by Nial Logan
This checklist is designed to be of assistance to those who are planning a trip to this great fishing location for the first time. It is not intended to be the “end all to be all”.
Airfares and Transfers
Qantas has one flight daily in and out of Weipa. Because of the limited availability of seats, it is wise to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. A taxi service is available from the airport to your accommodation. If you are booked on one of the motherships or with a guide they will normally be at the airport to transport you to your destination.
The flight into Weipa has the following restrictions:
One bag with maximum weight of 20 kilos (They have become very strict on weight and number of pieces of luggage) plus 1 piece of hand luggage of not more than 4 kilos in weight.
Normal flight restrictions apply to your carry on luggage – make sure that there are no sharp items such as pliers, flies, pocket knives etc otherwise they will be confiscated. You are not allowed to carry rod tubes on as hand luggage. The best option is to take four piece rods and pack them in your luggage.
If you planning a self-guided expedition, hire boats and 4×4’s are available for hire. You will require a current Queensland recreational boat licence.
No fishing licence is required however there are a number of restricted native communities. It would be prudent to do some research prior to the trip and ascertain what restrictions apply if you are not with a charter operation.
A wide range of accommodation including Caravan Parks, Houseboats, Motel, Resort and Budget accommodation is available. Check out http://www.weipa.biz/section/69.html for more details.
- The Anchorage – Phone (07)4069 7535; Mobile 0427 697 535; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heritage Resort – Phone (07)4069 8000; Fax (07)4069 8011; Email: email@example.com
- Weipa Camping Ground – Phone (07)40697871; Fax (07)40698211; Web: www.campweipa.com
- Weipa Palms – Phone (07)54724100;Fax (07)54724111; Mobile 0409061097; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Weipa Houseboats – Phone (07)40697469; Fax (07)4069 7305; Email: email@example.com
Set of clothes to wear up and back
2 or 3 sets of fishing clothes. Long sleeve shirts and at least one set of long pants is recommended.
Towels are usually provided by the accommodation.
Wide brimmed hat or sun protective cap
If you wear sandals an old pair of light coloured socks to prevent sunburn.
It doesn’t get cold however a wet weather jacket is useful when travelling.
A pair of thongs or sandals for use in shower.
All the necessary supplies can be purchased at Woolworths Shopping Centre in Weipa.
As well as other refreshments a can of sports drink powder is recommended.
Good medical facilities are available in Weipa itself however they are non-existent once you leave the town. A well stocked first aid kit is essential. If you need special supplies make sure that an you have an ample supply before arriving in Weipa.
Ensure that you are conversant with the treatment for some of the nasties such as stingers and stonefish. Prevention is better than cure…..stay out of the water and if you do venture into the water wear protective footwear and long trousers.
Take a good supply of 25+ sun screen and lip protectant.
If you have any special dietary requirements, take them with you. The supply in Weipa is limited.
Take at least 2 rods. 8/9 weight will handle most fishing conditions. Don’t exclude at 6 wt if you have one – there is some great sports fishing off the beach. A 11/12 weight should be included if you have one – Boyds Bay is renowned for big fish that include 40lb plus GT’s and Cobia.
If possible, consider 4 or 5 piece rods – they can be packed in your baggage so that it lessens the trip destroying eventuality of the rods being lost or damaged on the flight in.
Take at least 2 good quality reels that carry a minimum of 200 metres of backing. Make sure that they are serviced and in good working order.
Essential (minimum) – an intermediate line for the majority of the fishing and a floating line for popper use. Lines should be suitable for tropical use and can be either full length or shooting heads.
Additional (optional) – fast sink tip, full length fast sink or T14 shooting head for fishing deeper reefs.
Expect to damage or loose plenty. Use this list as a guide:
Clousers – 15 x white in 1/0, 10 x chartreuse/white in 1/0
Flats Fly – 10 x tan estaz body, gold flash, tan wing, black or gold barbell eyes in #1
Poppers – 10 Gurglers in white with pearl estaz body in 2/0
Pink Thing – 10 x 2/0
Flashy Profile – 5 x4/0 and 6/0 Bendbacks (Assassin Style) – 10 x white or white/ tan Flashfibre with weight in 3/0
Crab Patterns – 5 x #1 in tan
It is also suggested that if you are going as a group, at least one member of the group takes some tying gear just in case that “hot bite” gets a bit out of hand.
A supply of 8 to 10 kg tapered leaders with a supply of 40 – 60lb abrasion resistant shock tippet.
If you are chasing some of the toothy critters such as mackerel, some 40lbTyger wire.
Some 15 and 20lb fluorocarbon tippett material to lengthen the leader as it gets shorter.
Twisted style leaders in 20 – 30lb work well for turning over big flies and have a degree of stretch to absorb shock.
Good quality polaroid sunglasses – if possible take ones with amber glass and yellow glass as well as a lens cleaning kit. Many prefer amber for general use for spotting. The yellow photochromatic lens are ideal in low light early and late in the day and when conditions are overcast. (take two in case of accidents)
Pliers; Fishing Gloves; Sun gloves; Line trimmers; Sandals or wading boots; Small hand towel
Reel lube, screw drivers and a small adjustable spanner may also be handy to enable reel servicing if required. Leatherman type tools have many of these items as attachments.
Small bag to carry gear when walking the beach.
Camera and charger.
Take some material for replacing loops and mending broken fly lines.
A large box to store the bulk of your flies plus a pocket sized fly box to take with you when walking on the beach.
Flyline cleaner and conditioner.
A GPS is useful if you wish to keep track of where you have been on the trip.
Stripping basket -They will make life a lot easier in hire boats that are not set up specifically for fly and when walking the beach to allow quick presentations to fast moving fish. Whatever design you use, the prerequisite is that it allows you to make long strips. See article Customising a Stripping Basket to make one that is suitable.
If you are self guiding, check with the point of hire about the communication procedures in case of accident or breakdown. This is a remote area and assistance will take time to get to you so in many cases you will be on your own.
Many common sense precautions apply – do not wade in water or fish close to the waters edge where you cannot see the bottom. This is definite no-no around estuary areas. Many are under the false impression that crocs only inhabit the rivers and estuaries. In truth they can be found all along the coast of northern regions and sometimes some distance out to sea.
Be careful putting your hands in the water over the side of the boat for extended periods for photo opportunities or when releasing a fish. This is particularly applicable if the fish is bleeding. Many sizeable sharks and groper inhabit the the open water and the estuaries.
A personal epirb would be an extra safety precaution.