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Recfishwest
Fishing Report
11/09/20
The Montebello Islands - an awesome location with amazing fish! Kelvin Wilson enjoyed a terrific time at the remote location in WA's north while on a week-long fishing adventure with Blue Lightning Charters, catching plenty of fish including this Rankin cod. We are sure it was a trip of a lifetime.
Dear <<First Name>>,

Welcome to WA's biggest and best weekly fishing report!

In this report you'll read all about what's biting across the State brought to you by keen fishers Joachim Azzopardi, John Curtis and Peter Fullarton.

We've teamed up with Shimano to give you some of their experts' hot tips to take your fishing to the next level in the 'West Aussie Ultimate Angler' series.

For anyone wanting to contribute to the report, photos reflecting Recfishwest's responsible fish handling practices will be given preference.

If you know someone who would love to receive these reports and needs some help on the fishing front, forward this onto them! Join us here.

Pic of the Week!

With big bait schools at Recfishwest's FADs off Broome last Saturday, Gino Chambers knew the predatory fish would be lurking nearby - and he wasn't wrong, catching this cobia! If you catch a fish at any of the Recfishwest FADs, be sure to send us your photos because photographic evidence is important in helping us evaluate how well each FAD location is faring. Keep up the good work, Gino!

Your fishing photos

If you want to see yourself or your kids feature in our next weekly State-wide Fishing Report, send your best fishing photos and a description to zach@recfishwest.org.au
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Fly fishing catches
Josh Meeuwissen had never "been so frustrated by a fish" after finding a school of permit north of Willie Creek, near Broome, a fortnight ago but being unable to land one. However, he revisited the spot on the same tides on Fathers' Day last Sunday and caught the elusive trophy fish! "It couldn't have been a better Fathers' Day present - it is a fish of a lifetime," Josh told us. Congratulations! 
Broome Catches
Mad-keen fisher Matt Scanlon enjoyed plenty of top-water action off Broome recently, getting among a host of quality species including this Spanish mackerel. The smile on your face says it all, Matt!

Boats

Boat fishers are travelling far to find quality reef species including Rankin cod, blue lined emperor, saddletail seaperch and red emperor. Fingermark bream and bluebone were among the species caught by boats that worked the ground within a few miles of the coast. Tackle World Broome’s father-son duo Steve Chambers and Gino Chambers, pictured above in the Pic of the Week section, caught a cobia at Recfishwest's FADs off Broome last Saturday. Wahoo, a relatively uncommon catch off Broome, are being encountered out wide as a bycatch by fishers who are chasing marlin or sailfish.

Shore based

Barramundi in the 60cm to 80cm range, together with the odd 1m fish, have been caught on lures within the Fitzroy River. Lures have also been effective on barra in the local creeks, as well as along some of the beaches. Threadfin salmon and bluenose salmon have been caught in better numbers near the creek mouths during the spring tides. Queenfish have been turning up at the jetty together with golden trevally and small GTs during the change in tide.
Exmouth Catches
Brad Whisson endured an "arm-stretching fight on 8kg baitcasting gear" with this 1.4m Spanish mackerel while fishing off Bundegi with his wife Kath on Fathers' Day. What a solid Spaniard!

Boats

Billfish enthusiasts have been finding sailfish wide of Peak Island, but very few of the majestic creatures have entered Exmouth Gulf waters. Black marlin can be targeted in depths starting at 100m, while striped marlin and bigger blue marlin can be found out wide. Spanish mackerel are often being caught on bibbed minnows trolled behind the west coast reef. Red emperor, saddletail seaperch, Robinson's sea bream and spangled emperor are also being caught in depths of 30m to 90m.

Shore based

Giant trevally exceeding 10kg are turning up at Oysters and VLF Bay, alongside queenfish and giant herring. Big stickbaits and poppers are working well in enticing the GTs, while the queenies and giant herring are striking smaller offerings. The town and gulf beaches are providing good catches of whiting for the visitors at the popular holiday town. Squid can be targeted at Learmonth Jetty, the marina, Old Bundegi and Tantabiddi.
 

Scott’s Spots – Rottnest Island, more than a place for quokka selfies

There are many safe and accessible fishing locations for kids to enjoy at Rottnest Island. 

From bread-and-butter species to big demersals or pelagics, there are plenty of terrific fish abound in the waters surrounding Rottnest Island. The popular holiday spot off Perth offers much more than an opportunity to take a selfie with a quokka - it also offers the chance to take a snap with awesome fish. Read what Western Angler editor Scott Coghlan has to say about fishing at Rottnest Island in this week's Scott's Spots.

 
Kalbarri Catches


Boats

Kalbarri's two charter boat operators have been putting their clients onto plenty of dhufish, baldchin groper and big pink snapper. Spanish mackerel are sometimes being caught on bibbed minnows and rigged garfish trolled north and south of the river mouth. There are a few cobia turning up, while longtail tuna, mack tuna and yellowfin tuna are also starting to be encountered more often.

Shore based

Rock fishers have been landing pink snapper up to 60cm at Red Bluff, Eagle Gorge and Pot Alley. More snapper have been caught along the back of the reef at Wagoe Beach, alongside mulloway and tailor. Surf fishers have also been catching tailor at Chinaman's Beach and Oyster Reef. Black bream and estuary cod have been caught near the jetties and other structure located within the Murchison River. The sand flats in front of the supermarket are starting to fish well for yellowfin whiting.
Geraldton Catches
Pinkie on a placcy? Yes, please! Lloyd Lyons, of Twitchy Crew Fishing, caught this nice pink snapper during an action-packed session off Geraldton recently. Keep up the cracking fishing, Lloyd!


Boats

Recreational and charter boat fishers who ventured to the Abrolhos Islands caught dhufish to 13kg, baldchin groper and pink snapper. More dhufish were picked up near African Reef with skippy and pink snapper. Pinkies were also found schooling in waters north of the shipping channel and out from Coronation. Cobia have been caught on bottom rigs near South West Bank and out from Port Denison. Squid can be targeted along the seagrass meadows within the inshore reefs.

Shore based

Tailor are being caught during the mornings and evenings between Flat Rocks and the Greenough River mouth, alongside school mulloway. Tarcoola Beach has also been producing tailor at times. Yellowfin whiting and school whiting can be targeted in any of the sandy areas clear of seaweed, while squid are being caught from the rock walls at night.
Lancelin Catches
Although the photo was taken 90 minutes north of Lancelin, we thought it was too good not to share! Ben Latham caught this dhufish off Green Head while fishing with Beau Suladra, who took the snap.


Boats

Demersal fishing off Lancelin has been excellent this week, with dhufish and baldchin groper caught in a wide range of depths. Tuna schools have been found in the 30m depths, while Samson fish are spread along the structure out from White Bank. The occasional King George whiting has been caught at the bay's weedy areas. 

Shore based

The spring tailor run has made a good start, with most fish measuring close to 50cm. Weed has remained an issue north of Lancelin following the last storm. There are some great weed-free gutters spaced along the coastline at Back Beach. Access to most of these gutters is best at low tide in the evenings when four-wheel drives can traverse the beach. Sand whiting numbers have been down along the near shore and jetty, but plenty of herring have been keeping fishers entertained - especially at night.
 

West Aussie Ultimate Angler Series

On Strike Charters are renowned for helping clients catch different billfish species off Exmouth!

The number of billfish seen each year varies from season to season off Exmouth, but in general they’re a pretty reliable target, writes Shimano's Jamie Crawford. With black marlin, blue marlin and sailfish on offer, the town in WA's Gascoyne flaunts a world-class billfish fishery. Read more about catching billfish varieties off Exmouth here.

 
Esperance Catches


Boats

Dinghy and small boat fishers have been catching plenty of big sand whiting as well as squid, snook and barracouta in close. Samson fish and yellowtail kingfish have been caught on the surface and mid-water near the islands. Some of the nannygai picked up out wide this week were between 60cm and 65cm.

Shore based

The Taylor Street Jetty has been producing lots of herring, sand whiting, squid and small herring. Bandy Creek Boat Harbour has King George whiting and, in the evening, squid. Salmon were caught at Salmon Beach, Fourth Beach, Ten Mile and Eleven Mile. Roses produced salmon, tailor and skippy.
Albany Catches
It was all systems go when Connor Blackman hooked up with this 1.1m yellowtail kingfish on the 20lb gear while jigging off Bremer Bay - we bet it was a tough fight! Photo via the Luckless Fisherman.


Boats

King George whiting require some effort in the inshore waters, however, squid, herring and small skippy have been relatively easy to come by. Sand whiting have all but disappeared in close and there are not too many flathead around as yet. Those who ventured wide did fairly well on the usual mix of pink snapper, breaksea cod and skippy. Pink snapper are sometimes being found in schools in areas west of town.

Shore based

Surf fishers have continued to find lots of salmon at Fosters Beach and Reef Beach. King George whiting have been caught at some of the protected areas including Frenchman Bay, Cosy Corner and Gull Rock. Rock fishers have been bringing up yellowtail kingfish and Samson fish. Bonito, which are either very late or very early in the season, have also been appearing at the rocks. Black bream in the King and Kalgan rivers continue to strike at soft plastics and baits, while the water in both systems remains tannin but not cloudy.
South West Catches


Boats

Pink snapper have been caught on lightly weighted whole baits, including mulies and scaly mackerel, introduced to a burley trail along Four Mile Reef and Eight Mile Reef off Dunsborough. Pink snapper can also be targeted within the Four Mile along with dhufish, skippy and Samson fish. King George whiting can be caught along the gravelly bottom off Eagle Bay, Quindalup and Siesta Park. The water clarity inshore may need to improve before squid return to the seagrass. Dhufish to 10kg have been caught off Bunbury, while southern bluefin tuna schools have been prevalent. There have been reports of good Samson fish caught at Recfishwest's Bunbury artificial reef.

Shore based

A variety of bread-and-butter species - including herring, sand whiting, juvenile salmon and small skippy - can be caught from the headlands and bays. Tailor and bigger salmon are a chance along the west coast beaches, near Dunsborough, when the wind and swell allow. Expect yellowfin and school whiting to visit the Geographe Bay sand flats when water temperatures increase, with the Leschenault Estuary also worth trying.  

Freshwater

Giordano Gervasi was over the moon after landing this fat redfin perch while fishing along the Warren River last weekend. A fantastic photo of a fantastic freshwater fish. Well done, Giordano - great stuff!
Anglers fishing the Warren River are still catching the occasional big redfin perch like the beauty pictured above caught by Giordano Gervasi. The Donnelly River and Lefroy River are both producing rainbow trout, with lots of fish around 25cm. Rainbow trout and redfin perch are being caught in the freshwater impoundments from Waroona to Harvey.
Mandurah and Surrounds
Dwayne Robinson, from Non Stop Fillets, was stoked to get this pink snapper on deck while fishing in 40m of water off Rockingham recently. Nice photo - it is a great snap of a great snapper!

Mandurah

Tough swells have made fishing along the beaches difficult this past week, especially south of Mandurah. Beach fishers have caught tailor when conditions have suited, with Tim's Thicket and White Hills both producing fish. North of Mandurah, there have been reports of tailor - including the occasional big one - being caught. Mulloway action along the beaches either side of Mandurah is expected to improve in the coming weeks. Herring and tailor are the main catches at Dawesville Cut, alongside yellowfin whiting. Yellowfin whiting, herring and tarwhine are among the main catches in the Peel Estuary's lower reaches. Black bream fishing in the upper estuary has been slow this past week, but downstream it has been a different story with some good fish caught.

SECRET HARBOUR / PORT KENNEDY / WARNBRO / ROCKINGHAM / SAFETY BAY

Rockingham Jetty is producing herring and chopper tailor. Palm Beach is a good spot to try for most species, with squid also about. Sand whiting and tailor have been caught at Warnbro Beach and Long Point. Boat anglers fishing out behind the Five Fathom Bank are catching demersal species, including dhufish. It is important to note that the annual pink snapper closure in Cockburn Sound and Warnbro Sound is currently in effect
Perth Catches
Fishing off Two Rocks has been great for Joseph Murphy, aka Salty Murph, recently. Last weekend, Joseph's success in the northern metro waters continued when he landed this terrific pink snapper.

Boats

Dhufish, baldchin groper and breaksea cod have been coming from the 30m to 50m depths near Rottnest Island and off Hillarys and south-west of Fremantle. King George whiting are being found in patches off Cottesloe Beach, City Beach and west of Rottnest. Yellowtail kingfish are being encountered off West End, while Samson fish are patrolling the inshore bombies and wrecks. Skippy have been found in dense schools along the western edge of Five Fathom Bank. There are small southern bluefin tuna in 30m of water and deeper.

Shore based

Surf fishers targeting table fish from metropolitan rock walls and groynes have been picking up mixed catches of herring, sand whiting, skippy and squid. Tailor are sometimes being caught from Cottesloe, City Beach and Floreat groynes and the beaches in between. King George whiting are a chance from the rocks around Fremantle, which are also good spots to try for squid. There are tailor in the middle and lower reaches of the Swan River. Black bream seem to have been pushed downstream following the recent rain. Mulloway have been found schooling, at times, in the deeper areas of the Swan with Tom Schuiling - pictured below - among those landing an elusive 'silver ghost'.
 
Chasing black bream, but landing a mulloway - you can't complain with that! Tom Schuiling released this mulloway back into the Swan River after a quick photo earlier this week. The Swan River is an amazing fishery on Perth city's doorstep. Read about how to catch Swan River 'silver ghosts' here.
 
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