Dirk Hartog Island

I have just return from Dirk Hartog Island which is known for some of Australia’s best land based fishing. I am not much of a fisherman but the camera did get a work out. Lots of photographs to come

Our accommodation!!

A summary of the trip below by Peter Carlsson

Dirk Hartog Island, Shark Bay… One of the premier land based fishing locations in the world! We set off in two utes, 28th May – 8th June. First night at Steep point and the rest on DHI. Fully self sufficient we had 250L of fuel and 300L of water, plus c…ountless dollars worth of fishing gear between us. The barge ride was heaps shorter than I expected, only about 15 minutes and we could see the beach from one side to the other. Once both cars hit the deck on the island we were off, full throttle… 45 seconds into the journey and someone says across the two way, “does anyone know where are we going” to which another replied “i’m not sure ay?”, turns out we went completely the wrong way and nearly getting both cars bogged in the mean time… good start! We finally figured out where the track was and an hour of corrugations to the DHI homestead, another two after that and we arrived at our home for the next 9 nights – Withnell point camp site (shack). First impressions of the shack are “pretty rough”… and it was. But it suited us down to the ground and perfect for camping out there. What an awesome place, I think the photos say it all. Top place to stay. Before I go any further I would like to explain the “Pink Shirt”. It was awarded after dinner each night to the worst performer of that day. Worst performer was decided by general consensus of the group. The person bestowed with the pink shirt must wear it the entire following day until it was handed over that night. one quote per night was added to the pink shirt. We fished the first afternoon on the island at Cape Inscription, we found a nice little spot around the cliffs away from the swell and got stuck into some nice baldies and other groper, nothing massive but fun. The next day was cape Levinian, it was good but we didn’t catch a lot, nice place. Of the minimal people on the island (8 cars in total) we just had to run into a crew already fishing here this day, they ended up being ok and did a lot better than us anyway, with at least 1 big spanish mackerel, pinky, NW Snapper and a shark. The funniest thing was Bev’s corker taylor, the man calmly stroll’s back from down the beach, rod over shoulder, back pack on, fish tail sticking out of his back pack. I quickly said “what the hell have you got there?”, “I dunno” he says, then pull’s this thing out… I couldn’t believe it, the best part was he caught it on the doggiest lure i’ve ever seen with a maximum cast of about 10 meters!!! We tried this spot again the next day and first up Bev managed to pull a 46cm (?) baldie, arsy as! We saw a school of big fish cutting up and Ageo just happened to have a lure on at the time, he casted straight into it and Bang… on with a thumping queeny, it gave a lot of stick on his new setup and he was pretty happy to see it to the beach. That was about it for the rest of that spot. Not a lot of production but we convinced ourselves the tides and moon were off and thats why we didn’t catch much… haha! Some of the most fun fishing we had was the point at our camp. Nothing to keep but anyone would have a good time pulling in 30cm Pink snapper one after another for hours on end… was great fun and it gave us the opportunity to use the light gear to make things interesting. Although one amongst the crew broke a rod tip here which nearly saw the appointment of the pink shirt! In most cases Withnell point was the relaxing fish at a days end. I was the only one to catch a shark in front of the shack too… it was a 2 footer caught on a 14lb 7 footer, with a 4000 tierra and 10lb braid… that really made it interesting!! Day 4 we headed over to the cliffs on the west side, this was it, what we were all waiting to see… and fish. It took us about 4 hours to get a line in the water, we took our time and had a look around. We cautiously checked a few spots then settled on what we considered a “safe” place. Straight up Hayds pulled in a nice bluebone that hit 56cm, the rest of the time the was considerably quieter with a heap of small pinkies and a few large runs for Ageo, nothing of worth landed. In our earlier trekking a key hole in the reef looked promising so we went back, had a few massive runs and lost a lot of lures here, as we found out it was pretty much impossible to land a fish due to the rocks and waves. We gave the cliffs another crack the next day, The block and the aquarium. Neither of these places produced the fish we were all hoping for, A small pinky and a few massive runs. The highlight of this day was a whale shark sighting not more than 5 meters from our feet (or possibly a chinaman cod caught on a 9/0 hook… the same size as the hook!!) The last highlight before Bev left the island was Turtle bay. Walking 50 meters on a 45 degree is slope is easy on the way down but it’s killer coming back up. This was one of our best days with a couple of NW Snapper and plenty of others. The fish were just generally hot on the bite. Amazing place! Bev flew out on Friday and this was the start of the end. First thing we got down to the airport, it took a while but the rickety old plane landed and Bev was gone… from one holiday to another (nice for some!!). The rest of us had 3 days left so on the way back to camp we stopped to fish the point at Louisia bay, a 3-4 meter cliff into shallow water with a drop off, we watched endless amounts of fish, stingrays and sharks (lots of sharks) swim around for hours. we pulled some decent fish from here including a nice Pinkie by Rex and a shark mackie by Ageo. I lost a huge run that busted my wire trace. After a while we renamed this place to point disaster due to our injuries that had resulted. First Haydn snagged his line, climbed down the cliff to free it and in the process ended up with me helping to first aid a reasonable size gash to the leg, no stitches needed… she’ll be right. As if that wasn’t enough I then went down the cliff to gaff a NW blow fish in an attempt to save Adrian’s lure, after a dismal gaff attempt the blowy got away and the lure lost. On the way back up I ended up with a free fall from the cliff into the water due to a lose rock resulting in a sizable opening at the base of my little finger and some serious shock rolling around on the tail gate of Ageo’s ute. This one was a little more serious. The next few hours were pretty frantic trying to charter planes off the island and packing up camp but it was all in vein as the weather had set in, flooded the runway and halted the barge off. so we were stuck on the island in the shack all day on saturday and barged it off the island on Sunday. As it turned out we left two days early. I takes roughly 11 hours to get from Perth to Steep point and we hit the mainland at 2pm on Sunday. I stopped at Gerro hospital with Dad to get stitches for the finger but it was too late, they couldn’t stitch. So it was a painful drive home with some anti biotics and pain killers. 3:30am Monday morning back in Perth…. What a trip! Wasn’t the trip we were hoping for fishing wise, but it was excellent to get away with the guys, have a fish and all round good time… I’ll be back for sure.See more

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