Introduction to Land-based Fishing in WA
From the pristine waters of the south-west to the abundant waters of the north-west the coastline of Western Australia offers some of the best land-based fishing opportunities in the world. To give you a broad overview of the fishing on offer, I’ve broken the coastline into several areas of interest.
The south-west coast is largely about rock fishing with a minor beach fishing component. The rock platforms in the south-west are basically rounded granite ledges and cliffs that plummet into deep, clear water. These ledges are very dangerous to fish from but at the same time can be very productive. The locals in the area have the rock fishing very well sussed out, and some of the fish they catch down there are ridiculously big. Some of the catches include massive blue groper, monster Snapper, Dhufish, Tuna, Samsonfish, Kingfish, huge Sharks, Squid and more. Getting to some of the ledges is not for the faint hearted and often involves climbing down near-vertical cliffs with a rope in one hand and rods in the other. The beaches of the south-west also produce a handful of species worth targeting. Salmon are prolific during the annual Salmon run and can be caught just about anywhere. The beaches also produce good numbers of herring, the odd Tailor and Mulloway as well as some very large Sharks!
The Perth metro area runs from Rockingham in the south to Two Rocks in the north, but for the sake of this booklet we’ll expand the area from Bunbury in the south to Wedge Island in the north. For a capital city Perth offers some fantastic land-based fishing. As a general rule the further you travel from Perth the more consistent the fishing becomes. During winter Perth experiences frequent storms and rough seas. During this time good numbers of Snapper and Mulloway are caught off the local rock walls. Hot spots include North mole at Fremantle and the outer rock walls at Hillarys and Mindarie Marinas. During summer the Tailor fishing improves on the beaches and pelagic targets like Spanish Mackerel and tuna become an option as well. The area between Rockingham and Bunbury offers some decent beach fishing for Tailor, Herring, Whiting, Salmon and Mulloway. The beaches in this area are not what you would call surf beaches, but more so a shore dump and reasonably deep water beyond. The area north of Perth between Two Rocks and Wedge Island is a mix of surf beaches and plain beaches with a shore dump. This area is our specialty. The fishing here is great all year round. During the warmer months Tailor, Mulloway, Sharks and Rays are caught in good numbers, whereas the cooler months are a little slower (still very good), but what the fish lack in abundance they make up for in size!
The land-based fishing in the mid-west between Cervantes and Steep Point is simply amazing. The mid-west land-based fishing scene is largely about beach fishing, with a minor rock fishing component in some places such as Kalbarri and Wagoe. The mid-west is the home of big everythings. Any trip to the area offers you a chance of landing a fish of a lifetime. Mulloway, Tailor, and Sharks are all abundant plus there’s always a chance of Samsonfish, Spanish Mackerel, Tuna, Dhufish, Baldchin Groper, Snapper, Shovelnose and more. In addition to these larger predators there’s also good numbers of smaller species such as Herring and Whiting.
Land-based fishing in the north-west from Steep Point to Exmouth is up there with the best in the world. Pelagic species such as Mackerel, Tuna, Cobia, Sailfish and Giant Trevally are all targeted off the cliffs and rock ledges by anglers either ballooning or spinning. Not only is the pelagic fishing red-hot, the bottom fishing is also a viable option. Because the water against the cliffs is so deep there’s a very good chance of catching reef species such as Snapper, Baldchin Groper, various Emperor species, Cod, Mulloway and even Coral Trout if you’re lucky. Scattered amongst the cliffs and rock ledges are isolated beaches that also produce exceptional fishing. These beaches can produce good numbers of Spangled Emperor, Mulloway, Blackspot Tuskfish (Bluebone), Trevally, Blue Threadfin, Sharks, the occasional Bonefish and more.