Kalbarri Trip

 Just got back from a quick family trip to Kalbarri. Took our time and went the inland route on the way up then home via brand hwy. Suprisingly the inland route was only marginally longer (say 45 mins to an hour), but was a much more enjoyable drive with no traffic. Avoided the Indian Ocean Road completely...


Wasn't a fishing trip but took the boat just in case the weather was nice - and geez we were treated to a week of perfect weather. Could of gone offshore all 7 days we were there but in the end only went fishing twice and took the wife out whale watching.


The channel was intimidating even on a 1mtr swell with no winds, but to be honest it was actually very useable (obviously as people have been using it for longer than i have been alive!). I think the key is to ensure you have enough power to keep control of the boat, and to drive steady and not panic. Perhaps the thought of the channel is more scary than the channel itself. Although I wouldn't like to see it at 3mtr + swell. 


Fishing wise we stayed close to the cliffs both north and south.  First day we went north and headed to the sand patch. Did some trolling with no luck and decided to find some ground and do some bottom bashing. We first tried in about 20+ mtr of water. There was plenty of bait on the sounder but not much in terms of ground. We ended up finding better ground and fish in close in 10-16m. Nothing worth bragging about but a 65cm dhu and a couple of baldies. Made the trip worth it and I felt we learnt a bit...


So the second fishing trip we headed south and decided to stay close to the rocks. We drifted around in 10-18m of water just in front of the "pot alley" gorge and found some really good ground, and got a few random fish including some red throat and a cod of some sort (think maybe a yellow spotted cod) but only ended up keeping 1 baldy. Did some more trolling but again no luck. 


One of the days I was surfing jacques I saw a bait school a bit offshore with some big fish jumping out of the water and smashing them. So can only assume they were macks or tuna. That surf break is unbeleivable even on a small swell. So much fun.


If I had my time again I would focus my efforts starting from the northern end of the sand patch and further north OR I would head a bit further south - bit more towards wagoe maybe. All fish were on placcies or jigs. Anyway learnt a lot and got some more confidence with the boat. And the wife was happy as I left the rods at home one day and took her out whale watching and got a good show. I didn't take any pics of the fish but I'll pop up a photo of the whale to give this post something more interesting to look at.


Sun, Surfing, fishing, whale watching, 4x4ing and exploring - couldn't of asked for a better week. Will be back to try and figure it out more when the water temp heats up.


Cheers !

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Posts: 4939

Date Joined: 17/06/10

Are we living in a great place or what

Wed, 2017-09-13 17:14

Thanks for the good write up, the passage out can be a bit "exciting" at times like when you get that dryness in your throat when you are half way through it you start thinking may be this wasn't a good idea to head out today.

Posts: 126

Date Joined: 26/08/16

The swell.

Tue, 2017-09-26 11:24

 Yeah, I dont even launch once its over 2m. I know some of the hardier local characters will go out in that, but not me.

Already had a couple of "Oh Dear" moments in the entrance, but I hail from FNQ where theres no such thing as swell inside the reef and I am still learning.

Particularly after I spotted a 7m Plate boat upside down in the surf earlier this year, victims of a " king wave", IMHO pulling pots in the break zone doesnt seem that smart to me.

And these guys were local blokes as well.

Luckily I spotted the crew up on the beach and called it in, noone seriously hurt, but it did reassure me that reef and swell dont mix.



Niko's picture

Posts: 191

Date Joined: 26/11/13

Great writeup

Thu, 2017-09-14 11:09

 Great report and sounds like a great trip. Did well on the weather, i mustve just missed out. Up in Kalbarri atm and the winds up a bit, im sure alot of people are out but still being new to boating im hanging out till it dies down tomorrow.

Got out sunday with much the same plan as you and did ok. will post up my own report once im back and hopefully just as successfull!

Posts: 86

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Good report! I'm heading up

Thu, 2017-09-14 20:57

 Good report! I'm heading up in just over a week so cheers


 born to fish, forced to work

backlash's picture

Posts: 224

Date Joined: 12/10/10


Tue, 2017-09-26 12:23

 getting this recent information ia always helpfuoly when trying to plan trips
out on interest - how big is your boat ?

Francis's picture

Posts: 206

Date Joined: 17/06/08

I have a swiftcraft, 17ft

Wed, 2017-09-27 12:41

I have a swiftcraft, 17ft (touch over 5m)