Karumba is the gateway to the rivers of the lower Gulf of Carpentaria and, for those with suitable boats, some of western Cape York’s remote rivers.
Karumba is a gulf port, 72km by sealed road from Normanton. It has two boat ramps at the Norman River mouth.
The lower Norman River is not netted.
The main species caught are barramundi, threadfin and blue salmon, golden snapper (fingermark), grunter, black jewfish, goldspot cod and groper, mackerel, queenfish, trevally, catfish and mud crabs. Also present but rarely targeted are bream, flathead and whiting.
Grunter are hugely popular and mostly caught in the dry season, ending around September. Mackerel are offshore in the dry season (winter).
Jewfish can occasionally be caught off the beach at Karumba Point.
Offshore structure is hard to find, but if you do find some you will catch golden snapper and jewfish. Most action takes place along the channel edges and markers.
Big jewfish, barramundi and golden snapper are best around Karumba in Sept/Oct.
A popular overnight trip from Karumba is the 26 nautical miles to the anchorage within the Smithburne River. Travel between the mainland and Pelican Island only at high tide.
Grunter and salmon are caught out the front and along river mouth channels, and foreshores at high tide, jewfish are in the hole at the Norman mouth, with mixed species in the rivers.
Walker’s Creek is easily accessible as the crossing is on the sealed road between Normanton and Karumba.
There is limited access to the Leichardt, Flinders and Bynoe Rivers on the Normanton-Burketown Road.
The Flinders, Bynoe and other smaller waterways are all worth fishing.
Keep in mind the mouths of many Gulf rivers are usually shallow and constantly changing and should be crossed on an upper rising tide.
Plan the trip home for high water.
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