Fishing the Wenlock River for Barra

The Wenlock River is widely regarded as the “wild” river of the cape. Spanning 322 kilometres, this twisting, turning wilderness is brimming with life, colour and amazement.

At its mouth, it runs very salty, emptying out into Port Musgrave. But the further you head upstream, the fresher it gets–eventually resulting in some of the best sooty grunter, barra and toga fishing you can find in the area.

The Wenlock River is also renowned as a hot spot for saltwater crocodiles. They are Australia’s apex predator, meaning nothing else preys on them. Fishing the Wenlock means respecting that you are fishing in their home. Stay at a safe distance back from the bank, or fish higher, not at water level.

Gear list: 

  • Baitcaster and medium to heavy rod
  • 20-pound minimum line (enough to withstand all the snags)
  • Variety of hard-bodied lures. The river doesn’t run overly deep, so shallow diving lures work a treat for toga and barra. Top water frogs or even little poppers also do the trick. As a backup, pack a couple of spinnerbaits!
  • We would recommend wearing shoes with a decent grip. The bank can be very slippery, and knowing that crocs patrol the water, the last thing you want is to slide in.
  • Finally, aeroguard or bug spray to keep the sandflies/flies at bay. They can be vicious after a lot of rain.

If you are planning on fishing the Wenlock, we’d recommend staying in Weipa. The lovely people at the Weipa Caravan and Camping ground took care of us. They offer beautiful campsites next to the beach, plus they have a variety of villas available if you prefer!

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