It was a brisk spring morning when I met up with the rest of the group at Sydney airport. There was plenty of gear, especially considering it was for six blokes and we were only on a domestic flight. Getting through check-in took slightly longer than usual and we all crossed our fingers that our gear would make the two flights and arrive at our destination in Weipa.

The Qantas flights ran like clockwork and later that afternoon we touched down amongst the dusty red scrub of Weipa airport. The heat was an immediate force as we walked to the shed to wait for our baggage. Ten minutes later a small cart pulled up with the baggage. You wouldn’t believe it but a bag was missing. After a bit of squabble with the airport attendant she informed us that Qantas had decided to leave that piece of luggage until the next flight for some unknown reason. Luckily we had a night in town at the Heritage Resort before boarding the houseboat the next day. The missing gear did arrive later that night. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for supplies for the next week, then had a few beers around the pool at dinner. The heat was fairly dry being September and wasn’t so bad in the shade. The next morning we turned up to the shipyard and loaded our houseboat, the Tillimay, and organised our three tenders for the group of six to fish from.

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Shipyard in Weipa


The Tillimay crew; Roger Woodward, Chris Harding, Ben Campbell, Paul Dwyer, Kim Prehn & Leo Harding

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Home for the week

We spent the 6 days fishing all the way down the coast to Boyds Bay, the Weipa Harbour and up the river systems. Unfortunately strong winds from the West and the accompanying swells cut short our time at Boyds and sent us on a forced retreat up river.

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Heading back from Redcliffs in the tenders

The fishing was good by world standards but poor against the usual Weipa experience according to the guys in our crew that had been before. Possibly due to the unusual wind direction. We still managed to catch plenty of fish, nothing huge, mostly on white clousers, surf candies and the Kim Prehn rim fly.

During the week our group caught a wide array species including Coral Trout, Queenfish, Oceanic Queenfish, Dart, Giant Herring, Golden Trevally, Spanish Mackerel, Tarpon, Fingermark, Bigeye Trevally, Barracuda, Spanish Flag Snapper, Tuskfish and Barramundi.

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Plenty of Queenfish

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Paradise on the south side of Weipa harbour


Sight fishing to Trevally on the flats

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Exploring tight creeks at high tide

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A Barramundi that was bullied out from the mangroves using a small white clouser

Sunset in Weipa

Sunset in Weipa

Unfortunately we didn’t get into any Long Tail Tuna, Permit or Blue Bastards. Next time.