Steep Point, Western Australia

Shark Bay tides and weather
Book camping at Steep Point or Shelter Bay
WA fishing regulations
Shark Bay Marine Park
Shark Bay Federal Marine Reserves
Return to WA Fishing Map

Shark Bay’s Steep Point rock platform is among Australia’s best landbased fishing spots.

The rocks are a cliff face that drop straight into deep water at the entrance to Shark Bay.

Across from the rocks is Dirk Hartog Island, which can be accessed by vehicular ferry.

Big fish are caught at Steep Point by those who are equipped to land them.

Whales swim by the rocks and large spanish mackerel, billfish, snapper, yellowtail kingfish and tailor are regularly caught.

Cliff gaffs are required and balloon fishing methods are the norm, although lure and bait casting will work.

Good footwear is a must and wearing a life preserver is recommended – for some reason, visiting fishermen rarely do.

Even with a life preserver, it is a long swim to safety. It is not a safe spot for children.

False Entrance is an alternative camping and fishing spot near Steep Point.

The area near the False Entrance platform can take four camp sites.

The rock platform itself is rougher than Steep Point, but the fishing is as good as Steep Point.

Gaffing is harder as it requires timing with the swells, and the cliffs at False Entrance are higher than the lowest Steep Point ledge.

The beach at False Entrance is a superb spot for tailor, with mulloway in the evenings.

False Entrance is on the same track as Steep Point, being just 7km from the signposted junction.

It requires the same permit and bookings as Steep Point and Shelter Bay.

Shelter Bay is a camping, launching and mooring area. There is sandspit just a short drive west of the bay that provides good beach fishing at times.

Large schools of big silver drummer (buffalo bream) can be seen swimming the shallows in this region.

The sandspit west of Shelter Bay is a good landbased fishing spot, as it borders deep water.

Beware large norwest blowies if wading the spit. These are often aggressive. They attack hooked fish and will swim up to a fisho’s feet, and may take a bite if given the chance.

Camping at Steep Point is run by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Advance bookings are essential as demand is high.

A 4WD vehicle is needed to access this region as there are patches of soft sand, and beach launching is required.

Bait, lures & tackle

Pilchard baits on ganged hooks and balloon gear are the usual rig for mackerel.

Heavy spinning gear also works.

You’ll need a drop gaff to land fish from the rock platforms, and enough ice or refrigeration to keep your fish cold for the trip home.

Strong surf rods are the norm.

Squid are readily available in the shallows around the weedbeds and make good bait, being most effective as fresh or live bait.

Large kingfish seen patrolling the rocks are cautious and may require live squid to tempt them.

Of the packet baits, prawns, bluebait and whitebait work well.

Expect to lose a lot of gear while fishing from the rocks.

Weather & tides

Shark Bay tides are relatively small.

Like much of WA there can be a strong afternoon sea breeze.

The best boating time is between June and October, when winds are lighter and temperatures milder. Strong winds blow in summer.

Mackerel fishing is seasonal, but fish can be caught all year at Steep Point.

Special features

Billfish are a chance off the rocks, but big spanish mackerel are what most fishos chase.

Within the bay, tailor, bonito, queenfish, trevally, and emperor can be caught off the sandspit.

Further inside Shark Bay sand whiting are caught from the beaches, and flathead.

For boaters, pink snapper are in good numbers after being over-fished years ago. Special snapper fishing rules apply in the bay to prevent over-fishing.

Squid are usually abundant over the seagrass beds, and emperor can be caught over most reefy patches.

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Some external videos filmed around Steep Point are featured below.

Steep Point fishing

Steep Point drone footage

Spearfishing Steep Point

Steep Point mackerel

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Shark Bay, Western Australia

Shark Bay tides
Book camping at Steep Point or Shelter Bay
WA fishing regulations
Shark Bay Marine Park
Shark Bay Federal Marine Reserves
WA marine parks

Shark Bay is a vast area of shallow seagrass beds, sandy beaches, clear water and abundant marine life.

The area is best known for its pink snapper, which can be caught in the shallows.

The bay is easily fished by small boat, with beach launching possible in many areas.

Concrete boat ramps are at the township of Denham and nearby tourist stop Monkey Mia.

Many fishos stay at Tamala Station’s coastal camps, while others camp at Shelter Bay near famous Steep Point at the entrance to the bay.

The marine habitat throughout is mostly sandflats, channels and seagrass beds, with coral and rocky reef in some areas.

Clear water and calm sandy beaches are easily found, although the wind often blows hard in summer.

There are 12 types of seagrass found in the bay and this supports about 12,000 dugongs and a healthy fish and crab population, as well as many tiger sharks.

The area is a marine park with some no-fishing zones and special regulations governing the taking of Shark Bay pink snapper.

These snapper don’t intermix with the pink snapper stocks outside the bay. The bay stock was overfished in years past but has recovered with stricter management.

Other fish caught include whiting, bream, flathead, garfish, tailor, squid, mackerel, trevally, queenfish and mulloway.

Blue crabs are abundant but generally not as big as more southerly waters around Perth.

The local emperor are called black snapper or piggies. These and tuskfish are found on the shallow reefs, with red emperor, dhufish and big pelagic fish out wide.

Ocean access is gained by launching from the beach inside Steep Point at Shelter Bay and travelling through the passage, or launching at sites within the bay and travelling the extra distance.

A ferry is available to Dirk Hartog Island.

The best boating time is between June and October, when winds are lighter and temperatures milder. Strong winds blow in summer.

Steep Point and False Entrance are justifiably famous fishing spots at the entrance to the bay.

Bait, lures & tackle

If fishing from boat relatively light gear can be used within the bays, as the snapper are not huge.

The whiting also are not huge but well worth catching, and require finesse spinning gear.

Squid can be taken on baited or artificial jigs.

Squid are readily available and make good bait for snapper.

Of the packet baits, prawns, bluebait, whitebait and pilchards work well.

Pilchards presented on ganged hooks work well around the rocks and shallow reefs for tailor.

Paternoster rigs are standard fare when beach and boat fishing, using light star sinkers and small long-shank hooks.

Weather & tides

Shark Bay tides are relatively small.

Like much of WA there can be a strong afternoon sea breeze.

The best boating time is between June and October, when winds are lighter and temperatures milder. Strong winds blow in summer.

Mackerel fishing is seasonal, but fish can be caught all year at Steep Point.

Special features

The shallow inner parts of Shark Bay can produce good sand whiting.

Pink snapper are in good numbers after being over-fished years ago.

Special snapper fishing rules apply in the bay to prevent over-fishing.

Squid are usually abundant over the seagrass beds, and emperor can be caught over reefy patches.

Landbased fishing at Steep Point is world class.

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Some external videos filmed around Shark Bay are featured below.

Tamala Station snapper

Shark Bay offshore fishing

Kayak fishing around Tamala Station

Shark Bay crabbing

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Exmouth, Western Australia

Exmouth tides
WA fishing regulations
Ningaloo Marine Park
WA marine parks
Return to WA Fishing Map

Exmouth Game Fishing Club has had around 150 gamefish records in state, national and international categories, covering 28 species, which demonstrates the fishing quality in this region.

The town might not look much on the map above, but zoom out and you will see the Ningaloo reef to the west, which extends south along the coast.

Exmouth itself is on the shores of Exmouth Gulf.

Despite the lack of significant rivers, Exmouth offers huge variety, from sight fishing clear, sandy flats inside reef lagoons, to deep-sea trolling for blue, black and striped marlin over the Continental Shelf, and coral reef fishing.

The eastern gulf flats have cod, trevally, threadfin salmon, queenfish and mud crabs.

The western gulf, from about Learmonth north, produces tropical reef fish, as well as southern species such as tailor and pink snapper.

The Continental Shelf is at its closest point to the Australian mainland on the north-west end of the Exmouth Peninsula.

This is perhaps Western Australia’s prime billfish area, with the big three marlin species, broadbill swordfish and sailfish all taken.

Exmouth has most facilities, including a big marina with protected boat ramp.

There are sealed ramps at Bundegi, north of Exmouth, and Tantabiddi, on the ocean side of the peninsula.

How to fish Exmouth

Known billfish grounds include the drop-off directly out from Tantabiddi boat ramp northwards, and offshore from the Muiron Islands.

Sailfish, dolphin fish, cobia, wahoo, spanish mackerel and tuna are also encountered in these areas.

Good reef fishing is available off Exmouth and around North West Cape, with dinghy anglers catching mainly spangled emperor, rankin cod, Charlie Courts and tuskfish, as well as pelagic fish.

North West Cape’s oyster rocks are a well-known haunt of oversize trevally. These are taken on poppers near sunrise and sunset. Queenfish and permit are also caught.

Rankin cod inhabit offshore reefs, along with coral trout.

On the 100m line, jobfish, red emperor, chinaman and pearl perch are caught.

The small “Charlie Court” cod is popular with Exmouth visitors because of its abundance near shore, and its eating quality.

Dinghy anglers generally target inshore reefs from Bundegi to Point Murat, where humpback whales give the odd scare as they surface in close.

Further offshore, on a series of sand ridges, sailfish are prolific.

The sailfish are usually chasing the bait schools entering and leaving the gulf with the tides.

The Muiron Island area is popular with the local charter boat industry, which targets both reef and pelagic fish. Beware the sanctuary zones.

On the east side of the gulf the shallow estuaries and creeks have mangrove jacks, threadfin salmon, trevally, queenfish, bream and mud crabs.

While the Ashburton River north of Onslow is regarded as the southern limit of the barramundi’s range, they can be found on occasion in the shallow bays on the east side of Exmouth Gulf in summer.

The southern gulf can be accessed by 4WD through Giralia Station, which has accommodation and camping for a fee, phone (08) 9942 5937.
Exmouth has hotels/motels, caravan parks and camp sites.

Diving and snorkelling is popular in this area because of the clear water and spectacular coral reefs.
Giant whale sharks and manta rays regularly visit.

Bait, lures & tackle

Squid are readily available and make good bait, being effective as fresh or live bait.

Of the packet baits, prawns, bluebait, whitebait and pilchards work well.

Pilchards presented on ganged hooks work well around the rocks and shallow reefs.

Paternoster rigs are standard fare when beach and boat fishing, using light star sinkers and small long-shank hooks.

For the estuaries on the eastern Gulf, running sinker or weightless rigs work well. Float-fishing livebaits can work well.

Lures: Small soft plastics and minnows work well on estuary jacks, bream, queenfish and trevally.

Squid jigs are a must in the tackle box, and large baited jigs work well on big SA squid.

Weather & tides

Exmouth tides are small, to around 2.45m movement.

Like much of WA there can be a powerful afternoon sea breeze.

Summer may bring cyclones that travel south-west down the coast from the tropical north.

Special features

Coral reef lagoons throughout Ningaloo are spectacular. Take a snorkel.

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Some external videos filmed around Exmouth are featured below.

ET fishing around Exmouth

Exmouth fishing

Exmouth fishing

Exmouth shallows fishing

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Town of 1770, Queensland

Town of 1770 tides
QLD fishing regulations
QLD marine parks
GBRMPA marine parks
Deepwater National Park
Eurimbula National Park

Spectacular Round Hill Head near Agnes Water and the town of 1770 produce great fishing for landbased and boating anglers, with a relatively short walk from the carpark to the best rock platforms.

The area has a mix of tropical and sub-tropical species.

Beach fishing produces dart, permit, bream, tarwhine, mackerel, sharks, summer and winter whiting, and dusky, sand and bartail flathead.

Blue salmon, tailor, steelback and jewfish are also caught.

The local rocks produce spanish and spotted mackerel, mack tuna, giant herring, golden and giant trevally, cobia, queenfish, jewfish kingfish and tailor.

Offshore, coral trout, sweetlip, emperor, snapper and cod abound – best in late spring/early summer.

The 1770 public ramp is useable on all tides for small boats, but half tide up is best for big boats.

National parks in this region have estuary fishing for barramundi, jacks and bread-and-butter species.

To reach Eurimbula National Park and Eurimbula Creek, drive out of Agnes Water along Round Hill Road for 10km and turn at the sign. A 14km track leads to Bustard Bay camping area at Eurimbula Creek mouth.

The track has sand in places but standard vehicles with high clearance usually get through.

There are toilets and water at the camping area. Eurimbula Creek is a crab sanctuary. It is OK for bank-launching dinghies but is not navigable at low tide.

Middle Creek is reached via a turn-off 6km from Round Hill Rd (9km before the Bustard Bay camping area).

The 4WD track is 12km, slow and impassable after heavy rain.

Deepwater National Park offers 4WD access to the coast, from Agnes Water drive south along Springs Road, turning on to Rocky Point Road.

The turn-off to Deepwater National Park is 1km down on the right and then another 2.5km by 4WD to the park. Tracks to the left give access to the beach, but before negotiating the steep drive down, check the track on foot.

Flat Rock is a long shelf along the beach that produces reef and beach fish.

Middle Rock has basic camping without facilities.

Wreck Rocks has camp sites, shower, toilets and water and is accessible from the south by sealed road. Camping areas are popular in the holiday season with sites booked months ahead.

Town of 1770 region fishing GPS marks

It is 32 nautical miles to the Great Barrier Reef and Lady Musgrave Island, where there is a large, safe anchorage, the entrance at approximately 23 53.467S 152 24.540E

It is 45 nautical miles to Lady Elliot Island (a green zone) at 24 06.794S 152 42.821E

Places of interest to fishermen and/or divers…

*Pinnacle at 24 06.794S 152 22.029E (26nm).
*Mackerel over contours at 24 06.511S 152 03.073E (10nm west) and 23 58.515S 152 01.818E (14nm n-w).
*The Wides 23 49.940S 152 00.497E and 23 50.624S 151 58.756E (20nm north)
*Boult Reef 23 44 100S 152 15.135E
*Lamont Reef 23 36.490S 152 00.970E
*Fitzroy Reef boat entrance 23 36.445S 152 09.440E
*Fitzroy inner shoal 23 42.787S 152 03.058E
*Banana Gutter 24 06.880E 152 11.100E
*18-Mile 24 07.630S 152 12.790E
*Mackerel Shoal 14.5nm s-e 24 15.999S 152 06.925E

*The Cetacea and Tranquility wrecks are just 7nm off Round Hill Head. See the North Australan FISH FINDER book.

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Some external videos filmed around 1770 are featured below.

Town of 1770 reef fishing

Town of 1770 fishing

Town of 1770 LB fishing

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Turkey Beach, Queensland

Turkey Beach tides
QLD fishing regulations
QLD marine parks
GBRMPA marine parks
QLD stocked waters
QLD dam levels

Turkey Beach is a small holiday community just south of Gladstone, next to a large estuary called Rodd’s Harbour, into which Oyster Creek and Oakey Creek flow.

Immediately to the west is the Seven Mile Creek estuary. To the east is Pancake Creek. These estuaries are large systems, and subject to large tides.

The estuaries around Rodd’s Harbour are accessible by trailerboat from Gladstone in good weather (22nm), but it is safer to tow a boat in by road.

Offshore from Rodd’s Peninsula, the outermost of the exposed rocks off Clew Point is one of the East Coast’s great spanish mackerel hotspots in winter.

Big threadfin salmon are a highlight in the estuaries, along with mud crabs, bream, fingermark, jacks and barramundi.

Spotted and grey mackerel come into the bays in season, usually about August.

Reef fish are caught in close over scattered reef and coral.

Yabbies (nippers) are plentiful and are the best bait for whiting on the flats and tuskfish on the reefs.

Boaters can launch at Turkey Beach township’s concrete ramp, or at the Pancake Creek causeway, which requires plenty of tide.

Both ramps are affected by tidal currents and some boaters launch to the side of the Turkey Beach ramp.

At Pancake Creek, the whiting and flathead fishing can be exceptional. Pancake Creek is also an excellent anchorage.

There is a firm landing on Sandy Creek, about 12km south-west of Turkey Beach, where boats can be launched on the upper tide.

The landing turn-off is just past a quarry about along Turkey Beach Road, called Dyckhoffs Road but only signposted for Jinkies Landing. Leave gates as you find them. Camping is not allowed.

GPS marks in WGS84

Ethel Rocks, off north side of Rodds Peninsula
23 58.117S
151 37.403E

Ethel Wide
23 57.524S
151 37.916E

Outer Rocks, off Bustard head
23 58.633S
151 46.572E

Middle Rocks, off Bustard head
23 59.668S
151 46.517E

Jansen Rock, navigation hazard outside mouth of Pancake Creek
24 00.202S
151 43.320E

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Some external videos filmed around Turkey Beach are featured below.

Turkey Beach fishing

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Gladstone, Queensland

Gladstone tides
Lake Awoonga
QLD dam levels
QLD stocked waters
QLD fishing regulations
QLD marine parks
GBRMPA marine parks
Return to Queensland Fishing Map

Gladstone has a picturesque natural harbour and an impressive estuary that extends north-west to the mouth of the Fitzroy River.

Fishermen have easy access to a range of tidal creeks and rivers. Nearby, Lake Awoonga, on the Boyne River, is one of Gladstone’s best stocked impoundments.

In the tidal waters, big barramundi and threadfin salmon are a regular catch, along with grunter, cod and bream.

Flathead and whiting are common on the flats throughout the harbour.

Offshore, the southern and tropical are caught.

Anglers can catch emperor, sweetlip, coral trout and southern pink snapper on the same reefs, along with pelagic fish such as yellowtail kingfish, cobia, and spanish mackerel.

In the estuaries, southern and northern jewfish co-exist, alongside southern and northern bream.

As well as Lake Awoonga local fishermen have Lake Tondoon (city botanic gardens), Lake Callemondah (behind the K Mart supermarket on the upper Auckland River), the Railway Dam on Glenlyon Road, Wilmott Lagoon (Mount Larcom) and the upper freshwater reaches of the Calliope River to fish.

Stocked barra move down into the tidal waters during flooding.

Tagged barramundi from the Fitzroy River have been caught in Gladstone Harbour, demonstrating the movement of barramundi (and probably many other species) from the Fitzroy River through The Narrows behind Curtis Island.

How to fish Gladstone

Seasons

As many people target barramundi, Gladstone fishing is essentially tropical, with most activity in warm weather.

However, there is good fishing to be had all year.

Black jewfish are the most common of the two jewfish species. They are found near deep wharf pylons, but port security rules make it impossible to fish close to international wharfs, and security zones can be increased at short notice. Check with Gladstone Port Authority for the latest advice.

During bigger tides, jewfish can be caught in the estuaries around other structures, including gravel banks and sand that drops into deep water.

Golden snapper (fingermark) and grunter are caught all year, with snapper best in warmer weather.

Tides & weather

Gladstone tides are quite large, exceeding 5m, with the low tides providing good mud drain fishing for barramundi and salmon.

Smaller tides provide clearer water that is better for trolling, and chasing pelagic fish within the harbour.

Outside the harbour the fish bite well on bigger tides, but current flow may be an issue when bottom fishing in deep water.

The harbour is a busy port, servicing the giant Curtis Gas Project, and skippers should keep watch for shipping at all times.

Anchoring is not permitted in the shipping channels, and skippers must move well before a ship approaches or risk a fine.

It also pays to check the online Notices to Mariners before setting out, as new boating restrictions may apply at any time. .

Like anywhere, freshwater fishing quality may be seasonal, depending on recent and long-term rainfall.

Bait & tackle

Use 50kg handlines or stout rods and extra-strong hooks for jewfish. Fresh flesh or live baits work best. Frozen squid is a good standby. Jewfish bite all year.

Golden snapper are best using fresh or live bait.

Grunter respond best top fresh bait.

Lure fishing works well in the harbour, and standard outfit for barramundi runs 15kg braid, as big fish are a possibility.

There is also plenty of opportunity for light tackle lure fishing with a spin outfit of 6kg or less.

Local quirks

When Lake Awoonga floods the big barra escape and make their way down the Boyne River, and the fishing goes silly.

Eventually the fish disperse throughout the harbour.

In recent times big grunter have become an all-year proposition, the local theory being that dredging has supplied enough deep water to retain them within the harbour, when they would previously seasonally migrate in and out.

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Some external videos filmed around Gladstone are featured below.

Gladstone fishing

Gladstone barramundi

Gladstone LB barramundi

Central Qld coast yak fishing

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeEwCcVCXpjuFyncrY-mqgA

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