Gnaraloo Sharkfest 2018

Now that I’ve finished cleaning the corrosive dust from all the shit we took with us, I’ve got time for a little write up.

We were up there for 2 weeks, staying at the 3 mile, and a few mates/missos/kids took the numbers to 10 adults 5 kids 4 dogs, however most were leaving after 1 week. Marnie and her family aren’t the caretakers there anymore, and the new chick isn’t as friendly, especially towards dogs. I took my 5.5m Caribbean, and a mate took his 7.6m Jackman. The track in was FUCKED.... like FUCKIN FUCKED. Slow traveling and a few muddy puddles, I haven’t seen it that bad for a long time. 4 hours from Carnarvon to the 3 mile....

Day 4 saw a HUGE storm roll through from the north, with seriously borderline cyclonic northerly winds, swinging straight west at around 100km/ph with sideways rain at around 12am tuesday morning. It flattened a lot of tents and campers at 3 mile. I avoided damage (and a lot of sleep), but a few mates didn’t. We usually get a weather event when we’re up there, but I’ve never been through anything like this, let alone while camping!

We did manage to get out a bit in the boats before and after the storm, but I am going to go on record in saying the sharks are now completely and utterly out of control up there. Every lump that showed fish, we got sharked at. I had a whaler shark nearly 4m try get a big cod right at the boat! We lost around 80% of the fish we hooked. Over my 2 weeks, I managed a few big cod and a few mackies, all from under 20m deep, but generally, anything deeper was a complete waste of time, gear, fish and fuel. I honestly don’t even have an answer on what can be done about them either.... they are now past the point of no return.

Regardless of above, after the storm cleared and the others started heading home, the weather got really good, and we had a pretty relaxing holiday. Took the kids snorkelling up towards the cape, and had a ball. 4 year old daughter even happily snorkelled with a reef shark! As mentioned, fishing very shallow I managed a couple of big estuary cods, and a few mackies, which I was pretty happy with, although I still lost more than I caught. For some reason the cod and cobia don’t get as much attention from the Noah’s as other species.

After the storm, a HEAP of plant/machinery took to the tracks, and by the time we were leaving, some parts of the gnaraloo/Quobba road were as smooth as the freeway. Some still very shit, but it reduced the trip down to 2 hours from the 3 mile to Carnarvon.

The 7.6m Jackman crew had an unbelievable amount of bad luck, with 2 x shredded tyres (from the stupid rocks along the roads at 3 mile camp), cracked hub on trailer, damaged (beyond repair) radiator (new one had to be freighted to Carnarvon), snapped axle on trailer, and their tent flattened and flooded from cyclonic style storm.

I’m not sure if i will go there again on a proper fishing trip. Family trip wise it was mint, but the sharks have DESTROYED the fishing up there to a point where it’s no longer enjoyable.

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Meeuwissen's picture

Posts: 548

Date Joined: 29/03/13

looks like you still got a few nice fish

Sun, 2018-06-17 19:12

 ive found the same thing with cobia ive never seen one get attacked by a shark i guess they have got a mutual understanding. Glad to hear the family is doing well.

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walloped's picture

Posts: 149

Date Joined: 08/04/12

25 years ago the sharks

Mon, 2018-06-18 20:48

25 years ago the sharks always left the cobia alone at The Ledge on Quobba station. It is a quite different matter now as the sharks have learned that an easy meal is on hand and hammer them. It is barely worth fishing there in december/january during the cobia run as the vast majority will not be landed. It doesnt help that people keep fishing after the first cobia is sharked and that predatory behaviour is then encouraged by the subsequent hook-ups.

Thoughts Quobbarockhopper?

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 14179

Date Joined: 11/03/08

 apart from the sharks and

Sun, 2018-06-17 20:03

 apart from the sharks and storm it sounds like you had a great trip with the family 

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RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

Pedro the fisherman's picture

Posts: 122

Date Joined: 04/04/13

Sharks

Sun, 2018-06-17 20:26

 without causing the awakening of a sh&@ storm SHARKS are going to destroy many fishing holidays from now and into the future unless something is done they are very intelligent as we now know being able to follow engine noise detect echo sounders and probably lots of other things they have learned from us . It might start hurting tourism in the north one day but for now it's a lucky dip .

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COLLINGWOOD ARMY...

Pedro the fisherman's picture

Posts: 122

Date Joined: 04/04/13

By the way

Sun, 2018-06-17 20:28

 sorry Scotto I forgot to mention nice mackies and cods still got some fillets for fish and chips with the family .

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COLLINGWOOD ARMY...

tot's picture

Posts: 859

Date Joined: 31/01/10

was there from last sat to this sat just gone.

Sun, 2018-06-17 21:22

saw your boat and come to think of it saw you around also.

we did ok , sharks yes but still got past them. 

lots of cobia and reds every outing landing most plus usual troll fish. you have to change tactics and it can be done.

was staying at green army tent behind you. 

sounds like most split before the front the week before. drive in/out was a pleasure - did it in 1hr 15 to the hwy.

picked its pocket i guess but no doubt it is getting worse.

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scotto's picture

Posts: 2177

Date Joined: 21/04/08

hey mate

Thu, 2018-06-21 09:08

yeah now I remember you guys! funny, I saw you a few times, small world the old FW community! spewin we didn't catch up for a beer. I chatted a few times to the blokes behind you guys.

glad you still got a few fish past the fuckerZ. I personally have never seen or experienced sharks as bad as that. as I mentioned, it was actually unenjoyable. we saw a decent bronzey on the one and only spear/dive we did as well.

maybe as you said, a change of tactics could have boated us a few more.

Tom M's picture

Posts: 388

Date Joined: 22/09/15

 I have a theory that when

Mon, 2018-06-18 07:58

 I have a theory that when you have a holiday like this it gives you memories that last a lifetime, I have had a few and continue to talk about them 30 years later. That said you got some vety good fish and everyone survived, well done. Was up there a few weeks ago and as you suggest a long way to go to get sharked, change of fishing tactics maybe.

As for sharks numbers I wonder whether nature will take over and balance out their numbers based on fish numbers or are we seeing the results based on over fishing by business and shark fishing demise?

 

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Tom M

Posts: 275

Date Joined: 21/11/16

 I got back last week from

Mon, 2018-06-18 12:59

 I got back last week from coral bay. Was good trip and other than a couple of really shit days weather wasn’t bad for fishing. 100% agree about the sharks though. I was reading threads on here before we went about how bad sharks were, take lots of rigs, sinkers etc... I can’t say I believed how much ppl were going on about it but it is actually ridiculous. We still landed some good fish but just seems like such a waste to how many you lose. First day was probably only 30% sharked second day 50% last day nearly impossible to get bottom fish to the boat. Didnt hang around long at each spot as once the sharks started there was no point. Was hard work. Arms got a good work out reeling up as quick as we could. Also noticed sharks left the cobia and cods alone

Xtreme Coolers's picture

Posts: 696

Date Joined: 02/01/10

Hi Scotto

Mon, 2018-06-18 13:07

 Sounds like a frustrating trip. Gnaraloo has been getting worse over the past three years. Would hardly see a shark and now, some spots are impossible. We are less than two weeks away from heading up again. Such a shame as it is one of my favourite places to visit. if they get much worse, many will stop going. We will spend a fair bit of time in 45mtrs as well as head out to our deeper spots. Let you know how we go. Fingers crossed for some good weather.

Jason will fill you in i am sure. Hope the boat's name does not jinx us too much.

Dave

Posts: 382

Date Joined: 12/03/10

Just got back

Thu, 2018-06-21 12:03

just over a month ago have been fishing there for 10 years,this year the Sharks were ridiculous.We did get our bag limit but was real hard work with the Sharks would of lost at least 70 rigs in 6 outings.previous years before when you got sharked which was not as often you would bring up a head now you get nothing they take the whole thing so the Sharks must be much bigger now.

Over all we had a great trip weather was great track was the best I've seen it in 10 years a week after being home I flew to carnarvon for the carnarfin comp and stayed on my mates 45 foot cat that he has penned there he is a local and 30 years of fishing there he said this year was the worst he had ever seen for Sharks they were just as bad as gnaraloo so I would think much same same all along the coast .As people have previously said this is going to hurt tourism a lot in all these small country towns coz Tis ain't going to get any better too far gone with the Sharks.

 

Posts: 382

Date Joined: 12/03/10

Just got back

Thu, 2018-06-21 12:03

just over a month ago have been fishing there for 10 years,this year the Sharks were ridiculous.We did get our bag limit but was real hard work with the Sharks would of lost at least 70 rigs in 6 outings.previous years before when you got sharked which was not as often you would bring up a head now you get nothing they take the whole thing so the Sharks must be much bigger now.

Over all we had a great trip weather was great track was the best I've seen it in 10 years a week after being home I flew to carnarvon for the carnarfin comp and stayed on my mates 45 foot cat that he has penned there he is a local and 30 years of fishing there he said this year was the worst he had ever seen for Sharks they were just as bad as gnaraloo so I would think much same same all along the coast .As people have previously said this is going to hurt tourism a lot in all these small country towns coz Tis ain't going to get any better too far gone with the Sharks.

 

Posts: 382

Date Joined: 12/03/10

Just got back

Thu, 2018-06-21 12:03

just over a month ago have been fishing there for 10 years,this year the Sharks were ridiculous.We did get our bag limit but was real hard work with the Sharks would of lost at least 70 rigs in 6 outings.previous years before when you got sharked which was not as often you would bring up a head now you get nothing they take the whole thing so the Sharks must be much bigger now.

Over all we had a great trip weather was great track was the best I've seen it in 10 years a week after being home I flew to carnarvon for the carnarfin comp and stayed on my mates 45 foot cat that he has penned there he is a local and 30 years of fishing there he said this year was the worst he had ever seen for Sharks they were just as bad as gnaraloo so I would think much same same all along the coast .As people have previously said this is going to hurt tourism a lot in all these small country towns coz Tis ain't going to get any better too far gone with the Sharks.

 

sea-kem's picture

Posts: 11054

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 I'll take good weather over

Thu, 2018-06-21 15:00

 I'll take good weather over no sharks any day, I really don't care as long as I'm up there can get out and try and out smart the fuckers. We'll try spots and drifts off the beaten track so to speak. 

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Love the West!