It is every fisherman’s dream to fish where no competitors are to be seen, then return with a full day’s catch to a prepared feast on an uninhabited tropical island. That fantasy is, in fact, the wilderness fishing experience offered by Gove Sport Fishing Charters in the remote waters off the coast of East Arnhem Land.
Ken Waugh’s fishing safari camp on Wigram Island in the English Company Group of islands has the full support of the Aboriginal Traditional Owner. It’s an operation that has recently been awarded an NT Government grant, to upgrade its camp, eliminating the problem of sea turtles bumping into the tents when they crawl ashore to lay their eggs. “When the baby turtles come out, they come to the light,” explains Ken. “So we’ve often had guests sitting there at night and all of a sudden a little turtle will crawl over their feet.”
However, it’s the fishing that attracts enthusiasts from across Australia. Gove Sport Fishing Charters safaris can be a half day trip outside Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula through to a seven day adventure on Wigram Island with access to some of the best fishing in Australia. A Wigram Island retreat can include fly or beach fishing, as well as the chance to relax and explore a wilderness island surrounded by stunning azure bays fringed by brilliant white sand beaches. “The only lights you see of an evening are the sun setting over the water,” observes Waugh.
Wigram Island is just a half hour’s ride from the famous “Hole in the Wall’ in the Wessel Islands where pelagic fish feed as the tide rushes through between the islands, stirring up the bait. “There are big mackerel, huge queenfish, red emperor, coral trout and giant trevally all hanging around there when the tide’s running the right way,” says Waugh. “We’ve just come back from six days out there and the only boat we saw was a barge coming through from Darwin.”