Scott’s Spots – Kuri Bay, a pearl in the Kimberley’s fishing crown

A stunning bay encompassing the Kimberley’s exhilarating surroundings, Kuri Bay is a must visit fishing location for all mad-keen WA fishers, writes Western Angler Editor Scott Coghlan in the latest edition of Scott’s Spots.

Kimberley fishing guide extraordinaire Peter Tucker with a lovely queenfish.

There is something special about fishing the Kimberley and Kuri Bay, based 350km north of Broome, is one of its truly amazing locations.

Although you can get to Kuri Bay by private boat, if you have that option, or on a Kimberley cruise, for most anglers the best way to fish Kuri Bay in Camden Sound is stay at Peter “Tux” Tucker’s new Kimberley Sportfishing Tours’ camp. 

Previously based at Freshwater Cove, which is just south of his new campTux has been at Kuri Bay for a couple of years now, operating out of the Paspaley Pearls facility.  

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has put Tux’s operations on hold, but he hopes to be back in business in 2021. So, for anyone looking for a bucket list destination within WA, then Kuri Bay should be on that list. 

Fishing the Kimberley can be tricky due to the huge tides, but Tux has been working these waters for decades and has developed an amazing understanding of fish movements.

The fishing around Kuri is exceptional, and even just the trip there and back is something special, flying-in and flying-out on a floatplane and landing in Camden Sound.

That journey takes you over some of the iconic landmarks of the Kimberley, including Horizontal Falls and the remarkable Montgomery Reef.

Mitchell Castellarin with a Spanish mackerel from Camden Sound.

Once you arrive, you have an unusually high level of comfort for a Kimberley fishing camp thanks to the Paspaley set-up, which includes a pool for a refreshing swim after a long day on the water reeling in plenty of fish. 

The accommodation itself is basic but comfortable, the meals of fresh fish are first-rate, and I highly-recommend sitting around a fire at night trading fishing tales with Tux and his guides. 

The view from the dining room across the water is not bad either, and it doesn’t hurt that you can often see fish busting up in the shadows of the imposing Augustus Island while scoffing down breakfast. 

But, at the end of the day it is the quality of the fishing that makes Kuri Bay real Kimberley hot spot. 

There are no major rivers flowing into Kuri Bay.

Given that’s the case, the water stays unusually clear for the Kimberley and this means an incredible array of blue water fishing options that are very consistent producers at most stages of the massive tides. 

Sight casting for fish is possible most of the year, too. Also, because this area has had little fishing pressure over the years, the local fish stocks are truly abundant. 

There is a wide range of spots Tux can take anglers to in his punts or centre console sportfishing boat.

Mangrove jack are plentiful, as shown here by Scott Coghlan and the gang.

Some of the fishiest area are just minutes from the camp, and the surrounding hills and nearby islands mean there is almost always a protected hideaway for most conditions. 

The range of species which can be caught at Kuri Bay.

The fish it has on offer is extremely diverse and includes angler favourites such as longtail tuna, Spanish mackerel, giant trevally, sailfish, mangrove jack, gold spot trevally, golden trevally, queenfish, threadfin salmon, fingermark, coral trout and cobia, just to name but a few of the regular captures. 

Right in front of camp, Camden Sound itself often features working schools of tuna, and Spanish and school mackerel, as well as queenfish and trevally, are also taken in the same area. 

We had some amazing sessions on goldens and gold spot trevally in shallows around the local islands, and there are some big GTs lurking around the rocks. 

Mangrove jack are as prolific as I’ve ever experienced and fishing around structure produces some absolute thumpers, which you can often watch attack your offering. 

It’s a short trip to the open ocean, where true offshore fishing opportunities await for some of the species mentioned above, including the range of Kimberley reef fish and even billfish.

Different trevally species are common at Kuri Bay.

There are also a lot of blue bastards along local beaches for those looking to challenge their fly fishing skills, and the odd permit has been seen as well.  

With no large rivers nearby, the barramundi fishing can be more challenging than in many Kimberley locations but they are there.   

The range of different types of locations able to be fished out of Kuri Bay is quite unique for the Kimberley, with blue water, creeks, sand flats, rock bars and offshore reefs all offering opportunities tailor made for lure casters and fly fishers, in particular. 

You can even go offshore jigging if it pleases you!

Of course, the scenery of the Kimberley is an attraction all of its own, with the vibrant contrasting colours of the water, rocks and foliage. 

Camden Sound is renowned for being part of the humpback whale migration around the middle of each year, and you will also see crocodiles, sharks, stingrays, diverse birdlife, dolphins and turtles. 

Hopefully it won’t be long until Kimberley Sportfishing is up and running again at Kuri Bay, because it is certainly one of the best fishing spots on the planet and one every West Aussie fisho should try at least once. 

Glenn Edwards with a nice fingermark on a lure!

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