Making his mark as a gun Kimberley fishing guide
He once dreamed of being an AFL footballer, but Kununurra’s Kirsten Hunter is now making his mark as a gun Kimberley fishing guide.
A proud Ngarinyman man from the Timber Creek and Keep River areas, Kirsten decided to turn his passion for his country and fishing into a small business at the start of last year.
It was his fiancée, Michelle McClements, who planted the seed for the keen fisho, telling him it was time he started taking people other than her to his favourite spots.
While keeping his job in Aboriginal health, Kirsten started Explore with Lamparangana, specialising in day fishing trips to the legendary Keep River, near the Northern Territory border.
The Keep is the home of big barramundi and much bigger crocs and Kirsten suffered an early setback when Covid hit, but he has gone from strength-to-strength since, three months ago quitting his full-time job to focus on his blossoming business.
He offers three options for those keen to try and catch a trophy barra while in Kununurra – evening, half and full day trips – and also does cultural tours, sometimes enlisting the help of his brother when the bookings are full.
Kirsten prefers to use live or dead bait to target Keep barra and views his trips as personalised cultural experiences for his clients.
“I love to share this area with people,” he explained.
“As a kid I fished between Kununurra and the Keep River and it is a special area.
“The scenery, the environment, and it is a comfortable spot for families to fish, it’s great to see them enjoy something I love.
“It is a whole other world and although you sometimes need patience, we have caught half-a-dozen metre-plus barra this year.”
Kirsten’s best Keep barra was a 1.30m beast back in 2013, caught on live bait.
With catches like that, it is little wonder his tours have become so popular over the last 12 months, no doubt helped by the number of West Aussies exploring our State.
Kirsten said word of mouth had played a huge part in the growth of his business.
Although his main season on the Keep is March to October, he can also run tours during the wet season, including to the lower Ord River, another famous barra spot.
Kirsten, who moved back to Kununurra from Victoria five years ago after his AFL dream was curtailed by injuries, provides everything needed for a day on the Keep River, including fishing tackle, snacks and drinks.
He can take up to four people in his vehicle but more people can tag along in their own car.
If you are in Kununurra and watch a barra fishing experience with a difference, contact Kirsten on 0487 879 985, email him at email@example.com or visit his website www.explorewithlamparangana.com .
Caption: Kirsten Hunter from Explore with Lamparangana with happy client Morten Boe and a nice Keep River fish.