The chap at the Point Stuart Wilderness Lodge reception told us we should try West Alligator Head, slightly further down the Arnhem Highway from Point Stuart. So that’s where we headed. It’s 81km of dirt track to get there, passing a few other camping spots and billabongs on the way. It starts off pretty good, but the second half becomes sandier and badly corrugated. On the way we met up with Luke and co, a group of fellas who had gotten bogged and were walking towards the highway to flag for help. They hopped in and we headed towards their vehicle – a Prado bogged in a small but boggy mud hole. They had spent the best part of the day before trying to free the vehicle, before staying over night then resorting to the long walk to get help. A quick tug from the hilux with a snatch strap had them out easy. Luke was generous enough to give us a carton of beer for our troubles. Very generous, thanks Luke, it wasn’t necessary but greatly appreciated.
After the recovery we were back on the road heading towards the camping area at West Alligator Head. There’s an old shed and a few other relics there, used by a chap who ran a fishing business from the area. At the main camping area there are showers and toilets. Our first night we caught a catfish again. Then our lines got horribly tangled and we gave up. The second night we moved to jungle camp, a camping area set among a thick tropical forest right on the beach flanked by mangroves on each side with a small clear area of beach that can be fished from. Looked like a productive fishing spot. Hooked up on another catfish or two, chucked them back in. Then we hooked up on the big one. Something huge was peeling off line at the fastest rate we’d ever seen. Grabbed the rod and the fight began. A few seconds later it was over – we had a knot failure, lost it all. Bad luck. We can only imagine what was on the hook. A monster threadfin salmon I reckon.
Jungle camp seems like a good fishing spot, but it’s overrun with biting midges. Hong got decimated. Covered in bites that flared up into bright red welts. I got badly bitten but don’t get any bad reaction afterwards.