Salmon Fishing Safari in South-West WA
On the 13th May 2018 Perth Fishing Safaris owner and fishing guide Robbie Riches took 4 colleagues from a Perth-based company on an adventure in the south-west to target the iconic Australian Salmon. The day was a huge success, starting with fish from the very first cast! Below is a re-cap of the day written by client Paul Carroll.
The boys grinning after a day of catching Salmon off the rocks near Margaret River WA
"So this is what Perth looks like at 3am on a Saturday morning! The four of us were meeting in the Perth CBD to get picked up by Robbie Riches of Perth Fishing Safaris - to drive south to a secret “honey-hole” and arrive at sunrise. Thankfully Robbie did all the driving as the pre-fish myth & legends of previous trips were exchanged & elaborated. After some bush bashing we arrived, rigged-up and were clambering over the steep sand dunes just in time to see the day brighten. A glorious beach was revealed with only one other fisherman on it in the far distance... but at the secret “honey-hole”.
Catching salmon off the top on stickbait lures is great sport!
There was a likely bit of foam-laced water immediately near our emergence from the dunes and we hurled our lures towards it. Instant hookups! Large Herring were everywhere and they were hungry. While it was fun, we had heavy gear and the Herring could not really give a good account of themselves on it. Besides, we were after Salmon, and the Herring were not leaving the lures alone long enough for any Salmon to get a shot! Leaving the Herring on a hot bite, we moved on to the salmon “honey-hole” and introduced ourselves to the other fisherman, a local. He had already caught two Salmon - one as we walked up - and was generously inclined to share, even throwing in some tips.
A double-hookup on salmon on stickbaits, doesn't get much better than that!
It proved an excellent location and we hooked many large salmon as we fished into the early afternoon. The rocks were high enough to offer a clear view of the large fish materialising from the foamy waters and tracking the lures before a final sprint to hit the lures... multiple times...before hookup. The salmon were spectacular fighters, leaping high with heavy head shakes - often throwing the lure back at us. I had one fish tail-walking for about 5 meters! After the aerial fireworks, most fish settled into a series of powerful runs that risked dragging the braided line over rock and earning more than one fish an early release. For each fish, Robbie plunged into the surf, making a grab for the tail & then clambering back up the rocks with the prize.
Small groups of salmon were coming through all day!
Robbie was a marine science graduate and a strong advocate of catch & release...we were all converts anyway, but it was a pleasure to hear his passion for it. We landed about a third of the number we hooked and released most of those quickly and in good health. Many fish had large bite & nip marks on them, which we decided must be sea-lion attacks – even small sharks would have cut straight through. In the end we all landed multiple fish and kept only four, one each, with Robbie showing us how to humanely dispatch them. After the “coup de grâce” we kept the selected fish in a wet burlap sack in the shade and put them straight into salted ice as soon as we got back to the car.
Catching salmon off the rocks on soft plastics is a fantastic experience and so much more rewarding than bait fishing.
The return trip had an unexpected bonus as we stopped at a craft beer brewery (Cowaramup Brewing Company) to sampled the local product. Stories began to weave around the pints while Robbie stuck to coffee (he was driving). A superb day with an excellent Guide, I unreservedly recommend Robbie Riches of Perth Fishing Safaris!