Weipa’s reputation as a barramundi hotspot is well known, it produces many other species, including sailfish and small black marlin.
There is sight fishing for the now infamous “blue bastards”, plenty of spanish mackerel, and tropical reef fish are easy enough to find.
Visiting anglers can catch more than 20 species in a week of fishing if both river and offshore areas are visited.
The reason the fishing is so good is twofold.
The main waterways – the Embley and Hey to the south, Mission and Pine to the north – are closed to commercial netting.
Secondly, the estuaries are vast expanses of flats and mangroves fed annually by a wet season monsoon.
This ensures a healthy population of barramundi, along with mangrove jacks, golden snapper, threadfin salmon, cod, jewfish, queenfish, grunter, pikey bream and more.
Rock patches along the Albatross Bay foreshores and offshore provide habitat for barra, mangrove jacks, golden snapper, cod and coral trout, as well as queenfish and trevally.
The shipping channel at the mouth of the Embley River can provide excellent fishing, particularly around Urquhart Point and near the lead posts that extend seawards for 10km.
Bait schools often shelter in the dredged channel, attracting mackerel, tuna, trevally, queenfish and cobia.
Circling and diving birds are good indicators of pelagic activity offshore.
Look out also for manta rays – they often are accompanied by mammoth cobia and golden trevally.
Cast tuna slices or lures trolled around the edge of the bait schools will bring results.
Good reef fishing can be found off Westminster, Pera Head and Duyfken Point.
Use livebait on the drop-offs in about 8m to 15m of water for best results.
Big jewfish are quite common off Weipa.
FADs have been located offshore for those who chase billfish, mackerel, dolphin fish and tripletail.
A detailed fishing map of Weipa is available in the North Australian FISH FINDER book.
Most Weipa visitors head straight for the estuary flats, fishing the low-tide gutters for barra, salmon and queenfish.
Weipa has open public access via 600km of road via Cairns. Much of the route is now sealed.
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