Dampier Offshore Fishing for Mixed Species

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Dated: 2nd April 2005
Location: Australia/Western Australia /Pilbara Region/Karratha-Dampier
From our Karratha-Dampier Fishing Correspondent Luke Groen
Dampier Offshore Fishing for Mixed SpeciesDampier Offshore Fishing for Mixed Species
The morning was looking ordinary when I awoke at about 6am to prepare us for the day ahead. When we got on the water we were greeted by a stiff 10-15 knot breeze blowing easterly. The plan was to head to the Kendrew Island and troll baits for Sailfish as there has been reports of a few being caught. We stopped off at one of the pylons on the way to see if we could jig up a few live baits. Instead of getting live bait we were smashed by Narrow Barred Mackerel which evidently bit through the mono line on the bait jigs. We moved to a few different spots until we had a nice bucket full of live gardies and yakka. We set the baits in 25 meters of water and continued to troll out to deeper water and around the bait schools. After about 3 hours or so we hadnít seen anything so we decided to head to the shelter of the nearby islands in the hope of getting a fresh feed of fish. We anchored in about 15 meters of water where the water around us was literally alive with action. The sounder was showing a promising sign of reef and fish. We were surrounded by a number of bait schools which were being smashed by numerous big Trevally, Mackies, and Tuna etc. All four of us rigged up and dropped our baits to the bottom. Instantly the baits were inhaled. We lost the first 10-12 fish before we got one up to the surface. It was a nice red throat snapper! Every bait we dropped down was smashed by much bigger fair than what we first intended. Some of the highlights during our stay at this particular spot were a 30-45 minute fight with a 6ft shark on 4kg line! A huge stingray that was probably 60kg! A big Lemon Shark, again on 4kg. A 1.2 meter Trevally (you guessed it 4kg line!) and a number of smaller trevally in the 4-6kg range. In addition, we also caught a few small Coral Trout, some big Long Nose Snapper, a 15kg Narrow Barred Mack, Sea Pearch and the usual cod. I was particularly surprised with the amount of fish we lost. We probably ended up with a ratio of 1 fish landed to 2 fish lost and that was with three of us fishing 15-24kg Line! The hot bite lasted the entire time we were there (about 6 hours). We had the opportunity to probably catch another 5-6 Macks if we had rigged up our baits with wire first up. All in all it was a fantastic day and we all ended up with a great feed and sore arms. ...Luke Groen