Exmouth Shark + Mack Frenzy

Couple months back some friends and I decided to head up to Exmouth Western Australia following our completion of High School. We headed up with all hopes that we would find angling heaven. And oh yes we did!

Six Metre Boat Hired; check, taking all tackle all of us had ever had, bought and accumulated; Check, and having conjured up a fishing fever with us that had accumulated fiercely throughout the exam period that contained no fishing at all we were ready to head out on what would be out biggest fishing adventure yet.

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Heading out on the boat towards the cape, the conditions were glassy as anything. It was an immaculate day with not a gust of wind in sight, turtles pointed their heads out of the water and our boat glided past effortlessly. Dolphins popping out of the water at every new glance at the open sea.

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With our anchor dropped in about 20 Metres, we flipped bails and dropped waited. We had a Barracuda carcass left over from the day before and decided to cut some up and burley that up in hope to attract anything out there.

Outfit for that day: 

  • Reel: FinNor Lethal LT60
  • Line: 30Lb Power Pro Braid
  • Rod: Penn Mariner Heavy Spin 6’10 6-10kg 1Pce
  • Rig: 50lb Monofilament Leader joined to 50cm of 100lb Metal Trace snap swivelled onto a 3x Gang Hook

 

And it didn’t take long!

Gracefully a 2 metre Bronze Whaler Shark swims towards our boat and dives down towards the Barracuda scraps and starts chewing bits off it.

Not long after that; his mates all join in and we all stare in awe of what is unfolding directly under the boat. 20 odd Sharks are cruising about and we seemingly all hook up at the same time. Reels screaming and rods bending we all manage to land at two sharks each after some exhilarating runs and back breaking rod bends. I think all up it would have been around 10 different Sharks caught ranging from 1-1.6 metres in length. Most of them were Bronzies (Bronze Whaler) but some were also Blacktip reef sharks.

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One Shark in the boat and another on my line.

 

The biggest one I hooked would have been about 2.5 metres. As soon as I hooked it I knew I had Big-Mumma on my line. Drag screaming, the Shark made it’s way around the boat several times, this crazy frenzy situation lasted about 10 minutes until the Shark eventually spat the hooks. I regret not having the Shark by the boat to witness it’s true size and statute but it still goes down as the single most powerful creature ever to pull on my line. It’s speed and strength was truly mesmerising and something I won’t forget for a long time.

 

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A quick rant on sustainability:                                                                                

In my opinion; Sharks are an extremely important part of any marine ecosystems. They have been exploited beyond capacity in the Shark Fishing industry for what I like to call “Pointless Soup”. Shark Fin Soup only uses the fins of sharks and the rest of the shark is thrown back into the water alive. I believe that this method is not only disgusting and inhumane but most of the good meat on the animal is wasted. That’s why all but one were released on our trip. We had 8 people to feed and this little guy fed all of us as we used the WHOLE shark rather than just the fins. When bled properly to remove Ammonia and other heavy metals, the shark actually tasted really good. Just remember and this goes with any fish; if you’re going to keep it, makes sure none of it goes to waste!

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Doing the dirty work!

Another spectacular sight of nature and how harsh it can be sometimes was when a huge Queenfish cruising just 10 metres from our boat rose to the surface frantically, with our heads turned towards it’s attention, two more Sharks, both from different directions go for the Queenfish, all we saw was bright red splashes in the water we knew what had happened. Definitely not something you see everyday. I think was the moment we really did appreciate that we were in a boat rather than in the water!

Arms sore, enough of Sharks! We decided to troll some lures back to the boat ramp and picked up this nice Shark Mackerel and a Barracuda along with some cod that were about as big as the lures themselves.

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Shark Mack came in at about 1m.

After a long day and a serious workout I headed home on my favourite spot on the boat. Truly an amazing experience.

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 If you’ve read this far I wan’t to thank you and hope that you had a good read. Exmouth is an amazing place and there are a couple more blogs coming out about fishing there. Stay tuned.

Also please let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever caught a shark and what your views are in terms of sustainability and keeping these amazing creatures.

Tight lines! – Josh

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