From Steep Point we fished with lures to land some great fish in Shark Bay.

All it took was a mention of Shark Bay fishing amongst some keen fisho’s and the tinny was hooked on, food was in the Waeco and diesel in the fourbe. The trip was barely planned and our new friends were pretty much strangers when we hit the highway. Fishing tends to bring keen anglers together very quickly.

We headed from Perth to Shark Bay – Steep Point to be exact and booked a camp site at Shelter Bay in the reserve. Myself and my partner in 1 car towing a small 4m Stacer Bass Elite and the 3 fellas in their car towing a small 4m home made boat.

We left at 7pm Wednesday night, drove til late and finally arrived at Steep Point around 2pm Thursday afternoon – some random week in November. The weather was perfect and after a 15 hour drive we finally starred across from Steep Point to Dirt Hartog Island. We soon realised the long tedious drive was all worth it, just for the remote quietness and breath-taking views.

Shark Bay Weather

Perfect weather greated us at Steep Point – Looking over to Dirt Hartog Island

After almost 3 hours through heavy corrugation we arrived to perfect weather, making the 15hr drive from Perth all worth it

Shark Bay Fishing in small boats

With small boats our intentions were to fish the shallows with mainly soft plastics and some hard body lures. We were rigged up with light gear from 6lb to 15lb using at max 20lb leader.

The first afternoon we hit the water and headed toward south passage between Steep Point and Dirt Hartog Island. We fished for several hours landing mainly cod, coral trout and a few small snapper. The other boat found a school of feeding Black Snapper about 20m out from the land in 4-5m of water – they landed about 8 fish between them.

The second day we headed to the south passage again and we landed some great snapper. Just outside of the passage in the heavy swell the other boat landed a good sized Cobia.

Shark Bay Fishing - Snapper

Steep Point Snapper taken on the Madeye’s 5″ Prawn in about 8m of water

With such calm conditions we also headed over to Dirt Hartog Island at Surf Point, we thought this was the spot to target pelagics. We heard rumours of spot close to here that can hold some good size GTs. We rigged up the surface lures and popped for a while, I managed one strike however no one hooked up. However there was a good sized Blue Emperor taken on a soft plastic. Surf Point was tricky to fish since unpredictable waves would break very close to where we needed to be to cast at GTs. We moved on pretty quickly, as a 3-4m wall of water moving towards you while trying to balance and cast big poppers can be nerve racking!

In the afternoon we headed north on the inside of Dirt Hartog Island, between us the afternoon session saw 20-30 fish landed including snapper, emperor, sweet lip, bream, whiting, blue bone and more. The variety of species you can catch while fishing Shark Bay is absolutely astonishing.

Blue Bone caught at Steep Point / Shark Bay

Blue Bone on the Halco Madeye’s Flick Stick

The following day we headed north about 10km inside Dirt Hartog island, again we landed a bunch of great fish. Towards the top of high tide the surface bite came on and we all landed some great fish, the Halco Roosta Poppers in clear colours were the most effective. Blue Bone (Baldchin Groper), Snapper and Bream were hitting the surface hard, competing for the lure on almost every cast made for some fantastic fishing.

The next day we headed out to fish the flats to target Tailor, Giant Herring and Bonefish, with little success. While we did manage to get a few casts at some Bonefish, they were just too spooked to even look interested in our finesse offerings.

That afternoon we headed back out to the flats to try our luck on a high tide, we ended up landing a bunch of Bream, Whiting and Flathead on the surface and with soft plastics.

Shark Bay Whiting on the Flats

Shark Bay Whiting on the Flats

On Sunday we again headed up the inside of the island, this time we went up about 20km, it was dead low tide. During this time we fished the deep holes just off from the island – mostly in only 2-3m water and about 20-50m from the land. Again we landed lots of fish in these deeper holes – which was a lot of fun on the light gear.

I often think many anglers fish to heavy and don’t think enough about lure presentation to enjoy the full benefits of lure fishing. I love targeting all fish and I never go out with the intention to land the biggest fish. Yes we did loose a few bigger fish, the upside is we were getting bites and landing fish almost every 3-4 casts. The bigger fish we did land took a bit more skill to pull from the oyster infested rocks, which makes it even more rewarding. We also landed some 50-70cm Mackerel on 8lb braid with hard body lures.

48cm Snapper on light gear

48cm Snapper on light gear

Fishing at Shark Bay sure is a confidence booster for anglers – the vast diversity of species you catch combined with the different techniques like surface fishing, make it one of the best sport fishing locations in Australia.

We reluctently left Steep Point on Monday with a sobering 15hr drive back to Perth!