shark bay fiesta

 Ok guys, I just booked Denham in May and only now realised there is a fishing comp festival on at same time.

Just wondering if anyones going this year

and if anyones been up there during it and has any advice re what its like??

Also this is first time for me bringing my boat (5.6 hydrofield 150hp yammy) and im bringing a novice fisherman up.

He asked what he needed to bring as a minimum tackle wise and i realised after listing everything plus the kitchen sink I dont really have a clue what to recommend as a minimum,

i.e enough to cover from fads fishing in to Denham without breaking the bank... he has a few rods and spin reels that will prob cover trolling and some bottom bouncing but hes new to lures and im no oracle either.

Thinking mainly what he absolutely must have so he doesn't miss out too if we hit a purple patch.

I suppose I would have 1 x 24kg combo for stopping big demersals from ducking into holes?

1 x 15kg trolling o/head combo

1x light spin or baitcasting rod for squiddies, whiting, smallish snapper?

we have a large donated supply of soft plastics but  need to get variety of jigheads to match.

I have a range of my fav halco laser pros for trolling and I will be topping up my squidtrex supply.

we have a few (literally) metal slice jigs if varying weights.

Any and all advice greatly appreciated,


carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8632

Date Joined: 24/07/07

Fish Factory

Wed, 2024-04-10 15:39

 Pay a visit to the fish factory and pick up some fresh bait, mullet, both fillets and whole fish and whiting heads, they seem to do better than mulies up there

Turn up the hill on Durlacker street, next to the Heritage pub, and turn left at the end, should be about 400 metres down on your right

straith's picture

Posts: 418

Date Joined: 25/11/13

awesome cheers mate ,

Wed, 2024-04-10 15:50

 will defo do that, had heard you cant beat whiting heads for snapper

thanks for the tip 

Faulkner Family's picture

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Date Joined: 11/03/08

We went to Denham a couple of

Wed, 2024-04-10 19:57

We went to Denham a couple of times and found the whiting heads were killer bait. Along with any fresh fillets off the bait fish you get as by catch. Great time of year .


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

straith's picture

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Date Joined: 25/11/13


Thu, 2024-04-11 08:00

 sounds like the whiting heads are the go

stephenm's picture

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Date Joined: 03/04/13


Mon, 2024-04-15 09:37

There are a lot of boats (car park full) but only a small portion are normally in the Fishing Fiesta. The Fiesta week is a good fun with lots of things on and weigh in from 4pm to 6pm, which is worth a look. Catch some butter fish in the bay and snapper love them also. Enjoy your trip and may see you trip as normally great weather.

Rick's picture

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Date Joined: 22/12/06

Fished the Fiesta

Mon, 2024-04-15 15:45

 We have fishing the Fiesta before, great comp really well run, great weigh in every night. Get to see some cracking fish that's for sure. We fished very casual but always wandered down to the weigh in 


PGFC Member


straith's picture

Posts: 418

Date Joined: 25/11/13

shark bay fiesta

Tue, 2024-04-16 15:01

 thanks guys, yeah the temptation is to avoid it but it strikes me as a great opportunity to learn from the experts.

will try to embrace and will definitely give a full report when i get back

The Saint's picture

Posts: 460

Date Joined: 30/01/13

Straith,Hoping to get there

Thu, 2024-04-18 09:57


Hoping to get there myself in May (for the umpteenth time !), we are booked from 3rd until 25th and staying in Denham, battling some health issues at the moment but blood counts are looking promising, so will all come down to whether or not docs give the OK.

If I make it, will keep an eye out for your Hydrofield and come say hello, I'll be taking my Barcrusher 730HT, blue in colour.

Rods I usually take:

24kg combo for out past Steep Point.

Demon Blood 72MH (PE 3-5) with Saragossa 500 & 30lb line for most of the fishing inside Denham Sound, a bit heavy but you need to skull drag at times to beat the sharks, also gives you the upper hand if you hook into a big cod.

Terez 7'2" 15-30lb with Sustain 5000 and 20lb line for soft plastics (although have found this a bit light if you start getting sharked).

These are the three main setups I use up there, but also take along a light spinning rod for whiting, squid etc and a couple of jigging rods for if the urge strikes.

If you are into trolling then whatever takes your fancy, personally I rarely troll, for some reason I tire of it very quickly.

And a few spares rods for emergencies in case one goes overboard or gets broken.

And as Carnarvonite said, whiting heads fron The Fish Factory are killer bait. Squid also top bait, either catch it there or take your own (we do both).

Also if you hook any of those lizard fish, put a hook through them and send them back down, the fish love 'em.

Will also mention that the last couple of trips we have started using NW blowies for bait, heard about it years ago but avoided the temptation until recently. Killer bait, especially on the pinks.

Good luck and hopefully see you there.



straith's picture

Posts: 418

Date Joined: 25/11/13

nw blowey for bait!!???

Fri, 2024-04-19 15:04

 Lol holy crap thats great news!! Never wooda thunk it lol.

Really hope you get the all clear mate, no better therapy but it does get harder as the years get longer... im certainly getting that way.

No parking your gorgeous 730 next to my ugly duckling tho..

 a man can only take so much humiliation lol.

cheers for the tackle advice too.

How do you avoid snags, is it just same as here? paternoster for bait, assist hooks on top of jigs / lures not bottom or what is the bottom like up there? mostly coral or rock??

Is it worth bringing a gt outfit for casting at back of reefs/rollers??

Ill prob troll around DH and see what i can drum up, must admit im a bit partial to mackies and co trolling but im used to onslow Dampier region.

Cant wait , hit me up on a dm if you want my number to catchup at Denham. 


The Saint's picture

Posts: 460

Date Joined: 30/01/13

Straith,To answer your other

Thu, 2024-04-25 06:57


To answer your other questions, paternoster we only use when fishing outside Steep Point/west of DHI, expect to snag up at some stage out there but no worse than bottom bouncing anywhere else.

Inside Denham Sound we fish a running sinker down to a swivel then half metre to metre 100lb jinkai leader with single hook (or couple of hooks snelled), snags really a not a problem fishing inside, sharks always more of a problem than snags...

Not sure about GTs, I've heard they're about, but never chased them, Carnarvonite or stephenm on this site may be able answer that for you being ex locals. There's definatelly some huge tailor to be caught though.

We've found that the mackies are usually a bit quiet come May, but others may disagree. We've done OK trolling in close along the cliffs west of DHI on mackies and yellow fin tuna at times, but that was more March/early April.

Feel free to PM me your number if you want, although I'll be keeping an eye out for your boat at the ramp. What dates will you be there ?

Now I just have to get the final OK from the docs, will all come down to blood test results next Monday, fingers crossed !






straith's picture

Posts: 418

Date Joined: 25/11/13

 good luck mate, fingers

Thu, 2024-04-25 11:25

 good luck mate, fingers crossed for you.

be arriving 16th leaving 22nd

robduca's picture

Posts: 31

Date Joined: 13/10/08

We have booked to head up in

Fri, 2024-05-03 22:30

We have booked to head up in a couple of weeks also, not realising there is a week long fishing comp on. Its my 40th on the 18th May, so if anyone wants to give me a GPS present, feel free haha  

First time we will be coming up with the boat (Blue 5.4m Trailcraft Trailblazer) 

Is there any issues with parking car and trailers? Do the carparks fill up and its a launch and take the car home job?

Does Monkey Mia get as busy, or do most the comp fishers head over Dirk way?

Can't wait. Might see a few of you guys at the pub. 


The Saint's picture

Posts: 460

Date Joined: 30/01/13

Well, I made it. looking

Sat, 2024-05-04 17:58

Well, I made it. Looking pretty windy next few days but is forecast to settle later in the week, maybe a 2 day trip to Steep Point first up, we'll see how it goes.

rodbuca, carpark in Denham does fill up on good days, but we usually launch early to avoid the problem, Monkey Mia not so bad.

Will keep any out for your boats, Straith and robduca, hopefully can catch up, tight lines !

straith's picture

Posts: 418

Date Joined: 25/11/13

 great news mate, tight

Tue, 2024-05-07 13:47

 great news mate, tight lines!!