For 12 years now I have been planning extended do it yourself adventures into Cape York Queensland. During that time I have been lucky enough to encounter some amazing fishing, from big GT’s, to coral trout that can be only described as dinosaurs, to metre long Barra.
Along the way there have been a lot of lessons learnt, but one thing that has improved over time is the quality of fishing gear that we are using, which in turn has improved the quality of fish landed. Below are some of the essential items you should consider when venturing to most parts of tropical northern Australia.
My favourite outfit for surface luring the inshore and offshore reefs is the Stella 20000 coupled with the T Curve GT Special. The Stella 20000, while slower than the 18000 will give you plenty of low down grunt and running Ocea EX8 PE 8 will allow for plenty of power. If your budget is a little less, then a Saragosa 20000 will get the job done.
Working Stickbaits around the outer reef edges and inner shoals I’ll use the 8 foot PE 5 Grappler with the Twin Power 10000. This outfit still has enough guts to land 30kg+ GT’s and doggies while also having the sensitivity to nail your nice reefies like coral trout and emperor’s from the shallows and sharp reef edges.
The general rule for jigging on the outer reefs is go heavy or go home, so using nothing less than PE 8 teamed up with either a saragosa 20000 or Stella 20000. Jigging is hard work, so a short strong rod is needed and an Anarchy PE8 Jig Rod will give you the pulling power you need.
On the Inshore shallower grounds with smaller jigs and micros, I’ll switch to the Grappler PE 5 with the saragosa 8000 as a lighter option.
This rig can have multiple uses. The TK3G 6-10kg 7 ft paired with a Twinpower 5000 or Biomaster 5000 and PE3 can not only be used to extract those hardy bottom dwellers, but also used to throw metals and light stickbaits for speedsters like Tuna and Mackeral. If you need an extra outfit to tackle the headland Barra with soft plastics, this can also be used.
I’ve only just recently retired my Curado 200 e7 which is now a spare, and have move onto the Caenan 150 along with a TK3G 1.8m 6-10kg Rod and usually 30lb Power Pro zinging through the guides. This is perfect for those big salties off the headlands but have the finesse to fish the billabongs and small rivers.
Northern Australia adventures can be downright hectic when it comes to fishing, and every inch of your gear will be tested. Make sure you go well prepared, and buy the best quality you can afford.