Fishing and Boating


With some of the best shore based fishing opportunities in the country, the coastline around Karratha, from Point Samson in the east to 40 Mile Beach in the west, makes this a very exciting place to throw in a line from the rocks or beach.

Tides can be very important when it comes to fish activity, the low to high tide movement in the Karratha region varies from tide cycle to tide cycle with over a 4m movement on a ‘spring’ tide to less than 1m on a ‘neap’ tide. Neap tides occur on the first and third quarters of the moons cycle resulting in very little water movement.

The incoming and outgoing tides draw in small fish and other food to and from the shore, making for some hectic fun on a tide change at a few local spots. This can either be a high or low tide change around the area, including the easterly point of 40 Mile Beach and a few spots near Point Samson.

Poppers on a still day at high tide change will usually stir up a feeding frenzy of Queen fish, often referred to as the poor mans Barramundi for their aerial antics and attempts to throw a hook. A great deal of fun to catch on light gear!

Bait choice is often the most critical decision you will make and depending on which species you are targeting will determine what sort of bait you will need. As a rule in my experience, if you have a few squid and a frozen Mullet or two, you are in with a good chance of hooking up something decent. Mullies on a treble gang work well for Mackerel, Queenies and Trevally – simply cast out unweighted and slowly retrieve, vary the retrieval and gig the rod tip a little to give the Mullie a more lifelike swim quality and hold on tight!! Squid and strip baits work well for the bottom feeders like Spangled Emperor and Estuary Cod, with even a few decent Coral Trout being caught using a chunk of Mullet.

Lures of all sorts, shapes and sizes are often successful if worked well through the water, a simple steel slice will often work as well as a more expensive diving type lure if worked hard. Some people prefer a soft plastic and although I have had little success with these over the years off the shore, they certainly work in deeper water off a boat.

Be careful when out at remote spots on an incoming tide as there are numerous occasions where vehicles are swamped by water in or near creek crossings and the like. Always keep a tide book with you or check with the Bureau of Meteorology or with the Karratha Visitor Centre for accurate tide times and heights.

As the old saying goes, ‘without a line in the water you’ll catch nowt’, so give it a go!

Fishing in the Dampier Archipelago
With a huge variety of fish species inhabiting the area it’s a fishing paradise for both amateurs and professionals alike. Species include the much sought after coral trout, red emperor, scarlet sea perch, spangled emperor, Norwest snapper and  blue bone. A fishing guide, including details of size and bag limits, can be obtained from the Karratha Visitor Centre or the Department of Fisheries

Boat Charters in the Dampier Archipelago
A range of boat cruises available with Discovery Cruising, let Skipper Brad, an enigmatic local operator take you on a memorable day out on the warm waters off the coast of Dampier to discover some of the 150 beaches surrounding the 42 islands that make up the archipelago. 


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