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Borroloola NT - Easter Trip


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Day 1,2,3 –

Set off at approximately 4-30am from Tiaro QLD, with two landcruisers towing two boats loaded up for two weeks of completely self-sufficient camping in sunny Northern Territory. Took the Bruce highway up to rocky then headed inland. Didn’t start too well with a blown out tyre close to Benaraby. OK, one spare tyre between two utes should be enough ïŠ Made it to Longreach for dinner and drove a couple more hours till we pulled up and slept at a truckstop in the swags between the two utes. The next day we drove into Mt Isa and had lunch at a mates place...then made it about 2 hours past the Barkly homestead, and pulled up at another truckstop and into the swags. Now at 2days since the last shower, I kindly requested we drop into Cape Crawford for a shower…the deodorant just wasn’t cutting it by this stage! Day 3 saw us head into Manangoora station which involved some serious 4wding, including corrugated roads, deep washouts, water over the roads, and creek and river crossings. Our camp was situated on the bank of the Wearyan River…with permission from the aboriginal elder ‘Lenny’. We managed to get the tent up before dark…thank goodness, as once the sun goes down, the mozzies thicken up real fast!!! I’ve never been covered in mozzies so much! Luckily before the trip I’d soaked some clothes in Permethrin (insecticide) to combat the mozzies and the midgies, and it worked a treat!!! So off to bed for the fishing to begin first thing in the morning.


Day 4 –

Set off in the morning to collect some live bait – mullet. And they were everywhere! Only took a few casts to get enough for the day. We creeped up into some little creeks that run parallel to the Wearyan River and put our lines out and waited for the action to arise….and it didn’t take long! First fish of the trip was my brother Nath’s barramundi approx. 80cm long. Not a bad start to the day and the trip. Then I hooked up to my first…it went 81cm. In addition to barra, we also landed some blue salmon, queenfish, and my bro-in-law Dan got some cod and gropers.


Day 5 –

We hit the creeks again with much the same plan, and this time I got a bigger barra, and what would turn out to be my biggest at 87cm. I also got a smaller 60cm barra, and some blue salmon and queenies. Nath didn’t manage a barra but did hook up to a monster groper!


Day 6 –

We attempted to hit the reef on day 6, but the winds were up and Dan and I quickly got the dreaded seasickness. It was pretty choppy and I didn’t have my lines rigged up for reef which meant a lot of looking down into the boat instead of out at the horizon…this quickly leads to seasickness for me. I did manage to get my first coral trout…although it was a bit small :-) We hooked up to some reefies but they were all small. We pulled into the rangers on one of the islands and it was the most magnificent bay.


Day 7 –

Headed up to Pelican Spit and Fat Fellows Creek on day 7, looking for some more barra and maybe some jacks. Where we first pulled up seemed to be riddled with sharks so we moved on fairly quickly but it was all a bit quiet. In our attempts to move into a different creek, we were a little too impatient for the incoming tide and both our boats were stuck on a sand bar. We managed to get my boat free so I drove that into the creek while the boys worked on pushing the other boat free…..I caught 4 blue salmon while waiting for them ;-) Different load of fish this day with a few sharks about.


Day 8 –

Woke up to a beautiful sunrise and we decided to go back to one of the closer creeks this day and boy did it pay off. Saw a little croc on the way out of the Wearyan River. Even managed to catch some crabs on our lines ïŠ Nath was happy with a barra on lure.



Day 9 –

We decided to try the reef again as it was dead calm. Found a nice rocky bottom and the snapper were on. There was a good lot of golden snapper (fingermark), as well as trevally. I hooked up to a GT but lost it once I saw colour….so devastated. The snapper loved my lucanas jig, and we were soon throwing the snapper out as ‘pests’ as we had bagged out easily. We then went back into some creeks once the winds picked up a bit and played around casting slugs into the mullet schools….this was good fun as the salmon and queenies smash the slugs and fight hard! This was a great day on the reef.



Day 10 –

Tried to get up Midgee creek, only it had grown over somewhat and we could only get about 15m into the creek. The mangroves were thick but so were the fish. The cheeky buggers could even be seen chewing on the mangroves with there tails sticking up. Here I got my first mangrove jack! And let me say, the circle hooks worked a treat for these fellas, as they grab your bait and run. Funniest thing happened….Dan hooked up to a little cod, and just as he brought it to the boat, a bigger cod swam up and ate the smaller cod! Couldn’t land the bigger one as it wasn’t ‘hooked’ but it was hilarious – he was just sitting there hanging onto it! Nath could only manage to hook up to some bream in midgee creek so it was time to move. Found a bigger hole and also found some more jack and cod. I almost lost a big cod with my braid just hanging on by the smallest of threads. It was a pretty productive day’s fishing.



Day 11 –

This was our last day’s fishing, and we managed to find a hole with a lot of barra! Nath had a blinder bringing in 4 decent barra, whilst I managed 3…and poor Dan couldn’t hook up to a fish (not even a dirty salmon). The gear was tested and our snaplocks were struggling. We’d had some crab pots in and collected them on the way home….and managed a fat cod in one of them. But still got a great feed of crabs for our last night.

Nath and I were both using RhinoStiks from Austackle; I had the long cast pelagic spinstik 6-10kg, while Nath had the Mad Cow spinstik 8-12kg and we are both extremely happy with them. They both performed beautifully for the barra as well as out on the reef.





Day 12-14.

It took a day for us to pack up the camp and 2 days to drive home – with the 2nd day involving some shiftwork – sleep-drive-sleep-drive, as we drove straight from the Barkly Homestead in the heart of the territory to Tiaro on Fraser Coast of QLD. The trip home was a lot less eventful, with a lot of the river crossings having dropped significantly, but we still managed to lose a tyre off the boat trailer.


This was by far the best trip of my lifetime….I found myself lying in my swag at 4 in the morning in the middle of Australia, watching shooting stars fly across the sky! I was in awe at the landscapes out there…with nothing on the horizon for miles and miles. The fishing up there lived up to every expectation I had ever held and more. I will definitely go back again and perhaps stay longer this time. There really is nothing like it.

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Nat thanks for an excellent report. Thought i recognized the rhinosticks in the photos and was all set to ask a question and you filled me in at the end.I was very tempted to get one for a barra rod but couldnt justify it with 4 other barra rods.

Re BO on long trips we used to use eucalypt oil to hide our scent when shooting may only be a old fashioned blokey thing



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I'd love to do that....how do you suppose i would go about this?

I don't know but there's a few members that have done it. A PM to any one of these should give you the answer :)





Cheers and let us know how you get on. Ray will let us all know which edition is a must-buy B)

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