Gibb River Road Trip July 2023

Seeing if anyone can give any tips, pointers etc on the Gibb 

Been lucky enough to find myself a decent off road caravan so we have been planning a gibb river road trip in July. Im not a novice by any means with 4 wheel driving and camping and we did the Gibb back in 2014 but with a 2 man tent but this time I will be going all the way up to Kalumbaru. I will have the caravan, roof topper with 15hp engine so hoping to get out off Kalumburu. There will be another family coming with us too.

Anyway, hoping the helpful people off here could possibly give me some tips, pointers etc fishing along the Gibb. I would really like to catch Cherabin along the gibb, mud crabs at Kalumburu and hopefully get out for a fish or 2 at Kalumburu as well. Any tips in doing this would be great!!!

Also heading up to Cape Lavique for 3 nights as well so once again tips on getting muddies up there would be appreciated




I go boating not fishing

Posts: 1084

Date Joined: 21/05/12

1 st rule - look out for flat

Wed, 2023-06-07 14:20

1 st rule - look out for flat dogs, especially where u launch and retrieve. 

2nd check your tides, u can get caught out where u have to sleep in the dinghy cause u cant get over the bar or the river just drops out

3rd drink and keep plenty of water and sun mitigating factors on the boat, i even take up those isotonic rehydrating powders and we have a policy of 250 ml every 30 mins if in full sun in the dry

4th  if it is fresh water and even if u are 20km inland there can still be flat dogs around

Plan on losing a few pots to the flat dogs. tie your pot ropes up high in the tree, if new ground i even mark the spot with a bit of dunny paper in the mangrove branches - the place when the tide is 5m up or down looks completely different

cape leveque - try to get in contact with some of the local community people, they will take u into small rivers u can not fish / crab in, if u are a taxpayer. take some 6mm rod with to make  a crab hook my mates just use thick wire. Pot on the inside of any bend in the river, shallower, but the crabs hang out there. 

If u can get there the michaelmas falls are worth the effort - even pay for the chopper to takes you over if u dont wanna use the fuel

cheribin is everywhere, i use some partial cooked potato as bait - an old bloke i met up there swears by it and ive done well on it. use opera style pots for em, u can often have 40 plus in a pot on a overnight soak  -- best barra live bait, some of the locals swear by a handline at night with a live cheribin as bait, not much fun tho , 6 - 8/0 circle hook through the tail is what they do

trawling at 8 -10 kn even faster on large rapala 2m bibbed lures have seen some spectacular good barra - u must take gold bomber lures - most effective lure ever for barra 

a mate did well on the american style fizzer lures but the gold bomber is the bomb ;p

el questro is a must see  - i like the gorge and zebedee springs

make sure your van can take "off road" conditions - i ve seen plenty of abandoned broken caravans and "off  road campervans"  in the 5 years i lived in derby

dont be scared to fish small pools - sometimes the barra gets caught in pools as the water recedes in the dry

if u shine a torch on the water at night and u see small singular red lights on the water u lookin at barra, if u see 2 red light holding same distance apart or they bigger than 1cm u are looking at a flat dog looking at u, if they go underwater -MOVE- sideways are always better than straight back as crocs cant see the prey once they submerge, so if u move sideways u can get some real good close up photos



Posts: 2006

Date Joined: 16/05/09

 Opera house pots are illegal

Thu, 2023-06-08 05:29

 Opera house pots are illegal and fisheries will pop up anywhere and bust you.

Take A bit of pressure out of your tyres and take it steady.

Piggy's picture

Posts: 538

Date Joined: 24/08/12


Thu, 2023-06-08 07:08

 Awesome mate good advice!

Cheribin you find in all rivers on the gibb hey? And a partially cooked potato? haha wow!

Appreciate your help mate


I go boating not fishing

Posts: 4562

Date Joined: 01/02/10

 Did it 2 years ago with the

Wed, 2023-06-07 17:46

 Did it 2 years ago with the van but didn't do Mitchell falls. Currently waiting on the new rig to arrive that's going to be built for more unrestricted travel. 

Cape Levique is pretty good spot. Terry that works out of Cygnet Bay is a tour absolutely worth doing. Couldn't recommend him more as a advocate and representative of his country. Cygnet bay infinity pool is a great spot for a few chooks too. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

Piggy's picture

Posts: 538

Date Joined: 24/08/12

Thanks mate!

Thu, 2023-06-08 07:10

 Cheers mate! 

Yeah we are booked in at Cygney Bay, had better reviews than the other camp sites up that way!

Appreciate it mate


I go boating not fishing

Wes F's picture

Posts: 1060

Date Joined: 07/01/12

Cape Leveque camp ground may well be closed.

Thu, 2023-06-08 12:38

 As are possible many other camping options. Colleague was up there two weeks ago and mentioned many access roads are blocked with bollards. 

You'll need to take great care heading north to Kalumburu as that road is not well maintained. Honey Moon bay is an awesome spot to camp up there.



 Old fishermen never die they just smell that way.

pelagicyachts's picture

Posts: 1299

Date Joined: 23/02/11

we did 3 weeks on the gibb in

Fri, 2023-06-09 09:32

we did 3 weeks on the gibb in july 2021 - 200 series with offroad camper - we did it in reverse, started at Kunners and came back to Broome.
I ran the BFG's at 28psi (everyone said that was too soft) and sat on between 65/70 kph - we never got one flat - the shale is bad as it throws sharp rocks up at the back tyres, its usually these that go first
Flogs (there were plenty on the track in 2021) we would be overtaken by flogs on blind corners doing 90-100 with big caravans on the back - we would come across them an hour later changing tyres..... becareful if you pull over - these same nobs would drive past at the same speed showering you in rocks - thanks fkrs! (rant over)
its a magic spot, enjoy

Posts: 439

Date Joined: 06/02/14


Sun, 2023-06-11 11:28

 Be careful about thft and assualt, KNX just beat its own record of 24 stolen cars in 21 days !!

Rock throwing is very bad, cars and people get damaged for no apprent reason.

Road is getting graded ATM, so should be OK.


Pentecost is tidal, so pick your times. Take a throw net for bait and cherabin.