Barramundi Fishing in the Gulf of CarpentariaTrips ex-Weipa, live aboard - Runoff Late March to Early June
Although we can travel as far north as the McDonald, Jackson and Skardon rivers and the Kendall and Holroyd Rivers to the south, we most regularly fish the mighty Wenlock and Ducie Rivers near Mapoon and Port Musgrave, as well as the Archer River at Aurukun.
This time of year, coming after the wet, is a truly magical time to fish this region and the height of the Gulf barra season. And the weather is mostly perfect.
Not just barramundi!
In addition to the fabulous barramundi fishing, the rivers produce an array of other sportfish including, Mangrove Jack, Salmon, Fingermark, Estuary Cod, Tarpon, not to mention tasty mud crabs.
The nearby reefs and shoals are an amazing light tackle sport fishery, home to tuna, mackerel, queenfish and large mouth nannygai and fingermark. Walk the beaches targeting golden and giant trevally and the elusive Permit. The sailfishing potential is also mostly unexplored.
Our trips are five days live aboard with guests fly-in, fly-out from Weipa – only a one hour flight from Cairns. Arrive on board in the afternoon for an evening departure which puts you on the best spot for a start to fishing the very first morning. We can also arrange car transfers to the river according to the location that we are fishing.
Visit our fishing report archives to read the weekly reports from the last three years. Your trip won’t come soon enough once you do!
Our great team & local experience & knowledgeWe've been fishing these systems for years to the benefit of you as our guests.
Take advantage of our vast knowledge of these remote Gulf river systems.
Capt. Luke and KEKOA know these river systems and have logged well over 400 days on these waterways over the past several seasons alone.
Capt. Luke Fallon, in addition to being a well-known and respected captain and member of the Cairns Giant Black Marlin fleet, has been barramundi fishing and guiding since he was a teenager. He operated as Luke Fallon Sport Fishing Charters in the 1990’s targeting barra in his hometown of Townsville and along the east coast of North Queensland before bringing KEKOA to pursue the potential of the vastly un-fished regions of the western coast in the Gulf for the first time in 2010.
With seven seasons in these rivers now already under his belt, the fishing continues to get better and better with the teams ongoing intimate knowledge of each waterway.
Luke was also heavily involved in the build of KEKOA which was completed and launched in March of 2010, in time for our first gulf season. And the boat was built with these type of long-range trips in mind and the larger vessel provides extreme comfort in these remote destinations bringing this exciting fishery within easy reach of KEKOA’s valued clients.
KEKOA provides for our guests as a fully air-conditioned luxurious and comfortable mothership.
The barra fishing is from two 4 metre fibreglass CrossXCountry tenders. All trips are a maximum of 4 anglers as groups or on a per person basis (each trip is 5 days fishing).
On board KEKOA as part of our gulf team, is Luke’s wife Kelly — who can also barra fish with the best of them — and prepares all of our meals (and patiently listens to all the great barra fishing stories upon our return to the mothership despite often harbouring a strong case of the green-eyed-monster!)
Our anglers can enjoy some spectacular feasts at the end of busy day’s fishing as well as plenty of delicious surprises in the lunchbox during the day.
The popular favourites made from locally caught species include mud-crab lasagna, smoked barramundi pizza’s (smoked on board), honey sesame prawns (gulf prawns of course!), thai fish cakes and our favourite barra burgers (see recipes page).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the trip schedule
Our trips are 5 days fishing, and the tours run weekly from late March through to early June each year.
We usually fish on the destination river from Thursday to Sunday targeting mainly the great barramundi, as well as other common species which can include mangrove jack, saratoga, fingermark, blue & threadfin salmon, queenfish, trevally, permit, tarpon and black jewfish.
Depending on the timing of your trip, Monday may include the option to fish the river again or you may choose to leave the river early and blue water fish the trip back to Weipa.
Please talk to Capatin Luke about best options according to the conditions, your fishing location and recent fishing results.
Can I take fish home?
We have 5kg styrofoam fish boxes on board, one for every guest to take home full of fillets to share with you family & friends…..if you want to share that is!
Should I bring my own tackle?
We do supply all tackle, but if you’re an avid barramundi fisherman and have your own gear, we encourage you to bring it along.
*Please check with Qantas re: luggage restrictions
I have a food allergy. Can you accommodate me?
Kelly’s menu includes plenty of good quality Australian meat and of course, locally caught seafood — and is often planned well in advance due to the remote location.
If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please let us know well as soon as possible so we can be sure to accommodate you.
What are the alcohol restrictions?
Many of the areas we fish on the Cape are alcohol restricted areas. However, alcohol is permitted in the moderation on the mothership, and you will be able to enjoy a drink at the end of a great day’s fishing.
We supply beer and a selection of wine. If you have a specific request for beer or wine please let us know early because supply is limited in Weipa. You may also bring your own spirits (limited to one bottle of spirits per person.)
We plan to arrive into Weipa early to take a look around. What are the accommodation options?
Accommodation in Weipa is limited due, so please do book early. A couple of popular opens are:
Albatros Hotel www.albatrossbayresort.com.au
Heritage Hotel www.heritageresort.com.au
Camp Weipa Beachfront Lodge www.campweipa.com.au/lodge.htm
*Please send us your arrival times and a contact mobile so we can arrange airport pickup.
There are a few flight options to chose from, which flight should I book?
Unless otherwise arranged (your trip is extended or of a specialised duration), the following flights are most appropriate to meet the boat for departure and return.
Fly in Wednesday on QF2478 flight arriving at 11:45am (QF2480 arriving at 2:20pm will also work for a slightly later departure.)
Fly out Tuesday on QF2481 which departs Weipa at 12 noon. This is the first flight of the day.
Qantas can change their schedule without notice on occasion and so if you are at all unsure about which flight to book, please contact us before booking. We recommend you book your flights early, especially if your trip falls over school or public holidays.