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Thanks to Marcus for the story below of his trip here in April. Our first few charters this year have certainly been onto the fish and good times had.
Getting off the plane at Weipa airport in April quickly prepares your body for some hot and stimulating action that is ancient in appearance and primeval in manner. This place for the adventure fisherman gives you that fishy feeling from that very moment, even before they get anywhere near the water.
Weipa in April was going to be a ball-tearer I could feel it and so to could the other crew members who have made their way to the most northerly region of our wonderful land of Australia.
The Weipa house boat troopy was parked as always for our arrival. Six crew members hop on board with a complement of weapons to do battle with the Weipa wild life. On our arrival to stay overnight at the Weipa caravan park, our rooms are superb, facing the water over Weipa harbour. Air-conditioning was a cranking to keep up with the 35 degree day on a  90% humidity. Wow look at that water one punter exclaims. Like the sirens of old; the water seemed to call us all, beckoning us to start right there! But there was shopping to undertake and provisions to buy. The shopping centre had us break into two groups. The list torn in half to save time and away we go. Six blokes 6 days and we must take everything, 35 NM from Weipa harbour is long way to travel should you forget your toothbrush. As the house boat has both fridge and freezers, most food stuffs can be accommodated. After the shopping is stowed we make our way to Tackle world for any last minute purchases. I needed some braid scissors and can of bushman’s. The mozzies up here have spears!!. Being off shore at night does save you most of the time unless the SE breeze backs off to much in which case the bushman’s comes into play.
We are all up sparrow fart the following morning waiting for the clock to sound 8.00am. Time to make our way to the boat shed for a brief on our trip and the obligatory OH&S talk before our departure. As I have been to Weipa now on many occasions as soon as we are given the go ahead I formed a crew of 3 on one of the tenders and we are off to do the poles. These nautical makers supply the eyes for the ships steaming in and out of Weipa harbour. Fish like structure! and as these structures leave the harbour at 1000m intervals into deeper water, they hold fish. Big ones, I call them the Unstoppables. Try your luck on these piscatorial monsters. But be warned you are in their backyard and they don’t take prisoners, ever!! I got busted up four times before I landed this XXL Cobia that went back immediately to prepare himself for the next contestant.
As the tide changed we left the poles and made our way down the coast to Red cliffs. On the way I found a spot in 4 metres of water with a bommie on it. Tusk fish are residents of bommies and taste great if you bag one. Once we bagged enough fish for tonight’s meal it was off chasing the houseboat down the coast at red Cliffs and have some lunch. And for me, get out of the sun as I was starting to smell pork. The afternoon fish started at 4pm when the sun was low enough in the sky for the predators to start to look above. The plastics on light tackle Curado baiter caster. 2 inch white and green mullet bagged everything from trout to blue salmon. I was on fire!! Every other cast was a fish. While in the distance I could see the other tender fishing the sand for queenies. Not big ones however as many 60s as you would care to catch. That was the end of day One!
The morning of day 2,  Marco, Greg and I got into the tender and motored 150m from the house boat into the beach to catch to morning breakfast feast that Red cliffs puts on each day. As the sun rose above the cliffs the waters boiled around us. All forms of fish came to feed on the baitfish that hugged that corner of the beach. GTs Queenies , salmon, tarpon ,they were all there. And then Greg let out a low grunt, I looked up and out of the water to the end of its tail comes our first Barra for the trip. I exclaimed it’s a Barra!, while focusing on the issue at hand. This fish was not in the boat yet! After some time we subdued the beastie into the net. Greg’s first trip with us and the tinnie bastard bagged an 85cm 6.5kg Barra on sand nowhere near structure. Yep! That’s Weipa for you….
Well that certainly had the other punters poised for action and something like that Barra was motivation enough to see their casting abilities improve immediately as fish were a plenty in this land called Red cliffs.
After breakfast we steamed to Boyd’s Bay for a change of scenery. For those of you reading this story may I say that Boyd’s bay is beautiful by anyone’s standards.  Wake up to this vista evokes a sense of enjoyment like nowhere else in the world. The afternoon fish was a 15 min boat ride out to three mile. A reef system that holds 100s of fish, and is also resident to many large sharks. The trick is pacifying the sharks with a few early offerings so you can continue fishing into the evening. But sometimes the Sharks just want it all and when it happens, its time to go elsewhere. The other tender did exactly that and travelled off north chasing some birds. We could see them in the distance working away and when they got home. We were presented with 2 blue fin tuna and Spanish Mackerel both of which are slightly out of season, however very welcome to our table that night. The mackerel was superb.
The next morning was a Queenie feast off the point taking everything the punters could throw at them. With the odd snip from a Long Tom or Barracuda which just reminded the chaps to change lures and keep the economy ticking over. Joe and I went Tusker hunting to keep the dinner menu complete. His Shimano lever drag overhead packed with 80lb mono coupled with a back bone broom stick rod means most tuskers are on the losing side once hooked up. These sizeable fish fight well above their weight and never give an inch when they grab your bait. I use a hand line with gloves on to decrease the line burn when these beasties take off back to their hide holes. Yes I still get line burn but it’s worth it!
On our return from menu fishing we moved the house boat down to Pera point. The most southerly mooring for the Weipa houseboat. Two rocky outcrops run in parallel 100 m apart with enough distance out to sea to protect the houseboat mooring from any southwesters that may pop up from time to time gives us protection from the swell. Equally beautiful in character as Boyd is, however the little fresh water stream running down the beach can be bathed in should you feel the need. You do this of course with someone watching out for the Croc that lives in the billabong!!. The heat of the day brought all back to the boat from the mornings fishing in the Norman River, 10k south of Pera. The mouth fished monstrously well. Golden and GTs to about 2 kgs on light gear were a fascination until the tide brought them back to the house boat.   I stayed back on the houseboat and caught a few tuskers. After lunch and with a little rest, everybody was worded up on The Spot.   
 


The Spot is a pinnacle out at three mile that holds big Finger mark, a favourite table fish for most in Weipa. The sharks also have a liking for finger mark also so take a few and then move on otherwise you just feed the biteys and lose tackle. It was great fishing that afternoon and as the Sun set in the west we made our way back to Pera for a G&T and a Tub in preparation for dinner. 
The next morning we made the decision to travel back to Red Cliffs. The fishing up there was good and the distance back to Weipa harbour was palatable. Two crew maned the houseboat while the other 4 manned the tenders to pursue their chosen quarry. The house boat was back to Red Cliffs as the tenders returned from the morning safari. Red cliffs beach is absolutely strewn with drift wood and prefect for a beach side fire to cook your catch on. What a wonderful way to spend an evening as the sun once again sets and the canvas of Weipa fades to grey.
The Following day was our travel day back to Weipa harbour. You would think fishing the harbour for most would be an anticlimax. Far from the truth as many places hold fish including an old sparring partner the barramundi as well as the usual predatory suspects that make this whole place the envy of fishing destinations all over the world. Once again our dinner was fish and what a wonderful ending to another memorable trip our countries tip in the north. 
The Weipa trips for me are now a yearly sabbatical. They serve to remind me that life in these small corners of the world is still simple and exciting. People here are genuine welcoming and friendly. A bevi will always be forthcoming should you arrive to someone’s home. Along with a story of the latest catch will accompany the cold one and help it go down. Weipa fishing is still some of the best in the world and most don’t know where it is. Go find out, you will love it!                                                    
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