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Aurukun Fishing Charters
Aurukun is located 100kms south of Weipa on the western coast of Cape York and at the junction of three pristine rivers - the Archer, the Watson and the Ward. Together with other systems lying further south (the Kirk and the Love Rivers), these wetland areas are massive.
Outside the rivers is a blue water wonder land, with long sandy beaches, interspersed with rocky outcrops and a maze of in-shore reefs.
From the keenest, most discerning fly fisherman, the avid lure-caster, to those who just want to relax and catch a few fish, a customised fishing charter aboard this new sport fishing platform is for you - a private fishing charter operation that offers a Cape York fishing experience combining the magnificent Barramundi fishery of the Gulf of Carpentaria, with the pristine reef and inshore fishing options.
Joining the group of truly remote and original fishing charters around northern Australia, we invite you to join us on the magnificent Archer River.
Targeted species in the Aurukun area include Barramundi, Blue Salmon, Threadfin Salmon, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Queenfish, Trevally, Grunter, Bream, Saratoga, Tarpon, Spanish Mackerel, Grey Mackerel, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, and many more.
So, whether you are chasing a barramundi fix, a tussle with the huge range of estuary species and blue water speedsters, or just some tasty reef fish, the opportunities are limitless if prevailing conditions allow and it is a requested option.
We provide fully guided fishing adventures, taking you to places that others can’t access, including a range of onshore fishing options.
Aurukun Fishing Charters has created a superb sportfishing tour that cruises a pristine tropical wetland river system which is virtually un-fished.
The Pikkuw (which is the Wik Munkan language name for “salt-water crocodile”) is a spacious, comfortable, custom built vessel with accommodation for up to 6 passengers. Designed specifically for the waterways around Aurukun, this air-conditioned mother-ship will ensure guests have a relaxing and safe stay.
The Pikkuw makes use of the most up to date communication and safety equipment, all boats are equipped with a VHF radio for communication between the tenders and mother-ship. Telstra Mobilenet coverage is available at the mother-ship location.
The boat has a modern kitchen and cooking facilities with plentiful refrigeration / freezer space. The upper deck is a great place to relax, and can be screened-in or left open. There is a BBQ, tables and a bar fridge on hand to make it an ideal entertainment area.
The Pikkuw makes use of the most up date communication and safety equipment. There are three Satellite/CDMA phones and all boats are equipped with a VHF radio for communication between the tenders and mother-ship.
Three custom built tenders are in tow, designed to fish 2 anglers per vessel in comfort. Running these tenders with 60hp 4-stroke engines means you get to spots quickly, with minimal fuel needed to access some truly remote areas.
With a never ending array of fishing spots to explore, the Pikkuw has the enormous benefit of utilizing the skills and knowledge of the traditional owners of these parts. Isolated lagoons and billabongs, the upper reaches of the Ward, Watson, Archer and Small Archer Rivers are but a few of these exciting locations. Some of these tiny creeks have never seen a lure or fly!
The boat is crewed by well-experienced and friendly guides who have an invaluable depth of knowledge in this region.
Our dedicated fishing guides will provide anglers (both experienced and non) with valuable knowledge of the local fishing environment. They will ensure that you enjoy a safe and memorable holiday, always on hand to make your stay with us comfortable and relaxing.
We work hard to give anglers the type of fishing experience they are looking for and provide the kind of diversity in species and location unparalleled by most operations.
Options are always weather and tide dependent. But on any given day, no matter what the weather or tide, there will be angling options. Trips can be tailored to your fishing desires, lure and fly fishing options are our specialty.
The Pikkuw has direct access to four diverse waterways. The Ward, Watson, Small Archer and main Archer Rivers. Each of these systems having a myriad of smaller creeks which flow into them.
There is a massive wetland area south of Aurukun, based around the Archer, Love, Kirk and Kendell Rivers. This area is of huge ecological significance and is the reason why wildlife is so abundant. The floodplains, lagoons and salt-pan areas dotting the upper reaches of these creeks and rivers provide a nursery for Saratoga, Sootie Grunter, Mangrove Jack, Tarpon and of course, the mighty Barra.
There has been plenty of press given to the quality Barramundi fishing in this area. Cricket score catches of Barra can be had after the wet-season and again in Oct-Nov. There is also amazing diversity of Barra fishing, giving anglers the choice of targeting big, fat, up-stream Barra or their startling-silver, yellow tailed cousins in the downstream reaches.
Angling options around here go well beyond Barra, with a range of the north’s premier sportfish on the list. All types of fish can be caught on a range of tackle using an equally large range of techniques.
The run-off of the floodwaters produces some extraordinary, unmatched lure and fly-fishing moments for Barramundi, Mangrove Jacks and Sooty Grunter in the upper systems, whilst 'Queenfish Flats' literally boils.
A well-presented lure or fly will entice Mangrove Jacks, Fingermark, Trevally, Queenfish, Salmon (king & blue) and Cod from the snags and Trevally, Queenfish, Mackerel and Tuna off shore.
While the run-off fishing is first-rate, other options remain varied throughout the year. You will be staggered to see the clarity of water with neap tides in the middle of the year. A small Mackerel caught 15km up the river on a soft plastic lure didn’t even come as a shock!
A large system of reefs in close proximity to the coast, combined with rocky headland and long sand flats opens up an amazing array of light tackle sport fishing.
Queenfish, Mackerel, Giant Herring, Tuna and Trevally can be seen cutting tight balls of baitfish to shreds, while Golden Trevally and Permit cruise around in relatively shallow water.
The shallow reef and rock patches provide fishing for Fingermark, Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Nannygai, Stripies, Bluebone, Mangrove Jack and many more.
What to Bring
All tackle is provided on a replace if lost or broken basis, however keen anglers are encouraged to bring along your own favourite spinning, baitcaster and fly fishing outfits. Our recommendations for the local conditions are:
- Rods: A 8-10kg fishing rod no larger than 6 feet for estuary fishing is ideal. On board we use the strong and reliable Silstar Power tip 6-10kg sticks, which suit most situations. For anglers who wish to bring a spin-stick for light game purposes (chucking slugs, poppers, trolling lures), something in 8-10kg range would be ideal. For fishing the reef and off shore grounds a 12 -15kg rod of around 185cm is adequate.
- Reels: Good quality overhead (baitcaster) or thread line (egg beater) fishing reels are advisable. Ensure your reel has a good quality drag system and have it spooled with 8-10kg mono, or 30lb braid (guide only). In terms of larger spin reels, have them spooled with 10-12kg mono or 30-60lb braid.
- Traces: Bring yourself a small reel of 40-60lb monofilament trace material. Maybe some heavier trace and 1x20m of 60-80lb wire trace material (Twist weld or crimp type).
- Lures: For anglers supplying their own, try to have a selection of lures which will cover a range of depths and fish species. Colours are a personal choice, however a good start is gold, green, metallic, blue, red/pink and white. Halco Laser pros & Barra Classics are favourites.
- Fly Fishing Gear & Poppers: Fly fishing is a highly specialized sport. This is not the place to begin fly fishing for the first time! Having said this, there will be a guide who can help anglers on the long road to mastering the fly rod and reel. Anglers wishing to fly fish are encouraged to bring their own gear (plus flies) and ensure rods are either three or four piece. It is inadvisable to bring anything lighter than a #9 weight rod and we usually use intermediate sink lines or floating lines with a sink tip.
Remember, if you are on a charter with other fisherman, the fly fishing option will be dictated by space, weather conditions and fish availability. Charters dedicated to fly-fishing can be arranged, however for space and comfort whilst fishing, group size per tender must be taken into account
Don't forget to bring your hat (one which stays on whilst boating!), sunglasses (polarized best), sandshoes / walking sandals, plus sun screen and insect repellent.
Cameras are a matter of personal choice. The Pikkuw has a good quality laptop computer on board, so bring any download cords for digital cameras. Photos can be burnt onto either CD or DVD and played back right there on our flat-screen TV.
A 20 kg per person baggage weight restriction applies for aircraft flights. Rod tubes must not be over 2m in length and should not be bulky.
Due to this operation’s proximity to the community of Aurukun, visitors will be expected to be responsible and abide by certain cultural protocols. All the surrounding land is Aurukun Shire land and is home to the Wik and Wik Way peoples (famous for their breakthrough Native Title land claim in the High Court).
Many of the areas which the Pikkuw will be operating need express permission of the Traditional Owners. Your guides will ensure that these are organised prior to your trip.
While enjoying the fantastic fishing we ask you abide by the laws that have ensured the survival of all the natural species for thousands of years. This means, only taking what fish you need and sending the rest back.
Aurukun, including the surrounding land and water-ways, is an alcohol restricted area. Customers are advised NOT TO CARRY ALCOHOL into Aurukun with them as significant penalties apply. For more information, please visit www.alcoholimits.qld.gov.au.
The liquor license for Aurukun Fishing Charters only operates between 5pm and 10 pm and is restricted to mid-strength beer and “wine-with-meal” only.
If you have a specific request for beer or wine please let us know early (at least 4 weeks prior to departure) so that it can be freighted to Aurukun in advance.
Skytrans Airlines fly from Cairns to Aurukun on weekdays only. Private air charter is available on request.
- Skytrans: $ 750 per person return between Cairns and Aurukun.
Flights are arranged by us, as part of your charter booking.
$750 per person per day|
MIN 4 & Max 6 anglers
Charters late April - Early December
Your home in the wetlands is the new custom built 12m catamaran MV Pikkuw. Our charters are fully guided and we recommend a minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 7 days for a full-on, yet relaxing, fishing experience.
Minimum booking, of 4 anglers, however we reserve the option to combine bookings where suitable to achieve optimum numbers. Although a maximum of 6 anglers applies.
- Rates valid to 31st December 2013
- Air-conditioned cabins and living/dining area, and open-air upper deck
- Comfortable accommodation for up to 6 guests in 2 twin cabins (including linen)
- Fully catered - food, light refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks provided
- Restricted service of alcohol - Alcoholic beverages to be ordered, 4 weeks prior to charter date.
- Experienced fishing guides
- Three tenders with 60hp 4-stroke outboards plus on long boat with 40hp, providing mobile, safe, stable fishing platforms
- Quality tackle and gear supplied on a "replace if lost or broken" basis (anglers encouraged to bring along favourite lure / fly outfit)
- Tour departures subject to availability, seasonal conditions apply
- Rates include 10% GST
- Weather and other conditions apply to package
Terms And Conditions
- General Terms and Conditions apply
- A 30% deposit is required as confirmation of booking.
- All rates are in Australian dollars (AUD) and inclusive of GST