17 March 2017 – Full Report

Your Fishing Photos

Picture: Salmon school (Photo courtesy of Western Angler).
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Broome Catches

Broome threadfin

Picture: Broome Fishing Club held their Threadfin Shootout last weekend and it was another ripper result. It’s not even peak season yet and the numbers and average size are better than the norm. Anthony Aris’s thumping thready that he caught and released during the comp, measured 137cm.


Flyfishers will be pleased to know that schools of big permit have been regularly turning up north of Cable Beach and sometimes appearing at Coconut Wells and near Willie Creek. Threadfin salmon to 1.4m have been caught in excellent numbers in Roebuck Bay and Crab Creek together with a few bluenose salmon. Schools of baitfish hanging around the boat ramps have been attracting queenfish and trevally to the area.


The boats that have been targeting pelagic sportfish have been encountering fair numbers of spanish mackerel, mack tuna and cobia. Reef fishing enthusiasts have been doing reasonably well on bluebone and black snapper.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

Very little wind and another rainy week ahead for Broome may lend to some creek fishing when the opportunity presents or those who don’t mind the drizzle might get out trolling for game fish. The chance of thunderstorm will be testing though. A low morning tide will work for those wading out from the boat ramp getting closer to the deep water in the channel.

Exmouth Catches

Exmouth wahoo spearfishing

Picture: If you find yourself venturing out into the blue water wide of Exmouth, spearfishing can be a productive way of hand picking a feed of pelagics for the table (Photo courtesy of @vinrush).


Fish to 44cm were caught during the recent mangrove jack tournament.


Green water has made the game fishing challenging when it is around. When the crews have been finding blue water, they have generally been doing well on big blue and black marlin out wide and smaller black marlin in close. Spanish mackerel are being picked up in good numbers between the 15m and 30m depths and there are wahoo and dolphin fish a little farther out. Deep-sea fishing enthusiasts who have been dropping in excess of 300m have been picking up grey-banded cod, ruby snapper and goldband jobfish.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

A windy week ahead and predominant southerlies might lend themselves better to a fish inside the gulf for small boat and land based fishers. The beaches near the tip of the gulf and the stretch of beach along Learmonth is worth a try for queenfish and trevally, with school mackerel and cobia sometimes turning up. The annual Gamex game fishing competition is set to bring more life into town so get down to the Fishing Club at the marina to check in on the results.

Kalbarri Catches

Kalbarri tailor

Picture: With a protruding bottom jaw and voracious teeth to match, it’s no wonder tailor hit surface lures with such aggression. Beach fishing around reef and sand gutters identified by dissipating whitewash parallel to shore are favourite haunts for tailor patrolling for baitfish.


Rock fishing enthusiasts have been catching pink snapper to 7kg, tailor to 80cm and skippy from the coastal gorges. Smaller tailor have been turning up some mornings and evenings at the popular spots including Red Bluff, Wittecarra Creek, Siphons, Oyster Creek and Frustrations. Mulloway have been caught at the river mouth while black bream to a kilo, estuary cod and chopper tailor have been common catches at the jetty and pens.


Sailfish have appeared offshore in unprecedented numbers with several boats encountering the majestic sportfish during the past fortnight. The boats trolling bibbed minnows and rigged whole baits have been catching spanish mackerel and tuna.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

A surge of swell over the weekend will keep small boat and shore based fishers limited to the estuary and make bar crossing at the river mouth hazardous. Sometimes small protected bays and beaches can be found in between the coastal gorges that will present good beach fishing when the swell is hitting the exposed rocks. The swell is set to drop after the weekend but the wind is expected to take its place. The best chance of an offshore wind for beach fishers looks like the mornings of Sunday and Monday.

Geraldton Catches

Geraldton billfish

Picture: Game fishing preparations are underway for the upcoming Halco Abrolhos Island Tournament (Photo courtesy of Geraldton & Districts Offshore Fishing Club).


The crews targeting spanish mackerel and tuna have been picking up reasonable catches of 6kg to 15kg fish just north of Drummonds Cove and between Horrocks and Port Gregory. Surf fishers have been scoring tailor in the mornings at Southgate. The coast stretching from north of the Batavia Marina to the Chapman River mouth has been producing quite a few tailor, however, the weed movement has been making fishing difficult along this entire stretch.

Tailor and mulloway have been caught near the Greenough River mouth while the extreme lower reaches of the system are fishing well for big yellowfin whiting and black bream. Bigger black bream have been picked up in the Batavia Marina together with small skippy, chopper tailor and tarwhine.


Some big blue marlin have been caught west of the Abrolhos Islands in recent weeks and plenty of other pelagics are around ahead of the Halco Albrolhos Island Tournament. Spanish mackerel and tuna have been caught offshore as well as dolphin fish in 40m as far south as Jurien.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

Weather is looking mostly clear but windy for the next week, some swell is pushing through over the weekend so a trip to Greenough River might be the way to escape adverse conditions. Expect yellowfin whiting to be moving onto the flats as the tide rises in the morning and a chance of bream. Best morning for a beach fish will be Monday with the swell dropping and wind forecast offshore, but this may change and the winds aren’t looking too good into mid next week.

Esperance Catches

Esperance harlequin fish

Picture: Harlequin; scientific name Othos dentex, so named in latin referring to teeth. An opportunistic predator, harlequin will sit in the depths where their red colouration fades to grey and their pattern helps them blend into the reef where they feed.


The Taylor Street Jetty has been fishing well for herring, squid, King George whiting and garfish while Bandy Creek Boat Harbour has had mostly King George whiting to 32cm and herring. Salmon have been around Salmon Beach, Fourth Beach, Eleven Mile, Fourteen Mile and Roses. Mulloway between 4kg and 6kg have also been landed at Fourteen Mile as well as at Thomas River and Dunns. The small boats continue to do well on sand whiting and snook.


Huge schools of small southern bluefin tuna were found at Figure of Eight and Woody Island during the past week. Small bibbed minnows and skirted lures have been working well on the small bluefin. Nannygai to 2.5kg, harlequin, breaksea cod and samson fish have been common out wide.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

There’s a chance of seeing some good yellowtail kingfish action out at the islands in the coming weeks as the weather starts to cool into winter. Esperance surfing enthusiasts might be enjoying the water more than fishers over the weekend as some dangerous swell moves through making conditions risky for fishers. Targeting some King George whiting on the rising morning tide in the protected waters inshore might be a better option that hitting the coast or heading offshore. Some inclement weather mid next week will limit opportunities.

Albany Catches

Albany blue groper caught on hand line
Picture: Expensive rods and reels are not always necessary or appropriate for good fish such as this Western blue groper taken on a handline. The dirty fighting fish will often mooch around the waters edge at rocky drop offs and will bury you if you’re not prepared. A heavy handline can be an effective way to show no mercy to these hard fighting targets (Photo courtesy of Aron Dixon).


The annual salmon season is in full swing with big schools appearing along the coast stretching from Cheynes to West Cape Howe during the past week. Herring are about in excellent numbers with better catches coming from the more remote areas. Surf fishers at Bluff Creek have been doing well on skippy, tarwhine and tailor. Some nice King George whiting have recently been caught from the shore at Goode Beach. Rock fishers have been landing samson fish, yellowtail kingfish and blue groper. If you do fish from the rocks, make sure you are wearing a life jacket. Please see free loan life jacket locations at the bottom of the report.

The deeper areas of King George Sound and surrounding areas have been producing better numbers of King George whiting. Herring, skippy, juvenile and mature salmon, sand whiting and flathead were among the other species to be caught from inshore locations. Squid have unfortunately been rather scarce for the past few weeks. The rivers east of Albany are starting to become a little less discoloured. The improved water clarity has resulted in better black bream catches. Mulloway ranging from tiddlers to 70cm fish have been caught on lures and baits in the King and Kalgan. Both of the local systems are fishing well for bream.


Reef fishing enthusiasts scored a nice mix of queen, red and pink snapper as well as dhufish, breaksea cod and samson fish along the coral during the week. Hapuka, grey-banded cod and blue eye trevalla continue to be caught beyond the edge of the shelf when the boats manage to venture wide.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

Targeting other inshore reef and beach fish might be difficult in the coming weeks as the flocks of hungry breeding salmon school up and make their presence known on the south coast hitting all manner of baits and lures. Expect squid activity to pick up as the water temperatures drop in the coming months. Some very sporadic weather over the next week may make options difficult and time might be better spent in the estuaries as big swell will be present over the weekend. A rising tide in the mornings should be a good chance for some river bream and mulloway.

South West Catches

South West WA salmon

Picture: Lure fishing is the way to go this salmon season with lures not only providing for fun and productive fishing but also clean hook ups and less damage for catch and release (Photo courtesy @pjgringo).


Salmon have started to turn up in big schools along the beaches between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste and there have been a few smaller schools also appearing within Geographe Bay. Tailor have been appearing along the beaches some mornings and evenings while herring numbers are increasing. Squid catches are improving along the seagrass beds off Quindalup.


A Spanish mackerel was speared by a diver off Injidup recently and there have been other mackerel spotted by spear fishers during the past fortnight. Reef fishers have been catching plenty of dhufish and pink snapper off both sides of Cape Naturalise. Bronze whaler sharks have been problematic in some areas and their presence is only likely to increase as more and more salmon appear within local waters.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

The sunny mornings Sunday and Monday might be the go for some sight fishing for yellowfin whiting along the Quindalup flats. As the tide rises toward late morning the fish will push up onto the flats and become more active in the day’s warmth. A good pair of polaroid sunglasses, a light backpack and flicky rod is all you need to walk the beach and flats searching for them and chance an encounter with some salmon too. Fishing on the west side of cape Naturaliste might be best left until after the weekend as much to the Margaret River surfers delight some good swell will be moving through over the weekend.

Mandurah & Surrounds

Fishing the Dawesville Cut

Picture: Dawesville Cut is a popular and accessible Mandurah fishing location providing options for bread and butter species to salmon and the chance of mulloway.


There are some good tailor and mulloway still coming in from beaches north of the town. Locations such as San Remo, Singleton and Madora are producing herring, skippy and garfish early to mid morning and late afternoon. It is a similar story fishing the southern beaches. Herring and whiting are being caught during the day. Tailor are being caught early morning and evening with larger tailor being caught around dusk and after dark. Tim’s Thicket and White Hills are the areas that have been producing some excellent catches with a lot of small sharks being taken along with a good variety of species. People fishing in the Dawesville Cut are generally taking home a feed of fish. Reports indicate that there has been some big tailor taken from either end of The Cut during the last week. There has also been herring and some very big garfish taken there. Whiting, skippy and a lot of undersized salmon have also been caught over the last couple of weeks.

Fishers going out after dusk seem to be doing a little better than those fishing during daylight hours. In the estuary, fishers have been catching some good tailor around 45-50cm. There are a few crabs around and are being taken. Further upstream in the estuary there are some good black bream being taken by fishers using both fresh baits and a variety of lures.


Beaches around Port Kennedy and Secret Harbour are still producing tailor, skippy and tarwhine. Rumours of big tailor being taken from a few locations abound and anglers are being very tight-lipped over specific locations. Small mulloway are also being taken on a regular basis and there are reports of several larger fish to 15 kg being taken from the beaches in this area. Fishers ballooning from the beaches in Warnbro have taken a few spanish mackerel in the last couple of weeks. It requires a little effort and some good easterly winds to get the balloons moving but once out a couple of hundred metres, it could be anything that takes the bait.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

Beaches around Mandurah and The Cut will soon be frequented by salmon schools. Swelly conditions over the weekend may mean the safest bet is to fish early into the following week with most mornings looking good weather wise. The rising tide towards late morning over the weekend could produce some nice flats fishing for yellowfin whiting, flathead and bream in the estuary while the tide pushes up onto the flats as the morning heats up.

Metro Catches

Perth metro squid

Picture: Daniel Langridge braved the thunder, lightning and rain to grab a late night squid last Sunday evening in Fremantle (Photo courtesy of Squid Hunters Western Australia).


Good news for fishers this past week is that the herring that have turned up along the beaches. Good places to try for herring include The Ammo Jetty, Woodman Point, South Beach Groyne, the Moles, Grant Street and Hillarys Marina rock wall. Woodman Point produced salmon catches at the weekend and there have been a few fish caught at South and North Mole. Early mornings and evenings have been producing mostly small tailor at Leighton, Grant Street, Swanbourne Drain, Floreat Beach and Trigg Point. There are still a few mulloway being landed behind the E-Shed and South Mole.

Cockburn Sound is turning on some good snapper fishing and spots to look at are the various gravel patches adjacent to reef and weed banks out from Kwinana and down towards the Causeway. King George whiting are also featuring in bags of fish being taken from dinghies in the upper parts of the Sound and out on the broken ground behind the Five Fathom Bank. Shore based fishers are also doing quite well with good catches reported from many popular locations around the eastern side of the Sound. Fishers have been taking a few longtail tuna and spanish mackerel when trolling lures adjacent to bait schools.


Spanish mackerel keep on getting caught near Rottnest Island and along Three Mile Reef. The dolphin fish at the Fish Aggregating Devices are increasing in size. Schools of small southern bluefin tuna and striped tuna are being found in depths starting at 30m. The seagrass meadows off Fremantle and within Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds are starting to produce better catches of squid.

Recfishwest’s Forecast

Sporadic catches of early season salmon are evident across the metro coast, try places which will aggregate the fish migrating along the beaches from south to north such as headlands and rock walls that will concentrate the fish which are moving around the structures. Point Peron, North Mole, South Mole and Woodman Point are places worth a try.

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Recfishwest’s Tip of the Week

UWA sea surface temperature map

Take a look at some of the oceanography sea temperature forecasting tools available to predict where the fish might be. Find the areas of warmer water to target the summer pelagics which may still be lingering offshore or find the cooler waters from the south which the salmon will be following up the coast.

Try the new UWA oceanography prediction tool here.

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