Fishing road trip from Ballina to Cooktown

Submitted: Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 09:14
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Hi all,
Dreams can come true......I have been given a leave pass so before she can rescind I am hastily putting together a trip up North with a heavy emphasis on fishing (mainly Sooty, Barra and Satatoga etc), and where possible maximising free camping. I will be travelling in a Trayon and will probably take a Portabote but definitely a kayak.............so where to go? On past trips I have stayed at Beford weir,Einasleigh amongst others, so will probably revisit them but I am sure there are many others as well.

I was hoping to spend time possibly 'babysitting' a property (In past life farmed and it never really leaves the blood) and again a huge plus for me will be if there was fish-able water on that property.

Anyway am hoping that others might be able to make some suggestions..........

Thanks

Richard.
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 10:28

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 10:28
One of our 4WD club members almost landed a good sized Saratoga downstream of Borumba Dam outside Imbil near Gympie. Good cheap camping along Yabba Creek.

You could easily spend a few pleasant days there.
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Follow Up By: Member - Richard B (NSW) - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 13:27

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 13:27
Thanks for reminding me of the Imbil area, Rosco,...will make that my first stop. Any idea where your 4 WD mates camped at Yabba creek?
Arbe
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Follow Up By: Member - Rosco from way back - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 14:01

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 14:01
Borumba Dam Camping. About 1 Km downstream of the dam. You can walk from there to the downstream waterhole and not being an impoundment I understand you don't need a licence (I think).

That's a good spot, or about 3 Km back towards Imbil you have the Deer Park on the other side of the road but also on Yabba Ck.

I prefer Borumba Dam Camping, but no pets if that's an issue. Pets OK at the Deer Park.

PS Take Exit 244 off the Bruce Hwy.
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Reply By: snow - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 11:43

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 11:43
I think Barra season opens again in October. Lake Awoonga near Gladstone is usually good for a barra though I believe.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 11:45

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 11:45
We were up around Dimbulah at Easter, Richard, and while we weren't fishing, noticed a couple of weirs on the Walsh River. The Walsh was running when we crossed it, on Mt Mulligan road, so might be worth a try along there too.

The bigger one, Bruce Weir, is to north of town, and the other, unnamed as far as I can see, is a bit further out, to the west of town. There's a water body, called Wurruma Swamp to south of Mt Garnet, don't know what it's like for fishing, and there's some weirs/waterholes up near Brownville, north of Mt Garnet. Never been there either.

Not far to go from that area, up to the Mitchell River, though I wouldn't like to put your boat in there!

Be aware that the Einasleigh River isn't running. Well not at Lyndhurst anyway, on the Hughenden - The Lynd road. Bundock Creek, north of Lyndhurst, wasn't running either, so must be a sign of the past 2 or 3 dry years.

"........never really leaves the blood." Yeah, I can empathise with that Richard. Nearly 50 years on stations in Qld & NT..........about the only thing I don't miss is the bloody bookwork!

Good luck,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Richard B (NSW) - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 13:33

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 13:33
How did we manage before Google Earth? I have been looking at the intended area I am going to and picked up the places you mentioned. One I def. will be going to is on the Walsh near Gamboola, just hoping there is a bit of water flow.....the wet up that way has been missing for a while.
Thanks Bob for your reply.
Richard.
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Reply By: deserter - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 19:58

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 19:58
Borumba has been closed a lot lately. Check before you commit to there.
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Reply By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 23:15

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 at 23:15
The Porta Bote will serve you better as you travel further north. I've put mine in places up there that I wouldn't even consider in a kayak (some of the larger inhabitants may look at a kayak as a snack!). Mind you, on the smaller waters the kayak would be much better. Depends upon where your main focus is.
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Reply By: deserter - Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 17:23

Tuesday, Apr 14, 2015 at 17:23
Have a look at both Lenthalls Dam and Cania Gorge. At Lenthalls you camp right on the water. Good barra and bass fishing. Cania has plenty of bass and saratoga. And my absolute favourite is Kinchant near Mackay.Camp at the water and just about the best barra fishing in Qld. Do a yearly trip there and we always get good numbers of big fish. Lake itself is very small. Barra two minutes from camp.

Here is aa tease for you

http://www.activeangler.com.au/forum/showthread.php?14804-Barramundi-Kayak-Fishing-Lake-Kinchant&highlight=kinchant
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Follow Up By: Member - Richard B (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 19:55

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 19:55
Just joined. Activeangler so will, I am sure, pick up a lot of tips, thanks for the heads up. This planning a trip sure is a learning experience. Your tease sure is that but wait till you see the pics I post when I get back.
Cheers
Richard.
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Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 18:16

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 18:16
Hi Richard, Sounds like a good trip. You must be a keen fresh water fisho. I would suggest that you look at the Q'ld Gov. Dept of Natural Resources website. There you will be able to buy your Stocked Inpoundment Permit (SIP) & also download maps of all Q'ld dams etc as well as the latest regulations regarding fresh water.

Hema have a series of road maps that cover Q'ld.

AFN publish a series of fishing maps that cover Q'ld. The ones you would use would probably be 29 to 33. I have 31 & 32 as these cover the dams closest to where I live.

Your 2 craft will be suitable for most of the fresh water but the further north you go the more likely you are to meet crocodiles.

The best eating barra come from salt water so in my opinion you would be better off fishing the salt land based. Can't help you there as most of my fishing was off shore.

For camping use Camps Australia Wide 8 or Wikicamps but with a trayon you should be able to stop overnight at any quiet spot.

Take plenty of time & I wish it was me. Bill
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Follow Up By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 18:19

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 18:19
Hi Again, Get yourself some opera house traps as there is some great redclaw in a lot of these dams. Bill
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 19:01

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 19:01
How long is your porta-bote? I have taken my 12' model on some of the bigger rivers and into some of the estuaries along the coast right up near the tip. The Porta-Bote is fine here (taking into account conditions) around the crocs. Some of the best Barra fishing is around the estuaries and I wouldn't be taking the kayak out there (nothing to do with conditions, unless you consider a pre-handbag stage croc a condition!).

Don't listen to anyone telling you a Porta-Bote is less safe than an equivalent size tinnie up there. Common sense and good conditions make for great fishing opportunities in a "Bote".
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Follow Up By: Member - Richard B (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 19:50

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2015 at 19:50
Bill, great depth of reply, many thanks.
Yep, will be getting a SIP. I have Hema on the iPad so that is good. Will look into AFN and my thinking now is to only take a kayak......might come across someone needing a deckie though I am not the best sailor. The Trayon really suits our/my type of travel.
In the middle of the night earlier this week I had the thought to take some traps , so yes they will be passengers in the back.
On your last point ....... Come and join me!!!
Cheers
Richard.

Silk wood, the portabote is a 12, have had it in rivers but with plenty of caution. I agree , don't believe the crocs know the difference between an Aluminium or a plastic craft but am sure many more see me out there than I see them. Had some scary experiences with them in the past while walking the banks of rivers so hold them with much respect.
Cheers
Richard
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Reply By: Member - bill f (QLD) - Friday, Apr 17, 2015 at 17:29

Friday, Apr 17, 2015 at 17:29
Hi Richard, Thanks for the offer but health issues rule it out. If you are going tru Emerald give me a call. I live on the Gemfields near there. Give me a call we might be able to see what's in Fairbairn Dam or Theresa Ck Dam. Number is 49854440.
Bill
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Follow Up By: Member - Richard B (NSW) - Monday, Apr 20, 2015 at 10:27

Monday, Apr 20, 2015 at 10:27
Will do Bill, probably be June some time, though not set in concrete as to which route I will go....
Thanks,
Richard.
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