anyone fished north of cairns-cape york

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:25
ThreadID: 30848 Views:5358 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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anyone fished north of cairns-cape york in oct-nov?

i am taking my 14ft tinny up to the cape, leaving cairns oct 1 and hope to return to cairns by mid Nov

will be chasing every type of fish possible from reef, to river on fly and lure.

has anyone had any good reports for this time of the year or have any advice on gps points, reefs, info on tides or anything at all would be GREATLY appreciated!!

hope to hear from you all soon and thanks
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Reply By: Pterosaur - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:39

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 19:39
G'day Jayse,

in a word - "YES" - 2005 August to early October, fishing with flies.

Generally found the western side of the Cape was best (because of prevailing easterlies).

Tides are available on the net - estuaries are HOT, and plentiful. Outstanding places I enjoyed were North Vrilya Point, Cotterell River, Weipa, Seisea, Pennefeather River and many others.

Try asking on this forum :

you'll find plenty of up to date info. there


AnswerID: 155427

Follow Up By: Scorcher - Monday, Feb 27, 2006 at 14:39

Monday, Feb 27, 2006 at 14:39
Hi Terry,

A group of us are heading up to The Cape in late May.

You mention the Cotterell River, which is a place we plan to visit (after seeing a track to the mouth on a recent Hema map).

Did you drive there, or just boat down to it from Vrilya Point. If you drove, can you provide any info relating to the track/ beach run, and also the camping opportunities at the mouth.

Any information would be appreciated.



FollowupID: 411553

Follow Up By: Pterosaur - Monday, Feb 27, 2006 at 17:45

Monday, Feb 27, 2006 at 17:45
G'day Scott,

Drove my troopy to the Cotterell River from Vrilya Point - route guide in Ron and Viv Moon's "Cape York" book.

Here goes (from memory) - instead of turning right off the track to get to Vrilya Point, keep going left - you'll pass several RHS tracks, but keep to the left. Eventually you will reach a creek crossing, (last fresh water) cross and follow track.

Track branches out a bit when you get to the coastal dunes (exit from the scrub - good place to stop and let down your tyres !) - easiest route is to the left, then to the right when the main track veers right (you pass a couple of minor tracks in this section too).

You then have to follow this track behind a small point to where you get onto the beach. From that point, you drive along the (very soft) beach for approx. 14 km. crossing one creek about halfway - this crossing can sometimes be a bit dodgy, I heard from some locals, but was OK when I was there. Don't be tempted to drive on the wet sand - it IS firmer, but it's pretty easy to get "locked in" around the numerous small points where the sand is cut away.

The section after this crossing was pretty good when I was there, but I am told this is pretty variable too. Before you round the last headland before the Cotterell, get off the beach (there's a marker in the sheoaks about 1km before this point) - if you can see the river. you've come too far !

Once on the track behind the beach, follow it around the coast - you'll find a number of good campsites there, most are reasonably shady, and quite close to the water.

If you're in the area, an easier place to get to,(I went to both) is North Vrilya Point (also an estuary), which is an 8-9km. drive along the beach (easiest exit is before the lightship wreck). Then follow the track behind the dunes. Very good camping and fishing there too.

Wish I was about to return

tight lines
FollowupID: 411580

Follow Up By: Scorcher - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 09:03

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 09:03
Thanks for that Terry,

After sending off my reply, I realised that it was Ron & Viv Moon's book that I had seen the track note in.

This will be my 9th trip to Cape York since 1987, and we always like to visit at least one new spot each time. We have visited Vrilya Point on several occasions, and fished North Vrilya with great success.

We haven't been any further north than the Skarden River on the past 5 trips, so I am looking forward to visiting again.

Another question, do you know what the Permit issue is regarding access to this spot ? From other threads I have read, I understand that the permit we purchase at the Jardine Ferry crossing covers this area as well, however, we were planning to stop off at the Cotterell on the way north, and didn't particularly want to have to go up to the Jardine just to get a permit.


FollowupID: 411745

Follow Up By: Pterosaur - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 09:31

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 09:31
G'day Scott,

re permits: the Jardine permit does cover the area - it may be OK to get your permit retrospectively when you get up to the Jardine, I haven't tested that theory, though.

Upon reflection, it shouldn't matter much, as much of the land along the OTL is also Injinu country, and the Jardine permit covers camping there too. In any case, the Jardine is only 23km north of the Vrilya Pt. t/off, if you're concerned.

Tried to visit the Skardon River myself - drove out to the minesite, only to find ALL access to the area had been closed off by the traditional owners because some f***wits had dumped rubbish in a traditional well when visiting there !

have a good trip
FollowupID: 411750

Reply By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:12

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:12
My son works as a guide for Seafaris during the season Check them out.
Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 155433

Follow Up By: Member - David 0- Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:36

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:36
Hey Rob

Ya link doesn't work :-)

FollowupID: 409402

Follow Up By: Nebster - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 09:58

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 09:58
Try this one the other link looks a bit messed up.

FollowupID: 409488

Reply By: Davo - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:23

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 20:23
check out north australian fish finder

North Australian Fish Finder,
PO Box 3195, Darwin, Northern Territory, 0801.
Tel: 61 08 8981 0621 --- Fax: 61 08 8981 0228

It's a great reference, and great to read by the campfire :o)

AnswerID: 155434

Reply By: Member- Rox (WA) - Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 23:06

Thursday, Feb 16, 2006 at 23:06
Try Varilia Point, its leavel with the Jardine on the west side. Take a small boor & get free water under the Tamerist trees.
AnswerID: 155467

Reply By: Turbo Diesel - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 11:43

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 11:43
Depends on where you are going to go up the cape, if you get to seisa i would strongly advise you to call Garry Wright on 07 4069 3400 "Custom Sport Fishing" Try and organise a day trip and let garry know about what fish you want to target. I was up there in december and had the time of my life, great barra, queenies etc. I would take at least two to three "Smilling Jack lures, and different size Gold bomber make sure they are the orginal bomber to. RMG scorpians are amazing up there as well. Go for it.
AnswerID: 155537

Follow Up By: Member - Glenn D (NSW) - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:48

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 20:48
Are these the guys that advertise in Sesia caravan park ?

I was kicking my own ass that we didnt take a boat away by the time we got up there !

Got a charter but . My wifes first good fish was a sizey queeny in the mouth of the Jardine , I think that may have spoiled her for catching things like bream and whiting !!

If you cant afford a tinnie start selling some stuff !!

FollowupID: 409625

Reply By: DesC - Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 18:08

Friday, Feb 17, 2006 at 18:08
Starke Beach is pretty good around mid Jan when the first big rain hits.
AnswerID: 155606

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Feb 27, 2006 at 15:23

Monday, Feb 27, 2006 at 15:23
Hi Jayse,

Tried all the areas mentioned above but some stand outs for me have been charter fishing in Weipa, Verilja Point, charter fishing at Bamaga and Port Stewart (need a tinnie there). Port Stewart stood out because the people running the camp ground guided us out to a nearby reef (bluddy long way out) and the fishing was pristine, big fish and lots of them. Verilja Point was a hoot just fishing off the beach. Hope you have a good time.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 157310

Reply By: Member - Alan (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 11:03

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 11:03

I notice in one of the threads that taking a 14ft dinghy up to Cape. Seems like a good opportunity to get some feedback on whether size does in fact matter!!

We will be travelling around with 12ft Stessle Edge Tracker Lite - is this big enough to use in the Cape - subject to prevailing weather/winds etc?

AnswerID: 157482

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 11:39

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006 at 11:39
Hi Alan,

Sounds like the same as mine. I have not felt too constrained but care is required. In choppy weather you can expect to get wet and that will depend on where you are planning to do your boating. Suspect that the prevailing south easterlies in the dry season will make any open water excursions on the east coast a little uncomfortable - unless you can find some sheltered water.

Would expect no problems on the west coast and the rivers.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 411770

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