Shack life

 Was just thinking the other day about when an old mate of mine had a shack north of Leeman in the mid 90's. I owned a Pacemaker Calais back then which was an awesome boat.

Being a bit of a Tarzan back then me and my mate would head out bottom bouncing for Dhuies all day before an arvo dive for crays. We'd head out in a sou wester no probs as long as the swell was ok. These were some of the best days of my life up there, there were hardly any boats fishing that area so we always nailed big bags of fish. 

We used to run a wing of net out each night and bag heaps of big Mullet, herring and Skippy. 

Another fave pastime was spearing Cobbler along the beach there at night with the gidgy, skinned and pan fried nothing could beat it.  

One particular day after smashing the ocean and sitting up on the hill late arvo sucking beers and having green rollie ;) we watched a dinghy float past heading for Madagascar. Old mate came out of the shack and said to us salvage rights for that if you're keen.

Looking at my mate with a grin appearing said F^%k yeah! So half cut we swam out to my boat which was moored, at this time the sea breeze was a howling 25-knots + so we were knackered by the time we climbed on board . Anyway it tooks us about 3 or 4 km's before we caught up to the dinghy. Tied it on , dragged it back and beached it. 

In the meantime the owner of said dinghy showed up at the shack telling us he saved his boys arses,  they'd beached it after fishing and hadn't dragged it out properly. He knew that the boat was absolutely lost if we hadn't of picked it up and I wasn't going to be a prick about salvage rights etc. 

So he said what do you want? Two x 1L bottles of Jim Beam was the order, No probs mate and brought them around a couple of hours later. 

Enjoyed getting sideways that night lol. It's the old thing we might've needed him for something down the track later so it was a good deal. 
It was a shame in the end to have to pull the shack down, The shire was happy with $500 a year lease fees but CALM stuck it's nose in and demanded they go. 

Another  mate of mine used to bring a spud mortar up there that we'd fire off into the ocean, I just told to fire the Farken thing away from my boat. 

Ahhhh shack life, loved it. 

Keen to hear of anyone else that experienced shack life back in the day. Or still has one.


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 u mention at least 4 things

Fri, 2020-08-07 14:12

 u mention at least 4 things u cant do anymore   ;p

sea-kem's picture

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 Yeah I know mate, it's

Fri, 2020-08-07 14:34

 Yeah I know mate, it's farked . Plus the Dhuie limits back then. 


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Fri, 2020-08-07 14:36

had a shack at Sandy cape for 25years, bloody good times. One thing we did was dive for occys and swap 2 occys for a good dhufish with the farmers from Dandaragon. Bag limit for dhuys was 8 a day back then

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 Mates first shack was at

Fri, 2020-08-07 14:38

 Mates first shack was at Sandy cape but was a challenge to get into back then especially if it rained. so he decided to build Leeman way. 


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Shack ..

Fri, 2020-08-07 14:43

Mates dad had a shack up there . Went up

for few trips . Good Farking times .. nice

one sea kem .. got the memories flowing! 
cheers pirate .. 

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 Good mate of mine had one in

Fri, 2020-08-07 14:55

 Good mate of mine had one in Bynoe Harbour. Lots of time out there chasing crabs and barra and walking for pigs when the tides weren't right. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

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Ahh seakem you just bought back some awesome

Fri, 2020-08-07 16:14

memories for me too when i was about 18. A mates mates dad owned a shack at wedge, we would 4wd in with 3 - 4 cars , 10 -15 fisho's/pissheads/coneheads and have afriggin good old fishn/drinkn/swearn/bucketbongn n fartn long weekend - was always a blast really miss those days and wish i had a shack along that great part of our coastline thanks for the memories

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 Too bloody true mate boys

Fri, 2020-08-07 16:18

 Too bloody true mate boys own adventure back then. Be an animal for a few days lol.


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We STILL! do the above on trips to

Fri, 2020-08-07 16:43

steep point with the boys and love it ( but now that im fifty no more of the green stuff for me) cheers

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 Ha ha I hear you mate, it's

Fri, 2020-08-07 21:17

 Ha ha I hear you mate, it's the yearly Gnaraloo trips for me. And a bit more civillised haved the parky at Seabird, it's the closest I'll ever get to that lifestyle again. No regrets at all, just good memories.



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 a mates uncle use to have a

Fri, 2020-08-07 16:49

 a mates uncle use to have a shack at whats now known as Port Kennedy. there use to be a long winding track that would take you to long point. not all of us had 4wds back then but we still got onto the beach with alot of moment to go fishing for tailor. it was a great place to go to so we could get on the piss, smoke dope and go camp at the shack without harming anyone else. i rememeber one night we were having a bit of fun racing through the tracks in our cars and there use to be a tight 180 degree turn along the track. my mate was following us and he missed the corner and launched his HQ straight over the berm and about 20 mtrs in the bush where she sat for the rest of the night. all we could see was the HQ headlights dimly shining in the bush. funny as fuck and like beeroclock said it has brought back alot of fucking funny memorys. when did life have to become so serious aas i reckon i would still carry on like those days? i would just need longer to recover!  


 Get busy living, or get busy dying!

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My dad and his mates had a shack at Didie Bay way back

Fri, 2020-08-07 17:27

 Think it was near Lancelin? I think they used to get on the piss more than fishing lol. I went up there once as a kid, but the shacks were eventually dismantled and the area turned into a bombing range for the Navy. 

Used to also go up to the Carnarvon Blowholes in the late 70s to the late 80s and fish with a pro macky fisherman who had a shack at the blowholes beach. Had some great times there and caught a heap of mackerel trolling as far up as Cuvier and Red Bluff sometimes.   

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 I had a mate  in the 90's

Fri, 2020-08-07 19:26

 I had a mate  in the 90's too who had a shack up at Leeman we used to head up there with a couple of kegs and hooch and drink like crazy each night then up at dawn for fishing and diving, didn't always have a boat though. One night we took a keg down to pt Louise and while some guys were surfing the rest of us were drinking and fishing with crappy old handlines all we were catching were wrasse and afew drunk guys started cutting them up, in a pretty drunk way, this attracted about a 4 foot wobby right in close to the reef and one of the not so drunk guys was able to pick up a decent size boulder and throw it on the sharks head and boom it was out like a light so he jumped in and tossed it on the reef. We ate the whole shark that night and the quality of the cooking of that shark got progressively worse as the night went on I think I ate raw wobby that night, but all my mates still talk about that night


 rather be fishing

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Great Memories

Fri, 2020-08-07 19:58

You bring back some great memories Andy.  We also had a shack north of Leeman, the turn off being some 7 or 8kms north of the town.  Our shack was a kilometre or so south of Taylor Bay.  We, that being 3 families built the shack there mid to late 1980s.  Prior to that we would stay in a friends shack nearby.  Fishing was mostly landbased at Taylor Bay although we did have a small tinnie (oars powered) to set pots, set lines and nets.  If I knew then what I do now I would have fished a lot more from the tinnie.  Later I invested in a small outboard.  I had never potted for crays previously so it was all good learning.  Kerosene fridges - I'd never heard of them but once you mastered the lighting of them it was all good. 

Nets and pots were checked at first light with a coldie in hand and I guess that set the scene for the rest of the day.  The misses and I spent a few Christmas Days there together before the others arrived, magic times.  During the GFC when my work was part time on occasions I would go up there by myself for short periods. 

There is a post on FW I will find and link.



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 Bloody awesome Alan, so was

Fri, 2020-08-07 21:21

 Bloody awesome Alan, so was that anywhere near Gumtree bay? 


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Sat, 2020-08-08 11:33

We were south of Gumtree Bay Andy.  Looking at Google maps now I see there is a bay named Tailor Bay not far north of Leeman.  This is not Tailor Bay as we knew it.  According to Google maps our shack was at the southern end of Dumper Bay.  Tailor Bay as we knew it was located a kilometre or two north of Dumper Bay.  I can just make out a white spec on Google maps some 500m WNW of Dumper Bay.  We used to row out and drop our plastic pots around this reef structure.  Usually we got plenty of crays but lots a undersize.  We caught some good size tiger sharks (3m+) on the set line.  That was always entertaining from a small tinnie.

Fond memories indeed.   



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 Ahhh ok I know old mate's

Sat, 2020-08-08 12:04

 Ahhh ok I know old mate's shack was around 25km north of Leeman, I fished around Beagle island and caught my first ever shark Mackie out there on a piece of Occy. 


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Mandurah Shack

Fri, 2020-08-07 20:22

 We have an old shack at Mandurah and a jetty on the Serpentine. Many a great time had and been in the family since the 50s. There is an old caravan with model T ford wheels that was towed from the old caravan park behind the Penisula Hotel. No disrespect to the shack squatters but if you dont own the land you cant whinge when something is taken that is not yours. I remember driving through the shacks as a 10 year old south of Lucky Bay in the 80”s and people looked at you like you were not welcome. My dad and Uncles were pretty quick to point out that they didnt hold a title. Still remember that to this day. 

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Capel River Shack

Sat, 2020-08-08 09:03

 My old man and his mates built a shack in the dunes at the mouth of the Capel River back in the 70's. Good times driving the buggies on the beach. Spent a bit time time at the shack at Minninup Beach as well.

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farther in law had a shack

Sat, 2020-08-08 09:26

between lanclin and Cervantes back in the 70s,wife and I sent some time there chillin out gorging on crayfish and spearing the odd wobbly, used to go back bush with a few tails ion the door linings. was great times


all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

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Whitfords shacks

Sat, 2020-08-08 10:05

I remember as a kid going down to the shacks on Whitfords beach ,mates sister had a boyfriend and his parents had one.Went down to beach to get sharks they had caught overnight on the sharks lines and pull the runabout up on the beach on air bags.Remember pigging out on abalone fried in butter in the shack.


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 had a couple of trips to a

Sat, 2020-08-08 13:42

 had a couple of trips to a greenhead shack in the early 90s with a mates family that had a shack there. Good surfing, wasnt into fishing then but it was good fun up there. my mates dad also showed us one of the first mobile phones on one of those trips! 


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 Good post Andy, The little

Sun, 2020-08-09 19:19

 Good post Andy,


The little crayfishing town I grew up in on the limestone coast SA had a lake ( well kind of 3 lakes joined together ) that on a good year was loaded with mullet as they are open to the sea...


Around the lake there were half a dozen huts, mostly built/owned by one of the locals but there was one called the mullet hut which no one really claimed so you could just rock up and if no one was there it was yours...


We had our end of year under 14 footy trip there, most of us would have spewed that night I reckon!


Once we all had 4wds and motorbikes we'd go camping out there reguarly to one of the better huts as being a small town it wasn't hard to get permission.


We'd shoot ducks in the daylight and set the nets for Mullet at night. The beach is only a couple of kms away over the dunes to some good mulloway/gummy shark fishing so there is always that to do if the mullet were quiet or it wasn't duck season...


Bloody good times!! We'd get on the booze, smoke a few hong kongs and zone out, often we'd shoot mice with our home made blow darts as they'd come sneaking out when things were quiet.


At night we'd set the old long neck stubby with bread in the end over a bucket with an inch or two or water in it as a mouse trap, as we'd be dozing off you'd hear the first one splash then the next then the next.... Some nights you'd catch well over a dozen in each trap...


I could keep waffling on as it certainly does bring back bloody good memories!!


One thing that has fucked it up is the introduction of mobile phones and social media...


There was no one looking at Instagram around the fire back in those days!!



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Ggarden Island

Sun, 2020-08-09 23:24

As best I can remember it must have been in the late 50s that we had a shack at the north end of Garden Island on the eastern side just around from the cliffs. We would walk out on the reef at night with a 2 D cell battery touch an catch crays with a loop on a stick just like you would catch marron. Many a good weekend was held over there.

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worst thing they ever did was give that island

Mon, 2020-08-17 15:53

to the navy, we used to come down from kalgoolie in the fj ute for xmas holidays, my sister and I in the back.


all aggressive fish love bigjohnsjigs

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Gumtree Bay

Mon, 2020-08-10 06:32

 When i was a kid my old man had a shack at gumtree bay, right up the south end. Some of the best memories of my life. We used to go out there for school holidays for weeks at a time. I learnt to fish there, learnt to catch crays, drive a boat etc. Without that shack i wouldnt have the obsession with fishing that i do today. 

Dad had an old 18ft pride glass boat that we use to beach launch up there, countless dhuies, pinkines and black ass in 8 - 10m of water around the beagle islands. 

As kids we'd get up at sunrise and head down the beach to get a good burley trail going with the easterly and the herring, and tailor would go off! 

Good times, can only hope my kids will get to experience something similar when they're a bit older. Tearing the shack down was heartbreaking, i was 12-13ish and didnt really understand why we had to (still dont). 

Miss the simplicity of it. 


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Mouth of the Donnelly River

Mon, 2020-08-10 19:26

 Remember having school holidays when we were living in Northam travelling to Pemberton  and helping Uncle George put an old mill weatherboard house back together after we had  carried it in bits 11 mile down the river towards the mouth. It was the third shack to be built there, straight across from Dunnets shack built right under the overhang of the cliff.


Spent quite a few more holidays there when we moved to Bunbury, but girls and other things came along and the interest sort of died till many years later when I took son Jeff down for a visit and never been back


Done a few weeks up at the Carnarvon blowholes shacks, one was willed to Sea Rescue to use as a base if a rescue was to occur up there and members were allowed to use it for a break from town. 

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I worked with a drafty named

Tue, 2020-08-11 08:24

I worked with a drafty named George Smith in Manjimup in the late 70's who had a hut down the Donnelly. Wouldnt be the same George would it.

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Tue, 2020-08-11 19:16

 Nah, was George Chadwick, used to run the vertical saw at the mill in Pemberton before it was pulled down to make way for the new bandsaw mill built in mid sixties