Fingermark and GT on Menu
  |  First Published: December 2009

What an awesome year we have had for fishing at Karumba and Sweers Island!

The biggest wet for a very long time on the back of a good wet the previous year lead to large numbers caught throughout the year. This summer if we can receive enough rain for another good flood season then the sky will be the limit.

January is traditionally a start to our constant rain and humidity. This weather usually cuts the road to Normanton for up to six weeks so the safest way to arrive is by plane on our new all weather sealed airport.

There are numerous accommodation options, check out the fact box for more information.

Once here you can organize a fishing charter through Kerry D (ph: (07) 4745 9275) and visit the Barramundi Discovery Centre to see our awesome barramundi up close and personal (ph: (07) 4745 9359).

Fishing off the beach can have great rewards. When the tide is in as king salmon turn up along the foreshore in January to chase the prawns as they get flushed out of the mouth of the Norman River.

For bait dust off the cast net to catch some prawns and remember to keep them alive for the best results. I use a simple rig with a running sinker connected to a swivel and then 20cm of 60lb mono trace tied to a 5/0 hook. A 7ft rod and spinning reel holding 200m of 20lb mono or 30lb braid will do the trick.

Going out the front in a good sized boat to the rubble patches can be entertaining as GT and fingermark will be about looking for a feed. Any fault with your gear will show up as these GT pull like mack trucks.

A good trick to remember when you are hooked up to a GT is to constantly move the boat out to one side, as this will stop their attempts to do circle work under the boat.

Fingermark will take most baits, with peeled prawns one of the best. A running sinker rig will work but make sure you do not lose all your bait to pickers.

On a recent trip to Sweers Island we caught awesome amounts of fish including fingermark to 77cm.

a Timely Warning

We also proved you must be very careful up here at this time of year. We were coming back and were about 45mins from the fairway marker for the Norman River when dark clouds appeared over land on our port side. Minutes later we were heading for shore in 30-40 knot winds from a southeast trough.

Having a Stabicraft Frontier 609 with its inbuilt safety and great ride allowed us to make it back to shore with no major issues. The BOM site had wind coming from the northwest at 10 knots with a change to southwesterlies at 15-20 knots later that evening.

The best thing to do in a situation like this is to head for home as soon as you see any dark clouds, so as not to take any risks.

Please check road reports if you’re heading up here by road as we can be cut off from Normanton for up to 6 weeks in a normal wet season. You can contact the council on (07) 4745 2200 or the Normanton Police Station on (07) 4745 2555.


Local Karumba Accommodation

End of the Road Motelph: (07) 4745 9599
Ashesph: (07) 4745 9132
Jay Seasph: (07) 0745 9414
Gee-Dees Family Cabinsph: (07) 4745 9433
Gone Fishing Unitsph: (07) 4745 9502

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