Cooktown Fishing

Cooktown fishing is amongst the best on the peninsula.

The town itself is on a river mouth
- an excellent environment for fishing.

So obviously there is a lot of estuarine fish, but the reef being not too far, you even get an occasional reef fish from the shore.

For years we have been catching barramundi, mangrove jack, grunter, queenfish,
different kinds of sharks, garfish, jewfish, (only to name a few later ones that I even remember) and even spangled emperor.

There are a good few different places, I
'll start in the town centre then and go further out.

The most popular place for Cooktown fishing is of course the wharf. But there are other places in the central town where you can get to the river front - closer to the Powder Magazine, and also at the boat ramp and Queen's steps.
   cooktown fishing

You can also try from the beaches and rocky headlands in Finch Bay, there is also a creek mouth great for fishing.

fishing finch bay fishing finch bay creek

If you want to drive out of the town, on the northern side is the tiny township of Marton - turn in and follow the signs to the boat ramp.

marton boat ramp

Across the river is the Endeavour River National Park, but this side is not.

endeavour river fishing quarantine bay

South of the town are Quarantine Bayand Walker Bay - another great place for fishing in Cooktown. In Walker Bay there is the beach, and also the mouth of Annan River.
   fishing walker bay

Further south, the highway crosses the Annan River where there is a boat ramp, and also the old wooden bridge that has always been a popular place for fishing.

fishing walker bay river mouth fishing annan river

But even better of course if you have a big enough boat, or if not, join a tour, and go out to the Great Barrier Reef - there is some great fishing! (just read about one very big marlin caught east of Cooktown!).
   fishing reef

As you may know there are fishing rules - closed seasons, size limits and take and possession limits are all in the full detail in the Destination Guide.

One Very Big Marlin in Cooktown

On 30. October 2014 one very big marlin was caught near Cooktown.

It was one of those evenings I was on my execrcise walk, when I was going to the wharf, and walking past the boat ramp, saw a crowd of the size you seldom see in Cooktown.

Curious I went closer, until I realised what was happening.

Just as I approached, a huge fish started rising, being lifted from the Cairns-based fishing boat 'Top Shot' by a crane.

It was one very big marlin, and what a scene it was to walk into!
   marlin boat

There was a crowd, but it would have been a lot bigger if more people knew.
   marlin company

It was a Florida mob that was travelling the world taking fishing tours to make world records, while also donating for conservation.
   blue marlin boats

As the humongous black marlin was lifted from the vessel, she was taken to the boat ramp of Cooktown.
   marlin travel

And everyone was taking photos or just watching, amazed.

blue marlin pictures white marlin fishing

Once she was on the ground, she was studied closer,

marlin school marlin fish

... and she was measured: this huge female black marlin was
4m 29cm long and weighed 504.5 kilos.

big marlin marlin marine

It is not the world record black marlin as rumoured on the ramp, but it could yield the catcher a world record in the category of her 50lb fishing line (which takes the International Game Fishing Association a little while to decide).

marlin sea marlin season

And the catcher of this big marlin was Stephanie Choate - a Miami based angler who grew up fishing and has been on the news with some amazing catches around the world before.

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