David Donald

Busiest Cape season ever

WELL, my prediction that 2021 would see a record numbers of visitors heading this way has proven to be spot on! Unprecedented numbers of vehicles have been traversing the Peninsula Development Rd and most of the major offshoots. From Cooktown all the way through to the northern peninsula area – Bamaga, Seisia and such – almost all of the various …

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Run-off goodies in Cape York

WITH the Cape’s wet season finishing abruptly after a last burst of heavy rain at the end of April, the southeast trade winds took over from the northerly flow and were soon pumping at 20 knots or better by mid-May. This time of year is known in the north as ‘the run-off’, signified by the typically tannin stained waters pushing …

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Cape York in top fishing condition

THE Cape has experienced its biggest wet season in over a decade, with heavy rainfalls at the end of April cutting the Peninsula Development Rd in many places, including the Hann, Archer and Wenlock rivers. Weipa copped over 2m of rain in a prolonged wet that extended from early December to the above April event, an above-average total. Cape York …

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Cape York is definitely open

SENSATIONALIST reporting by the Courier Mail, Cairns Post and other Murdoch rags saw the media blanketed with stories by people claiming to be traditional owners of the area indicating the tip of Cape York had been closed to tourists. It was shoddy journalism at best, with reporters failing to check facts and choosing instead to run half-truths and innuendo in …

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QLD fishing licence debate

WOULD you be prepared to pay for better fishing? I’ll bet that as soon as most fishers are asked that question, they immediately think of a fishing licence imposed by the government, then imagine the funds for that licence disappearing into government coffers as per most of our other taxes. QLD fishing licence  Well, what if we were guaranteed that …

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50 years of Dave Donald tales

MY old friend and lifetime fisho the late Ron ‘Demo’ Dempster loved Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám and gifted a copy of this wonderful book to me, which I have treasured since. Its message is very clear – we’re only on this earth for a short while, so we must make the most of every day! Dave Donald It certainly doesn’t …

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Cape York 2021 – the good oil!

THE closure of state and regional borders virtually overnight is an uncertainty we’ve had to learn to live with over the past year, particularly when related to planning for fishing expeditions. 2020 saw the cancellation of a huge number of trips and dreams, many of which had been years in the planning. Cape good oil Now that overseas visits are …

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Weipa Fishing Classic – a lesson in COVID innovation

SMALL outback communities rely on their major community events for many reasons – for the social interaction, to raise money and to enjoy the unique lifestyle their particular location provides. In the small Cape outpost of Weipa, the major events of the year include the Fishing Classic and the Bullride, weekends keenly awaited by a town that is situated in …

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The rewards of mentoring

THE older you get, the greater the realisation that there is more to fishing than merely catching fish. In fact, helping others embrace and enjoy the experience is definitely number one in terms of personal satisfaction. Mentoring rewards If there’s one thing my 30 years as a professional guide has taught me, it’s that unless you’re able to enjoy the …

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Life after barra closure

WITH the Gulf of Carpentaria barramundi season closing on October 7, and the east coast due on November 1, it’s time to look at targeting other species. This closed season only applies to recreational fishers in Queensland waters. after barra It is perhaps ironic – and provides a huge promotional and economic boost – that our sister state the Northern …

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