David Donald

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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Fishing therapy in Cape York

TOM and I were motoring up a small side creek on the electric against a slow run-out tide. The waterway was barely a cast wide but had already produced a few feisty barramundi and a couple of bumps from big blue-lipped pikey bream. Overhead, the tops of the mangrove forest were buffeted by typical dry season trade wind but only …

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Gearing up for the Cape

gearing up for

I’VE now lived on Cape York for more than 30 years, so I reckon I just about qualify to be called a local! As somebody who has been up and down the main access track, officially known as the Peninsula Development Road, many times, it is often very amusing to read some of the questions posed by those who are …

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Exploring Cape York’s east coast

cape york east coast

I BET a host of Queenslanders don’t realise our state actually has a west coast – and it stretches along a coastline equivalent to the distance from the Gold Coast to the Whitsundays! That coastline has only three towns along its length – Karumba, Weipa and the five communities that make up the Northern Peninsula Area, as well as three …

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The bizarre watery world of Gulf mangrove jack

mangrove jack

IF there’s one species that holds a very special place in sportfishers’ hearts, it’s got to be lutjanus argentimaculatus, the mangrove jack. This handsome, brick red-coloured ball of muscle is the bully boy of the mangroves, an ambush expert powered by a broad tail, an operator so smart, it’s already heading back to its snaggy home by the time the …

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Saltwater fly fishing for sailfish

saltwater fly fishing for sailfish

I HAVE been saltwater fly fishing a bloody long time! The legendary Ron Pearson, regarded as the father of saltwater fly in this country, took me under his wing when I visited him in the Kimberley during a round Australia trip in 1973. He helped me to catch my first couple of fish on the long wand, then passed me …

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