have an abundance of inshore reef systems including Egmont, Wentworth, Korea and Alexander Reefs. All these have some great fishing which include mackerel, tuna, coral trout, fingermark and gold-spot cod.

All the above facilities are clean and cater very well for the travelling angler. Local tackle stores are located at Craiglie, Port Douglas and Mossman and carry all your requirements.

If you don't have your own boat and want to get into the piscatorial action during the holidays, the chartering services in the area are good value. You can choose between six river/estuary charters, six reef charters and six game fishing operators. There are varying prices for the budget minded angler; tap into www.fishingportdouglas.com.au if you require assistance in this area including do-it-yourself land based options. If you would like weekly updates about what is happening in the area, there is a report on the Fishing Monthly website at www.fishingmonthly.com.au.

In recent times my wife and I completed an adventure that took in 400km of the Queensland coast. We purchased our new home ‘Femme De La Mer’ which is a 50ft Payne's Home Cruiser. We then proceeded to drive her all the way home to Port Douglas taking in all and sundry over 11 days. The Queensland coast and array of island systems is truly awesome and is a trip you'll never forget.

We trolled lures along the way, watching out for the green zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Fish included Spanish, spotted and grey mackerel and mackerel tuna. Cape Upstart south of Townsville, the Palm Island group near Hinchinbrook and Cape Grafton near Cairns saw the thickest action using 4 inch silver spoons out the back.

Unfortunately we drove late into most nights to cover more ground as Cyclone Harvey was worrying us at the

time. We were too tired to get stuck into the night fishing, but we now have a vessel that can easily take us back to many locations we wished we could have spent more time at.

We really are lucky to have such a beautiful coastline, so if you have the chance, go out and enjoy it!

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