Tea Tree Camp, Tamala Station

Well after years of thinking about and months of planning for it, and a very conveniently timed redundancy, we finally headed up to Tamala Station, Tea Tree bay on the 4th of May. 776km and 11.5 hours later after leaving home at 0401 in the morning, we arrived to a blustery 25 odd knots from the south west. Thankfully Tea Tree is a northern facing beach so it was at our backs though trying to find some protection on relatively flat ground, whilst maintaining our privacy (three other groups coming up later), we headed to the western end of the bay.

One and a half ours to setup the camper trailer (PMX 18 foot soft floor with semi off road, single axel trailer) and it was time to prep for dinner. Had to strap the tent to the car to give a little bit of protection and after dinner, we settled in for an early bed time.

Day 2, the wind was still blowing, strong. Decided to pump up the 3.3m Quicksilver Ducky to give it a leak check (after finding and fixing a few at home) though didn't get it wet due to the breeze. Fisheries took a drive down the beach to check us out and have a chat, surprising to see them to be honest, though after a quick look through the fridge and freezer to see lots of chicken, they were on their way. After being embarrassed that I hadn't had any fish, I went for a kayak to a spot where I found a school of silver bream swimming around and speared one which gave us a taste of the local produce. 40cm fish was the biggest one I had seen. Not much other life around.

Slightly later night admiring the sky and alcohol with the camper still pumping.

Day 3, the breeze had moderated to below 15 knots so Wife, deckie dog (6yo Cattle dog) 2yo daughter and I jump into the duck and we putted around the point to the west to see what was around. Drifted for squid though it was extremely shallow so we decided to go for an explore though the breeze picked up forcing us to head in. White caps by 10:00 and blowing the goats around by 11. Took a drive to Giraud Point to see what was up that way and check in at Telstra hill to get an update on the world.

Day 4 the remainder of our gang arrived (5 adults and 5 kids) with two Caravans and a camper trailer. Not a huge amount happened though more fishing buddies arrived. Breeze was starting to moderate so only one ratchet strap connecting the tent to the car...Took the duck out to catch some bait (Silver Bream) and managed one as they were extremely skittish. Threw in a line at sunset and landed a shovel nose at around 1830. showed the kids and let it swim away.

Day 5 three of us headed out looking for fish. We headed to the channel to the west which is clearly visible. Pinkie after pinkie and nothing else but pinkies....only they were 10cm long. Tried for squid again where we thought it was deeper though it didn't happen...

Day 6 spoke to a bloke walking past who gave is some info of people catching fish off the rocks to the west of us at sunset. Game plan was set. With the remaining bait, we 4 adults headed out after the kids went to bed, anchored in around 1.5m of water and after sitting for around 30 minutes it was on for young and old, well everyone got big hits with only my hooks setting. Landed three size pinkies, me with two and handing the rod to my brother for the last. We were jovial upon return though quickly disappointed to discover that the only 'sharp' knife was a 4 inch bait knife. After getting two reasonable fillets off one of the fish, another one got hacked, we decided to eat the third for brekkie the following morning

Day 7 quiet day around camp with a trip to Tamala Station to do a rubbish dump and collect wood. filled up the showering jerry cans. Went for a pretty big explore looking for more fishy spots and squidding again. Managed a few yellow tail which would go to bait.

Day 8 I was keen to do a steep point run though after hearing the track was pretty bad, I conceded that False Entrance was as far as I would get (wasn't keen to go alone and the group wasn't keen to go to Steep). Heading off at around 10, it was a 65km trip out to false. We looked at the blow holes and I looked for a fishing spot. Not much swell though no one else really keen on a rock fish so headed to the beach for lunch.
Lots of fish in the shallows at the northern end of the beach though not interested in anything we threw at them. Upon closer inspection they were mullet. Spent time shucking oysters and playing in the dunes. Back at camp, we had the first glass off evening

Day 9, Headed out looking for baldies. Went around the point to the west and headed south. Found plenty of very twichy fish though the boat developing its 4th major air leak of the trip, we weren't out for long. Water was bloody freezing! Managed to spear one after having plenty of shots. As soon as they see you, they are off. You just have to wait for them to stick their heads up again...
Headed out again in the evening for a fish. More fish this time with more favourable tide times. Brought home two though must have caught 20 fish. All on bait. I tried soft plastic, then bait on soft plastic for nothing.

Day 10 - final full day. Boat had developed more leaks so we stayed shallow. Took the wife, midget and dog for a run to the north to look at some other spots. Went over a heap more fish though with limited fuel, we just kept going. On the way back, once I was sure I had enough fuel to get back to camp, I had a go at some fish though didn't get anything. Boat back on the beach and packed up.

Over the trip we had four proper fishing efforts, two during the day and two during the evening. Only landed size fish (5 in total, around 50-53cm) in the evening. Around 1 hour after sunset, the fish were on the bite for about an hour and a half. Plastics and lures were useless. Fresh chunks of yellow tail were the way to go

Went spearing 4 times and landed three fish. Fish were extremely skittish and hard to find without a boat.

Tea Tree East is extremely shallow. Beach fishing is almost a redundant activity as at low tide there is no water for 100 or so meters. Even at high tide, it would only be 1m deep, 200m out. It is ideal for kids with plenty of sand. Take sand pegs as normal pegs are useless as the shell grit that makes up the beach is so large, the pegs don't really bind in. Most of my windward peg spots had three pegs in, at different angles....and I still strapped to the car..

Tea Tree west is rocky with small cliffs to the water. Better for fishing though not ideal for young kids. Not great for tents or camper trailers as you cant peg into the ground apparently.

One of the fellow FWers warned me of ticks though thankfully we encountered none though we did see a few mice. Feral cats must be a bit of a problem too as I saw one at night and I saw evidence another night.

Overall, I, and the other campers found this part of shark bay pretty baron. The seaweed seems dead and drifting over deeper water, there is nothing (I stuck my head over the side many times when drifting around to see if anything was moving). I assume it changes during the day though we were amazed how little there is around.

Anyone taking energetic dogs up, be aware that the shells cut their feet to bits. We ended up gaffa taping socks onto ours so she could walk around. That was just her running around the shallows.

On the way home we went to stop into Murchison House station but found it to be a dust bowl so headed to Anchorage caravan park in Kalbarri which was nice for a freshen up, before heading to Cliff Head though after the big swell, the water was brown so we didn't attempt fishing.

2350km later at home just in time for this nasty cold front on the weekend. Still packing up. Now all refreshed time to look for a job...

Below image
Orange = where we camped.
Red = Where we actively fished. Landed three yellow tail, plenty of small pinkes and a small baldie in the channel.
Blue = where we saw baldies/tusk fish. Motoring over them you see them though as soon as you are the water, the are gone.
Yellow = where I found plenty of Silver bream. A school just swims up and down. They had no interest in squid.
Pink = Where we fished at sunset to catch size pinkies. Anchored in around 1.5m of water and cast 10 or so meters away from the boat.

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opsrey's picture

Posts: 1194

Date Joined: 05/10/07

Good report

Sun, 2016-05-22 20:56

 sometimes the fishing doesn't fire. The experience sound great.

Posts: 80

Date Joined: 05/05/14

What a fantastic family

Sun, 2016-05-22 21:29

What a fantastic family photo
beautiful sandy beach, with a calm bay back drop.

that's fishing for you

I was surprise to read the water was cold ? and no one want to fish steep point ? really ? oh well.

great report mate

Posts: 6446

Date Joined: 08/08/11

Sounds like a great getaway

Mon, 2016-05-23 05:52

Sounds like a great getaway paul.  Sorry should have warned you about the shells cutting up pooch's feet.  Same happened to the black dog.


Fish! HARD!

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2167

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Certainly was a great trip.

Mon, 2016-05-23 06:47

 Certainly was a great trip. 16 nights away in total, 12 free camping.