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Tried & Tested

Potting tasty lobster • Stealth mode for trout •  Five-step plan to catch more fish •

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October 2018, Vol. 1 No. 2

Contents 10

METRO Perth metro


Cockburn Sound


Swan & Canning Rivers


Metro Offshore


SOUTH COAST Esperance 21 Bremer Bay


Albany 20 WEST COAST Augusta 24 Busselton 25 Bunbury 26 Mandurah 28 Lancelin 29 Jurien Bay


Geraldton 31 Kalbarri 32 GASCOYNE COAST Shark Bay




From the Editor’s Desk... What a great response we had to the first issue! To get so much feedback on a print media publication in this age where everything is going digital was very encouraging. Thank you to all of the readers who bought the first issue and got in touch to say how much you enjoyed it. Getting positive feedback is always very refreshing and lets us know that we are on the right track. Going forward we aim to grow and improve with each and every issue. October is a busy month in the calendar for closed seasons on the West Coast bioregion, so be sure you are well aware of the closure of Cockburn and Warnbro sounds to pink snapper fishing and, of course, the one everyone dislikes, the demersal closure that comes into place on the 15th. If you plan on not using

this time to get out on the water, maybe consider getting the boat in for its annual service and go over all of your safety gear to ensure it is in date and in good condition.

Unfortunately, the last couple of years have seen a growing number of boating tragedies. Let’s see if we can make this summer a zero boating fatality year. Another great initiative

Ian Sewell to look at is the Department of Transport’s 30-second challenge. There is a major Fisheries review into crabbing coming up, so please keep your eyes out for it so you can submit your views. Crabbing is the biggest recreational fishing activity so it will be interesting to see what is coming up and what options we will have going forward. The main focus of the review is to ensure an abundance of crabs, which is great as I am sure we would all like to see more crabs in the areas that we fish. Just before I sign off, I want to once again thank all of the writers for their great work on this issue. While on the topic of writers, if you think you have some knowledge to pass on in the form of an article or area report, please feel free to get in touch, I would love to hear from you.


Carnarvon 34 Exmouth 35 NORTH COAST Port Hedland


Broome 36

Dam Levels Fun Page

40 50

Kayak 54 Recfishwest 44 Tournament News


Trade and Services Guide


What’s new fishing


What’s new boating



Production: Keith Hawley Karen Millward

Editor: Ian Sewell Editorial Manager: Jacqui Thomas Sub-Editors: Bob Thornton Nicole Penfold Annie March Publishers: Steve Morgan Matthew Drinkall

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Potting tasty lobster

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Potting some tasty lobsters! WEST COAST

Ian Sewell

Every year as the days get warmer and the boat covers start to come off, the waters off the West Coast start to stir with a massive underwater migration. Western rock lobster start their trek from offshore reefs into the shallow inshore reefs and await the signal to

referred to as ‘whites’. After a week or two, the new shell hardens enough and then just about every boat ramp in the south of the state starts to swell beyond capacity at sun-up every day for the mass migration of rec anglers making the most of the ‘white run’. It is thought that western rock lobster take part in this mass migration event at least once in their lifetime,

that allowed rock lobster to be fished all year round. This is a great outcome from years of managing the fishery so well. This fishery is so well managed it also has Marine Stewardship Council certification as a sustainable fishery. It was granted certification back in 2000 and has since been recertified four times, the last time being in 2017. Interestingly WA’s rock

There are three main colours of a Western rock lobster: (left) ‘white’, (middle) ‘coraly’ and (right) ‘red’. Note the clipped tail fin, which is a requirement for all recreationally caught lobster. start a massive synchronised malt. The exact date varies every year, but it’s safe to say late spring is the approximate time frame. At this time, western rock lobster shed their dark red shell for a light coloured pink/white shell. These lobster are most commonly

usually only after they become sexually mature, or a year or two after. For us as recreational fishers, it is a time of the year where we can catch a good feed of rock lobster with relatively little effort. Back in July 2018, there was a significant rule change

lobster industry has over 50 years of research and science behind it, which I think speaks volumes. It is also WA’s most valuable commercial fishery. GETTING POTS If you want to get in on the action this year, there are a few things you need

There is a large amount of tagging going on with rock lobsters to try and find out more about them. If you find a tag, be sure to record details on where it was caught and the depth so that you can submit the info with the tag number. 8


to do and think about. The first one is that you will need to buy a recreational Rock Lobster Fishing Licence. This is different to your Boat Fishing Licence, and can be bought online from the fish. website. Once you have a licence you will need to buy a couple of pots, or if you are handy with your hands and have the time and the inclination, you can build your own. If you do want to build your own, be aware that there are strict rules for dimensions of the pot as well as the placing of the compulsory escape gaps. Depending on where you put the gaps, you will need three or four. These gaps have to be of a very specific size and can be bought or made. Be sure if you buy pots that they have the gaps already in them or that they are supplied when you buy it so that you can fit them yourself. There are quite a few commercially available pots, and these are made out of various materials. There are two types of plastic pots, a wire collapsible pot, as well as commercial wooden slat pots, which can come in pine or jarrah. Pine pots are generally used for the white run and jarrah pots are usually used for chasing ‘reds’ when the white run finishes. Then there are amateur size pots, which are also referred to as 3/4 pots, and these also come in jarrah and pine. Activ Industries produce a great range of pots that are ready to fish, are built well and work just fine. These come in three sizes right down to their smallest Mini A, which is perfect for tinnies or small boats. If buying from Gumtree, be aware that there are a lot of dodgy pot makers out there trying to make a buck. If they are new pots, ensure they have escape gaps properly fitted and are correct dimensions. You are allowed to use two pots per licence, and you are allowed to have a maximum of six pots on a boat, but you are only allowed to pull six pots in a day with three licensed fishers on board. Two licenses would equal four pots. Recently we have also been allowed to pot share, which means you can put another licensed fishers gear ID on the same pot and this person is also able to pull the same pot. For more info on the finer details be sure to check out the regulations on the website. FINER DETAILS Next you will need some ballast for your pots, as most pots bought off the shelf either have no ballast or have not enough. When trying to work out what to

Even during the white run, it is still possible to pick up resident jumbo crays that are not taking part in the migration. use as weights for your pot, think steel! Concrete, bricks and rocks can work, but take up a lot of space and also hold air, which will slowly bubble out. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, rock lobster shy away from bubbles. So look for steel railway fish plates or any other flat pieces of steel. When adding the steel, there is no such thing as too

heavy, just too light. The idea is that you do not want the pot to move in heavy seas or in strong sea breezes or easterlies. If the pot moves while a lobster is trying to climb in, they will generally not go in. Going for a walk on any beach after the beginning of lobster season you will more often than not see pots washed up on the beach.

LOBSTER These pots are the ones that had too little weight or had weight secured with cable ties. Do not use cable ties to secure ballast into pots. The impact from pushing the pot over the side when setting them will usually snap the cable ties, shooting the ballast out of the bottom escape gap.

Ballast is best secured with stainless wire, or a decent galvanised wire or bolted in place. Again, there is no such thing as too secure. Through the season it is also wise to keep an eye on the securing and watch for any corrosion or possible weakening. Now you have ballast and escape gaps, the next

thing on the list is your rope and floats. Floats need to be a minimum 15cm in diameter, carry your gear ID number on them and if you are pot sharing you will need two floats with a licence number on each. Numbers need to be at least 6cm high and 1cm wide. The best method for achieving this is by using a soldering iron with the tip pulled out and burning the numbers into the float and then applying a dark paint into the groove left behind. Ropes under 20m are straight forward, however ropes over 20m now have to have new rules and must have a weight put half way up the rope to hold it vertically in the water column to try and prevent whale entanglement. It does, however, have a couple of useful benefits. The first is that it keeps excess rope off the surface of the water and reduces the likelihood of boats running over and

When transporting pots think about your weight distribution. A full sized slat pot when wet can easily be in excess of 50kg. fouling or breaking off your ropes. Another benefit is that it stops the float from pulling directly against the pot in times of high wind chop. If there is no weight on the rope, you get what is called

bumping, not only does this walk your pot across the bottom ever so slowly if you do not have enough weight in your pot, but the movement will again stop the lobster from entering your pot.


Pulling the pots is something that the kids love to get involved in. The anticipation of what is in the next pot is the same for kids as it is for adults.

• Western rock lobster are more commonly referred to locally as crayfish or crays, which is incorrect. Crayfish are freshwater shellfish, while lobster are saltwater shellfish. • A legal size lobster (76mm) is approximately 6-7 years old. • Western rock lobster can live for up to 20 years and grow to in excess of 5kg. • If you are caught interfering (pulling) other people’s pots, Fisheries will now confiscate your boat. • Read the Fisheries rules and regulations very carefully and be sure that you understand them, all fines associated with rock lobster are very significant.

BAITING UP Now you have some pots ready to go, next up you will need bait. When the run starts you will need a fair bit of it too, so it is best to be prepared. Many recs just use whatever they have in storage, such as fish frames, heads and other fish that they keep aside for the purpose of filling lobster pot bait baskets. This is a great way to recycle fish waste from going to landfill and putting it back into the marine eco system. The other option is to buy boxes of commercially caught and supplied whole fish or fish To page 10


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LOBSTER From page 9

heads. It is certainly more convenient, but is also quite expensive. Pro lobster fishers usually use two types of

but they can and do quite easily escape if they want to, especially if there is no more food to keep them there. You will also need something for notching or

When you start seeing rafts of sea bananas on the surface of the water, you can be sure the run of whites is not far away or has already started. bait in a pot, one is an oily attractor bait and the other is a tougher more resilient holding bait. Attracting baits are usually soft and oily to get plenty of smell in the water and to get the lobster into the pot, however being soft, they are decimated quite quickly, especially if there are a lot of lobster in the pot. The holding bait, which is tougher, will stay longer in the bait basket and hopefully hold the lobster in the pot for longer until the pot is pulled again. Fish heads make a good holding bait and blue mackerel make excellent attracting bait. The main consideration in bait selection is how often you will be pulling your pot. If you intend to pull pots every day, you can get away with just using mostly attractor baits. If pulling every second or third day or longer, then holding baits are going to be a priority. Remember these are pots not traps, a pot will hold a lobster

cutting the legal-sized lobster tails, this identifies the catch as being recreationally caught ,so is therefore easily recognised if being sold

good quality and accurate cray gauge or measure, which you will also need to have on board. HEADING OUT With pots, ropes and bait now all good to go, it is now time to get them into the water. If your aim is to just hit the run of whites, then your best bet will be to watch social media or your regular fishing forum, as these will have no end of brag shots as the run starts in earnest. If, however, you are a bit more keen, you can get out there early and get into the resident lobster that are not preparing to be a part of the migration or get some of the early walkers. You could also just get set up and in position for the run of whites to start. Pot placement for catching whites is nowhere near as critical as it is for chasing reds and resident lobster. When chasing whites it is possible to bag out with pots sitting in a big patch of sand in the middle of nowhere. However, to increase your chances, it is always good practice to have your pots close to reef. When the migration starts, the whites will be marching across open sand areas at night with the

When measuring your catch, it is critical that you ensure that your gauge is in good condition and that you measure accurately. Close enough is not good enough, if you get checked by Fisheries, they will be using a vernier gauge and if it is under 76mm it is undersize and you may be looking at a hefty fine. eastern or western sides of reef outcrops, remembering that they are migrating from inshore to offshore. If they can see or hear reef, they will head to it in the hope it will offer protection and cover in case they need it. Getting in really close to the reef is not essential, as getting the pot close is usually good enough. When the run starts you will usually get a couple of days of full pots and then you might notice the catch start to drop, especially if you fish the same spot. At this point it

is time to consider moving your pots west and trying to catch up with the migration again. Alternatively you can just start moving your pots around the inshore reefs to try and find the lobster that are walking late or have decided that they have found a good spot and will stay there instead of migrating. In years of big migrations like the last few, it is not uncommon to experience a smaller mini secondary run about 4 weeks after the first initial run.

GIVE IT A GO! Catching rock lobster is not hard to do. It does take a little bit of preparation and a bit of monetary outlay to get set up, but if you consider their value and how they taste, then it is really a no brainer. Get some mates together and get amongst one of the tastiest lobster available in the world. You can also feel at ease that it is a sustainable fishery and one we should have well into the future!

BOILED WESTERN ROCK LOBSTER Western rock lobster are hard to beat cooked any way you like. The key of any method is to not overcook them. For the best experience of eating fresh lobster it is hard to beat a straight up boiled lobby still hot out of the pot. Here is a recipe developed by the CSIRO social club, which took into account many things (as you can imagine when you get a bunch of scientists working out a recipe). The major consideration was flavour, but there were a few other factors included. It may seem like a lot of salt, but trust me, you will not be disappointed! Steps 1. F  ill a large pot three-quarters with tap water. Ensure the pot is big enough to hold 4-5 lobsters. Bagged out with a full ice box when heading home more than makes up for the early morning starts! illegally. The other thing you will need is a couple of pairs of gloves for removing your lobster from the pots and for measuring with a

intention to hold up on reef areas during the day (if they can find reef before sun up). Keeping this in mind, the best locations are usually on the

2. Add 50-70g of cooking salt per litre of water. 3. Add half a cup of white vinegar per every 5L of water. 4. B  ring the pot to a solid boil and add room temperature or slightly cool whole lobster. 5. Wait for the water to come back to the boil. 6. O  nce the water is boiling, cook the lobster for 7 minutes. For larger specimens add an additional 2 minutes cooking time. 7. O  nce cooked, remove the lobster from the boiling water. Make sure to remove any legs that may have fallen off in the process. (The legs are my favourite especially fresh out of the pot) 8. A  dd the next load of lobster to the already boiling pot. You can usually get about four batches out of the one pot of water. 9. N  ow rinse and scrub lobster clean under cold running water and hang the tail over a bucket or large bowl, allow to drain with the head facing down. 10. O  nce cool, peel and eat. 11. C  ondiments are optional.

Crowded pots like this one during the white run are not uncommon. In fact, many get pots with twice as many as this one is holding! 10


12. A  ny leftovers can be kept in the fridge.

Boiled lobby straight out of the pot tastes great!

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Starlo’s five-step plan to catch more fish NSW STH COAST

Steve Starling

We’d all love to be able to catch more fish, so here’s a very simple recipe intended to help you do exactly that! During the hectic ‘show season’ this past winter I made public presentations on various fishing-related topics at a range of boat and 4WD expos in the eastern states. One of the subjects I covered was simply entitled “How To Catch More Fish”, and it seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people. As part of this presentation, I introduced my ‘Five-Step Plan’, a bit of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the famous 12-step plan advocated by Alcoholics’ Anonymous. No, I didn’t kick off by having people

to distil what I see as the absolute core ingredients of consistent angling success down to just five key points. Here they are. GO LIGHT Most people know I’m a huge fan of ‘finesse’ fishing. No matter where you wet a line or what species of fish you chase, you can almost always improve your hook-up rate by dropping the diameter of your main line and leader, and choosing smaller, lighter sinkers, jigheads or lures. There’s a lot more to the essence of finesse fishing than just those three basic aspects, but they make a great starting point. Try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! USE THE BEST BAITS Whether you’re fishing in salt or freshwater, going to the trouble of sourcing the very best baits available (or closely imitating those

the seabed to the interface between the water and solid structural elements such as snags, rocks and pylons, on to more subtle edges such as colour changes, current breaks, shadows, temperature demarcations

You really can’t beat local bait presented alive and kicking — in fresh or saltwater!

Gathering your own bait from local waterways and using it fresh or alive is one way to ensure better fishing results. stand up and say “Hi, my name is Steve and I haven’t caught a fish in my last four trips” or anything like that (although, come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea!). Instead, I attempted

natural baits with your lures or flies) invariably improves catch rates. Typically, those best baits are locally-sourced and either fresh or (better still) alive. Often, this means you’ll have to catch or gather

with that whopper when it comes along. Keeping your cool and not panicking when you hook a monster is absolutely critical. So is having the right ‘landing gear’ on hand in the way of nets, gaffs, lip grippers,

your own bait rather than relying on buying it, but trust me, the extra effort pays off in spades. GAIN KNOWLEDGE There’s an old saying that you never stop learning,

and this is especially true in fishing. I’ve been doing it for more than half a century and I still learn something new every single time I spend a day on the water! When I was a younger bloke, a lot of this knowledge came from books, magazines, videos and later DVDs. Today, more and more of it is sourced online, via the Internet. From studying aerial imagery of locations on Google Earth to following weather and ocean currents, reading forums and blogs or watching YouTube clips, there is a wealth of knowledge out there. Social media also plays its part, although you do need to be a little choosy about which bits you pay attention to! FISH THE EDGES Finding fish within specific scenarios is very

You’re never too old, nor too young, to learn new tricks in fishing. Knowledge is power! and bubble lines. Edges are almost always where the action is. Work them thoroughly and you’ll hook more fish! LAND THEM! Hooking more fish is one thing, but to actually

gloves, long-nosed pliers and so on, and knowing how to use them. This aspect of fishing success is far too often overlooked. IT’S SIMPLE So there you go, five relatively simple,

Going even a little lighter in your line, leader and sinker will generally produce more bites and hook ups.

Having a game plan and keeping a cool head are vital keys to landing fish. 12


often about identifying ‘edges’ and then presenting your baits, lures or flies along them. These edges take a multitude of forms, from obvious ones like the shoreline, the surface and

increase catch rates, you also need to land more and lose less. That involves being prepared, setting your drag, tying strong knots and having a game plan nutted out in your head for dealing

straightforward steps that I guarantee will result in you landing more fish. Are you going to join with me in pledging to apply them every time you go fishing this season?


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It’s now time to target tailor Finally the approaching warmer weather means our number one shorebased species, the tailor, will start to show up in better numbers along the coast.

dusting off their beach fishing gear in anticipation for what is to come. Don’t expect to easily bag out, but picking up several good fish per trip is usually enough to keep most anglers happy. The deeper shore-based spots like North and South Mole can be good places to

suitable sinker to get distance and hold the bottom is the preferred method. Lure casters are better off concentrating on the shore reefs from Burns Beach northwards, especially at high tide at dawn and dusk when the tailor are most active. Fish caught on lures from shore at this time of year are generally the bigger ones, but size will drop over the following weeks but they will improve in numbers. For those prepared to fish a bit lighter from North and South Mole the last of the winter skippy are holding along the rocks and some surprisingly good fish will follow up a berley trail and happily feed beneath the

herring and yellowtail. To hook these fish you need to be fishing light enough to not spook them but be ready to battle it out close to the rocks when hooked. The hard part can be getting a bait down past the herring and yellowtail. Big silver bream (tarwhine) are another species to look at from South Mole. They are usually only considered a by-catch when chasing other species, but these fish put up a tough fight and can reach lengths of over 40cm from this spot. Actually targeting them is rarely done but using a berley of crushed rock crabs and then fishing a section of crab, squid or coral

Many of the rock walls like North and South Mole will still be producing good skippy, herring and whiting. Tailor are a very popular fish and when they are on the bite they will attract crowds of eager anglers to beaches, rock walls, jetties and reefs around Perth. Usually October is when reports of tailor start to come filtering through, and although not as thick as they will be in summer, these early season fish are just what everyone needs to start

start as fish congregate around the mouth of the Swan River to take advantage of the baitfish holding there. Other rock groynes like Hillaries and Mindarie will also start to fire on a more regular basis, as will the northern beaches from Cottesloe up to Guilderton. This is primarily a bait fishing time of year, the good old mulie (pilchard) on a gang of hooks that is cast out with a

Onshore reef platforms are great places to search out tailor.

South Mole is one of the best local spots to have a go at many species. prawn on the bottom close to the rocks will bring surprising results. Not as fussy as the big skippy, you will be better off using slightly heavier gear as a big silver bream will head straight for cover once hooked and having to get them out of the weed and rocks can be very challenging. South Beach at South Fremantle is another spot worth a look as the weather warms up – yellowfin whiting will respond to small pieces of coral prawn and or worms fished in the early mornings. Herring, sand whiting, silver bream and bar-tailed flathead can also turn up here. Further down the coast the Ammunition Jetty at Coogee not only gives you safe access to deep water it








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also allows anglers to target a wide range of species. Big schools of baitfish like scaly mackerel will now start to hold up around the jetty so it is a good time to keep an eye out for any early season predators that might not be far behind them. Spanish mackerel, longtail tuna and bonito are all eagerly awaited spring and summer targets from this location, and the arrival of the bait schools is a good indication it is time to start fishing here. But be warned, this jetty is hugely popular and once the word gets out that the fish are biting, be it scaly mackerel or anything bigger, the crowds will all cram into every available spot for a fish.

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Be aware of demersal ban COCKBURN SOUND

Kurt Blanksby

October means that local anglers need to be aware that the closed season for pink snapper in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds is in place. Many shore anglers now might find themselves in the situation where they might be targeting mulloway from one of the many rock walls or jetties in the closed area and manage to hook and land a pink snapper. If you do, the

from shore it is still possible. October is a good month to be out and about having a fish, many of the species that we love to target over the warmer months are starting to show up in increasing numbers. Every year around this time the shallows from Rockingham and all the way up to Fremantle will be worth bait fishing with light gear. Not only are there still plenty of herring about you should start to see an improvement in the size of the sand whiting. Sure, you will still be plagued in some spots by the tiny little

a bait nearby but reluctant to chase down prey. Pick a rising or high tide and set up a light outfit with a small sinker on the bottom leading up to a couple of short dropper leaders down to small hooks. Tiny pieces of cut coral prawn are hard to beat as bait, however give cut up pieces of chicken breast a go, it seems to hang on the hook better and the whiting and herring love it. Boat anglers in Cockburn Sound who are not allowed to catch pink snapper need to now look at other species.

A mixed bag of King George and sand whiting makes for a tasty feed from Cockburn Sound. in the same spot by keeping a squid jig in the water when you fish. Rigs are simple: small sinker to get the bait to the bottom and several droppers coming off your hooks. You will also be able to pick up herring and skippy fishing in the same locations but be prepared to deal with a few pesky wrasse and blowfish. Allow the berley to do the work and give it a decent amount of time in each spot, but don’t be afraid to move

if it’s quiet, often this can mean the difference between a good day out and blanking. Squid are still about at this time of year, and although not as big as during the colder months it is still possible to catch a feed if you are persistent. Instead of anchoring you are better picking a day when there is a light breeze and drifting over the seagrass beds. The best results come from jigs worked just above the seagrass, but be diligent at

checking your jig for weed fouling the spikes as no squid will be fooled by a jig trailing weed. Fishing your jig too high in the water column will limit the amount of squid you catch, although they will chase jigs up to the surface they are on full alert once they move away from the safety of the seagrass. An alert squid is often very timid and hard to tempt so try and keep you jigs down as deep as you can without fouling up on weed.

Remember snapper in the sound are now off limits, so if you see a school please leave them alone so that they can go about their business and make lots of new snapper. It is also illegal to target these fish, even if you intend to catch and release. fish must be returned alive and as quickly as possible back into the water. Using a gaff to land the fish is also an offence as it will damage and possibly kill the fish, so you must do your best to either net it or hand lift it to remove the hooks and let it go. Fisheries Officers will be heavily patrolling and using surveillance on all anglers fishing from the shore and boat in Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds during the ban, so don’t do the wrong thing or you’ll risk a hefty fine. The Metro demersal ban kicks in October 15, and although it is highly unlikely any shore-based anglers will land any demersal species

ones but just keep moving about and searching for better specimens. Another species that also starts to turn up and is considered a welcome by-catch is bar-tailed flathead. They are in the process of making their way back up into the Swan River after heavy winter rains forced them into the lower reaches and out into the ocean. Spots like Challenger Beach and the horse beach near the Grain Terminal often see some good flatties taken by bait anglers in October. You can try prospecting with small lures in the same area but until the shallows warm up the flatties don’t seem to be too active, happy to snap

Many are targeting the King George whiting that can be found in the sand patches amongst the sea grass beds throughout the Sound. Some of the best spots in the Sound are out from Rockingham near the Causeway to Garden Island and the eastern side of Garden Island. You will be looking for depths of 3-8m where the sand patches are easily visible. Then all you need to do is anchor the boat in a position so you are fishing into the sand hole. Berley up by dropping a berley bomb down to the bottom to bring the fish in and use either coral prawn or fresh squid for bait, the latter being the most productive. Squid can usually be caught

Squid are always an option in Cockburn Sound. If the fishing is slow, find the clear water and keep changing colours until you find what is working on the day.


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River fishing is heating up time of year are very will also work, but nothing sluggish and reluctant to gets results like mussels move fast to catch prey. around the pylons. Try to pick a day when Schools of tailor, The moment you walk high tide is about midday herring and salmon trout into the shallows and and then fish the falling will be chasing down don’t instantly cringe tide coming off the flats. baitfish out in the deeper from the cold means the The water be nice and sections of the river, so flathead will be feeling warm from the midday trolling small lures as you the same way. Be ready, sun, the flathead will be travel about is one way as once we get a good positioning themselves to of prospecting for these run of sunny days in ambush any small fish, fish. Public jetties along October you will start to prawn or crab moving off the lower reaches are also get results in the shallows the shallows with the tide. a good spot to spin with on flathead. These fish Early season flathead lures, especially in the late can be so frustrating at are a challenge to catch afternoon when these fish times. Early morning you but persistence will are most actively feeding. can be wading out casting pay off, best areas are Mulloway are now a lures in front of you with usually the flats around very good option in the no result, only to have Claremont, Applecross Swan, and putting in the flathead dart out of the and Point Walter where long hours is the only sand near your feet and large areas of shallow way to get results. Early swim away having totally sand and weed provide season fish are generally ignored your lure. Once perfect flathead habitat. big and it is common the shallows warm up The lower reaches of to hear of several 20kg later in the day the result the Swan are now a good specimens getting caught can be very different with place to put in some effort, each year. Boat anglers active fish hammering fishing around the pylons seem to keep an eye on the and chasing your lure. at the E-Shed and down deeper sections of Mosman Once summer kicks in to the Fremantle traffic Bay where these fish hold and the shallows are always bridges there will be up, shore-based anglers warm you will have no some decent silver bream will often spend long trouble catching flathead, (tarwhine) to be found. nights fishing around the but in spring the water Fresh mussels, either Narrows Bridge, another temperature issue will bought from the shops or mulloway hot spot. really test your patience. picked from the shore, cut Upstream black bream In addition to waiting for open and baited onto a anglers will now be the shallows to warm you hook will tempt these fish enjoying better catches need to slow your lures into biting. Other baits as the bream become STA16113 Revo 469atFM_Layout 1 19/06/2018 AM Pagemore 1 down as flathead this like coral prawn11:20 and squid active leading up SWAN & CANNING RIVER

Kurt Blanksby

to summer. Lures will be a good way to prospect along the river to locate fish holding spots. Jetties and tree snags will be the obvious choice to fish but don’t ignore any flats or deep holes along rocky stretches. Soft plastic lures and baits of river prawn will get the best early season results but as the weather warms up then hardbody lures will start to produce the bigger more aggressive fish. Canning Bridge offers the chance of early season mulloway, black bream and tailor and can be fished either from boat or by accessing the fishing platforms underneath. Big mulloway and black bream can be a real challenge around the pylons of this bridge but enough get caught each year to prove it can be done. Further up the Canning the black bream fishing will now be improving as the weather warms up. Bait fishers using river prawns, blood worms or small pieces of mullet fillet will get the best results, however as the season progresses lure anglers will have far more success.

The river will now be holding good numbers of mulloway, time to put in the long hours after dark chasing them.

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Better conditions after cold and wet winter METRO OFFSHORE

Alan Bevan

It was a cold wet winter that we are finally leaving behind. The amount of freshwater the Swan River has pumped out has affected all inshore waters, even out past the Five Fathom Bank. Water temperatures of 14.9°C at the worst of it made inshore fishing hit and miss, with most of the predators shut down.

working cray boat goes past. There’s still good catches of crayfish for those pulling pots and the divers are bagging out in no time at all. These are all very good signs that we are going to have a bumper run on the whites in the run up to Christmas. I’ll have more on crayfish next month! The fly fishers have been out and getting amongst snapper. Even first time saltwater fly fishers have landed fish after a bit of

Martin Exel looking pleased with his first fly-caught snapper. Once out of the affected waters, things improved rapidly. Good catches of dhufish and snapper were filling the catch bags early, giving time to look for surface action. Notable captures in the shallow water have been very good skippy, snapper, samson and some very large sharks when a

instruction. The fly rods that are used are 10-12wt rods matched with a reel that can hold a good 300m of backing, with a sinking or fast-sinking fly line and a fly that has been built around a good solid hook. I like a larger sized hook in my fly, and something from a 6/0-8/0 and sometimes even

a 10/0 not only adds a bit of weight, but can hold up to the grinding of a good snapper. The reef systems in 30-40m have been fishing well and producing dhufish, snapper, fox fish, pigfish and breaksea cod. Samsons are as usual providing a curse for the dhufish anglers, but the sport fishers are having a ball with early spawning fish that are making the light tackle outfits scream. If keeping these brutes, a lot of ice is required to cool the fish down and stop the ‘sp kuda’ parasite from becoming active. This parasite is the reason for the mushy flesh and the icing down prevents the parasite activation. If unable to release them, they will fight themselves to a standstill on the light lines, so a deck wash hose in the mouth for a few minutes or a release weight to get them back down works best. They are a fantastic sportfish and I would encourage all to do their very best if releasing these fish for someone else to fight if they are not going to consume them. Further offshore on the 100m line it has been a bit hit and miss, but the days of slower drifts have produced a tasty variety of good reef fish with red snapper, breaksea cod and snapper making up the catch. Don’t just look on the top of the reef, as good schools of snapper cruise up and down the sand over the edge of the reef. It’s definitely well worth having a look, getting the sounder working, and picking up the small marks that hold a lot of fish. Jigs and soft plastics are catching, but the good old paternoster rig is an ever-reliable rig for the deeper water. Spawning samson are making their way to the

A very nice snapper taken on a lightly-weighted two-hook rig and whole squid. spawning grounds at the Rottnest wrecks, so for the offshore jiggers it’s building to another great year, but I’m finding the sharks are causing trouble



15 October the dermersal ban starts and runs to the 15 December inclusive. I’d recommend you to check the Fisheries website on the latest rules.

A welcome harlequin – the coral trout of the south. already. There are more wrecks than just what’s on the chart, so use your sounder research from the web to find some of the old war wrecks. A lot of these wrecks are now not much more than broken down steel plates, so don’t

Eric Tai with a lovely snapper deceived into taking a soft plastic.

go looking for huge rises. I still love the rush of big samsons hitting a jig and the brutal fight that ensues, but I don’t stay on a spot when sharks are hitting hooked

fish. It’s sad that photos of heads or shark-savaged fish are now almost the norm. As you read this issue the Cockburn and Warnbro sound closures are in force until 31 January to give some protection to the breeding snapper. Come the

• Shikari Charters is a local Fremantle business running half and full day fishing charters catering to small or family groups for specialised fishing out from Fremantle, to find out more check out www.

A nice show of snapper in the shallows as seen on the sounder screen.



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South Coast West Coast

It’s worth the fishing effort in the estuaries ALBANY

Callum Dowell

I would say most South Coast anglers are starting to get a bit itchy after another month of foul conditions! We have had limited opportunities to push out wide. If the winds are down, it’s the swell that has been the problem, and it has become very unpredictable and seems

to spike at the drop of a jig. There has been a handful of days where the outboards have got a good run, and silky glass off conditions saw Toby Matson and his old man Johnno out off Denmark. They had a freezer-filling morning, catching some solid dhufish and breaksea cod when they weren’t being towed around by samsonfish. Correctly-weighted jigs are fast becoming the lure of

Alex Dowell with an 80cm mulloway taken from Oyster Harbour on a 3.75” StreakZ.

choice for many local anglers. There are many different ways you can work the jig, and some anglers have it down to an art. Slow pitch work has been the stand out for the reef species. It seems like it could be a bumper spring and summer for anglers chasing King George whiting. Big schools have been caught in Wilson Inlet, Irwin Inlet and Princess Royal Harbour. A local net fisher gave me half a dozen, as he had a huge haul. Included in his catch were some dinner plate-sized flounder, garfish, bream and an elusive giant herring. ‘GH’ are a prized capture along the South Coast due to their rarity. I usually hear of half a dozen captured each year, but no one can seem to catch them on a regular basis. They’re no good to eat, but it’s the best fight from a fish that you’re ever likely to experience. Trolling shallow hardbody lures or casting at bait schools in our harbours

Toby Matson with a solid inshore dhufish taken on a slow pitch jig. and inlets are your best bet for some heart racing fun from these speedsters. Wilson Inlet was recently awash with people for the once in 3-4 year event. The pink snapper have gathered in the system in a frenzy. Huge schools congregate at the inlet mouth and around Mageerys Rocks at Ocean Beach. This attracts a mass of anglers to the area and it can get incredibly squishy, as people seem to

gravitate towards the person who is catching them. My advice would be to have a rod rigged with bait and one with a 3-4” soft plastic. A ZMan StreakZ 3.75” or ZMan MinnowZ on a 1/12 or 1/8oz jighead is a good start. Look for a natural colour like bloodworm or pearl. If you are planning on keeping pink snapper for a feed, make sure you stick to the bag and size limits.

Fisheries have been really busy, which is pleasing for the entire fishing community. Remember, these pink snapper have lived their life within an inlet environment and there is always mixed reports about the taste. If you are unsure, just keep one fish for a feed to start, rather than waste fish if they are not appealing to you. Expect the local bream and mulloway to keep biting over the next month. This is the time of year you have a great chance to fool a once in a lifetime fish, they are feeding up for the spawn. Use the current to your advantage a let it take the lure or bait into or along the front of the river bank snags. Some 6-8lb with a tight drag should be enough to wrestle these fish out. There are still plenty of salmon around the inshore pockets along the South Coast as the back run is in full swing. Don’t be surprised if they turn up in the local rivers for an easy meal of anchovies!

Bremer Bay salmon rocks spring sessions BREMER BAY

Kurt Blanksby

By now the shore-based rock anglers in the know are anticipating the first decent days when it will be safe enough to plan a trip to a remote rock location for a fish, and the more remote spots like Bremer Bay are well worth looking at. Safety is paramount, and you should never take any risks, and if your mind has any doubts about the conditions, then walk away and target one of the many beaches in the area. Wear a life jacket to stay safe, even if it is calm – there are free loan jackets available at the hardware store. Having been rested during the rough winter months, many of the rock locations have not

seen any fishing pressure for some time, and Bremer Bay being that bit further to travel means you will surely be fishing into an almost untouched fishery. Now don’t be fooled, this is not an easy venture, as reaching most of the best rock locations means navigating your way along boggy, scratchy 4WD tracks, so if you are protective of your shiny new car then this is definitely not for you.

Once you reach as far as you can go, often at the end of an overgrown track or along a soft sand beach, you will need to be in top physical shape, as most of the best locations are a long walk from the car. You are probably thinking by now that this is not worth the effort, but when that thumping strike bends your rod and you are battling a decent fish to the base of the rocks, you will realise why

The Bremer Bay region is well known for its large salmon from the rocks and beaches, which are an almost year round possibility.

so many of us love this type of fishing. Dhufish, blue groper, breaksea cod, samsonfish, yellowtail kingfish, harlequin fish, pink snapper, red snapper, queen snapper and, in season, numerous salmon are all common species. Many of these fish are in the bragging rights size range. Smaller species like skippy, King George whiting, squid and horseshoe leatherjackets all add to the edible list of fish that are often hooked along this stretch of coast. Again, safety is my aim here, so fish only spots well clear of the water and any swells on the day, wear a PFD at all times and stay off any wet or black rocks. Footwear is important, so a decent pair of comfortable running or hiking boots is OK. For better grip, many seasoned rock anglers are now wearing just a pair

of socks, which provide excellent grip on the granite boulders, just be prepared to wear holes in them and take spares. Backpacks with food, plenty of water, tackle and other supplies are the go, not to mention a rope gaff to enable you to land any decent fish safely. On the topic of ropes, it pays to learn the basics of abseiling, as being able to secure a safety rope in your location and even tie yourself on will give you ultimate peace of mind. Never fish alone, and always have an emergency plan should the worst happen and someone ends up in the water. Carrying in a good berley mix is also a good idea and can quickly attract fish into your cast zone. You should also be prepared to lose some gear to snags or bust offs, so carry plenty of

spare rigs and lures. Mix up your fishing techniques by putting out live baits (usually herring), and fish some bigger baits like skinned occy legs, squid or mulies down deep. You can also fish whole or parts of rock crabs for groper. Bring a mixture of lures from jigs, soft plastics, metal slices, stickbaits or minnow lures and keep a squid jig handy. Fish smaller baits as well, as some decent skippy and a King George whiting really fill in the quiet times between bigger species. Finally, don’t forget the camera and remember to be responsible with the fish you keep, as the long walk out carrying them will remind you why carrying heaps of fish out might not be a good idea, as your body aches under the extra weight.

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South West Coast

Beautiful conditions for hitting the water ESPERANCE

Jaimen Hudson

Esperance has been showcasing some good spring weather, with the

ocean conditions allowing boats to spend days out on the water fishing. OFFSHORE Although there haven’t been a lot of tourists in town, we have had a handful

If you don’t want to venture too far offshore sand whiting are always a great fall back and are delicious eating. Just fish any of the area’s sand patches for best results.

of charters and have been receiving feedback from locals that have their own boats. We have been getting some thumping sambos in deep water on both baited hooks and jigs. Samsonfish put up an amazing fight and can be released using a release weight, making them ideal for game fishers. Unfortunately, other than with the use of a smoker to cook them, they aren’t the best table fish; luckily Esperance waters are teeming with tasty red snapper and these have also been around in good numbers. Although anglers are usually returning from days out on the water with red snapper, we have also been catching blue morwong, breaksea cod and swallowtail nannygai. No pink snapper have been caught just yet, but hopefully these will come up soon. LAND-BASED FISHING Taylor St jetty has still been producing a lot of herring, skippy, garfish and leatherjackets. This location is ideal for families, as it is right in the centre of town and is nice

Catches of squid are always pretty consistent, but this month we should see a few more moving into coastal areas. Photo courtesy of @herewearewesternaustralia. and safe for children. The larger swells have subsided and in turn cleared up the water, so


we are once again catching multiple squid in the bay area. By either trolling a jig behind a boat or simply

casting off the jetty, usually on sunrise or sunset, I am certain you will have fresh calamari on the dinner table if you make the effort and put in a couple of hours. Bandy Creek Harbour has seen good catches of black bream, herring and whiting. The anglers I have spoken with have used both coral and river prawns with great success. BEACHES Moving away from pier fishing and to the beaches, salmon are showing no sign of slowing down. I was at Hellfire Beach in the Cape Le Grand National Park recently and witnessed a huge ball of salmon schooling about 1.5km from the main carpark and access point. There was not an angler in sight, so they could have been anyone’s for the taking. Twilight Beach has also offered up salmon for people not wanting to venture as far from town. • If you are visiting Esperance be sure to hook up with Esperance Diving and Fishing for a great day out on the water or check them out at www.esperancedivingand



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Boat Pens, ALBANY Ph: 08 9844 1819

Seeds for snapper In Western Australia, the pink snapper fishery has been part of the cultural fabric for generations, with fishers across the state feasting and delighting in catching the tasty pinkies. After Shark Bay, Cockburn Sound is Western Australia’s second largest pink snapper spawning ground. However, in recent

Australia have spent the last decade researching seagrass restoration and recently have developed a cost-effective method of direct seeding, which has exciting potential to repair lost fish habitat. OzFish Unlimited have partnered with UWA to support the citizen science restoration program’s plan to use volunteer fishers collect

The seed will then be given to fishers to take back out and sown into an area identified just north of Woodmans Point. OzFish and UWA will also be evaluating the performance of the re-seeded meadows as they develop by measuring the return of function of fisheries. An overarching aim of this restoration

years, the pink snapper fishery has seen management closures and restrictions across the state due to greater fishing pressure, environmental change and seagrass habitat degradation. The seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound are well recognized as critical foraging and nursery grounds for pink snapper. Yet, Cockburn Sound has lost some 80% of its seagrass habitat since the 1960s, down from 4000ha originally, to 900ha today. That’s equivalent to 2600 football field-sized areas of seagrass habitat lost over the past few decades. The primary cause of loss was excessive nutrient inputs from industrial discharges and altered water circulation created by the causeway that links Garden Island with the mainland at Point Peron Appreciation of the role seagrass meadows play in recreational fisheries is growing in Western Australia due to increased understanding of the critical link between our seagrass habitats and coastal fisheries. Marine scientists from the University of Western

and broadcast one million seagrass seeds to scale up seagrass restoration. This will involve volunteers being given a hand dab net and container to collect the seedpods while out boating in the Cockburn Sound. People may have already

program is to ensure there is full engagement with the recreational fishing community across the different elements of seedbased seagrass restoration and the outcomes of their re-seeding program to foster community support and buy

seen the racks of flower pods collected by currents floating on the water’s surface. These will be collected by OzFish members back at the Woodmans Point boat ramp before being taken to UWA for treatment to separate the seed from the flower pods.

in for the program. If you would like to get involved please contact Ozfish Unlimited Perth Chapter on their Facebook Page or call Senior Project Manager Andrew Matthews on 0449 059 912. – Ozfish Unlimited


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West Coast

Pick your days for some amazing fishing AUGUSTA

Anthony Gillam

What a month of weather we have been experiencing in the South West! Think about four seasons in one day multiplied by every day of the month and you get the idea. That being

begun producing numbers of yellowfin whiting, especially at night when it coincides with the most freezing conditions. Live shrimp and river prawns on a slow moving line are being thumped by the bigger specimens in the 30cm range. Town Jetty and Ellis Street Jetty are producing, as

removed. The tasty crays we enjoy can now be caught all year round due to the numbers taken by recreational fishers being well below what was expected. Those lucky enough to have access to a boat will find it well worth the effort to drop a couple of pots in around any of the reef areas

Nadia O’Meagher caught this queen snapper on a whole squid in Flinders Bay out from Augusta. said, there were more fishing days available than not recently, so we can’t complain too loudly! The whale watching season is in full swing, which also means that the pink snapper are in big numbers as well. Rough weather followed by glass off conditions have given the boaties ample opportunity to drop a line for fish in the 80cm-1m size range. Some really nice specimens have been landed both with baits and soft plastics. Larger fish look to be taking wellpresented octopus tentacles over anything else, but persisting with 6” paddle-tail soft plastics has also shown results once you stir up some interest. Dhufish are still a common catch, with most catches in the 12-20m depth being in the 50cm range, with 15-20kg fish more common in the 40m+ depths on the western side of the coast between the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and Cosy Corner. The Hardy Inlet has

well as ‘The Sticks’ for those in boats. A nice addition to the whiting has been the odd 25kg+ mulloway landed between The Cut and The Sticks, with live herring and whole squid doing the job. Black bream numbers remain good in the brackish waters of the Blackwood River from Molloy Island up to Alexandra Bridge. Sizes vary greatly, with plenty of small ones needing to be returned. Some nice trophy fish can be found if you search around, but as we know they are really slow growing, so if you have enough for a feed please consider sending the bigger fish back. River prawns and soft plastic minnow or grubs are proving to be the most successful. Try getting out at dawn for the bigger specimens. The demersal ban starts on 15 October and usually coincides with the western rock lobster and abalone seasons commencing. The good news, as most would have heard, is that the lobster season closure has now been

of Flinders and Hamelin Bay, as they are very good producers. Yellowtail kingfish and samsonfish are prolific at this time of the year and well worth spending the time with knife jigs, soft plastics or baits, with trolled hardbodied lures also producing well

around the rocks, reefs and islands. Rock and beach fishing, one of those activities dictated by the swell, rain and wind, becomes a more viable option during spring, with only limited chances in the previous couple of months. Spending time using berley will result in nice catches of skippy, herring and leatherjackets from the rocks, with sand whiting and King George whiting being added from the beaches. Bronze whalers are prolific in the waters surrounding Augusta, and although usually caught as by-catch, this time of the year is perfect for adding some weight to the haul. From boats, they respond extremely well to chumming with mashed up fish frames, old bait and oil, which means you can float a line down to them without accidentally picking up demersal fish during the ban. Float a couple of mulies or half a mullet or herring on a 5/0 circle hook back through your berley slick and it won’t take long. A steel trace is generally not needed, just use a heavy mono trace of about 1m in length. From the shore or rocks, you can do the same, or on some of the better days you can sight cast to them as they come along. Persistence pays, so give it some time for the berley to work. Dispatch quickly and bleed well and you will be surprised at the quality of the flesh!

The author caught this samsonfish on a live herring at Cosy Corner in Augusta. If you are fishing from the rocks, it is important to take advantage of the free lifejackets available from Augusta X-treme Outdoor Sports. Even in the best weather it is possible for a rogue swell or king wave to put you in the water. Fishing with kids can be very rewarding, so why not pack your own gear away for

The author with a nice dhufish that he tempted from its reef hole with a squid head out in Flinders Bay.


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a day and take the kids to the Town Jetty, Ellis Street Jetty, Turner Jetty or the service wharf at the marina? There are always lots of smaller fish that will make their day, with the occasional big skippy and tarwhine for them to brag about. Try night fishing the same places with added squid, cuttlefish and tailor to catch. Small squid pieces or fish flesh work great on the fish and glow in the dark or flashing squid lures are deadly on the cephalopods. Those with 4WDs can also try their luck for sharks, samsonfish and big mulloway from Deep Dene, Elephant Rock or Boranup Beach. Remember that these tracks can change in condition very quickly, with some of the heavy spring showers causing washouts, so slow and steady is important. • The locations mentioned are all well-known and are marked on most vehicle GPS units, especially if they have HEMA maps or a list of locations can be obtained from the local tackle store, Augusta X-Treme Outdoor Sports.


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West Coast

Demersal closure options BUSSELTON

Stephen Norman

Spring is well and truly here! The days have gradually been growing longer and the window of opportunity to get out for a fish has improved.

very soon. We have been getting an early taste of the squid season to come, with good numbers moving into the bay, even harassing the snapper baits out in 30m+ of water. Closer to home the jetty, as always, has been a hotspot for the squid, and size 3-3.5 squid

Trout are suckers for slowly worked soft plastics. A 3” grub in a natural green colour did the trick in this case. Pink snapper numbers have remained consistent throughout Geographe Bay in the past month, and anchoring in depths between 15-30m has produced solid results, with fish upwards of 10kg not uncommon. With the demersal closure starting on 15 October, that will all end

jigs in bright glow colours, white especially, have been the picks. The Busselton Jetty has also seen productive numbers of skippy and herring. Casting a small piece of lumo tube behind a float, or small metal slices (5-15g) are both efficient ways of targeting

herring, while basic running sinker rigs coupled with blue sardines or fresh squid will be your best chance of bagging a few skippy. Blue swimmer crabs have also made a return, although numbers have been patchy at times. Those who have put in the effort have had success, dropping nets within 200-300m of the shore baited with spleen and tuna heads. The annual demersal ban kicks off on 15 October, so now is your last chance to get out and target some tasty bottom fish. Dhufish, pink snapper, breaksea cod, nannygai and other demersal species will be off limits to all anglers from 15 October until 15 December, but don’t worry, there are still ways to bag a tasty meal in the South West! King George whiting (KGs) are regarded by many to be an even tastier option than the famed dhufish. Try working the sand holes in shallower water with a simple paternoster rig fitted with either size 6 long shank hooks or small circle hooks and fresh squid or octopus. Alternatively, Black Magic’s Whiting Snatcher rigs are pre-tied, ready to roll and a killer on the KGs.

Herring are an easy target for a quick feed at this time of year from the boat, and slow trolling small metal lures over weedy areas in anything up to 10m of water will almost certainly produce results. Herring have been hit and miss at times from the jetty, but introducing a good berley trail of dry bread is a great way to bring fish to the surface in your area while you flick small metal lures or the simple lumo tube rig. Squid have been an easy target from the jetty recently, with evenings fishing the best With the influx of squid to the jetty the occasional samsonfish has been landed, giving anglers a run for their money. If you want to tangle with one of these beasts, get yourself a heavy handline, 150lb minimum, a big hook, a live or fresh squid and hold on! Spring is noted as probably the best time of year to chase all of our freshwater species. Redfin numbers remained abundant all through winter for those keen anglers who persisted, so expect to see plenty of them throughout this season. Just over 7,200 brown trout yearlings and under 20,000 rainbow trout

Squid are plentiful throughout Geographe Bay at this time of year, however an hour either side of sunset has been the most productive time. yearlings will be released into various waterways this year. Some of these waterways include the Blackwood River, Lefroy Brook, Serpentine River, Warren River, Harvey Dam, Donnelly River and more. For a full list visit the Recfishwest website. If you want to try your hand at targeting trout, start with some small crankbaits, or alternatively soft plastics around 3” long in natural

patterns like green or brown. Pair your soft plastics with a jighead weighted just enough to ensure the plastic sinks naturally. • 2 Oceans Tackle is the south west’s premium fishing tackle outlet. Drop in and see our friendly staff for professional advice and choose from our massive range of fishing tackle that is sure to keep you fishing for longer. 2 Oceans Tackle 14 Albert St, Busselton WA



West Coast

Bumper season expected on the local flats BUNBURY

Nathan Crago

It’s finally happening! The warmer days have arrived and the riverbank-busting weather of September is over. All local regular fishers have definitely been hanging out for this time of year, and so have the boys at Whiteys! Yellowfin whiting have really started to get us excited about what looks to be a bumper season on our local flats. The water temperatures haven’t quite gotten to those prime levels just yet, however, it won’t be far off, and then we will be in full swing. A new lure that has just hit the shelves after the AFTA trade show that has really been the talk of the surface fishing community is the Sugapen by Bassday, now available in a 58mm model. These 58mm models, even though significantly smaller, are only a 0.2g weight reduction, which should mean we will still get those awesome long distance casts. The treble size has also been reduced, which means it’s no longer absolutely necessary to

An awesome squid caught on a Harimitsu jig during a recent morning session for Ayden Green. swap them out straight from the box. The fly fishing scene has also taken a new turn with an increase of anglers

picking up the fly rod to entice a feed of whiting and broaden their fly fishing horizons. Those of us who have

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already been walking the flats are noticing a definite increase in the blue swimmer numbers and sizes are looking even better than last year. Good numbers of blue swimmer crabs can be enjoyed all year round if you’re happy to put in the time exploring. There are always crabs to be caught from the jetties in Bunbury or the Koombana Bay areas while you’re waiting for the temperatures of the estuary to rise. There is a boat limit of 10 crab nets, which leaves you plenty of nets to set a good prospecting line through your area of choice. The boaties have been absolutely killing it offshore from Bunbury, with great sizes and numbers of King George whiting being reported along the 17-26m marks off Binningup. The artificial reefs have also had their fair share of sambos as usual, giving anglers a good run for their money. These hard-fighting, low blowers can’t resist a nice fresh squid or a fast paced metal jig and can really be a great sportfish, especially when your gear is matched to the fish you’re catching. Bluefin tuna have been in surprisingly close lately and have made for some great fun. Casting small metals onto busting baitballs of tuna is something any angler will enjoy and they really can give your arms a stretch. A trolling lure between spots wouldn’t go astray to pick up on a school that’s hiding below the surface. Divers have been bagging out regularly on the crays now the season is open all year round, and anglers are seeing plenty of dhufish and pink snapper cruising the bottom and are waiting for the demersal season closure to end so

they can get back out there and hassle them again. Squid have been around in great numbers and sizes. The winter thumpers aren’t all gone yet. There is a common misconception that squidding is a waste

to target them as well. Night sessions on the weed banks through Koombana Bay or from the local jetties will produce a feed. • If you have any questions about something you have read or just want to have

Sophie White, 3yo, had a good session with her dad catching bream on the new Berkley Gulp Pulse Worms. of time in Bunbury waters, which couldn’t be further from the truth! Numbers are higher than ever for the boaties who take the time to target these delicious cephalopods and there is plenty of land-based spots

a chat, duck into Whiteys Tackle and Camping at 1/143 Grand Entrance, Treendale, Australind. One of the staff or Whitey himself will be happy to help get you on the right path to that next trophy fish.

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West Coast

All systems are go! MANDURAH

Jesse Choy

Mandurah has been fishing quite well and continues to produce for anglers who are willing to put the time and effort in. There has definitely been some cracking fish being caught around Mandurah, with reports that there are

captures coming from the estuary, ocean and freshwaters. The heavy downpours that plagued August made the water visibility quite poor in the estuary, which without a doubt made fishing quite difficult at times. When there is a large downpour, the estuary system tends to feel it immediately, particularly with seaweed, water

discoloration and abnormal tides. With the big tides, water coming down from the hills and flushing out the systems, it cannot be denied that it is without a doubt a benefit to the systems. Algae can be a real problem in the upper Serpentine and Murray rivers at times, so while there is a temporary disruption to the typical river cycle, it aids

Trout action is well and truly underway. Trolling up these fish can be quite effective, but so can casting light flies and lures near rises.

Fishing a change of light can bring about the best results. Mornings are not always the warmest, but when the fish wake up, they have to feed!

in cleaning the water, which ultimately provides better living conditions for fish. It’s not only the river systems that are benefitting from this cleanse, but the entire estuary and surrounding ocean as well. Inland, the insect activity has definitely picked up. Spring days are typically warm, sunny and typically there is not a lot of rain, which is great for freshwater fishing. Rises, which are fish surfacing to feed, are becoming quite frequent around first and last light. The activity continues to increase and will be going into the warmer months. Spinners are showing results, but a small hardbody lure

lightly-weighted prawn on a small hook, as they are great holding spots for schools of fish. As the colder weather disappears, the bream are becoming more active, and they are willing to expend more energy and have the tendency to become more willing to take your offering. This also makes landing bream on lures a little bit easier. Snapper and dhufish fishing through September has continued to pick up, but during October anglers should be aware that the demersal finfish ban is rapidly approaching and will be in place from the middle of the month. You really don’t need a big vessel to get

whiting season is rapidly approaching and our favourite finned friends will really start to come on the chew any time soon. Through October and leading into November, Mandurah starts to become filled with anglers wading the flats in hopes of an explosion behind their surface lure! Popping for whiting is growing, with it really taking off over the past few years. Cup-faced surface lures are always a favourite amongst anglers targeting these fish, but diving minnows, blades and surface stickbaits are all going to get you some attention when used appropriately. A fairly constant retrieve is proven

Mandurah whiting like this one are great fun on light lines and lures. Whiting are also a first class tasting fish.


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is definitely getting a lot of attention when seeking redfin and trout. Whether you are land-based or in a kayak, a cast made parallel up a bank is a great way to start. It will allow you to cover depth, more ground and also increase your odds at hooking up. Bream fishing in the rivers has been rewarding if you are looking in the right places. When you are heading out, search for water clarity, signs of baitfish and water movement. Bait fishers will find that bridges like the Pinjarra and Ravenswood are great places to throw a

amongst some of these hardfighting fish at the moment. Fishing in depths of 5-15m, with a thick berley trail and light or unweighted bait is the way to go. There are plenty of areas to try, but a consistency among anglers finding success is to fish on the line where the seaweed or reef meets the sand. A structure change provides great hunting grounds for these fish and trying to understand their habits can only increase your success. Expect another form of fishing to really open up as the sun becomes more consistent. The yellowfin

when targeting whiting, so when you head out, try to pay attention to your lure and what follows it. A good set of polarized sunglasses is definitely beneficial if you want to increase your chances at hooking up, as you can see how the fish are reacting to your particular retrieve and alter it accordingly. Not only are they good for spotting fish, but they protect your eyes on your long days out. Don’t forget sun protection when you head out, as well as water, food and a way of keeping your catch fresh if you are planning on keeping a feed.

West Coast

Last chance to nail some demersal species LANCELIN

Peter Fullarton

There have been some great catches of demersal fish featuring mainly dhufish, baldchin groper, breaksea cod, pink snapper and the occasional harlequin and foxfish, with some stonking 20kg+ dhufish caught west of Lancelin.

and easy to find. You can take up to 30 sand whiting and eight wrasse per fisher, which is more than enough to feed a family. Sand whiting can be caught from any depths over sandy bottoms from the beach out, with the 17-22m depth west of Lancelin reliable for some better size fish. What the whiting lack in size they make up for with flavour. The

encounter at this time of year is the brown spotted wrasse. There have already been a lot of them caught recently, as the large males are more common on inshore reefs during spring and early summer. This fish has been granted a poor eating rating in some publications and the Recfishwest App. Despite this, the large males actually eat very well indeed! I certainly never throw one back! The reason why they have possibly been given a poor edibility rating is smaller females are far less palatable. Try a large male you might just be surprized, even impressed! In deeper waters, you start to catch the southern Moari wrasse. The meat is the least palatable of the three. While you are drifting for the wrasse on broken weed and rubble, it is well worth baiting up a squid bait spike with a whole whiting or small wrasse. There have been some good size cuttlefish caught in 25-30m and there are always big squid to be

Try lures to separate the bigger tailor from the smaller fish. to dusk with a berley trail out. Herring, snook, pike, skippy, tailor, garfish, squid and even the odd samsonfish have all featured in mixed bags using this method recently. Fishing with a light rod provides great sport and fun, and the kids will love this type of fishing. A number of smaller mulloway have been caught over recent weeks. In

on structure deep and shallow. Try dropping some live baits or using knife jigs on the deeper humps. They are quite bold, and will approach boats. When you see fish rising off the bottom towards the boat on the sounder, odds are they will be samsonfish. Use this to your advantage, and troll back over the same ground with a deep diving lure up tight behind the boat. They rise up to check out the boat and quickly find the lure from depths as much as 30m or more.

style, with a heavy braid and locked drag to capture the samsonfish. Samsonfish also hold on some of the inshore reefs. I anchor up with a berley pot tied to the anchor rope along with a cray float. Skippy are almost certain to turn up in the berley, so have a live one set back on a balloon. On hooking a decent sambo in the shallow water, you are going to be in for a fun fight. To land the fish safely, you can cast off the anchor and chase the fish down, and later hook

Mornings are a good time to chase a daytime beach mulloway. Stuart Kenyon caught this 57cm mulloway on a mulie on a recent early morning session. Fish have been coming from a wide range of depths from 10-75m, so there are options for boats of all sizes to get into them. The demersal ban kicks in on 15 October, so get out and make the most of it while you still can. Nevertheless, after the ban starts there are some other options to keep you amused, and will still provide some good table fish. King wrasse and sand whiting are two popular targets. While the fish may be smaller, they are abundant

king wrasse can be caught in a range of depths as well, but larger fish are what you need to find for the best eating quality. The smaller ones don’t give a good amount of meat from a fillet. All king wrasse should be chilled immediately on capture and eaten fresh or the flesh can get mushy and lose its texture when cooked. The reefs of the White Cray Bank are a good spot to find some larger fish, as are deeper waters. Another wrasse species you are very likely to

The male brown spotted cod are often overlooked for their eating value. found in similar depths. Rig up the spike on a paternoster setup and be sure to chop the bait’s tail off so it won’t spin as you drift. Schools of arrow squid can be found on the same grounds as the whiting in 17-22m. If fishing within Lancelin Bay, try anchoring up over the deeper seagrass beds of the bay late in the afternoon

There are plenty of demersal fish in a range of depths offering options for boats of all sizes. Peter and Leanne have been finding them regularly in 10m of water.

October you are more likely to encounter school size fish. Although night is traditionally when most fishers target them, they can be caught during daylight hours in the gutters close to shore. Walking a stretch of beach where there is a good gutter formation and throwing soft plastic lures or unweighted baits is an effective way to prospect for them. You cover much more ground than casting out a stationary bait, and the method often yields some solid tailor to boot. Tailor are about in better numbers, with 50cm fish not uncommon. Now there are more fish, a good way to separate out the larger size fishes from the smaller ones is to cast stickbaits or poppers. The Rapala X-Rap 14 Shallow and Halco 135 Roosta Popper in red head have proven this, producing some solid fish of late. Samsonfish are an option to stretch your arms during the demersal ban. While not the best eating fish, they are absolute beasts on the end of a line and one of the hardest pulling fish in the sea. October samsonfish can be found congregating

Damien Knight was happy to find a nice dhufish. The jetty within Lancelin Bay often produces fish that can go 30kg+. They can turn up at any time of the day, but early morning offers the best chance, as they will be feeding. Most are caught using fresh live squid, herring or whiting as bait, although there has been a recent trend of casting large poppers across the channel on the outside of the jetty, GT

back up to the anchor and fish should still be on your berley trail. The white crays will be starting their run soon, so it’s time to service the cray pots and stock up on bait. There are plenty of big crays left in the water each season due to changes in the management of the commercial fishery. If last year is anything to go by, it will be a bumper run. OCTOBER 2018


West Coast

Bag out on the beaches JURIEN BAY

Jason Harris


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The fishing has been a little inconsistent, with a number of severe weather events happening throughout the month. Strong winds and huge swells have slowed the fishing down. The fish are there off the beaches, inside the bay and offshore, you just need a bit of good weather to get out there. The jetty is still producing squid, the odd tailor, trevally, and even some mulloway at night. The squid have been around from mid afternoon and on through the night. They could be anywhere from right near the surface to down on the bottom. You might need to make a few casts to figure them out. Bait and assorted jigs have been working. Mulloway were being caught at the jetty some nights using live baits after getting a good berley trail going. The tailor have been showing up around the jetty, north of the bay and at Sandy Cape. Most of the fish coming from the beach were in small schools and being caught late in the afternoon, at sunset and at night. There has been a consistent afternoon run out at Sandy Cape. Inside the bay north of the marina has been producing the most consistent catches. While the rough weather has made it hard to get outside, those who have made it out have been getting some good snapper. On the plus side, the heavy swell does bring pink snapper right into the bay. After the swell has gone through, they are being caught from the marina

wall. Octopus, mulies and squid are all working, especially when combined with a berley trail. Crays are being caught in the bay and behind Favourite Island. A number of people with pots outside the bay or behind the islands lost them during the heavy swells this month. Inside the

Herring are a good option from the beach. bay they are still catching reds, with the north side producing the best. Whiting are coming from the beach, out in the bay and from behind Favourite Island. The best bait has been either ox heart or worms. We have had a huge amount of rain over the last month and the Hill River broke through at the mouth to the ocean. Some anglers headed down to make the

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most of it and got into some large bronze whaler sharks. The sharks where caught at night with plenty of berley in the water. The marina was producing blue manna crabs, herring, trevally and some tailor, but it has just suffered a fish kill. This has been a recurring problem

over the last few years. The winter storms fill the marina with seaweed that starts to decompose before it can wash back out. As it breaks down it removes all the oxygen from the water, and any fish or crabs that do not get out die. Unfortunately it will probably be a month or two before it recovers. Later in the month we hope the weather improves and the water gets a little warmer. If this happens it might be time to start trolling again for Spanish mackerel or yellowfin tuna. Squid and other fish are all catchable from the jetty. Use prawns and squid for the smaller fish like whiting, herring and trevally. If you want to try for something large, use flesh baits like mullet or try live bait. Remember to keep the berley trail going by adding small amounts often. The squid have been taking bait and jigs. Use the jigs if you need to cast around to locate them and remember to try various depths. The squid have been preferring smaller sized jigs, in either pink, green or white. If the squid are slow, ask about a ‘warm jacket’ model at the tackle shop – these can help tempt timid squid into a strike.

West Coast

Offshore action great when you can get out GERALDTON

Graham Maunder & Michael Triantopoulos

There’s an old saying that life wasn’t meant to be easy, and sometimes I think that the same thing applies to fishing. BEACH Anglers fishing the beach area around Pages Beach to Separation Point

paddle-tails and jerk shads in clear baitfish patterns have provided great success. Low tides in the afternoons have allowed anglers to access reef spots, and Explosives has been producing some very nice tailor around 50-70cm, with the better fish coming on lures. Stickbaits and poppers have provided the most success. Lightly-

Brendan Hughes with a solid baldchin groper caught 7nm northwest of the Batavia Marina in 33-35m of water. have caught reasonable numbers of herring. Using berley helps attract the herring, but don’t over do it. A silver Halco Twisty in 15-20g and small soft plastics with suitable jigheads are good starting points. Small 2-3” grubs,

weighted pilchards seem to do the trick when the fish shut down. Drummonds Cove, Pages Beach and Fishermans Wharf have still been producing school, yellowfin and sand whiting. The best baits have been peeled coral

prawn pieces, sand worms and mullet pieces. This season has been a difficult one due to a continuing run of large seas, strong winds and unusual run of rainy weekends. Using the breaks in the weather to fish the reefs from Flat Rocks to Cape Burney and around the local rock walls has produced dhufish to 9kg and mulloway to over 20kg. As you would expect, the best fish have been caught by anglers putting in the most effort in difficult weather and conditions. Keen anglers will always find somewhere to fish, and even if your first choice is not available, sometimes the second choice can be just as much fun. With large seas pounding the outside of the rock walls, not only will anglers look for protection, so will fish. Inside the harbours and marinas at Geraldton and Port Denison, there are plenty of bream being caught, with most anglers using pieces or chunks of pilchard. The larger fish around 28-35cm are biting later in the afternoon and into the dark. The Port Denison marina has a better mix of species at the moment with skippy, herring, mullet, yellowtail and bream around the jetties. Cod, mulloway and a few other species have been caught along the rocks near to the car park and out towards the port entry. Some of the best bream and skippy are being caught on no. 8 hooks, 6lb fluorocarbon leader, no sinker and enough pilchards to barely fill the gape of the hook. J-style hooks with a medium length shank like the Mustad 8260 or Gamakatsu SS15 make removal easy. It can be a bit

Young Max Smyth with a 68cm dhuie caught 5nm southwest from the Batavia Marina in 30m. of a shock when a 600g+ bream or skippy grabs ultra light tackle! Perth angler Josh Cole has recently been fishing at Flat Rocks, where he caught and released an impressive mulloway. The fish went 1.35m in length, and his outfit was a Shimano 5000 sized reel and a set of 2/0 gang hooks. BOAT OPTIONS The weather has only been allowing small windows of opportunities for anglers to get out. The

5-7nm west of the Batavia Marina in about 27-33m of water has been producing dhufish, pink snapper and red throat emperor. SMALL BOAT AND KAYAK Anglers fishing around Seal Rock have had some great success with herring, skippy, striped sea pike and squid. Using berley certainly helps attracts these species to you. From Pages Beach to Explosives there has been herring, striped sea pike

13-16m, is a productive area to start looking, and so is African Reef. Trolling deep diver lures such as a Halco Laser Pro 160XDD and 190XDD, Samaki Pacemakers 180D, Rapala X-Raps, Nomad DTX 140 and DTX 160 is a good way to go. Blue/silver, red/white, purple/chrome, gold/black, green/gold are popular colour patterns. Tailor and herring catches will be good along most beaches and rock walls. Early morning

Scott Steadman with a mulloway caught from the back of the crayfish factory.

Brendan Hughes with a pinkie that has a bump on its head, which is more fitting for a fish twice its size!

fishing out around South West Bank area, which is around 15nm from the Batavia Marina, are getting pink snapper up to 7kg, dhufish, coral trout and baldchin groper. Greenough to African Reef has been producing dhufish, pink snapper, samsonfish and baldchin groper, with the better fishing being in the shallower water around 10-15m. Medium-sized 5-6” paddle-tail plastics in blue, green and gold have been the pick, amd should be matched to a 1-2oz jighead. The area around

and the occasional squid. The days the water has been clear has also been when the squid seem to be more active. Size 3.0 jigs are a good size, and bright yellow, olive, red, pink and orange have been the successful colours. With the West Coast bioregion demersal closure soon to be in full swing, anglers should take the opportunity to try for a mackerel. Mackerel like edges, as they have something to push the baitfish up against. The Pensioners Bank, in about

and late afternoon into the evening are the more successful times. Mulloway will be more consistently making an appearance along our local beaches and break walls, so it is worth putting out a larger bait. Fresh fillets of tailor or pike are great baits and if there is mulloway around, they will not be able to resist it. • If you are staying in Geraldton or passing through, don’t be afraid to call in to Geraldton Sports Centre for a chat. They are located at 204-208 Marine Terrace, Geraldton. OCTOBER 2018


West Coast

Return of the warmth KALBARRI


Paul Leatham



As the early morning drive to work draws to an end, I find my eyes wandering to the corner of the dash where morning after morning the temperature gauge can be seen slowly climbing its way back into the 20s. With the absence of the morning chill and the return of the sun to our mid-west skies, the fishing around Kalbarri over the past month has been firing to say the least, and if conditions persist it looks like we’re going to be in for a few more weeks of quality fishing. The past weeks have seen a dramatic rise in the number

The author with a coral trout taken on a whole pilchard. Large tailor are also making an appearance at spots such as Oyster Reef, with anglers landing fish to 80cm while bait casting whole garfish with a handful

This juvenile coral trout took a soft plastic. of land-based catches with pink snapper and spangled emperor regularly being landed from popular spots such as Red Bluff and Pot Alley, with anglers finding success fishing large squid and octopus baits at first light from the rocky platforms.

of smaller fish being landed on poppers. Sizeable mulloway catches have been made from both Red Bluff Beach and Wittecarra, with fish being taken on mullet strip baits and pilchards. With lighter morning easterlies and lower

swells of late, the boaties have managed to push offshore targeting demersals, with some anglers reporting huge numbers of both mature and juvenile snapper along the coast schooling in waters as shallow as 15m. Whole pilchards or squid fished on a large running ball sinker rig has been a favourite of anglers targeting these fish. Boaties have also noted the increasing presence of coral trout in the shallower waters out of Kalbarri and Port Gregory, with many being caught on soft plastics and pilchards in waters as shallow as 8m, and the anglers are again preferring to target these fish at first light. The blue manna crab is back in abundance in the Murchison River, with numerous mature males being picked up around the Sand Flats as well as the Castle Rock area. A handful of decent mud crabs have also being reported, however these are far more common in the upper reaches around Paradise Flats.

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Paul from Murchison Boat Hire caught this unusually large black snapper for the Kalbarri area.

West Coast Spawning mulloway in the Murchison have also made their presence

felt, with a few decent fish being caught on mullet from the jetties at night. These

anglers are favouring the high tide, although plagues of juvenile ‘soapies’ can be caught throughout the day on just about anything and everything, providing great fun on light tackle. Typical of the cooler months, storm gars are still

boiling in plague proportions as they congregate off the point at Red Bluff. Seasoned anglers are consistently getting their limit in the morning and at sunset hours. The month to come looks to bring some better weather, which with any luck will

Boaties have been catching quite a few baldchin groper in recent weeks on whole pilchards and squid.

Above: Paul nailed this nice sized pink snapper on a quick late afternoon fish north of the river mouth. Below: Good-sized amberjack are being seen in decent numbers in Kalbarri waters. This one was caught during the Kalbarri Offshore & Angling Club monthly competition.

This sambo was caught north of Kalbarri during a local fishing competition.

continue to provide better fishing, especially for those offshore anglers. With the rising temperatures we can be sure that the pink snapper will continue to congregate in the shallow waters around town, with the river fishers also hopeful that the warmer water will trigger the whiting bite that usually lasts through to the end of summer. With some high tides on the way the mangrove jack are likely to make an appearance over the next few weeks with haunts such as the local jetties and boat pens

being a favourite hide-out for these fish. Live mullet and whiting are a proven method for chasing jacks. With only warmer weather approaching, it seems that the fishing around Kalbarri is only set to improve! • If you need a boat and are heading to Kalbarri or beyond, be sure to give us a call at Murchison Boat Hire. You’ll find new dramatically reduced pricing. With three quality boats to choose from, why would you stay stuck fishing from shore! Call Paul for details on 0427 645 037.



Gascoyne Coast

Early rising anglers will miss the strong breeze SHARK BAY & SURROUNDS

Kurt Blanksby

Shark Bay is a windy place, so boat anglers do best by not sleeping in and hitting the water early to get in a few hours of fishing before the breeze picks up. Out from Denham it can be very productive if you know what you are doing, and you don’t need to head a long way out to find quality fish.

distance, so time to get smart about what you can achieve closer in. Even basic sounders will give you an idea of where the channels are out from Denham, so travel out across the seagrass beds until you start to find depth. Now you don’t need a big drop off, in fact even a few metres of depth change in this part of the world is bound to be a highway for fish. Now it pays to anchor up over a sand or rubble bottom and

in a bucket with a tin of cat food (yep moggy food makes great fish berley and is cheap and convenient) and a little water. Pack this into a cut off plastic 2L milk bottle and freeze overnight. Next day just drop this in your berley pot and lower over the side. Every evening just make up a few more for the following day, simple and effective. Try to avoid using too many fish scraps from the day before as you will have plenty of visits from sharks. Pink snapper, blue-lined emperor (locally known as black snapper), mulloway, mackerel, cobia and cod are all common catches from the channels out from Denham. If you want to pick up a few smaller species do the same thing over the shallow sand flats a few hundred metres out as the berley will bring in some thumping big yellowfin whiting, yellowfin bream and flathead. Try drifting over the seagrass beds and flick around a few squid jigs

Big yellowfin whiting can be caught right in front of the town of Denham and respond to small soft plastics or lures fished across the shallow sand flats. for a feed of squid. Shore fishing near town is also very rewarding, small soft plastics, minnow lures and surface poppers

cast around the shallows will usually see the same small species turn up, and the sand flats to the north of the Caravan Park are a

Blue-lined emperor, or as the locals call them black snapper, are an attractive fish to catch and are brilliant eating. Sure there is exceptionally good fishing over towards Dirk Hartog Island and to the north, but this means you will be travelling some distance, often facing a wet ride home in the choppy ocean. This might limit many small boat owner’s chances of going the

start to berley up. This is the key to success and a steady berley trail will soon be attracting many different species to your location. Berley can be simple, I like the commercially produced berley pellets you buy in a pack from any tackle store, mix these

The Bluffs to the south of Denham are fantastic shore-based fishing spots, especially after dark when tailor, mulloway and pink snapper are all on offer.

dynamite yellowfin whiting spot. The ever-reliable jetty comes into its own after dark, especially for squid if the wind is not howling too strongly. Even if it’s blowing a gale, the Bluffs to the south of town are a good place to spend a few hours, especially after dark. Being only a short drive away they can be easily accessed and it pays to get there just before dark and find a suitable location. Don’t be put off if the water looks too shallow, after dark surprisingly big fish move in to feed. Pink snapper, mulloway, tailor and small sharks are common catches and it’s as simple as casting out a pilchard or mullet fillet on a set of ganged hooks with a 40cm trace up to a swivel and running star or spoon sinker. Fishing the Bluffs will give you some thrills as darkness comes and can be a very rewarding way to spend a few hours in the evenings when in Denham.

Carnarvon is heating up along Quobba Coast CARNARVON

Kurt Blanksby

With daytime temperatures beginning to rise as we head on into summer the focus will now be the arrival of big numbers of shark mackerel from the Quobba coastline. Late October and into November can be mind blowing fishing if you time it right, and spinning lures from one of the many well known rock platforms can be action packed. If considering fishing here though, remember 34


to wear an inflatable life jacket or check out where to loan one from Recfishwest. Aim to be fishing from first light, obviously make sure the conditions are safe and there is not a big swell smashing into the cliffs making it extremely dangerous and difficult to fish. Medium spinning tackle or a saltwater fly rod are the weapons of choice, for spinning it is tempting to go light and have some fun but remember there is the chance of a big cobia or Spanish mackerel as well so you don’t want to be undergunned should you hook one of these.

The local thieving shark population is another issue from many of the best spots, and once the shark mackerel are in numbers the hunting whaler and tiger sharks will also be ready to take advantage of any hooked fish. Heavier tackle will allow you some control on hooked fish and give you some advantage over getting them past the sharks. Once the hunting sharks lock onto your hooked fish there your chances of getting it past them are slim. One trick is to open your bail arm and give the hooked mackerel a chance to power away on its own, hopefully shaking off any tailing sharks. Once

clear you can flip the bail arm over and commence the fight, this time hopefully avoiding the sharks. Lead head jigs, metal slices and saltwater flies all bring results on shark mackerel, as well as any other pelagic species in the area. Sure you can throw expensive stick baits at them, and yes, they work very well but when you get your fish taken by a shark you will usually lose your lure as well. Mackerel have razor sharp teeth so a short single strand wire trace is a must, just being lazy and clipping onto your leader without wire will soon teach you all about bite-offs.

Same goes for saltwater fly fishers, you will need a short wire trace to stand any chance of not being snipped off instantly. Any baitfish pattern saltwater fly will work when the shark mackerel are about, a quick strip will see you into the action pretty fast. Again heavier fly outfits rule in this part of the world, generally 10wt and upwards will allow you to cast bigger flies and battle big fish from your elevated location on the cliffs. Long extendable pole or rope cliff gaffs are also a must, as most of the good rock ledges are high up off the water so landing fish

becomes a whole new skill to learn. This type of fishing doesn’t lend itself to catch and release very well, so remember your bag limits and know when to quit for the day. Now if the swell is up and the conditions are too dangerous for Quobba, then Carnarvon has many other safe fishing options if shore-based. The delta mouth of the Gascoyne River is worth a walk and produces some decent sized tailor, usually at sunset. The ever-reliable Miaboolyia Beach is a good spot to soak a few baits for tailor and big mulloway.

Gascoyne Coast

Billfish set to be on target list EXMOUTH

Jenni Gates

The warm temperatures of the north have kept the town of Exmouth busy and anglers have been treated to some sensational weather, with glass conditions more often than not. The town is renowned for having more clear skies than any other town in Australia, so whether you like day or night fishing, it should be good for blue skies or starry nights. Squid has been the most common target in the last month, with plenty of them being caught from all areas around the cape. There are times when they are so thick that the big ones eat the smaller squid on the retrieve! Squid jigs and outfits these days can become quite a collection for some anglers. We recommend using light outfits and having a variety of jigs. Always remember to have your drag set light to help stay connected. The baitballs have already

started to congregate in the gulf and with that we have already seen the larger predatory fish in action. Cobia, mackerel, longtail tuna, various species of trevally, queenfish and sailfish are among the list of options for any angler fishing in this area. The Exmouth Gulf is a very healthy ecosystem,

with so many options for recreational anglers. The baitfish along the shoreline on the town side include garfish, hardiheads and mullet, while inside the gulf large schools of scad, mulies and fusiliers are what get smashed up by so many predators. You can see the various

A broad barred or grey mackerel caught off Norwest Reef.

This sailfish was caught in the gulf by 7yo Tahlia Mossman.

birds working on these schools of baitfish in the gulf. The different birds and their action will give you the signs of what fish are underneath. This action will continue right through to October and into November. The thick of it should be right when the Billfish Bonanza three-day tag and release billfish tournament is on from 26-28 October. This event has had some boats in the past tag sailfish numbers well in to the double figures. If you are wanting to fish a billfish event for the first time, this is one we highly recommend, with the fishing grounds close to shore and a short three days with plenty of action. Of course, there are the marlin that get caught as well during this time. Further details can be found on As the water temperatures start to increase, October signals the start of the blue marlin season in Exmouth, as greater numbers of blue marlin are encountered. The charter fleet in Exmouth these days offers far more than previous years and yields some great results for billfish research and statistics. Young junior angler Jake Fitzgerald was targeting billfish on fly with Leigh

Freestone, Hayley Dellar and Wes Jones and managed to catch a sailfish, which is a pending state and Australian junior record. Jake plans to mount the head of the fish and smoke the fillets. Interestingly, during GAMEX in 2017, the marine biologists took samples of black marlin from two vessels. One fish was female, weighing 16.4kg and measuring over 1.5m in length, and the other was a male weighing 21.4kg and measuring over 1.6m in length. These fish were aged by extracting the ear bones of the fish, which are called otoliths. The female fish was found to be 165 days old, while the male was 205 days old. While marlin are a very fast growing fish, sailfish are known to grow even faster, reaching 30kg in just one year. The fish Jake caught is estimated to be about six months old and it is interesting to see the patterns of fish growth in our waters through the tag, release and capture of these abundant species. The reef fishing during October tends to be more productive in the deeper waters as the temperatures rise. The wind will play a factor in your day out, along with the potential shark encounters. We recommend checking the weather forecast carefully and remind people that mobile phone reception is not always reliable. Your best option

Check out this big blue caught during blue marlin season in Exmouth last year. always prior to fishing is checking with the local tackle store to find out what is biting where and how the weather can effect your day out. • For more up to the minute information on what is biting

and where, drop into Bluewater Tackle World Exmouth and have a chat to the friendly and informative staff. They are located at 3 Maley St Exmouth and can be contacted at (08) 9949 1315.

There are plenty of squid to be caught in and around Exmouth at the moment.


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North Coast

Offshore fishing scene heating up PORT HEDLAND

Pete Hodgson

The Pilbara Port Authority recently held a joint search and rescue exercise ‘Goldsworthy’ that involved the WA Water Police, Port Hedland Volunteer Marine Rescue, Port Hedland Police, BHP, Rivtow, Aviator Group and Odyssey Marine. All parties volunteered their time and resources for a timely exercise to ensure all the local key stakeholders in the maritime industry are up to date with the latest search and rescue techniques, to ensure a timely efficient response in the event of a marine incident. There have been several boating incidents in 2018 in the Port Hedland area, so it is a timely reminder to ensure all your safety equipment is up to date and in good working order before heading out for a day on the water. The exercise was well executed with joint help from the Aviator Groups Helicopter, BHP tug boat RT Rotation, pilot vessel Go Shaula and the VMR’s assets Responder and Iron Pride. With the nights warming up and the whales moving south, the barramundi are really starting to come on the chew with all the creeks north and south of town producing good numbers of fish.

Red emperor caught on an Entice slow pitch jig in 45m of water. Soft vibes are proving popular with patient anglers heading deep into the estuary systems and fishing the

deeper holes through the low tide. Hardbody lures, soft plastics and live mullet are all catching fish with the water

temperature still rising the fishing will only heat up and become more consistent for the anglers willing to brave the elements. The offshore fishing scene has been hot for the bottom bouncers when the weather has allowed the boats out with the usual catches of big coral trout, red emperor, rankin cod and nannygai all coming from the 35-50m areas. The demersals are being caught on squid and fish baits, slow pitch jigs and large soft plastics on 4-6oz elevator heads on the bigger tides. The fishing has been best on the lead up to the high tide in the morning and the start of the run out with the ‘no run no fun’ philosophy proving to be words of wisdom out wide. Spanish mackerel have slowed in close with the odd big fish being caught. Shark

Shark mackerel trolled up around the barges on a deep diving minnow.

Zara and Sienna enjoying some land-based light tackle action before the weather gets too hot. mackerel, cobia, queenfish and trevally are all still been caught around the markers, barges and moorings on surface lures and soft plastics for all the sports fishers. Bluebone can be found anytime the tide and currents allow baits to get to the bottom all the way along the Manila Bank line and back closer to town with fish hanging around the coral and limestone reefs. Targeting these fish can be frustrating at times but once you figure them out they are possibly one of the most exciting shallow water fish

you could catch with their tackle busting hook ups and powerful tail pulling you straight into the reef if you give them an inch. Mud crabs are still plentiful with plenty of big boys coming from the local creeks hooked from their holes or caught in drop nets with chicken necks for bait. The local shore fishing is still producing small trevally and other small pelagics on shallow diving lures and stickbaits, which are great fun for the kids if you’re looking to get them out of the house before it gets too hot.

The wet season will warm up the threadies BROOME

Troy Honey

The dry season, or ‘tourist season’ as it is better known, is coming to an

It has been another fantastic dry season for fishing with recent catches of sailfish, which have been in epic proportions being tagged and released, queenies, big GT and bluebone caught on the

The author with an early wet season landbased threadfin salmon caught on cooked prawn near the mouth of Little Crab Creek. end but that does not mean the fishing season is in Broome. 36


local jetty. Consistent mixed bags of solid reef fish such as blue-lined emperor and coral

trout have been coming in from the outer reefs on neap tides if you have time to drop between trolling a lure or two. Spanish mackerel have been in good numbers congregating just off Gantheaume Point all the way up to James Price Point and beyond. Good size whiting have been coming in along Cable Beach right up to the mouth of Willy Creek with the high tide change being the best time. One of the exceptions the locals are all talking about lately is the threadfin salmon. Times are changing fast for threadfin salmon fishing in the beautiful surrounds of Roebuck Bay in Broome. Since commercial netting was banned in 2013 in the bay the threadfin salmon population has come back strong, getting stronger with each year and it is now not too hard for both locals and the travelling fishers to get in on the challenging action of the now prolific species. When you head to Broome and want to chase threadies everyone will always point you in one direction, Crab Creek. Crab Creek is approximately 15km from Broome heading east across

A superb 96cm Roebuck Bay threadfin salmon caught by Dominique Shiosaki. Roebuck Bay. If you have a tinny and 4WD you can drive out of town and follow Crab Creek road where you find a newly refurbished boat ramp that then provides just a short 2-3km trek in the tinny across to Crab Creek. Please note this ramp, like other boat ramps in Broome, is tide dependent with many rocks so larger boats are recommended not to use it. Entrance Point boat

ramp would be a better option for larger boats. Crab Creek consists of two creeks, Crab Creek and Little Crab Creek. Both creeks as well as the coastline known as the Fingers just south of Crab Creek are all great areas to target threadies from a boat. If you are fishing from shore, all of the coastal areas along Crab Creek road provide excellent threadfin

fishing and the landscapes are simply stunning. If you look around you may even be lucky enough to find some dinosaur footprints, which are always a big hit with the kids. Crab Creek is not the only area to catch threadfin, all of the local creeks, especially the creek mouths and all of the beaches in the area. Many an To page 37

North Coast

Mixed bags from boat and shore DAMPIER

Troy Honey

The fishing on and off shore around the Dampier and Karratha region has really turned on when the wind permits. Even on windy days there are many options either land-based around rocky headlands or in the mangroves and creeks or out on the water using the islands for protection. Sailfish have been caught in good numbers out wide of the archipelago along with several Spanish mackerel. Lures and switch

spangled emperor have been caught amongst them. There are plenty of bluebone about around the rocks but using the right bait and fishing the tides has been the key to catching the larger ones from shore. Smaller bluebone and good-sized bream are plentiful and taking most baits. Off the beaches and around the creek entrances there are lots of good-sized whiting taking mostly prawns or my preferred bait, which is lambs heart. Queenies can often be seen feeding on baitfish in the same area, so worth throwing a lure out for

floor. While I enjoy nothing more than bringing out my good rods and big Stellas, when fishing from rocks for bluebone I always choose 150lb and above handlines, sinkers big enough to hold the bait still in the tidal current and strong 6/0 hooks. If you don’t have anything solid to tie your handline onto it is advised to hold on tight to it at all times because you will not have time to grab it off the rock if a big bluebone decides to take your bait. Bait is probably the make or break difference when it comes to hooking up on a big bluebone. While it is possible to catch them on the likes of prawns, squid and fresh fish bait, their preferred food is crustaceans, namely crabs. Spending a few hours the day before catching rock crabs at low tide with a bucket and pair of tongs around the rocks will certainly give you a distinct advantage. Many bluebone have been caught this way but there is one bait that I believe performs that little bit better and that is cooked mud crab legs. This can be a bit of a win-win situation if you have access to areas holding mud crabs, such as the creeks and

some great sportfishing action and served up as sashimi they are simply amazing. The Point Samson Road causeway bridge has had smaller trevally and queenfish taking lures as well as bream being caught on baits. Fish the last hour or two before high tide in this area for best results. Big mud crabs seem to be just about everywhere in the creeks at the moment and with

the water temperature starting to rise. With the wet season approaching it is worth trying your luck for a barramundi at the same time. The wind has been testing at times trying to get the boat out and I think we can all relate to working on those glass off days and being talked into house duties while the wind is blowing on days off. Try not to relent to the pressure though and a magic part of being in the Pilbara is there are some monster fish to be caught from land if you organise your tactics just right. One of the monsters I am sure is a top of the list fish for most of us when it comes to big land-based fish is the bluebone. They can be found around near shore rocks in only a few metres of water in the Pilbara and not only test the best fishing gear out to its maximum capability but are very hard to beat on the dinner table too. Male bluebone, or blackspot tuskfish (Choerodon cyanodus) are generally a territorial fish species. They were females who transitioned to male to become the dominant fish in their school of females. They will feed and protect their females in one area. Fishing for bluebone is best during the day as at night they find protection in rocks and crevices and surround themselves with a protective goo, coming back out to hunt crustaceans and feed during the day. Bluebone are a ferocious and powerful fish, a fact that anglers lucky enough to hook up quickly find out. At times there is barely a nibble on your line, they will bite and run hard for the nearest rock. If you are not ready and prepared, chaos will quickly happen with snapped or snagged lines or worse, your best fishing gear making its way to the ocean

the warmer months of October through to April the threadies really come alive. When threadfin salmon

that became exposed during low tide and has brought all of the crustaceans out. When fishing land-based using bait

last three hours of an incoming tide above 7m or more when fishing from shore or boat. When fishing from a boat, if in a smaller boat such as a tinnie you can risk getting right up close to the water breaking over new ground and fish that area. If from a larger boat, try fishing along the dirty to clean water colour change lines found within a few hundred metres out from shore and float baits or troll lures along the line. Threadfin are predators prone to taking both live and dead baits as well as lures. Live poddy mullet are always bait of choice but bought cooked prawns from the local supermarkets are also a deadly option to use. With both, using a rig setup of 20-30lb braid and a knot such as the FG to link to your 60-100lb fluorocarbon leader, running ball or bean sinker and a large 10/0 hook will provide an optimum solution.

The author enjoying the feeling of overcoming the battle this 660mm, 7kg bluebone put up. It was caught on cooked mud crab legs and 150lb handline one hour before high tide in Dampier. baits have been working well. The Spanish mackerel have been of very good size with most in the 12-18kg range. Red emperor and rankin cod have been thick at times on the reefs out the back of the islands and offshore in the 30-40m range with most anglers bagging out on both in a couple of hours. Some good coral trout, blueline and From page 36

angler has caught threadfin on majestic Cable Beach so if you are down there with the family having a barbeque on the back of the 4WD don’t hesitate to throw one of the prawns out and stick the rod in a holder. You may even hook up to a large permit that frequent the gullies along the beach. Whether you prefer fishing from land or have the luxury of fishing from a boat, chasing threadies around Roebuck Bay is a fantastic way to enjoy spectacular sports fishing all year round. Predominately a wet season fish, threadfin catches are now being consistently reported in the cooler water temperatures throughout the dry season from many of the tinny brigade who are able to chase the incoming tide over the flats in the far east of the bay. This being said, during

A big Roebuck Bay threadfin salmon coming onboard. are feeding, they forage the bottom in search of crustaceans such as crabs and prawns. Using the big Broome tides to their advantage, threadies are on the hunt in the shallows as the tide pushes up over ground

cast just at your feet, barely a metre or two out from the shore and keep walking back as the big tide rushes in. You can catch threadies on either neap or spring tides, but generally chase them on the

The author with one of the many big mud crabs being caught around Dampier and Karratha regions. This one came from a creek near Point Samson. mangroves around Dampier and Karratha. What better way to spend a weekend than going mud crabbing on a Saturday, cooking up a feast to enjoy that night (save the cooked legs and all of the remnants) and head out a couple of hours before the high tide on Sunday to a rocky outcrop, that can be found right around Dampier and all the way up to and past Point Samson, and fish for bluebone. I use two mud crabs legs on my hook each time, hooked through the centre of the upper

Jason Haack landed this beast of a GT over rocks in the Dampier Archipelago. If using lures is your preferred method, the same line setup tied onto either hardbodied lures with the right depth bib to work the bottom or soft plastics. As threadies feed in the dirty water using their long filaments to feel for food and have a transparent fat tissue that covers their eyes, using bright colours such as hot pink or fluorescent green assist them to see the lure. For rod and reel choice, a light spin or bait cast outfit of the 3-7kg range and 7ft length is ideally suited for threadies and provides for some exciting action. October is here, and the water is warming up but the humidity that can keep some people away from Broome at this time of year hasn’t started to build yet. Being down near or on the water is a great way to enjoy some relief and escape the humidity of the Kimberley over the wet season. One thing

leg section and cast it out far enough to clear any areas you might get snagged up on. You don’t need to be that far out, bluebone have been caught in less than 1m, but 3m or more is preferred. Next is to start berleying the water up with a handful at a time of the rest of the mud crab remnants, this will assist in bringing on the bite and building confidence in the bluebone that the cooked crab is of little risk to feed on. Once hooked up, prepare yourself for the battle of all battles. All the preparation you have gone to for this opportunity can be lost in an instant if you give them an inch. More often than not, bluebone will teach land-based anglers a lesson, but the fight is one you will never forget, regardless of outcome. If you have managed to overpower these brutal fighting fish the reward you will experience on the dinner table that night will make the whole weekend’s adventure worth it, as they truly are one of the best eating fish in Northern Australia. If you live in the Dampier and Karratha region or you are visiting, chasing bluebone is a challenge not to pass up. to keep in mind is crocodiles and stingers enjoy it too, so you need to be vigilant. Talk to the local tackle shops or wildlife office and they are always happy to offer helpful advice. It is also a good time of the year to secure great travel and accommodation deals making the boys fishing trip or trip with the family that much better. Threadfin salmon are certainly up there with the best when it comes to table quality. Both texture and flavour of the threadfin is fantastic, and it is certainly in my top bunch of all fish to eat. They provide excellent fishing often display their aerobatic abilities and surprise everyone on their first hook up with just how hard and fast they run. I am certainly looking forward to threadfin action over the next few months. OCTOBER 2018



Going stealth mode for more trout success METRO

Kurt Blanksby

It’s hard to contain the excitement when arriving at the stream or river that you know contains some good trout, and against everything that I have learnt, I still often manage to spook the first few good fish of the season before I actually slow down and think about what I am doing.

quieter stretches that they will actively search for food, often drifting down current then turning and making their way back up. The general rule that you should fish a section of river by starting downstream and heading up to stay behind the vision of any fish is true, but be very aware that not all fish will be facing into the current. Many locations will actually only allow you to approach from upstream due

It pays to slowly approach the water and look to see if you can spot any fish like this one before it spots you. WA has some amazing trout waters. Sure, they are tough to negotiate, as they often wind their way through dense forest and are heavily overgrown, and many of our trout manage to go their whole lives never getting bothered by anglers, but if you think they are careless, think again!

the nature of the bank-side vegetation or structure, so how do you go unnoticed to any fish facing your you as you approach? After decades of walking the banks and fishing our South West streams and rivers, I can’t stress enough the first rule of trout fishing, and that is to slow down.

consider is getting close enough to the water to fish without being detected. Trout have excellent vision and any large object moving in their field of view both in and out of the water spells danger. A low approach is a must, so that means getting down on hands and knees if there’s no bank-side vegetation, rock or log to hide your silhouette above the skyline. From here you must go slow, really slow, so that there are no sudden movements and you seem to just blend in with the surroundings. It goes without saying that you should also be wearing dull coloured clothing, as a bright red and blue jacket might look stylish, but it doesn’t belong anywhere near a trout steam. You need to go dull, dark and be mindful that even your face and hands will contrast against the surroundings. Believe it or not trout also manage to pick up on loud noises like the thud of you jumping off a log onto a rock near the river, and shouting out to your mate that “there is a good fish here” will not only alert your mate, but also the fish you are trying to catch. Keep your voice low, climb down gently close the river or stream, and again, slow down. SIGHT FISHING Polaroid sunglasses are a must, as actually spotting your quarry before you cast

Dark clothes and crouching is all part of not letting the trout know you are there. and cast so your fly or lure passed the fish in the most natural way. Although I have caught many trout winding a lure upstream past them, their food doesn’t naturally do this, so really wary fish will often spook and shy away from your offering.

Often they are not sure and just continue back to their feeding spot, allowing you to either have another cast or change offerings. I remember one big rainbow followed my lure eight times back to my rod tip only to aggressively attack it on the ninth cast! I

Trout have excellent vision – slow down and look first to make sure it’s not just a log.

This quiet stretch of a WA trout stream produced several good trout by taking it slow and staying out of sight. Most of us manage to trick a few into taking a lure or fly, but if you want to elevate yourself above the everyday angler and really start to become successful at fooling these wary fish, then it’s time to evaluate your methods. THINK ABOUT YOUR APPROACH Generally, trout will face up into the current where food is swept down past them to inspect, but just be aware in slower pools or 38


Think about each spot well before you approach it and give it some thought to as to where you think the fish might be waiting in ambush or cruising for food. By slowing yourself down, you actually start to process and think about how you will fish it better, whereas just rushing in to fire a cast cuts your chances of success dramatically. If there is no safe way to approach from downsteam, then the next thing you must

will increase your chances of success massively. It pays to actually sit back and watch the water in the spot you are about to fish, take your time and just see if you can locate any trout before you cast. If you do spot one, then again, take time to sit back and observe it for a short while, and see if the fish is holding in one spot or moving about looking for food. If the fish is holding location, then do your best to get downstream behind it

If the fish is cruising around a quieter section of water, then be patient and wait for it to swim past you and away from you before casting well in front of it. I have had numerous fish slowly cruise past me at very close range while I froze dead still, and the only thing moving was my eyes as I watched it glide past unaware I was there. Once you have cast and the fish has locked onto your moving lure or fly, you need to be very conscious of how much body movement you make, remembering that although it has spotted what it thinks is an easy meal, any distraction in the corner of its eye will send it bolting well away from you and your cast. I have had big trout follow a lure right up to the rod tip but not take it, which is very frustrating, but it is critical that you don’t let the fish know you are there. If your lure or fly runs out of water and is almost at the rod tip then just keep very still until the fish loses interest and turns away. If the fish suspects anything dangerous, it will be gone.

suspect it was just not sure what the lure was and out of annoyance if finally gave in. The fact that every time it followed it came within a meter of me without spotting me was remarkable. If you get a follower the only part of your body moving is the hand winding the reel or stripping the fly line, every other part of you

must stay completely still. Even turning your head or moving the rod away too fast will usually be enough to spook them. GETTING A CAST IN You are often fishing from an uncomfortable and crouched position, and rarely do you get the luxury of standing up and easily fishing. This also goes for casting, and if you can’t cast accurately from a backhanded and kneeling position then you had better start practicing. Rarely will you be in a spot where an easy cast is all that is needed, so often it will require you to put your lure in a tiny spot under overhanging branches with only a flick of your wrist. One trick that I like using that is very effective is to use a floating lure or fly and allow it to drift downstream past the fish or location you think the fish will be, then bring it back up current past the fish. It’s hardly ideal, as often any fish will inspect your offering as it drifts over them and be a bit wary from that point on, however if there is no other option this method will serve you well and allow you to hook fish in spots most others wouldn’t be able to fish.

Yagan Bibby with a healthy fat rainbow trout from a South West river.

Trout THINKING ABOUT TACKLE Quality tackle also pays off, especially with rods be it fly or spin, as they allow you the accuracy and crispness you need to effectively put your lure or fly where you want it to go. Having a sloppy old fibreglass rod will cut your accuracy down way too much, even if it is better at bashing through the scrub with. On that note, I have broken expensive fishing rods while trying to move through dense vegetation. It is a very real risk, as modern graphite doesn’t always win

battles with blackberries and tea trees easily. When crawling through the scrub, I find that you are best facing your rod backwards and crawling through the undergrowth to the water with the butt going first, and the rest of the rod will follow the path without getting caught. I use to like short rods for this purpose, but have since changed my mind as longer rods allows me to reach through windows in the scrub to drop a lure or fly into the water without casting in some locations. Longer rods also allow better control of hooked

This brightly-coloured rainbow was fooled by a stealthy approach and an accurate cast.

SAFETY On the note of safety, keep in mind that many of the South West trout rivers and streams are favourite haunts of snakes, especially tigers, which are very slow at moving away, especially if they haven’t heard you approaching (remember you

do find yourself way too close to a snake then just keep still, don’t move and it will usually move away from you. On that note, it pays to never fish alone, which brings me to the next issue on who you take with you. We all have lots of friends who love coming fishing

Crawling in low to a location is often the difference between success and failure. If the fish sees you first, it’s all over. fish, and cushion the jumps and lunges that often shake free the hooks. Speaking of hooks, you need to make sure they are sharp and in good condition. The only problem with this is that they will easily snag up on anything they touch, but trust me, there is nothing more frustrating than a fish hitting your offering and the hooks not taking hold. RETRIEVING TACKLE If you snag a lure or fly you have a few options, one is to break it off and kiss it goodbye, which is sometimes your only option. The second is to wade in or swim and retrieve the snagged hooks by hand. Now this can be dangerous, as slippery rocks and fast-

flowing cold water can cause you to lose your balance and end up in a potentially hazardous situation. You could also end up with sharp hooks in your hand when you try to free them. Calm shallow spots are easy and often the lure or fly can be reached with the rod tip to dislodge it, but take care in any of the rocky and fast flowing sections. The third option is a tackle back retriever, and these are relatively cheap weighted objects that slide down your line and are connected to a cord or light rope. Once they hit the snagged lure they either knock it free or grab it allowing you to pull it free with only bent hooks to worry about.

Small floating lures used to drift down current often account for fish hiding under overhanging branches. are going really slow and could be on your hands and knees). Keep an eye out in front of you and don’t just go over any logs or through thick grass without looking first. Generally, tigers are all bluff, they might flatten their heads and look all alarmed, but will move off once they know you are not going to grab them. In fact, unless you actually touch them there is little chance they will bite. It can be hard to do, but if you

with us, but if you are with someone who just can’t keep quiet and rushes into every spot without slowing down you probably won’t catch very much. Having a pep talk before you head off or in the car on the way down is a start, then take control when you get there. Be sure to tell them to slow down and let them watch you approach a spot and fish – it’s amazing how others soon learn the art of fooling these fish.

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18/06/2018 10:35:02 AM


Freshwater fishing frenzy FRESHWATER

Peter Fragomeni

Some good reports are coming in of the advanced yearling rainbows, ex-brood rainbows and brown trout that were stocked earlier this season. A few wild rainbows have also been reported coming out of some of the streams, as they are now open all year round.

with a WATFFA member. It seems that anglers in boats and kayaks have had the most consistent trout catches by using shallow slim-bodied lures. Flyfishing the shallow bays has been producing nice fish in the early morning and evenings using popular fly patterns. Later in the day fishing a black, brown or green nymph in the deeper water has also been producing a few fish. This dam overflowed

when trolling, as they will test your drag on even the best of reels. DRAKESBROOK WEIR This water hosted the annual Trout Fest run by Recfishwest on 1 September. This popular event was held on a freshwater licence free weekend that attracted a large number of people. The Pemberton trout hatchery released a number of rainbow trout of different sizes. Some of the brown trout were of

or what we call ‘wild’ then fishing this beautiful clear dam is worth a go, as the water has flooded lots of regrowth around the waters edge. The rainbows are renowned for hanging in the deeper water, so a boat or kayak would be handy. HARVEY DAM I spent countless hours fishing this dam with my partner in the last few months and was ecstatic to turn up some ex-brood rainbows from the 2017 stocking. These were not only caught on the bank but were also sighted in a number of streams. Confirmation came from Terry at the Pemberton trout hatchery that there has been no 2018 stocking of their ex-brood rainbows prior to my visit because they were still waiting on the health clearance certificate to come through from head office. This is a positive sign as it seems that every year

A nice brown trout from Harvey Dam caught trolling on a Berkley hardbody by Steve Roberts. small 150mm standard yearlings they stock normally. An interesting note is that I was there when the hatchery stocked 400 brown trout yearlings next to me and spent the next few days

but no redfin were caught in this area over the days I was there, preferring to keep to the 3-10m depths 80m or so out from the shoreline. We need to get smarter about how we stock these fish

A nice rainbow caught by Dani Zamani on a lure in the Pemberton Karri country. Waroona Dam has been fishing well, with a number of advanced yearlings turning up in places like Cosy Corner, Fishtail, the rock and McNeil Marsh. There has also been a number of ex-brood trout caught even though there was only a few hundred put into the dam. A report has come through of a Murray cod caught, although I have yet to confirm this. Murray cod have been reported in previous years and I have confirmed this

in mid-August, so I would expect that come late October there should be a good number of fish in excess of 30-35cm, plus the usual broods that run up to 50cm. Redfin perch have been caught in numbers but generally the sizes have been up to 32cm with some running up to the 40cm mark. Again, boat and kayak anglers have produced the better catches with deep diving lures. Be careful of the ski boats that appear in the warmer months

trophy size. This water will be one to keep an eye on in the next few months and all the popular techniques should produce fish. Of course, redfin are a chance but the reports and my own experience have been of very small fish being caught so far this season. LOGUE BROOK DAM Reports have been scarce from here, as most are targeting the larger ex-brood trout stocked in other waters. If you are after a wild trout

DAM LEVELS The rains continued up until end of last month to push levels up in our dams and this has not been seen for over a decade. Waroona Dam went over last month, creating some impressive flooded shallows, providing some good short-term fodder for the 1,500 advanced yearlings and few hundred ex-brood rainbow trout that were stocked this winter. At 101% it’s well up from the 69% for the same time last year. Drakesbrook Weir was spilling at 101% although it was at 99% last year. This little water benefited from the clean water coming out of Waroona Dam as it was very dirty after the heavy rain over winter. This water has suffered from algae bloom when the water heats up in previous springs. Logue Brook Dam was at 64% and rising, up from 47% same time last year so great news as there is lots of drowned vegetation that will provide food and cover for the 500 yearlings placed in there this year. Harvey Dam was at 75% and rising fast, up from 58% last year. This will offer great flooded ground for the 3,500 standard size yearlings and 1,200 very small brown yearlings and 1,700 ex-brood stock rainbows stocked over winter and spring. Wellington Dam was at 79% up from 72% last year. This is a large body of water by WA standards so be cautious as it can whip up a good chop when the wind gets up in the main basin area. Again no trout stocked into this water, which is a puzzle to many of us. Glen Mervyn Dam was at 101% about the same as this time last year. This dam received 500 advanced rainbow yearlings in July. Big Brook Dam Pemberton was at 107% same as last year. This little water received 1,000 advanced rainbow yearlings and a few hundred ex-brood rainbows this year. RIVERS All the rivers received good water flows this winter and some heavy flooding occurred in some places like the Lefroy Brook (Pemberton) flooding into farmland offering great food for newly stocked trout. Around 11,000 standard size rainbow yearlings and 6,000 brown yearlings plus around 500,000 fry were stocked in our rivers and streams from the Serpentine to the Warren River at Pemberton, so if we experience a reasonably mild summer then 2019 should be a good year for our freshwater anglers. *All levels correct at the time of going to press. Dam levels can change at any time, so please check with appropriate authorities to ensure safe boating and fishing. 40


Small brown trout are fun on light outfits. these fish disappear over the summer months. No yearlings from the 2017 stocking turned up in any of my recent trips and other anglers confirm that they have also not caught any. Hopefully this water will receive advanced yearlings next year, larger than the

trying to keep the one pelican at bay. We witnessed it taking in excess of 30 fish in the vicinity of the stocking, and that’s only while we were on the bank as most of the time we were out on the boat. Some could say these fish could have been redfin perch

and my suggestions would be to scatter them around the dam instead of releasing them in the one area. Unfortunately the day we left one pelican turned into five so I would hate to imagine the amount of fish that were taken after we had left. It appears the

A beautiful wild brown trout caught on a lure in a stream in the Waroona area by Jonah Chiera.

pelicans turn up to this dam at this time each year knowing there is a food source available. The water level was rising quickly and providing exceptional flooded shallows leading up the spring. Areas to target would be the first causeway and the last causeway, Cattle Yard Flats and the bay to the left all the way up to the causeway. Other areas to try would be the boat ramp bay, although it gets a hammering, so I would look for more secluded areas. If you have a boat or kayak I would access the northern side of the dam from

this dam doesn’t receive a trout stocking, as there is a surplus of trout available and in most years we struggle to find locations to stock them. This dam is the reported site for a trial stocking of east coast native species but for some reason the wheels seem to have got bogged down in all the red tape. Certainly a massive disappointment to a majority of freshwater anglers. GLEN MERVYN DAM There’s no reports from here but it received 500 advanced yearlings, so it’s worth a go if you’re in the area!

day to fish between the two locations. PEMBERTON AREA This area is the focal point of trout fishing in WA and home to the only trout hatchery in the state, turning out over 600,000 trout each year. The good winter rains caused flooding in lots of the waters that flow through this majestic Karri country and if you haven’t caught a trout in one of these beautiful streams down that way then it’s something you need to put on your list! Start with Big Brook Dam just out of Pemberton, The author with a good 44cm redfin from one of the irrigation dams.

Redfin perch are in most of the dams, offering sport all year round. Jonah Chiera caught this one trolling in Drakesbrook Weir. Honeymoon Road, Nicholson Point and Quarry Bay, as they are the prime areas. Quarry Bay is a delight to flyfish at night and I have fished up to midnight catching a number of rainbows on fly, with Craig’s Night-Time in size 6

RIVERS Serpentine, Murray, Brunswick, and Collie rivers (below the dam) all have had stocking over the years and dedicated anglers that fish the area are always rewarded. With the good

rains I would give them a go as some decent rainbow trout have turned up in the faster runs and the head of the pools. BLACKWOOD RIVER This large river always turns up some fat rainbows each year and receives thousands of trout from the hatchery, mainly in the Bridgetown to Nannup area. Most is on private land, so seek permission before entering. Look for the runs off the main roads and keep moving till you find the fish, and allow a

snakes and the sword grass around the banks. DONNELLY RIVER This river was a fantastic rainbow trout stream, but unfortunately redfin have turned up in numbers. Still, some good trout are coming out and recently it’s been stocked with brown trout hoping they will compete with the redfin, so time will tell. If you are into trolling, a great area is Boat Landing and I’ve caught trout all the way down to the sea some 12km downstream using lures of different makes. You may also hook a black bream on the way, as this is the site of

my biggest bream of 2.1kg back in the 90s. So there you go, and although we don’t compare with some other waters in Australia, there’s still some good fishing to be had in our beautiful South West region. Although it’s not law, I would suggest that brown trout be released when possible as they are known to prey on the tiny redfin that tend to dominate most of our waters these days! Given that brown trout and redfin perch are from Europe originally nature has kept them balanced in their homeland, so the same could apply here in Australia.

as access is easy and using a lure or fly would entice the advanced yearling rainbows and ex-brood trout they stock annually into this water. WARREN RIVER You will need a good map of the area and I would

Pelicans are a real problem at Harvey Dam, turning up at stocking time around August every year, feeding on the newly stocked yearlings and ex-brood trout. on a floating line being a sure fire method. As with most of our dams, redfin are present in various sizes and on my trip I landed a 43 and 46cm specimen on the troll using a deep diving lure. The schools were breaking up, so move around until you find where the fish are holding. WELLINGTON DAM Reports were coming in of some nice redfin up to 48cm, but you have to work hard to find the areas they were holding. I am puzzled as to why

are great for casting in and around the fallen trees and logs in the deeper pools. LEFROY BROOK This little water flows close to town and past the hatchery that draws their water from it. Good trout are always coming out of this water and it’s a delight to cast a dry fly in the slow runs from Oct/Nov when the flow subsides. Just a warning, this is home to the sometimes aggressive tiger snake, so be careful as they stand their ground. Waders or boots are a must in all areas of the South West inland waters to offer protection against cold water,

suggest not to rely on your phone GPS, but to use a separate unit that tracks the satellites. The key to this water is to keep an eye on the level and wait for it to drop to a fishable level in spring. Don’t be fussy on lure or fly selection, as long as you get it down and in the strike zone! As with most of our trout waters, redfin are widespread throughout this river and some good size fish are caught every visit by anglers who target them specifically. Any lure with red including soft plastics

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Getaway Outdoors and Hobie Polarized Classic Round three of the 2018 Getaway Outdoors and Hobie Polarized WA Bream Classics Kayak Series kicked off on the Murray River for what had been anticipated as the toughest event for the year so far. Sunny skies and minimal wind, while enjoyable and relaxing to fish in can make for some

great full limit bag of bream, which tipped the scales to 1.96kg. Joseph paddled downriver to fish amongst the shallow lying timber snags towards the mouth of the Murray River where he would put his EcoGear Aqua Prawns to effect in his everconsistent effective ways. Joseph used the flow of freshwater coming from the

and for his efforts he took home $800. Joseph used 6’8”, 1-3kg JML Accurate Presentation rods matched with 2500 sized Daiwa Luvias and Exist reels. Spooled onto each reel was 12lb 8ply Yamatoya braid. Connected to that braid was a few meters of 4lb Yamatoya fluorocarbon leader. At

6’10” and 7’ Duff rods rated from 1.5-2.5kg along with 2508 sized Daiwa Luvias and Exist reels. Spooled onto his 2508 Daiwa Luvias reel was 3lb Sunline FC Rock straight through fluorocarbon and on the 2508 Daiwa Exist reel was 8lb Daiwa Evo 8 braid. Connected to the Daiwa Evo 8 braid was 3lb Sunline FC Rock fluorocarbon leader line. At the event’s presentation Alex thanked his sponsors Tackle Tactics and Lowrance along with Getaway Outdoors for lending him their kayak to fish from. Alex thanked the series sponsors and his team of organisers that help him put together these events. It’s rare that a kayak event in Mandurah doesn’t feature Andy Mitchell in the

Winners are grinners. Round three winner Joseph Gardner proudly displaying two very respectable Murray River black bream. and natural structures using motor oil coloured ZMan GrubZ rigged on 1/16oz TT Headlockz jigheads. Andy would also use the current

was fishing his way back to the weigh in. This upgrade wasn’t enough to see him jump into second spot, but nonetheless Andy still

Joseph Gardner, who took out first place. of the toughest weather conditions to tempt black bream into feeding. On top of that the high levels of rainfall that we received throughout the winter months made water conditions less than ideal

upper reaches of the Murray River to his advantage by casting his mustard and salt and pepper coloured Aqua Prawns in front of each snag and letting the current drift the plastic in towards the strike zone. This technique

Alex Greisdorf holds the two biggest bream that he caught to secure his second place finish. During tough events it’s not always about catching big fish to secure a podium finish. for targeting bream and the amount of anglers that came back to the weigh in with empty live wells was a testament to that. Yet despite how tough the conditions were, there is always a way to work out the pattern to where these fish are hiding and what they want to eat. Proving he had just what it takes to overcome these conditions and the the field of 30 anglers was Joseph Gardner, who weighed in a 42


proved a treat and allowed him to catch up to seven legal sized bream on a day where three quarters of the field failed to weigh in a single legal. The tally could’ve been eight legal sized bream but Joseph was unsuccessful in managing to land a monster-sized bream that he estimated to have measured around 45cm. Thankfully for Joseph this blunder didn’t make a difference on his overall standing for the day

the event’s presentation Joseph thanked his sponsor JML and also the series sponsors along with his fellow organisers for putting together the event. Second on the podium and one who is no stranger to a top three finish is the almighty consistent Alex Greisdorf, who once again wouldn’t let the bream beat him by catching a full limit that weighed 1.63kg. Alex is a big fan of fishing artificial structures and this day was no exception, with his choice of location a canal system that connects to the Murray River. Alex then threw 2.5” ZMan GrubZ in bloodworm colour along with a River2Sea Baby vibe amongst the jetties and boat hulls that are scattered along the banks of the canal waters. He cast his lures deep into the shaded areas of the artificial structures; he would then hop the lures back toward his kayak to entice the bream into feeding. This technique allowed him to not just fill his bag but to then also make a handy upgrade late in the day that would prove very handy as he only finished ahead of the third placed angler by 40g. It also meant that he would walk away with $250, a prize pack full of quality products thanks to the series sponsors and a Lowrance Hook 4X sounder and Bullet Transducer. Due to his affiliation with Lowrance, Alex generously returned the Lowrance sounder to the prize pool that would go towards future events. On the water, Alex used

Third placed Andy Mitchell looks chuffed with his two biggest bream for the day. pointy end of the results table and today was no exception with a fantastic effort to catch a full limit of fish to weigh in at 1.59kg.

to his advantage by letting the flow of the water drift his plastics down the face of timber snags, jetties and boat hulls. He claimed

Brendon Knowles with the 1.03kg bream that won him the Big Bream prize. Just like Joseph, Andy headed downriver towards the mouth of the Murray River. In slight contrast to Joseph’s plan, Andy would target a mixture of artificial

that casting accuracy was paramount in order to execute this technique and he proved that by catching his limit and managing an upgrade late in the day as he

walked away with $150, a Shimano fishing rod and a prize pack full of sponsor provided products. The tools Andy Mitchell used to apply his craft on the water were X series Duffrods that were fitted with a range of Daiwa 2004 Certate, Exist and Steez reels. Spooled on each reel was 0.4 PE Varivas Light Game braid and his choice of leader material was 4lb Sunline V-Hard fluorocarbon line. Andy would like to thank the WATA organisers (West Australian Tournament Anglers) for what he believes was another fantastically run event. He too thanked the series sponsors for their support shown throughout the year. For what was a very tough tournament, the average size of the fish brought back to the scales was quite impressive, with one fish in particular being a prime example of this. Brendon Knowles would To page 43

Rainbows all around! Beautiful clear skies on the first day of spring set the scene for this year’s 2nd annual TroutFest event. It was better

WA’s best fly fishers from the Western Australian Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA) and an excellent education display

TroutFest is a good opportunity to get kids involved and learning about freshwater species. than we could imagine with over 400 people joining us to celebrate all things freshwater fishing at the community stocking event. With the help of Recfishwest and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) fishers were given a licence free weekend allowing them to try their hand at freshwater fishing over the Father’s Day weekend. With many people arriving early just to get their lines in the water, it was evident that fishers were keen to land a prized trout or two and learn about freshwater fishing in the South West. On the day, free rod hire was available for those that wanted to try their luck, free fishing tuition taught by our passionate Recfishwest fishing clinics instructors, as well as course fishing tuition, fly casting demonstrations with some of From page 42

be the man responsible for this capture and even though it would be the only legal-sized bream he would catch for the day, it not only got him within touching distance of third place, but it won him the events Big Bream prize of $500. Brendon caught this bream in the outer canal system that connects to the Peel Inlet using a 40mm EcoGear Aqua Bream prawn in the king prawn

by Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD). The Hobie Kayak and Paddleboard demonstrations, run by our partner Getaway Outdoors, were a hit with many people taking the opportunity to give it a try on the dam and the Lions Club put on a delicious BBQ for everyone. The major highlight of the day was the exciting fish release, during which

the community were able to take part in hand releasing over 200 advanced yearlings (18 month old fish), 18,000 rainbow fry trout (2 month old fish), 50 ex-brood stock rainbow and 12 ex-brood stock brown trout (fish used for breeding that are between 2-5 years old). It is with the community’s attendance and support from our volunteers that TroutFest is able to increase the awareness of freshwater fishing in the South West, and provide families the opportunity to see, touch and catch freshwater species. In previous years, the first week of spring marked the traditional opening of the South West freshwater fishing season but with improved fisheries management strategies now in place, we are fortunate enough to enjoy freshwater fishing all year round and we’re predicting with the recent rainfall of late, we’re in for one of the best freshwater fishing season we’ve seen in 20 years! TroutFest definitely highlighted how good freshwater fishing can be, with some excellent catches of rainbow trout coming from the dam along with

Nick Drummond with a brown trout caught at Warooma Dam. brown trout and redfin perch being caught at other nearby stocked waterways. Check out the big brown trout caught by Nick Drummond at Waroona Dam! We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who joined us and we look forward

by becoming a free member with Recfishwest. You’ll get early notifications so you don’t miss an event again. Sign up here - https:// and follow us on social media - https://www.

Kids love helping out with the trout stocking.

Everyone gets involved at TroutFest. colour. Brendon rigged this on a weightless Decoy worm hook and cast his lure under a jetty where he would watch the slack line like a hawk for any disturbances in the line that would indicate a bream has taken the lure. On one particular cast Brendon began to wind in his lure to make another cast when all of a sudden he hooked up to a solid bream. This bream wasn’t going to come in without an almighty fight, as the fish managed

to make its way back under the jetty three times before Brendon won the battle and netted a fat 39cm bream that tipped the scales to over a kilo weighing in at 1.03kg. Last but not least, the winner of the new game that’s run before each event and open to the competitors and the public (18+) called Guess The Winning Weight was Dominque Cera. Dominque guessed that the winning weight was going to be an even 2kg and even



# of Fish

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Joseph Gardner Alex Greisdorf Andy Mitchell Brendon Knowles Brad Grange Didier Blanquart Paul Burton Ruan Van Der Berg Jon Field

3 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1

Total Weight (kg) 1.96 1.63 1.59 1.03 0.69 0.50 0.47 0.36 0.30

to seeing you at a bigger and better TroutFest in 2019. Please continue sharing your images with us by emailing info@ and continue tagging us in your images using the hashtag #RecfishwestTroutfest2018 and/or @Recfishwest. Missed this year’s TroutFest? Stay tuned for next year’s event and stay up to date on all things fishing though it wasn’t the exact weight of the winning bag, he was the closest to the actual winning weight of 1.96kg. Therefore, he took home an easily earned $50. So, that wraps up the qualifying rounds for the 2018 Getaway Outdoors and Hobie Polarized WA Bream Classics Kayak series. The seven qualifiers from each round along with the wildcard entrants (TBA) will now head to Albany on the 24 and 25 November to battle it out for the championship and Angler of the Year honours. The challenges that the anglers overcame in order to qualify during each round this year will have taught them some handy lessons and tips that will prove invaluable when applied in this year’s Grand Final. All in all, it should be a cracking event and one to keep an eye on to see how it all unfolds. Until then, tight lines.

Five interesting facts about freshwater fishing in WA: • There are over 20 locations in WA that are stocked consistently each year.

• No matter which dam, river or stream you choose, each one is unique and beautiful in its own way, promoting relaxation, which is linked to lowered blood pressure and decreased anxiety (Healthfitness revolution, 2016). • There are many campsites alongside these stocked locations that provide the ultimate family escape contributing to hours of family fun. • You don’t need to travel far to catch a rainbow trout, brown trout or redfin perch. Freshwater fishing can be accessed in less than two hours if you’re based in Perth. • If you decide to keep your catch, freshwater fish are a nutritious choice for lunch or dinner as they’re low in fat and high in protein (Livestrong, 2017). To find out more about freshwater stocking and the three discreet age classes visit https://ilovefishing. freshwater-stocking/.

Leyland Campbell releasing one of the ex-brood brown trout.




20 years of getting kids hooked! For 20 years now, Recfishwest in partnership with Healthway, promoting the SunSmart message, has delivered fishing clinics to kids and community groups across WA. The success of our fishing clinics is due in most part to our dedicated

appropriate equipment, the reasons behind fishing rules, correct fish handling techniques, catch care and fishing safety. ‘Me No Fry’, ‘Addicted to Fishing, Not Drugs’, ‘Fish for the Future’ and ‘Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide, Seek’ are just some of the core

well to our new supporter Getaway Outdoors. A quick look back at how the clinics have evolved over the years: • Nov 1998: Signed up for sponsorship with partner Healthway (Me-No-Fry, for Cancer Council). Continued every year since then and

One of the main priorities at the end of each clinic is to emphasise the fact that it is about getting out and having a go more than how many fish you catch. and passionate volunteer clinic instructors, many of whom have been part of the Recfishwest team from the beginning. They generously share their expertise, knowledge and experience with WA’s next generation of fishers. Everyone participating in our fishing clinics and other community events is taught information on the roles and responsibilities of Recfishwest and the need to adopt more appropriate SunSmart behaviour. The clinics address many aspects of fishing including basic fishing skills, the use of

messages associated with Recfishwest fishing clinics over the years. We have come a long way since 1998 when we first teamed up with Healthway to introduce youth and families all over WA to recreational fishing. With this year marking the 20th year, we are proud to say we have conducted over 1100 clinics and almost 40,000 attendees have been introduced to recreational fishing. That’s almost five clinics a month, every month for 20 years! We are grateful to Healthway (SunSmart) for their ongoing support, as

progressed to ‘SunSmart’ as the main message. • 1999: Installation of sunscreen stations at boat ramps all over WA to increase awareness for being SunSmart. • 2004-2008: Additional funding from the Federal Government under the Commonwealth Community Grants Scheme for Recfishwest’s ‘Addicted to Fishing Not Drugs’ initiative enhanced the Healthway fishing clinics program. • 2006: Having already been Healthway award’s finalist twice, in 2006 Recfishwest were recognised

for ‘sponsorship projects showing innovation and community participation’ and WON the national award for ‘best project encouraging fishing participation by children and women’. • 2007: The fishing clinic program was selected as a finalist in the 2007 Community Services Industry Awards in category 7 – ‘strengthening rural and remote communities’. • 2008: Recfishwest was a finalist in the 2008 Recfish Australia Awards under the ‘best project encouraging participation of women and children in fishing’. • 2006: A significant number of advance bookings through the coming partnership period and many schools booking multiple classes and utilising the clinics each year. In addition, many teachers have reported that they have heard about how successful the clinics are from teachers at other schools, indicating a high degree of positive word of mouth within the education system towards the program. • 2007: We held our first ‘pink’ flyfishing clinic in November 2007, an initiative that studies in the United

For a lot of the kids going through the Recfishwest/ Sunsmart fishing clinics it is their first experience of wetting a line. For many it is also the memory of their first that they will carry for the rest of their lives. Cancer Care WA colours. • 2010-2014: Recfishwest secured a partnership with Woodside Energy Ltd in early 2010 to meet the high travel costs of running clinics in the North West.

• 2015: New educational book developed in 2015: ‘Become a Recfishwest Fisher Kid’ distributed to 1000 participants. • 2017: Stretched budget to limit and had to approach

Fisheries is conducting a review of South West blue swimmer crabs.

Just a few of the happy 40,000 fishing clinic participants. 44


States have shown to be highly beneficial for women recovering from breast cancer. This first session was a huge success and saw eleven ladies try their hand at flyfishing. Two subsequent ‘pink’ flyfishing clinics were held during 2008-2009 and annually since. Then in 2014 it became ‘purple’ flyfishing, to better align with the Breast

The Northern Community Fishing Clinics program was well received between the years 2010-2014. Recfishwest’s eye-catching fishing clinic trailer had a very distinguishable SunSmart theme and was exposed to thousands of people both through clinics and travelling between locations.

new way of delivering clinics under a cost recovery scheme so as not to disappoint the increasing number of groups applying for clinic sessions. • 2018: Welcomed Getaway Outdoors as a program sponsor. • Currently: Less than two months into our 20182019 partnership period and the program is already fully

recfishwest allocated to clinic bookings until July 2019! “Fishing is the lifeblood of our culture and giving kids and families access to fishing experiences is something we really value at Recfishwest. There would have been kids who we taught early in the fishing clinics program who are now having their own kids; and that’s where the legacy and knowledge is passed on.”

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of Kim Burton, Craig Bibra, Ian Sewell, Alan Guthrie, Adam Vegvary, Paul Willis, Kevin Murphy, Bec Griffiths and Greg Harrison, our passionate volunteer instructors who have dedicated their time to help grow the program and get families out fishing.” Recfishwest CEO – Andrew Rowland.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Recfishwest fishing clinics log onto RECFISHWEST UPCOMING FISHING DEVELOPMENT NEWS In the Recfishwest office there is plenty going on at the moment and below is a small snap shot of what is coming up or going on at the moment. We will have

Reef Vision is monitoring the new Exmouth King Reef.

Volunteer fishing clinic instructors Kim Burton and Allan Guthrie.

more on these developments as they progress. As always, for more info check out the Recfishwest website. • Fisheries review of South West Blue Swimmer Crabs with a focus around crab abundances. • Findings of the Western Australian Recreational Fishing Economic Value Report due late 2018.

• Reef Vision monitoring results for Exmouth’s new King Reef (Australia’s first integrated artificial reef). • New mapping feature on the Recfishwest smartphone app. • Shortlisting of locations for the north metro artificial reef, after Recfishwest’s online survey and public consultation

community meetings. • Purple flyfishing Weekend – taking breast cancer clients away fishing using flyfishing to aid in their recovery. • The 2018-19 Snapper Guardians project commences Oct/Nov with the collection of wild pink snapper eggs from Cockburn Sound.

lateralaspect.RFW lateralaspect.RFW lateralaspect.RFW 2801 2801 2801


Our lifejacket prices will never be this low again! These These These light light light weight weight weight and and and easy easy easy to to to wear wear wear lifejackets lifejackets lifejackets are are are available available available at at at show show show stopping stopping stopping prices prices prices online online online and and and instore instore instore at at at Recfishwest Recfishwest Recfishwest until until until 15th 15th 15th October October October 2018. 2018. 2018.

Visit Visit Visit OCTOBER 2018






Black Magic’s new KLT hook has further strengthened their premium hook range. Like the DX Point before it, the KLT is made in Japan from high carbon steel, and is coated with a super slip, non-stick PTFE coating, just like the coating used on nonstick frying pans). This hook adds another option to their most popular hook pattern – the KL hook. It features the classic Black Magic KL circle hook pattern but with a non-offset point, meaning it meets IGFA recommendations, particularly for use in tournaments. The PTFE coating means less resistance which assists penetration and prolongs the life of the hook. It also ensures they are highly corrosion resistant. Black Magic KLT hooks are manufactured in Japan from high carbon steel ensuring superb strength. They’re available in sizes 1/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 7/0 and 8/0, and in two pack sizes – small and economy.

Following a heap of angler feedback and suggestions, comes one of the most exciting new colours in Z-Man’s range of plastics. There are two colours that consistently win bream tournaments, bloodworm and motor oil, and these colours appeal to different patterns in fish behaviour. These two colours have been combined to give that attractive and subtle translucency that shut down fish just love, and the reflective sheen that causes fish to react. With midnight oil, an angler can give the fish the flash of the bloodworm colour, combined with the high UV of motoroil, and this colour is now available across the entire of the Z-Man soft plastics range! If you want to get that extra edge on the fish on a tough day, make sure you stock up on this exciting new colour, and be amazed at the results.




If you’re into launching a lure over the horizon and looking for that bonejarring, nerve-rattling strike as you rip it back, the all-new Halco Slidog is just the ticket. Halco has developed an ultra tough, sinking, sliding stickbait that is sure to give you a workout from all the GTs, XOS mackerel, large tuna and many others that try to take it home to their trophy cabinet. Featuring heavily reinforced side walls, Halco’s legendary ultra tough 7xx fish rings and Mustad 7/0 inline singles for great holding potential, the Slidog 150 comes with a bite that matches its bark. The lure is 150mm long and weighs 85g, allowing long casts on medium/heavy weight casting outfits, avoiding the need to take a boat into areas that might have you risking life and limb. Look for the all-new Slidog 150 at all good tackle outlets.



The new 2019 Hobie Manual Inflatable 150 Vest (Yoke) is rated for offshore use while wearing foul weather clothing. The design is very lightweight and extremely cool. The newly designed collar folds down the back of your neck and shoulders, eliminating pressure on the neck and lower head. The yoke is manually inflated by pulling a small cord that activates the replaceable CO2 cylinder in the side of the vest. The Velcrosecured receptacle allows for easy access to the cylinder for replacement and for servicing, or for additional manual inflation of the PFD after the manual cord has been activated. Features include: 150 rated (40kg plus); comfortable slim multi fit (up to 5XL); mesh yoke back strap (helps prevent the collar riding up the back of your neck); easy access storage pocket (great for keys, phone etc.); whistle; water resistant headphone rubber port hole; 25mm D-ring for switch killer tether; accessory attachment straps; interior pocket; UML Pro Sensor (includes armed status indicator); self service; cylinder re-arm kit; and fishing comp key tag/key tag clip. 46





Yamashita have released a new colour range in their top-of-the-line K series of squid jigs. The K body is tuned to have the best stable sinking posture, and it excels in rough conditions where other jigs struggle to maintain a stable fall. Features of the Egi Oh Q K include the Hydro Fin (attached at the rear of the jig for improved stability when sinking); Hydro Eyes (flat eyes with Keimura pupil and glow edge); Hydro Sinker and TIN sinker (tin sinker with tuning holes for adding or reducing weight); Warm Jacket (thermo storage cloth that transfers light into heat); Hydro Body (pentagon design for increased stability when sinking); tuned double crown hooks (the back crown of stainless steel hooks are opened wider for improved hook-ups); and G-Flash lateral line (strong tape running down each side for increased flash and appeal). Egi Oh Q K jigs are available in 10 colours in sizes 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5, with shallow and super shallow options available in size 3.5.




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The new X8 braid from Sufix is an 8-carrier braid constructed of thin HMPE Japanese fibres. It’s a super strong, thin braided line that has high abrasion resistance and superb knot and shock strength. This soft and silky smooth line has low friction through the rod guides, resulting in silent performance and long, accurate casts. R8 precision braiding technology with a high tension weaving process results in a round, supple and smooth braided line with consistent diameter and quality. Easy handling, X8 is designed for both casting and spinning reels. Currently available in an eye-catching hot yellow, it comes in breaking strains from 6lb to 50lb in 150yd spools and 10lb to 65lb in 300yd lengths. Sufix X8 braid will be on sale in all leading tackle stores from September 2018.


visit for the latest tackle news - AS IT HAPPENS!






Long and lean and designed as the ultimate sinking stickbait for large predators, the new Duo Rough Trail Hydra 220 is the lure to pack for your next offshore adventure. Slim-profiled and with a fixed weight in the tail to maximise casting performance and enhance its action, the Hydra 220 features a dynamic skipping action when worked across the surface, while a twitch and jerk retrieve will see it move from side to side to enhance strikes. A hyper realistic garfish imitation when worked across the surface, the Hydra is ultra long (220mm) in length to reduce fishing swallowing and biting off the lure, while its tailheavy 58.2g body weight allows it for long, tangle free casting on the water. If you’re looking to call up the predators to the surface, the new Duo Rough Trail Hydra 220 is the lure to reach for.








MCLAUGHLIN’S ADVANCED BERLEYS 10 McLaughlin’s have 77 years of bait experience, and this has been used to produce an impressive range of berleys in the newly developed Advanced Formula range. All Advanced Formula berleys are scented with secret formula flavours before being impregnated with colour formulas, which dye the pellets in selected colours. This combination means that when you put the berley into the water it not only attracts the fish, but the colour creates a trail in the water. This trail allows you to easily see where your berley is and the direction it’s going in, so you can fish directly in the berley trail. This then allows you to make full use of the berley and not have to guess what the tide and wind influences are doing to the berley. The Advanced Formula range comes in a range of flavours and pellet configurations, for maximum effectiveness on different target species and locations.



The new Ocea Jigger from Shimano has made an extreme make-over compared to the beloved ’11 Ocea Jigger. This flagship of jigging reels comes with a host of exciting features such as the Infinity Drive and Micro Module gear, which results in 60% reduction of the reeling resistance compared to the old model, and a very smooth retrieve. The newly designed handle is specially engineered to provide a firm grip, and to provide the ability to give extra power without losing grip. The combination of the Hagane body and S-Compact body results in an immensely strong and lightweight (595g) jigging reel. And due to the eight shielded A-RB ball bearings and X-Protect it is highly salt water resistant and durable. With a drag of 10kg, fighting the biggest fish is not a problem anymore. For more information on this and other new releases from Shimano, visit their website or look them up on Facebook ( Shimano.Fish) or Instagram (

The Sugarpen Deep 90 has the same profile as the Sugar Deep 90 Barra Tuned, but incorporates an innovative slide system to cast further and more accurately. Unlike the SugarDeep 70 and 90, it is also a floating rather than a suspending lure. The unique weight system uses a sliding tungsten weight on a rod assembly moulded into the body of the lure. When casting, the weight moves to the back of the lure, delivering greater distance. When the lure is retrieved, the weight moves forward along the rod to weight the lure level when paused. Like the SugarDeep 90 Barra Tuned, the SugarDeep 90 Floating Boost Shaft Glide has a tight wobble that will dive to 2.5m, making it ideal for impoundment and estuary fishing for a variety of species. For more information on this and other new releases, visit the Bassday Australia website, or check them out on Facebook at facebook. com/BassdayAus.




The 134mm DEPS NZ Crawler is one of the largest Japanese surface crawlers on the market. The lure’s jointed movement draws big predators from afar, and the distinctive sound can be adjusted via the two screws within the wings or by adjusting the wings themselves. The NZ Crawler can paddle back on a fast retrieve, which gives an almost vertical action on the wings as it goes through its arch, or the retrieve can be slowed right down for greater time within a strike area without compromising the action. The thick resin walls can take a lot of punishment, and DEPS have upgraded the NZ Crawler – along with all models coming into Australia – with larger, sturdier hooks and rings. This lure has been specially designed to entice predators that eat a diverse range of prey such as bats, rats, frogs, birds and lizards. The flash blade not only provides an attractant but also adds to the length of the lure.


Tradition meets contemporary looks and styling with the release of the new Daiwa Beefstick. With homage to the traditional solid tip fiberglass rods of the past, Daiwa gives the much-loved workhorse a makeover. Featuring a matt black finish, the Beefstick has a graphite/glass butt, a carbon-wrap lower section, and a solid integrated tip, this is a series that will handle the rigors of angling, yet has the sensitive in design to deliver anglers unmatched feel for a rod of its price. Shaped, ultra sensitive custom EVA grips blend perfectly with the Beefstick’s reel seats, while a composite cork butt cap contrasts perfectly in looks with the matt black blank, for a modern touch of class. With 26 models available, there is a model available for nearly every conceivable scenario. If you’re looking for a modern twist on the rod that your grandfather had when you’re a child, the new Daiwa Beefstick is the range for you.

Please email contributions to: OCTOBER 2018




The Zerek Stream X is a beautifully crafted minnow lure that swims with an exaggerated beat to attract predators. At 6.5cm long, the Stream X is an easy casting 8g and sinks at rest, allowing anglers to work this minnow in tight country where trout, redfin and bass reside. But don’t think this lure is only suitable the freshwater rivers and lakes; the Stream X is built with high impact resistant ABS plastic and componentry that make it more than suitable for saltwater fishing. Species such as flathead, bream, tailor and salmon will find the small baitfish profile an easy to swallow meal. There are 13 proven colours in the range, from bright attractor patterns to the most realistic minnow colours you could ever want, giving this little gem of a lure a place in any smallwater tackle kit.



The new X8 braid from Sufix is an 8-carrier braid constructed of thin HMPE Japanese fibres. It’s a super strong, thin braided line that has high abrasion resistance and superb knot and shock strength. This soft and silky smooth line has low friction through the rod guides, resulting in silent performance and long, accurate casts. R8 precision braiding technology with a high tension weaving process results in a round, supple and smooth braided line with consistent diameter and quality. Easy handling, X8 is designed for both casting and spinning reels. Currently available in an eye-catching hot yellow, it comes in breaking strains from 6lb to 50lb in 150yd spools and 10lb to 65lb in 300yd lengths. Sufix X8 braid will be on sale in all leading tackle stores from September 2018.




The Sugapen is synonymous with topwater fishing, with its iconic forward-facing cup and slender profile that perfectly mimics a fleeing prawn. Bassday has now increased the Sugapen range to include a 58mm length model. This new smaller size brings the range to a total of four lengths, all the way up to 120mm. The 58 casts perfectly due to its slimline profile which produces little wind resistance. The action is the same as the larger sizes but this has a more subtle presence. The lure can be wound flat out or with a pause and wind technique. The new model comes in all the current Sugapen colours and two completely new ones. A red tiger-striped clear and gold tiger-striped clear with a pink head. Check out the Bassday Facebook page ( for more information on new releases, catch photos and prize giveaways.

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WILSON GRAPHWRAP RODS 17 The Wilson Graphwrap is a series of rods designed to be durable and go the distance. Designed on a graphite composite core with a solid glass tip, the Graphwrap series leaps beyond normal expectations with its custom designed, power-giving graphite outer spiral wrap. This unique spiral wrap gives these rods incredible strength, which adds to the durability of these tough, ocean thug busting rods. Designed in Australia to meet the demands of our harsh fishing environment, the Wilson Graphwrap series brings toughness, durability and user friendliness together in the one package. For more information on this and other new releases from Wilson Fishing, head to their website or like them on Facebook at

WORK SHARP KNIFE 15 SHIMANO SHARPENERS How do you get the sharpest tool in the SLX

shed, to stay sharp when out fishing on your boat? Easy, just team up the Electric Knife and Tool Sharpener from Work Sharp with their Guided Field Sharpener and you have the perfect solution anywhere you go. The Electric Sharpener is a 240V powered sharpener that uses flexible abrasive belts just like the professionals. The easily replaceable grit belts give a perfect convex edge to any knife blade. Designed to cope with a heavyduty workload while delivering precision sharpening that won’t burn or damage blade steel. But how do you transfer that precision sharpening when out on the water or on a camping trip? The Guided Field Sharpener has two diamond plates, two ceramic rods, a leather strap, and the all-important sharpening guides for fast, easy and consistent sharpening. The fixed guides create a constant repetitive angle to ensure the smoothest, sharpest blade possible. Price: SRP $199 (electric), $67 (field sharpener)





New for 2018, the SLX series is the latest addition to the ever-growing Shimano baitcaster range. This is a compact and highly versatile reel, suited to catching anything from bass through to barra. It features an aluminium Hagane Body, the same body size as the Curado 70, but offering the line capacity of a conventional 150 sized reel. Inside the SLX’s Hagane Body, durable brass gearing delivers reliable cranking power and three SUS bearings and one roller bearing means everything turns smoothly. Casting is made effortless with the adjustable 6-pin VBS brake system, making it ideal for a range of different fishing styles and casting preferences. A longer 45mm Throw Handle working in conjunction with two model options featuring gear ratios of 6.3:1 and 7.2:1 means that the slow and methodical lure worker and the angler who likes a bit of speed are well covered by the new SLX series. On top of this, max drag settings of between 5-5.5kg provides plenty of stopping power should it be needed.


18 visit for the latest tackle news - AS IT HAPPENS!




All hyped up by the Team Daiwa Hyper rod range Although I simply love fishing, I have to admit that I have become a little obsessed by the humble flathead. I blame the team here at Fishing Monthly when I arrived. They caught a lot of them and it was pretty tough not to get involved when most trips involved being connected to lots of fish in the 50cm+ category. My arsenal of rods to target them has gone from a single outfit to at least six, with a few failed outfits in between. I have been striving to find what I consider to be the perfect flathead outfit. The key features being: it must be a minimum of 7” long, have a rating in the 2-4kg or 2-5kg range and be a fast or medium fast taper (at worst it must be powerful enough to get that hook through the top jaw of a flathead). Cost in many ways is also a factor. There are plenty of top end rods that would be amazing to use, but flathead are a bread and butter species, and I don’t believe a $1000 outfit is required. Additionally, money saved on a rod means more can be put into a reel, which makes more sense to me. I have come close on several occasions, rods have been 85% there, but in the end the taper or power to bend ratio for me has not been right. Too stiff and the hook set is great, but the finesse at the end of the fight is lacking and fish are lost. Too slow a taper and

TESTED Final thoughts Have I found the perfect flathead rod? I am not prepared to say that as yet, but I am happy to say that I am closer than ever. It will definitely get plenty of use over the next few months, as it is prime flathead time here in South East Queensland. Aside from what I have already said, the one thing that the TD Hyper rod has changed my thinking on is Nano Technology based rods. You cannot question the additional strength, power and resilience Nano resins add to any blank, however in most cases this is at the expense of the taper of a rod. Certainly not the case with the TD Hyper rods and definitely something I prefer and look for in rods. Too see the full range of TD Hyper rods go to and check them out in your local Daiwa retailer. – Peter Jung

The author chose the TD Hyper 701LXS rod when looking for a rod to target flathead. He matched it with a Daiwa TD Sol III LT reel and is very happy with it so far. This also translates into the casting ability of the rod. Size 3.0 squid jigs and 3/8oz jigheads have been cast easily. One tip however is to ensure the hook keeper is kept facing downwards when you are casting. I have had the line loop and catch onto it when I haven’t, which can result in lost tackle. I love the fact that the keeper is there, but just have it facing down when you’re not using it. Value for money If how light the TD Hyper rods are is impressive then their value for money is exceptional. In my travels and during the obligatory visit to the local tackle store, I have consistently seen the TD Hyper rods selling for $129.99. This is not the price point I would expect to see the quality of this rod in. There is also a reasonable range of options within the TD Hyper range. There are 11 spin and 3 baitcast options covering the majority of your fishing needs.

The combination of HVF Nanoplus graphite and X45 blank technology create a dynamic blank with a taper that the author prefers.

Although purchased to target flathead, the TD Hyper’s first outing was out chasing squid. the hook set power diminishes and fish are lost (on larger fish) with the hooks not finding enough purchase. This is where the Team Daiwa Hyper rods come in. I am always on the look out for a distinctive looking rod with the above attributes and the TD Hyper series of rods caught my eye. A quick call to Grayson Fong (a Daiwa pro angler who is using them) to get the good oil on them convinced me that they were worth looking at. I decided on the 701LXS model and matched it with one of the new Daiwa Sol III LT reels. The first time I used the outfit wasn’t chasing flathead. I teamed up with Grayson and headed to the islands in southern Moreton Bay chasing tiger squid. Far from what I had purchased the outfit for, but the beauty of a 2-4kg outfit is that it translates to throwing lures for bass or jigs for squid. The rod

was christened on a stonker squid and has since done battle on a number of flathead. First impressions The TD Hyper rods seriously feel as light as a feather. I don’t have another rod in my gaggle of rods that gets close to the weight of the TD Hyper. Matched with the Sol III LT reel (also a lightweight design) and you have something that is pleasure to use all day every day. Power so far has not been an issue, with several solid flathead putting it through its paces. I am not quite so sure how to express this into words, but the power seems almost effortless. Much of the marketing around this rod range has been about the HVF Nanoplus graphite and X45 blank technology. The combination of the two technologies creating a lighter and more dynamic blank for the rods to be built from.

The castability of the 701LXS is exceptional. It comfortably casts a 3.0 squid jig or a 3/8oz jighead.






Valley Hill Rocketeer Slicer

Name: Address:


The first correct entry at the end of each month will win the prize pack. SEND ENTRIES TO: WA Find-a-word Competition, PO box 3172, Loganholme Qld 4129

BARRA COUNTRY by Brett Currie


Phone (day):

The Rocketeer Slicer from Japanese tackle giant Valley Hill is a real feat of Japanese design and engineering. The Rocketeer Slicer has a unique metal plate at the nose of the jig, which lets you secure line in two places, and ensures a superior swimming action even through debris. In addition, its tail system lets you cast more effectively into the wind. The Rocketeer Slicer is available in two sizes (3.0 and 3.5) and 13 different colour combinations. It has proven to be highly effective on Australian squid.



GEORGE & NEV by Michael Hardy




© A Cordelia Adams original artwork.


This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Murray Cod

This month’s Guess the Fish Answer: Murray Cod






There are 15 Logos hidden throughout the pages of Fishing Monthly.

The first 40 correct entries drawn at the end of each month will win a Neck Scarf

Fill in the entry form below with the page number of each logo location and go in the draw to win!

All entries will then go into the Major Prize draw to win 1 of 3 prize packs to be drawn on [DATE]. 31st October, 2018.

MAJOR $ $ $ PRIZES 1000 500 200 1st PLACE



RRP worth of DAIWA Products

RRP worth of DAIWA products

RRP worth of DAIWA products

















MAILENTRIES ENTRIESTO: TO: MAIL WAFM Find Findthe theDAIWA DAIWALogo Logo Competition, Competition, NSWFM PO 3172, Loganholme 4129 PO BOX 3172, LoganholmeQLD QLD 4129 Entries must be received by 31st OCTOBER Entries must be received by 30TH DATE 20182018 Original entries only. No photocopies.



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BUSSELTON 2 Oceans Tackle (08) 9752 4924 Geographe Camping & Tackle World (08) 9754 2909

BOAT HIRE BlueSun2 Boat Charters Ardross 0405 353 353 Boating West O’Connor 0429 887 798 Boat Hire Perth Mindarie 0403 095 868

WALPOLE – MANJIMUP – PEMBERTON Peaceful Bay Caravan Park Peaceful Bay (08) 9840 8060 Peaceful Bay Chalets Peaceful Bay (08) 9840 8169 Rest Point Holiday Village Walpole (08) 9840 1032 Coalmine Beach Holiday Park Walpole (08) 9840 1026 Riverside Retreat Walpole, (08) 9840 1255 Nornalup Riverside Chalets Nornalup (08) 9840 1107 Pemberton Caravan Park Pemberton (08) 9776 1300 Warren Way Caravan Park Balbarrup (08) 9771 1060 Manjimup Central Caravan Park & Deli Manjimup (08) 9777 2355 RAC Karri Valley Resort Beedelup (08) 9776 2020 Big Brook Arboretum Pemberton (08) 9776 1207 One Tree Bridge Chalets Manjimup (08) 9777 1196

AUGUSTA Flinders Bay Caravan Park Augusta (08) 9780 5636 Molloy Caravan Park Kudardup (08) 9758 4515 Turner Caravan Park Augusta (08) 9780 5633 Hamelin Bay Holiday Park Hamelin Bay (08) 9758 5540 Sheoak Chalets Augusta Augusta (08) 9758 1958


(08) 9433 4768 Tackle World & Outdoors Mandurah (08) 9581 6953 Outdoor Sports and Leisure Bunbury (08) 9721 6366 Getaway Outdoors Balcatta (08) 9344 7343 Getaway Outdoors Cockburn (08) 9417 4644 Getaway Outdoors Joondalup (08) 9300 1330 Getaway Outdoors Kelmscott (08) 9495 4444 Getaway Outdoors Mandurah (08) 9581 8877

DENMARK Denmark Rivermouth Caravan Park Denmark (08) 9848 1262 Denmark Ocean Beach Holiday Park Denmark (08) 9848 1105 Karri Aura Caravan Park & Motel Suites Shadforth (08) 9848 2200 Denmark Waterfront Denmark (08) 9848 1147

Prevelly Caravan Park Prevelly Park (08) 9757 2374 Gracetown Caravan Park Gracetown (08) 9755 5301 Riverview Tourist Park Margaret River (08) 9757 2270 Margaret River Tourist Park (08) 9757 2180

Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour Mews Road, Fremantle WA 6160

Emu Beach Chalets Emu Point (08) 9844 8889 Albany Holiday Units Middleton Beach (08) 9841 7817 Havana Villas Albany (08) 9844 1085 Lilacs Waterfront villas & cottages Robinson (08) 9841 2390

Albany Happy Days Caravan Park King River (08) 9844 3267 Albany Holiday Park Albany (08) 9841 7800 King River Palms Caravan Park Willyung (08) 98443232 Two Peoples Caravan Park Kalgan (08) 9846 4024

YALLINGUP – DUNSBOROUGH Caves Caravan Park Yallingup (08) 9755 2196 Yallingup Beach Holiday Park 1800 220 002 Dunsborough Lakes Holiday Resort (08) 9756 8300 Dunsborough Beach Cottages (08) 9756 8885

BUSSELTON RAC Busselton Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9755 4241 Busselton Villas & Caravan Park Busselton (08) 9752 1175 Geographe Bay Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9752 4396 Lazy Days Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9752 1780 Amblin Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9755 4079 Four Seasons Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9755 4082 Busselton Holiday Village Busselton (08) 9752 4499 Sandy Bay Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9752 2003 Fourseasons Holiday Park Busselton (08) 9755 4082 Busselton Beachfron Busselton (08) 9755 2607 Busselton Jetty Chalets Busselton (08) 9752 3893

BUNBURY Bunbury Glade Caravan Park Bunbury 1800 113 800 Discovery Parks - Bunbury (08) 9795 7100 Binningup Beach Caravan Park Bunbury (08) 9720 1057 Riverside Cabin Park Bunbury (08) 9725 1234 Leschenault Caravan Park Bunbury (08) 9797 1095 Waterloo Village Caravan Park Bunbury (08) 9725 4434 Brunswick Junction Caravan Park Bunbury (08) 9726 1544 Taralea Farm Bunbury (08) 9728 1252 Australind Tourist Park Bunbury (08) 9725 1206

MANDURAH Pinjarra Caravan Park Mandurah (08) 9531 1374 Mandurah Caravan & Tourist Park Mandurah (08) 9535 1171 Belvedere Caravan Park Mandurah (08) 9535 1213 The Dwellingup Chalet and Caravan Park (08) 9538 1157 Waroona Caravan Village (08) 9733 1518 Timber Top Caravan Park (08) 9535 1292 Lake Clifton Caravan Park (08) 9739 1255 Miami Holiday Park (08) 9534 2127 Tathams Caravan Park (08) 9537 6844 Peel Caravan Park (08) 9535 4343 Lake Navarino Holiday Park (08) 9733 3000 Estuary Hideaway Holiday Park 0407 838 061 Pinjarrah Holiday Park (08) 9531 1604 Waters Edge Caravan Park 0427 281 622 Mandurah Ocean Marina Chalets (08) 9535 8173 Murray River Caravan Park (08) 9537 6140 Footprints Preston Beach (08) 9739 1111

This section in WA Fishing Monthly consolidates the trades and services in your area that are relevant to your fishing and boating. Whether you’re a local looking for more options or a travelling angler fishing around the state, this guide will direct you to reputable businesses in the area you’re searching. 52


Boats & Guided Fishing Tours Directory MOORE RIVER – LANCELIN – CERVANTES Guilderton Caravan Park (08) 9577 1021 Branchys Holiday Homes Guilderton (08) 9577 1321

JURIEN BAY – GREEN HEAD – LEEMAN Jurien Bay Tourist Park Jurien Bay (08) 9652 1595 Green Head Caravan Park Green Head (08) 9953 1131 Leeman Caravan Park Leeman (08) 9953 1080

DONGARA – GERALDTON Seaspray Beach Holiday Park Dongara (08) 9927 1165 Dongara Tourist Park Port Denison (08) 9927 1210 Leander Reef Holiday Park Port Denison (08) 9927 1840 Port Denison Holiday Units (08) 9927 1104 Double Beach Caravan Park (08) 9921 5845 Batavia Coast Caravan Park (08) 9938 1222 Drummond Cove Holiday Park (08) 9938 2524 Horrocks Beach Caravan Park (08) 9934 3039


Chandlers Marine Service Wangara (08) 9303 9366

DERBY Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park (08) 9193 1055 West Kimberley Lodge & Caravan Park (08) 9191 1031

Mobile Marine WA Osborne Park 0428 225 877 GP Marine Cockburn Central 0408 913 104 Hitech Marine Wangara (08) 9309 2888

KUNUNURRA Town Caravan Park (08) 9168 1763 Wyndham Caravan Park (08) 9161 1064 Lake Argyle Caravan Park (08) 9168 7777 Discovery Parks - Lake Kununurra (08) 9168 1031 Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park | Kununurra (08) 9168 1280 Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort (08) 9169 1995 Lake Argyle Resort (08) 9168 7777 Hidden Valley Caravan Park (08) 9168 1790 Kununurra Lakeside Resort (08) 9169 1092 El Questro Wilderness Park 1800 837 168 Kona Lakeside Caravan Park (08) 9161 1139

BOATS Aquasports Marine Midvale (08) 9250 3339

Bravo Marine Services Bayswater (08) 9272 9300 Seasport Marine Kelmscott (08) 9498 1799 The Boat Business Henderson (08) 9437 5144 Total Marine Repairs Mandurah (08) 9582 7211 West Coast Boat Works Perth Landsdale 0439 969 459 Boat Lifters Blue HQ Perth (08) 9239 9333 Bravo Marine Services Bayswater (08) 9272 9300 Perth Boat Mechanics Huntingdale 0405 593 786 GP Marine Cockburn Central 0408 913 104 Platinum Boating Maintenance Wangara 0402 477 656 Parker Marine Fremantle (08) 9336 6979 Westmarine Boating Services Fremantle WA 0425 177 700


Murchison River Caravan Park Kalbarri (08) 9937 1005 Kalbarri Anchorage Caravan Park Kalbarri (08) 9937 1181 Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park Kalbarri (08) 9937 1077 Murchison House Station Kalbarri (08) 9937 1998 Kalbarri Beach Bungalows A & B Kalbarri (08) 9937 0400 Murchison caravan park Kalbarri (08) 9937 0400 Kalbarri Blue Ocean Villas Kalbarri (08) 9937 2442

Challemge Batteries Osborne Park (08) 9446 6122 JPW Marine Wholesale Distributors Perth (08) 6253 3000 Whitworths Marine & Leisure - Leerderville (08) 9381 1442 Crackpots Marine Supplies O’Connor (08) 9337 2211 Hydrowave –

SHARK BAY Denham Seaside Caravan Park, (08) 9948 1242 Shark Bay Caravan Park (08) 9948 1387 Blue Dolphin Caravan Park and Holiday Village Denham (08) 9948 1385 Oceanside Village Denham Shark Bay (08) 9948 3003 Bay Lodge Denham Shark Bay WA (08) 9948 1278 RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort (08) 9948 1320

$449 USD

CARNARVON Wintersun Caravan and Tourist Park (08) 9941 8150 Capricorn Holiday Park (08) 9941 8153 Outback Oasis Caravan Park (08) 9941 1439 Carnarvon Caravan Park (08) 9941 8101 Norwesta Lifestyle Park (08) 9941 1277 Coral Coast Tourist Park (08) 9941 1438

CORAL BAY Peoples Park (08) 9942 5933 Bayview Coral Bay (08) 9385 6655 Ningaloo Club (08) 9948 5100 Ningaloo Reef Resort (08) 9942 5934


2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

WHY DEAL WITH ANYONE ELSE? 331 Great Eastern Hwy, Midvale, WA 6056

Ph: (08) 9250 3339


All Boats and Caravans Kingsley (08) 9309 4200


John’s Motor Trimmers Auto & Marine Upholstery Welshpool (08) 9470 5531 G.K. Trimmers Canning Vale (08) 9455 7144 Prestige Marine Trimmers Perth (08) 9303 9536 McCarroll Motor & Marine Trimmers Osborne Park (08) 9244 1449 Exclusive Marine Trimming & Upholstery O’Connor (08) 9314 6882 Universal Marine & Automotive Upholstery O’Connor 08) 9314 1770


Broome Caravan Park (08) 9192 1776 Discovery Parks - Broome (08) 9192 1366 Broome Vacation Village Caravan Park Broome (08) 9192 1057 Cable Beach Caravan Park Broome (08) 9192 2066 Tarangau Caravan Park Broome (08) 9193 5084

Searano Marine Malaga (08) 9248 2242

Waters Edge Marine Trimmers Leeming 0412 204 085

Discovery Parks - Onslow (08) 9184 6007 Ocean View Caravan Park (08) 9184 6053


Whitworths Marine & Leisure - Mosman Park (08) 9385 5877

Mason Marine Trimmers O’Connor 0418 923 787



Offshore Marine Guildford (08) 6278 1299

The Trim Shop (08) 9430 5332

Ningaloo Lighthouse Holiday Park (08) 9949 1478 Yardie Homestead Caravan Park (08) 9949 1389 Ningaloo Caravan and Holiday Resort (08) 9949 2377 RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park 1800 871 570 Exmouth Escape Resort (08) 9949 4800 Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort, Exmouth (08) 9949 0000

Discovery Parks Port Hedland (08) 9173 1271 Port Tourist Park Port Hedland (08) 9172 4111 Blackrock Tourist Park South Hedland (08) 9172 3444 Landing Resort Port Hedland (08) 9172 4111

Bluewater Marine (08) 9791 1499


Dampier Transit Caravan Park (08) 9183 1109 Discovery Parks - Pilbara, Karratha (08) 9185 1855 Karratha Caravan Park (08) 9185 1012 Discovery Parks - Balmoral, Karratha (08) 9185 3628 Harding River Caravan Park (08) 9182 1063 Aspen Karratha Village Baynton (08) 9185 2726 Karratha Apartments Karratha (08) 9143 9222 Searipple Village Karratha Bulgarra (08) 9158 7400 Karratha Village Karratha 1300 321 669

(includes shipping)

John’s mobile trimmers Jandakot (08) 9417 4414 Cutting Edge Marine Trimming O’Connor 0432 062 834 Mandurah Motor Trimmers Greenfields (08) 9581 8180



9791 1499

CSD Designs Bayswater 0407 772 010 XFactor Signs 0413 113 828

Northbank Fibreglass Boats @northbankboats MARINE MECHANICS Falcon Services Australia Midvale 0458 852 591 Bay Marine Maintenance Crawley (08) 9386 7059 Pleisure Marine Maintenance O’Connor (08) 9337 9569 Boat Fix Balcatta (08) 9240 8778 Parker Marine Fremantle (08) 9336 6979 Matich Marine East Fremantle (08) 9339 7722

Boat Wrap Specialist

Advertisers wanting to be involved in this directory can call 0417 901 301 or email OCTOBER 2018


Make your way to Maylands HOTSPOT

Luke Doherty

The Swan River runs through the heart of Perth, and one of the more scenic parts is Maylands. As the river twists and bends around the Maylands Peninsula Golf Course and then around past Optus Stadium, it creates an interesting mix of shallow flats and deeper channels. The river banks are scattered with jetties and fallen timber, which provide great habitat for the local fish populations.

stays further upriver, and the salt pushes upstream well past Maylands. Coupled with the warmer weather, a variety of species begin moving into the middle reaches of the Swan River to breed and hunt. Among these species are tailor, flathead and, for those anglers who invest the time stalking the flats, giant herring also make an annual appearance. LAUNCHING There is no shortage of boat ramps around Maylands on both sides of the river. Using the boat ramps is optional though because if you look hard enough you

if conditions aren’t right and the bream aren’t actively feeding it can be difficult to coax a bite. Long casts and slow retrieves with the occasional pause can help prompt a timid fish to take your offering. When casting at structure, especially with lures, if you don’t feel like you’re going to lose your lure you may not be casting close enough. If you are working across flats, cast around then move forward – this way you’ll avoid spooking fish by running over them with your kayak. Look for activity on the surface and get a cast into

The Hardey boat/dinghy ramp on the Belmont side is one of many great places to launch in the Belmont/Maylands area. Areas like the edge of Baigup wetlands and Kuljak Island are mostly only accessible by watercraft, so they experience a lot less pressure than those spots which offer easy access by foot. During the winter rains, the freshwater coming down river can make the fishing tougher. However, the summer months really turn it on, with a variety of species in good numbers.

can find plenty of suitable spots to launch from the banks, and even a purposebuilt kayak launch area at Tranby House. Parking on the Belmont side of the Swan River is convenient and can save you a drive through the city, but parking can be a challenge if there’s an event on or the boat ramps are busy. Heading to the Maylands side offers a few

Bar-tail flathead are quite prolific in this area all year round, but are far more active once the water temperature starts to rise. TARGET SPECIES Through winter, bream are the species of choice for most anglers. The cooler weather and rain bring on a fresh water flush that pushes the brackish species into the deeper parts of the river. The deeper channels still see the occasional mulloway cruising through. When the water warms up in summer, the freshwater 54


more parking opportunities and will bring you in past shops and cafés, which are great when you want to stop and grab breakfast or on-water snacks. THE APPROACH Looking for bream usually involves lots of casting into snags and structure, or fanning casts across flats. This generally yields good results, though

areas where fish are on the surface where you can. Tailor will sometimes follow a bait or lure intended for a bream. If you find a tailor showing an interest in your bream offering, a well-placed cast and quick retrieve will have them in hot pursuit. River fishing is a game of one-percenters; anglers who are great estuarine fishers are constantly refining their approach and gear. For bream, that might involve changing hook size, using lighter or heavier jigheads depending on depth of water or current flow, leader size or just tying rigs a little differently. For tailor it might mean a different retrieve or different colour bait or lure. The diversity of fishing environments and species around Maylands mean that you can experiment with new techniques and not need to travel far to find the ground or the species you want to catch. THE TACKLE BOX Anglers targeting most river species won’t need any heavy equipment. A 6-7ft, 1-2kg or 2-4kg graphite rod with a fast action will be suitable for most fishing. Smaller reels in the 10002000 range will help keep the weight down, so you don’t get fatigued as much while casting all day. With any style of fishing, high end gear will make life a little bit easier, but a good entry level bream or estuary combo doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Line and leader will be the next thing to consider. Again, for most species you’ll want

to look for lighter options. Choosing a 6-8lb braid will have you covered for most of the river monsters that Perth has on offer. A good quality fluorocarbon leader can make all the difference. A 6lb leader might work most days, but the day that it doesn’t could be the day that a 4lb or even 2lb leader is the difference between fish on the yak or nothing at all. Fish as light as you are comfortable with, but remember that species like tailor and giant herring can bite through lighter leaders. If you get a bite-off or two, consider changing leader size up a kilo or so, and then try to catch whatever was the cause of the bite-offs in the first place. Terminal tackle will depend on whether you want to fish baits or lures. For bait fishing, hook size will depend on the bait of choice. Whole river prawns, or even peeled segments, on about a size 1 long shank hook will entice bream, and

Bream are one of the easiest fish to catch around Maylands and can be found on just about every bank. It’s just a matter of finding which one they are feeding around on the day. really lift your catch rate to carry some scent to put on plastics that don’t already have it. Small vibes and minnows are also great for a few different species, and are a worthwhile addition to your arsenal. Hopping vibes across the flats can turn up some great flathead.

area, especially on those fine spring and summer days. Wearing bright colours will help you stand out and make it less likely that you’ll have a run-in with a boat or one of the many rowers that frequent the area. Heat stroke and dehydration are also a

The Belmont cliffs are a great area to start out. Deep water and heaps of structure mean that you can potentially catch any of the species that frequent this part of the river, including bream, mulloway and flathead. a strip of mullet or mulie will also work well. Using larger hooks can help avoid the smaller fish and stop the larger fish from swallowing the hooks. For lure fishing, 2.5” soft plastic grubs rigged on 1/16oz jigheads are a good all-round option. While some plastics come with scent impregnated in them or mixed in the pack, it can

SAFETY There are no legal requirements to carry any safety gear while fishing in the Swan River, but it’s good practice to always wear an inflatable PFD. The biggest safety challenges are visibility and the elements. Maylands can be a high traffic area, and with several boat ramps it’s a popular boat launching

Reedy banks are always a great place to start searching, especially on run-in and high tides.

concern. Moving in and out of the shade during the warmer months when there is very little breeze around can make it hard to stay cool. Cover up exposed skin and cover the rest in sunscreen. Local wildlife can also be a problem. There is a bird sanctuary on Kuljak Island, and with the waterbirds nesting in the area be careful not to venture too close to their nests or young. Sitting in a kayak being harassed by an angry swan isn’t a pleasant experience. CONCLUSION The boat ramp and kayak launching areas around Maylands provide a fantastic access. With the twists in the river there is always somewhere to get out of the worst of the wind, and with lots of turns and bends there is a great mix of surprisingly deep water and shallow banks, making it a great spot to fish in any weather.



Raymarine Axiom users can take to the skies with the LightHouse 3.6 OS update. The new Axiom UAV app combines the power of Raymarine navigation with advanced aerial imaging. Compatible with the DJI Mavic Pro drone, the Axiom UAV app automates many tasks. The Virtual Tuna Tower feature lets the Mavic scout for fish ahead of the boat. With the optional polarised lens, the 4K UHD camera can see gamefish, baitfish and structure. The Fish-On feature launches the UAV, starts video recording, and flies the camera in an orbit around the boat. On-screen controls let you fine-tune the altitude, radius, speed and camera angle. With the Goto command, the Mavic flies to the GPS location you selected and hovers. You can see it on your navigation chart along with its course, altitude and more. Axiom UAV is a free update for Axiom, Axiom Pro and Axiom XL MFDs.



Mercury is now offering 225hp, 250hp and 300hp V-8 SeaPro commercial outboards, expanding the commercial FourStroke range from 15-300hp. The 225-300hp models offer higher displacement and horsepower at a lighter weight than their competitors. The new models produce plenty of torque at lower rpm levels, while the compact, lightweight design and Advanced Range Optimisation maximises fuel economy at cruise. The heavy-duty components are built to cope with the demands of commercial operation, and are validated at three times the lifespan of a recreational engines. Also available is the new Verado V-8 300hp SeaPro equipped with Advanced MidSection (AMS) which moves the engine mounts aft and outward. It virtually eliminates all vibration from being transmitted to the boat. Models equipped with the AMS also feature electrohydraulic power steering and are compatible with Mercury’s Joystick Piloting system. The new models are backed by a 3 Year (2+1) warranty for commercial users, which includes protection against corrosion.



Hobie’s Fold and Stow Cart weighs in at just over 2.5kg and is designed to make transporting your kayak easy. The Cart functions well on a variety of solid surfaces, and breaks down to stow inside Hobie kayaks equipped with a large front cargo hatch. You simply wheel your kayak down to the water, break the cart down and stow it away, eliminating trips back and forth to the vehicle. At the end of the day, the cart reassembles in seconds. Features include: collapsible frame with removable wheels for easy stowage; lightweight frame (complete cart assembly weighs in at just over 2.5kg); a quick release cart keeper which holds the cart into the scuppers of your kayak; retaining bungee that keeps the cart frame in the collapsed position; load rating of 80kg (suits most models’ fully rigged weight); carrying bag with shoulder strap for easy transport; and post collar clamps to help reduce direct hull load on the cart by displacing load at scuppers. Price: SRP $250


MASTERVOLT MLI-E 4 BATTERY The new Mastervolt MLI-E 12/1200 is a fast-charging, mid-size lithium ion battery offering long life and deep-cycle discharge in a compact waterproof case. This 12V battery offers 1200 Watt-hours of energy (90 amp-hours). By using the very safe lithium ion phosphate chemistry, the MLI-E saves up to 70% in space and weight, recharges in less than an hour and can discharge 80% of its capacity up to 5,000 times without damage – a lifespan that is ten times longer than an equivalent lead acid battery. This makes it ideal for mobile applications, and for powering small electric motors for propulsion. Features include: integrated monitoring for reliable battery status information; quick installation and commissioning with no maintenance needed; monitoring via a Bluetooth app; and CANbus communication for automated and intelligent energy system integration. Price: SRP $3650




MotorGuide’s Xi5 and Xi3 trolling motors can now be operated through selected Mercury VesselView and Simrad multifunction displays. The improvement, driven by upgraded system software, means MotorGuide will be even more popular as the trolling motors can now connect with all of the ‘big three’ – VesselView, Simrad and Lowrance screens. However, boaters with VesselView displays will benefit particularly as VesselView screens now allow drivers to monitor and control both their main engine and their trolling motor through the one multifunction display. The software upgrade is suitable for VesselView 502/702/703/903 screens. Owners just need to download the data from the Mercury Marine website to a micro SD card, which is then used to transfer the update to the VesselView or Simrad unit.






Raymarine’s new Ray90 and Ray91 modular VHF radios offer the convenience of two wired handsets and three optional wireless handset stations. Both models feature a commercial-grade marine VHF radio transceiver with the latest Class-D Digital Selective Calling, as well as a built-in loudhailer and fog-signal generator with an optional hailing horn. The 91 model also has a built-in Class B AIS receiver. Connect the 91 to your MFD and instrument network to see the position and identity of nearby AIS-equipped vessels. The basic system comes with a blackbox transceiver module and a wired handset/ speaker kit. The transceiver hides out of sight and offers connections for an optional second wired station or wireless hub. Wireless handsets have built-in lithium ion rechargeable batteries. To recharge, just place the handset back in its supplied dock. Each wireless handset even has a locator alarm in case you misplace it. Both models have an onboard GPS receiver and a connection for an external GPS antenna. The radios communicate with your other MFDs and instruments via NMEA2000 or NMEA0183.



Please email contributions to:




Small boat live tank options BRISBANE

Wayne Kampe

We rarely see much fishing media coverage of live bait usage. There’s the odd

account and the tank might be a beauty, likely having a clear top or front, and maybe even an LED light. There’s nothing like some mood lighting for your livies! When we survey rigs between $15,000 and

aren’t made from glass) to a small icebox with a 12V portable aerator rigged up to keep the bubbles coming. Even a bucket with an aerator in it will work as long as you follow a few simple rules.

from collapsible metal mesh that was fine enough to keep really small baitfish in check. The floating push-down style lid was big enough to accommodate a big, fat luderick, and to allow me to extract livies when required. Collapsible wire fish keepers of this style are a bit hard to come by, but they are still being made by Sure Catch (Wilson Fishing), Seahorse and Jarvis Walker, so it just comes down to finding a tackle outlet that stocks them. Wire keepers aren’t expensive, and if you wash them after each use they will give you years of handy service. Rough but ready While on the subject of external livey tanks, there’s nothing wrong with

Young Amelia McEntee having fun. One of the great things about bait tanks is that they entertain kids, who love to watch the activity. take out a livey whenever you need one. I’ve seen a couple of really good DIY units made

The trick is to construct a squarish tank using stainless screws and waterproof glue, and drill as many small holes

Now that’s a live well! With a clear lid and plumbing, this tank is the bee’s knees. mention of ‘livies’ here and there, but any mention of that essential item – a bait tank that actually works – is as scarce as scales on a squid.

$25,000, however, there’s no guarantee of a bait tank – and for boats under $15,000 the only tank fitted is probably one the owner has installed. The good news is that

This bait well is on a $35,000 boat. It comes with plumbing, as you’d expect for a boat of that price. Spend upwards of $25,000 on a boat and there might be a bait tank of some form or other. Over $40,000 from the

a DIY bait tank set-up is actually not that hard; there are many small boat owners using live bait to very good effect, and who have all sorts of interesting methods of keeping everything from yabbies to yakkas alive. I’ve seen livies in everything from an adapted aquarium (the best ones

A collapsible wire fish keeper, like this one from Jarvis Walker, is a cheap and easy way to store livies. 56


CLEAN WATER IS THE KEY Whether you’re using live worms, yabbies, prawns or small fish, you need to provide a flow of clean water and keep it oxygenated to keep your livies in good condition. A flow of water doesn’t necessarily mean that a hose has to be running, but it’s vital that the water is kept clean. I’ve kept fish going strongly for hours in livewells in various boats – even really big livies with a high demand for clean oxygenated water – simply by using a bucket to take water out and pour fresh water in. The splashing from the incoming water traps a lot of oxygen. Another thing to consider is to not overcrowd your livebaits if you want to keep them in good condition. You don’t want too many small fish competing for limited space and oxygen. EXTERNAL TANKS Small boat owners have the choice of an internal livey tank or an external one. That’s right, an external unit. They certainly do work as they keep the bait totally immersed within its own environment, and they need next to no cleaning out to prevent pong, unlike other styles of tanks. Collapsible fish keepers A few years ago I bought several external live fish keepers that were quite suited to storing and keeping alive anything from bream or luderick right down to hardiheads, gar or herring. Tethered alongside the boat and totally immersed except for the lid, these ball-shaped keepers were constructed

There’s scope for some DIY installation here with this comprehensive set-up. constructing a DIY unit. The main requirements are that it should have a really free water flow, plus a lid that floats to keep the tank on the surface. The lid should also be large enough to let you

from marine ply. It sounds primitive, but they work just fine. The idea is to make the tank large enough to hold a few fish at a time. Pike, gar, yakkas – the system is ideal for all of these fish.

This system is a little rough around the edges, but it works well simply because the water is bucketed in and out. It’s enough to keep the water fresh and aerated.

in the sides, top and bottom as possible. These holes will keep the water flowing while the keeper is tied up and floating beside the boat. The lid should have some floatant material (such as closed cell foam attached with Sikaflex) to keep it on the surface. As far as hinges for the lid go, a strip of heavy truck inner tube works a treat. It’s smart to make the lid large enough for you to use a little mesh net to extract the livies. I have used one of these wooden wonders which was 450mm long and 400 deep. It kept small fish alive for hours, simply because water could flow freely from start to finish. At the end of the day it could be washed out and left to dry until the next use. The baitfish seemed to settle down within it very quickly, and sat quietly swimming into the current coming through the holes. When moving to another location, I simply lifted the keeper out and put it in a plastic box with water in it to keep them going. You do the same thing with the collapsible wire mesh keepers.

STOREBOUGHT OPTIONS Internal bait tanks can take many forms. Most can be snugged into a suitable spot without too much trouble, but you need to be careful about overdoing things. An overly large tank brings issues, mostly weight. Remember, 1L of water weighs 1kg. Your tank will need

a lid to stop both water slopping out and the livies jumping out. Also, the lid must be large enough to accommodate a small dip net when it’s time to grab a fresh livey, to make life easier. The funny thing about live baits is that none of them want to be next! Whitworths, Boating and RV plus many other boat accessory outlets usually offer

several bait tanks of different sizes. These units come complete with a lid, and have plumbing as well, if required. I found a 30L Florite unit at Boating and RV which looks to be ideal for fitting into a small boat, and it would be ideal for manual filling, given the size of its lid. As a bucket fill unit, I’d also set up an outflow pipe to handle any

External aeration for a live well can be as simple as slipping a Rapala aerator into the mix. If the aerator can keep bass alive it will certainly do an excellent job with live bait.

There’s something for everyone in this selection from a marine chandlery outlet.

excess water, and have an aerator close by to keep the air flow going. That aside, anglers who enjoy DIY projects could just as easily set it up with a pump as well as the outflow and aerator. And if there’s a need to attach any gear to the outside of the bait tank or close by, simply use Sikaflex. This marine sealant sets like rubbery concrete. From my experience, anything glued in place with Sikaflex usually stays there. If you accidentally get some in the wrong spot, use metho while the Sikaflex is still nice and fluid.

KEEP THOSE LIVEYS ALIVE! Whether your chosen bait tank is a store-bought item or a DIY Sunday morning masterpiece, there are just a few things to remember when keeping livies for bait. Firstly, it’s important that only the best bait items should go in the tank. If you’re catching small fish with a bait jig, hold the jig over the tank inlet and try to flick or wriggle the fish off without touching them. If you’re catching small fish or prawns with a cast net, try not to handle them

excessively; just shake them gently into the tank without excessive trauma. As soon as one critter throws in the towel the whole lot are likely to do so, which means it’s important to quickly remove any that are dying or dead. Changing the water and keeping plenty of air in the system is also vital for their performance. Finally, remember that while a bait tank is pretty important, spending lots of money on one is not always necessary. Besides, there’s a lot of satisfaction in DIY projects!

More room, more features, more stability. More of everything for a great day on the water… all thanks to our revolutionary Apex Hull. The radical, variable flared bottom sheet

Our new Apex Hull. Forget everything you know about boats.

extends to the bow gunnel as does the wide chine. That means more internal consoles, casting platforms, upholstery, transoms and storage (depending on the model). We’ve also added thicker and

Our new Apex Hull. Forget everything you know about boats.


space and storage, which lets us build new

higher topsides and raised the side deck,

More room, more features, more stability.


More room, more features, more stability. More of everything for a great day on the water… all thanks to our revolutionary Apex Hull. The radical, variable flared bottom sheet extends to the bow gunnel as does the wide chine. That means more internal space and storage, which lets us build new consoles, casting


Mandurah Outboards


platforms, upholstery, transoms and storage more (depending freeboard. on the model). We’ve also added More of everything for a great day on for the water… thicker and higher topsides and raised the side all thanks to our revolutionary Apex Hull. more The radical, variable flared bottomGet sheet deck,of foreverything more freeboard. extends to the bow gunnel as does the wide Get more of everything with our new Apex Hull chine. That means more internal space and with our new Apex Hull storage, which lets us build new consoles, casting Quintrex at your Quintrex dealer. at your dealer.

9401-QXAPEXCM001-ClubMarine-Apex.indd 1

platforms, upholstery, transoms and storage (depending on the model). We’ve also added thicker and higher topsides and raised the side deck, for more freeboard. Get more of everything with our new Apex Hull at your Quintrex dealer.

53 Gordon Road, Mandurah WA ph 08 9581 7224 fax 08 9581 6305


Aquasports Marine

5/05/2017 3:11 PM

331 Great Eastern Highway, Midvale WA ph 08 9250 3339 fax 08 9250 8339 OCTOBER 2018


Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 featuring MD180 MELBOURNE

Corey Gallagher

Since the Hobie’s humble beginnings in the 1950s shaping surfboards, the company has been synonymous with innovation and quality. Introducing a range of revolutionary products over the decades, no brand has impacted the kayak angling fraternity more than Hobie with the introduction of its Mirage Drive pedal propulsion system in 1997. Anglers quickly saw the potential of this new technology and in 2001, Hobie released the Mirage Outback, a purpose designed angling kayak that allowed anglers to propel the kayak using leg power, freeing up their hands to cast and retrieve. In 2009, Hobie went bigger and better with the introduction of the first Mirage Pro Angler 14. With its introduction they created a truly remarkable kayak that gave rise to tournament kayak angling across the globe. Over the years, Hobie have continued to upgrade various components, but the hull remains relatively unchanged since its initial release. The hull features a sit on top, self-draining design, and measures 4.17m from 58


bow to stern. With a 97cm beam, the kayak is one of the largest single seat hulls on the market, and in this case, size has its advantages. Stability is a key feature of the hull. Anglers can easily stand in the kayak as they

fish, giving the Pro Angler 14 a huge advantage over its rivals. It size and weight combined with aggressive bow angles mean the kayak cuts through small waves, chop and boat swell exceptionally well. It keeps

The major upgrade for 2017 – Hobie’s new Mirage Drive 180 allows anglers to pull one of two shift cables to pivot the fins 180°, instantly moving the drive into reverse and back again.

the angler free from spray in most conditions. The major upgrade to the latest model is the addition of the Mirage Drive 180. The MD180 differs from past Mirage Drive units in its ability to move the kayak in reverse. For many years, this has been the thorn in Hobie’s side with more conventional pedal and propeller propulsion systems in rival yaks always having this ability, at reduced power. Anglers can pull the reverse shift cable on the MD180 to pivot the fins 180°, allowing the kayak to be propelled in reverse at full power. Simply pull the forward shift cable to return the fins to their original position and continue. After spending three days testing the new model, I found this feature to be extremely useful. I could use the reverse feature to negate the effects of tide or winds that pushed me past the pontoon or pylon I wanted to cast at, which kept me in the zone longer. I also found that I could reverse when I was hooked-up to a fish. This allowed me to clear the fish of the structure before any potential bust offs. The new fin design produces more thrust so the angler can reach their spots faster. The second major

upgrade is the new Camo series. Camo Series Pro Angler 14s feature the new camo colour – an olive kayak with gray and black mottling throughout, and camo coloured, non-slip pedal pads and floor matting. These combine to create a striking kayak, both on and off the water. The other key feature that makes the Pro Angler a standout from its rivals is the Vantage Seat, with three-way adjustment and two seat height adjustments – Hobie have taken comfort to a new level. The Lowrance Ready system remains and allows anglers to easily mount compatible transducers on a built-in mount with through hull wiring plugs provided. This system can also accommodate Lowrance TotalScan Transducers, which solves the problem of anglers wanting to run

side scan in their kayaks. The Hobie H-Rail system’s extruded aluminium dodecagon rail provides anglers with outstanding mounting options, without having to drill into the hull. The kayak also features a large front hatch with liner for even more storage options, six horizontal rod holders, dual steering control, replaceable mounting boards and side mesh pockets. Tournament and recreational kayak anglers worldwide have made Hobie the market leader, due to their continued commitment to quality and innovation. The Hobie Pro Angler 14 delivers yet again, retaining all of the proven features that have made it such a popular kayak in the past. With the edition of the MD180, their domination of the market is set to continue for years to come.

SPECIFICATIONS Length Overall..................................................4.17m Beam����������������������������������������������������������������0.97m Capacity����������������������������������������������������������272kg Vantage Seat Capacity����������������������������������� 159kg Fitted Hull Weight���������������������������������������������55kg Fully Rigged Weight������������������������������������������66kg Hull Construction������������Rotomolded Polyethylene RRP������������������������������$4750 (Camo Series +$200)*

*Please note that the Mirage Pro Angler 14 featured in this article includes the following aftermarket accessories: Hobie XL Livewell, Lowrance Elite 5 Ti, Micro Power Pole and Power Pole mount.

This kayak sits high in the water. With aggressive bow angles, spray is deflected away from the angler, keeping them relatively dry even in choppy conditions.

The Vantage seat features three-way adjustment (base angle, back angle and lumbar support). It’s the ultimate in kayak seat comfort. It also has two height adjustments, which allow anglers to lower the kayak’s centre of gravity in choppy conditions, or give the angler a higher perspective when sight casting. The seating position and angler cockpit is large enough to accommodate any angler and store plenty of extra gear.

Stability is a key feature of the hull. Anglers can easily stand as they fish. This gives the Pro Angler 14 a huge advantage over its rivals.

Six horizontal rod tubes allow anglers to store more than enough rods aboard the kayak. Two additional vertical rod holders are moulded into the hull behind the seat position.

H-Rail is an extruded aluminium dodecagon rail mounting system that allows anglers to mount a plethora of accessories to their kayak, without the dramas associated with drilling into the hull. Available accessories include rod holders, tackle bins, cup holders and sounders.

The rectangular hatch in front of the seating position opens to reveal a pivoting tackle management system that has two Plano tackle trays (included). These provide anglers with quick, easy access to their go to lures.

The large rear cargo area provides anglers with the perfect platform to hold their tournament live wells or the H Crate Storage System. A bungee cord system allows for any added cargo to be secured.

The Camo Series Pro Angler model features camo coloured, non-slip floor mats. These mats provide anglers with a safe place to position their feet when standing in the kayak.

The retractable rudder is stowed with pull cords. The rudder is spring loaded and will simply fold back when it comes into contact with anything solid. This prevents damage and the drop down skeg can be deployed in tricky conditions, to help the kayak run straight. OCTOBER 2018


Stessco Sunseeker 620 with Yamaha F150hp - SC




PERFORMANCE RPM......Speed (km/h)...... Economy (km/L) 1000........................7.2............................ 2.3 2000..................... 12.0............................ 1.6 3000..................... 26.4............................ 1.8 3500..................... 36.6............................ 1.9 4000..................... 44.2............................ 1.8 5000......................57.8............................ 1.5 6000..................... 71.5............................ 1.1 60


Main: Stessco’s Sunseeker 620 features a new, fibreglass hard top that provides plenty of shade or cover from the rain, as on the test day on the Noosa River. Above: With a beam of 2.48m, the Sunseeker provides a massive platform for virtually any on-water activity. It’ll cost you nearly twice as much at the pump to keep this rig at wide-open throttle all day. Your choice. Stessco Standard structural warranty on their premium boats is 2 years, if it is purchased on a Stessco trailer or Stessco trailer by Dunbier, then their structural warranty is increased to 5 years/60 months. “We’re very happy with the way we build our packages, so five years of warranty isn’t a worry for us,” said Stessco’s Adrian Beil. Indeed, if you shop around, you’ll find very few rigs with that after-sales coverage. Combine that with Yamaha’s four-year warranty and there’s plenty


Stessco’s 2018 Media Event on the Noosa River was held in between rainsqualls. As it happened, those were ideal conditions in which to test out a cabin boat. After all, that’s exactly what cabin boats offer – a space out of the weather, be it sun or rain, and a massive platform to fish with several of your mates. And I’ll be upfront here – one of the most attractive parts of this Stessco/Yamaha package is the price. These Sunseeker packages start from the mid $50K. As tested, this unit priced up at around $65,000. You get a lot of boat for your bucks. Stesscos are made in Brisbane and have only recently outsourced their trailer supply out of their factory. The 620 is a new release and the biggest model in the Sunseeker range (the others are 490,

of trouble-free boating ahead for the owners of this package. We were pretty impressed with the massive cockpit area in this boat, the high cabin and the dimensions of the fibreglass hard top. The new windscreen design of the modern Sunseekers is also on point. The hard top does need a little extra support and the guys in the factory are already on it. If you want to see this rig in action, check out the video review of this boat by scanning the QR code hereby or by searching for it on the Fishing Monthly Magazines YouTube channel. Subscribe


520, 550 and 580). The hull is aluminium bottom and sides with a fibreglass cabin bolted on top to go with the fibreglass hard top. It gives the hull a smooth look up top but the resilience and light weight of a tinnie down below. The test boat was headed to Whitsunday Marine for a northern customer, so it was ordered with the new fibreglass hard top option to keep the tropical sun out, but this iteration of the Sunseeker hull will be suitable for all Australian environments from Port Phillip Bay through to the Great Barrier Reef. Powered by Yamaha’s bulletproof F150 4-stroke outboard, the Sunseeker delivered remarkably good fuel economy. At best cruising speed (3500rpm) it yielded just under 2km/L burned. With a 145L fuel tank, this gives a theoretical range of over 250km – plenty for any day trips you’ll do. Drop the hammers and you’ll get over 70km/h, but at the expense of economy.


Steve Morgan






while you’re there for notifications about all of our video boat and tackle tests. For more information, check out or email or go to their Facebook page. SPECIFICATIONS Length overall... 6.55m Beam.................. 2.48m Depth................. 1.48m Hull weight........ 750kg Weight (on trailer). 1550kg Bottom................. 4mm Sides.................... 4mm Maximum hp......... 175 Fuel capacity....... 145L Capacity... Six persons

The test day on the Noosa River was both raining and hot – standard Queensland weather in autumn.

Left: Under the hard top, the layout is pretty simple with lots of cockpit room to fit you and several of your mates. Right: With a fold-down boarding ladder that gets you on the duckboard, it’s easy to get in when the boat is parked stern-on to the shore. The transom door also helps.

A pair of comfortable seats are mounted on bases that have some clever storage underneath. The helm is simple and made of moulded fibreglass.

Now there’s some cockpit space to work with.

This underfloor kill tank will hold plenty of fish on ice until you can get back to fillet them.

A freshwater deck wash is a real luxury and rare in a boat in this price range.

Yamaha’s F150 is an ideal match for this rig and delivers nearly 2km/L at optimum cruising speeds. Theoretical range is over 250km on the standard 145L tank.

It doesn’t need to be tackle stored in here. Anything that doesn’t like salt spray will be happier in here than in the side pockets.

Pop up through here from the cabin to stow and deploy the anchor. Unlike Victorians, Queenslanders haven’t really discovered anchor winches… yet.

If you’re a side-pocket lover, the Stessco isn’t for you. There are a couple of small spaces to store your frequently used gear.

There’s no denying that the bait station is sturdy. This one holds a couple of rods as well.

Preparing to disembark, the hull draws very little water at rest and allows you to get up close and personal with the shore. OCTOBER 2018


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Western Australia Fishing Monthly October 2018  

Complete digital version of WA Fishing Monthly Magazine for October 2018.

Western Australia Fishing Monthly October 2018  

Complete digital version of WA Fishing Monthly Magazine for October 2018.