Boat propeller from shipwreck nearshore Cooktown

Nearshore Cooktown and a new Shipwreck!

Fishing nearshore Cooktown is one of our favourite things to do. We have done several trips there.

The road to Cooktown is now fully paved and makes for an easy 3.5 hour trip from Cairns, even with the boat.

At one stage Cooktown was a Gold Rush town with ninety-four hotels and just as many brothels.

The area is also littered with shipwrecks from bad weather/cyclones during the Palmer River Gold Rush.

Nowadays it is a small town based mainly around fishing and as a gateway to Cape York.

We used Cooktown as our last stop for fuel on our recently completed trip to Princess Charlotte Bay.

Cape Melville is also an amazing location that can be accessed from here by 4×4.

Wonky Holes (undersea springs) are thick around the area so HUGE trophy fish can be encountered in small boats.

Our online fishing course Wonky Holes shows you exactly how to find them.

The mountains end abruptly at the sea, making fishing nearshore Cooktown spectacular and productive.

Plus it’s only a short hop to the ribbon reefs and Lizard Island.

Last time we headed to Lizard we got to swim with a friendly whale shark.

So join us for Episode 1 of our trip fishing nearshore Cooktown.




Spectacular Scenery

Fishing nearshore Cooktown was the most spectacular we have ever seen it, due to the amount of rain.

Just north of the Endeavour River the shining white silica sands of Cape Flattery and towering cliffs of Cape Bedford make for a wonderful backdrop.

Amazing cliffs of Cape Bedford north of Cooktown

We found this cave in the cliffs near Cooktown. It was an amazing location full of fish and bait fish and Karen even found a shipwreck nearby.

Propeller from shipwreck

While exploring nearshore Cooktown we found this submerged propeller from a shipwreck.

Cape Bedford

Note to self, must return and drive up this mountain P.S. We did!

Bait fish near boat

They had us surrounded! The area was full of bait fish but only one large predator (a HUGE mangrove jack) was seen, too wily to be caught on camera.

Discarded fishing line ball

Good to get this discarded fishing line ball out of the ocean

Tannin creek nearshore Cooktown

Whilst swimming on the nearshore Cooktown, the tannin creek running into the sea was like a oil painting due to the previous rainfall.

Swimming nearshore Cooktown

The relaxed atmosphere of a remote beach is the best way to spend some time "de-stressing", especially after losing good fish to sharks.

Shark taking jig

In the early days of my career it was unheard of sharks taking jigs but now due to protection measures, there are so many of them. Don't get me started! You can buy our Levitator jigs >>here.

Fish Finder Fundamentals

Our most popular course has students from over 50 countries and covers the fundamentals of using your Fish Finder.

When you travel all the way up to go fishing nearshore Cooktown, it makes sense to make the most of it by investing in knowledge.

If you don't learn anything let me know and I'll give you your money back.

It's only $20 Australian at the moment


Gear and Tackle Used

While fishing nearshore Cooktown, we used gear from our gear and tackle cheat sheet.

The cheat sheet contains some of Ryan's favourites.

If they are no longer available, simply ask your tackle shop for the equivalent.

get the free pdf


I hope you enjoyed our video on fishing and exploring nearshore Cooktown.

As we mentioned previously, Cooktown is the gateway to the north.

If you've missed our trip to Princess Charlotte Bay you can watch the whole adventure >> here.


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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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