Birri Fishing Lodge is a true remote fishing experience. You arrive by charter plane right at the doorstop of the fishing lodge, and immediately the remoteness of the location hits you.
The fishing at Birri is outstanding. The afternoon we arrived I meandered down to the ocean front to toss a couple of lures around. Within a few minutes I had landed a nice whiting on a hardbody and had several Giant Herring hit my lures but failed to stay connected. When the morning next day hit the action really started. Heading not more than a kilometer or so from the beach Longtail (Northern Bluefin) Tuna were smashing bait. Throwing a popper amongst them meant an instant hookup. However there was not just Tuna, amongst them were plenty of Golden Trevally, Bludger Trevally, Giant Herring and a few other species. We spend the morning chasing these schools and having an absolute ball. Then in the afternoon we went off shore further in search of Red Emperor and Coral Trout. The order of the day was to bait fish with handlines, though I did take a bottom bouncing rig up and used that. The locals love their handlines and claim a good handliner can easily out fish a rod and reel fisherman. I gave handlining a go for a couple of afternoons, but after a few cuts and bruises return to the rod and reel. Either way great fun. Chinamen fish were in plague proportions and put up an amazing fight, however are all return to the water due to being a no take species. Species caught included Giant Trevally, Golden Trevally, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, Cod, Tricky Snapper (Grass Sweetlip), Spangled Emperor, and many other reef species.
This is definately a remote location. Most people will get there by flying to Cairns and then from Cairns to the local runway strip at Mornington Island (this second flight usually calls into Normonton for a short refuel). The lodge actually has its own landing strip so most guests are flown directly to the lodge. Once at the lodge the serenity is beautiful as you quickly forget the hussell and bussell of your departing port. Walking down to the beach you are going to be the only one there, when I wandered down there I caught a couple of fish on some bream spinning gear. Over the next 6 days the only other boats we saw were some prawn trawlers working the area. No one else fishes this remote part of Australia.
The fishing gear was of good quality for both the Sportfishing for Tuna etc, and for trolling for Mackerel and other pelagics. However I took up a specialist lure throwing outfit spooled with braid which paid dividends, allowed for long casting and quicker retrieve (loved by the longtails). For the reef fishing the local guides prefer hand lining and man can they haul them up when you come across a patch of reds, however I prefer a bottom bouncing outfit which I also was glad I took up after an afternoon of hand lining.
This is a remote area camp but the accommodation is certainly comfortable. There are fans in the rooms (and a couple are air conditioned). We were there in May so the weather was warm but pleasant, I would imagine closer to summer it might be a different story.
Each night the chief prepares a beautiful meal with a home cooked feel. The guides always make sure that a fresh longtail tuna (Northern Bluefin) is brought home for fresh sashimi entrée – which is beautiful. And if you do a days crabbing – the chijili and garlic crab is to do fore. And of course there is plenty of fish. One day the guides cooked up some fish on coals on the beach for lunch which was something different.
The Birri lodge quotes you on return flights from Cairns, all meals, accommodation on a twin share room, full guides fishing days, and all fishing equipment. Lures are charged on a "pay for loss" basis. Beverages are put onto an account that is settled at the end of the stay.