Latest Fishing Report

26 May 2017 – Full Report

Cockburn Sound squid

Picture: Western Squid Wranglers members have been doing really well on squid by drifting over broken ground in the Sound lately.

Keep your eyes peeled for Recfishwest’s Tip of the week, see below!

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Demersal Jigging for Beginners

Albany Pink Snapper

Jigging is a very effective, hands-on and fun method of fishing for demersals. Many fishers are reluctant to try it as they are not sure what to do or if their gear is right for the task. In this article we will show you how easy it is to get started with jigging for demersals.

Get up to speed with jigging for demersals, here.

Broome Catches

Broome freshwater prawn
Picture: Cherabin, (giant freshwater prawn) are being caught in great numbers in the Fitzroy and are a local delicacy for both fishers and big barra.


The crews who set out to specifically target sailfish encountered good numbers of the majestic sportfish in waters wide of Barred Creek and near The Peanut. Spanish mackerel are also about offshore with rigged garfish and bibbed minnows working well on the 10kg to 20kg fish. Mike Reynolds landed a superb Spaniard that appeared to be about 15kg at the weekend. Reef fishing enthusiasts have been doing well on red emperor and saddletail seaperch in waters between 30 and 35 nautical miles out. A customer of Broome Tackle World caught and released plenty barramundi between 40cm and 50cm during an action packed session in the Fitzroy River recently.

Shore based

Threadfin salmon are being caught along Roebuck Bay and Cable Beach while their bluenose cousins are being found in dense schools near The Fingers. Medium size poppers and stick baits have been working well on queenfish to a metre and varieties of trevally at Cable Beach. Cherabin are being picked up in excellent numbers in the Fitzroy.

Exmouth Catches

Exmouth panorama

Picture: Queenfish and assortments of trevally have been caught on stick baits and poppers at VLF Bay and nearby beaches.


Spanish mackerel ranging from 10kg to 20kg are responding to bibbed minnows trolled near the west cost reef as well as in the upper regions of the gulf. Black marlin between 20kg and 100kg were caught wide of Tantabiddi along with the odd sailfish. Yellowfin tuna in the 10kg to 40kg have been found among other tuna varieties including longtail and mack tuna. Red emperor and rankin cod, which both seem to be around in reasonable numbers, were caught in the 40m to 60m depths.

Shore based

Whiting have been caught on prawn and worm baits at Town Beach as well as the coast stretching from the marina to Learmonth. Squid are in good numbers near Tantabiddi and in the marina. The odd mangrove jack and estuary cod has been picked up in the creeks while blue swimmer crabs are starting to show up in the Bay of Rest. Some nice giant herring have been caught in the lower areas of the gulf together with medium size golden and gold spotted trevally.

Esperance Catches

Esperance queen snapper

Picture: The bigger boats that ventured to the islands and beyond caught good catches of queen snapper (Photo courtesy of @pjgringo).


Boat fishers scored fair catches of nannygai, queen snapper, breaksea cod, samson fish and yellowtail kingfish near the islands and beyond. The inshore areas are producing good mixed catches of whiting, herring, garfish and squid.

Shore based

Bread and butter species including herring, skippy, garfish and squid can be caught from the Taylor Street Jetty and Bandy Creek boat harbour with black bream an addition at the latter location. Salmon turned up at Salmon Beach, Fourth Beach, Blue Haven, Nine Mile, Fourteen Mile and Poison Creek. A group of Southern Sports and Tackle customers landed six mulloway, skippy to 3kg, salmon and herring at Fourteen Mile last week. Poison Creek has also been fishing well for mulloway as well as skippy to 6kg and salmon. Thomas River is worth a visit with more mulloway, skippy and salmon being caught there during the past fortnight.

Albany Catches

Albany black bream

Picture: Black bream are being caught in rivers between Walpole and Bremer Bay (Photo courtesy of @massamone).


The inshore waters east of town are still fishing better for squid than the waters between Albany and Denmark. Herring, sand whiting and skippy can be found with little difficulty through most of the inshore areas. Reef fishers who visited the coral in 60m to 90m when the weather permitted found better numbers of dhufish compared to previous weeks. Pink, red and queen snapper were also picked up in these waters together with breaksea cod and harlequin fish. Schools of samson fish were encountered in some areas. Black bream are being caught in the rivers between Walpole and Bremer Bay. There were a few bream around 40cm recently caught in a few of the systems. Schools of chopper tailor are occupying the lower reaches of the King and Kalgan rivers.

Shore based

Surf fishers enjoyed another week of high quality salmon fishing with dozens of 3kg to 8kg fish caught from the beach at Salmon Holes, Shelleys, Bornholm, Cables and Sand Patch. Herring are still about in excellent numbers where a consistent stream of burley will assist in picking up a bag of the important bread and butter species. Tailor have been turning up at Nanarup and Bornholm some mornings and evenings. There are some bigger skippy starting to be caught from the areas that feature reef and deeper sand holes. A couple of fortunate fishers managed to land King George whiting from the shore at Frenchmans. Squid have been caught from the marina early morning and at night.

Kalbarri Catches

Kalbarri mulloway

Picture: “Murchison mulloway are on the chew!” Western Angler Next Gen Fishing Team member Robbie with a ripper of a mulloway (Photo courtesy of @robbieleck_fishing).


Spanish mackerel catches improved this past week with some boats catching up to half a dozen 10kg to 25kg fish in a session. Schools of yellowfin and longtail tuna have been turning up in a range of depths and areas. Pink snapper and coral trout have been picked up near the cliffs while red emperor and dhufish have been caught farther offshore.

Shore based

Young gun fisher Beau Ralph landed a 10kg mulloway and a 45cm mangrove jack in the Murchison River last Friday. The river is also fishing well for black bream with Kalbarri Sports and Dive’s Wayne Dewar catching two bream over 40cm on Sunday. Samson fish and jumbo tailor have been hooked on poppers at the river mouth. Some nice catches of mulloway, tailor and dart have been coming from Wagoe.

Geraldton Catches

Geraldton coral trout

Picture: Mex with one of the tastiest fish in the sea, a nice coral trout caught on a handline at the Abrolhos Islands.


Dinghy and small boat fishers working the seagrass meadows out from Point Moore and The Lives have been picking up some nice catches of squid. Dhufish continue to be caught in reasonable numbers near African Reef. Bigger dhufish and better numbers of the highly sought after table fish have been coming from the 50m to 70m depths near the Abrolhos Islands. The shallower waters off Southern Group are producing good catches of baldchin groper, pink snapper and coral trout.

Shore based

A mulloway that was conservatively estimated to weigh 20kg was landed at Drummonds about a fortnight ago. Smaller mulloway in the 55cm to 90cm range have also been caught at Drummonds and the beaches to the north. Herring have been good at the reefs near Point Moore while school and yellowfin whiting are widespread along the coast. A few mulloway have been landed along the Flat Rocks to Lucys stretch. The first and second points at Greenough are worth trying for tailor, herring, pike and dart.

South West Catches

Dunsborough samson fish

Picture: Good sized sambo on the Dunsborough artificial reef. If you want more information or just to see some amazing footage on reefs around WA, check out the new Artificial Reefs WA Facebook Page.


Pink snapper have been responding well to whole fish baits such as mulies and scaly mackerel introduced to a burley trail in Geographe Bay. Yellowtail kingfish to 20kg and samson fish have been encountered off the tip of Cape Naturaliste. The relatively shallow waters of 10m to 20m have been producing dhufish off the west coast. Squid may take some time to return to their normal activity as a result of the rough conditions.

Shore based

Salmon have been turning up along the west coast beaches in schools of various sizes with Contos Beach, Honeycombs, Injidup, Smiths Beach and Windmills among the spots where the popular sportfish were caught this past week. Bunker Bay, Castle Rock, Eagle Bay and Meelup also produced some nice catches of salmon. Herring are about in very good numbers whereby a consistent stream of burley will expedite catching a daily limit of a dozen fish. The deeper gutters formed along the west coast would be worth trying for mulloway, pink snapper and jumbo tailor.

Mandurah & Surrounds

Mandurah King George

Picture: King George whiting being caught along with some skippy in the upper areas of Warnbro Sound (Photo courtesy of Isabella Woodage).


The Cut is still quite productive and if it starts to get a bit blustery you can always find somewhere to fish, out of the breeze and still, catch fish. There have been a few salmon taken at the ocean end along with some tailor. There are still a few tailor being caught from the northern beaches but the main catches seem to be whiting and herring with an odd tarwhine. Skippy are starting to make their presence felt as well. In amongst the herring are a few tailor and salmon, particularly on the southern beaches. Just off shore, in front of the estuary mouth, there have been some good fish caught. Small snapper, King George whiting, samson fish and assorted small reef fish have all been on the bite. A few dhufish are being caught out in 20 m and 30 m of water, with odd pink snapper and samson fish along Five Fathom Bank.


Mulloway are making a return to the beaches and jetties in the area with some good fish taken from the jetties during the week. Fishers report good catches of nice tailor to 50cm and occasional mulloway around 10 kg on the beaches between Long Point and Secret Harbour. Fishers chasing squid suggest that Warnbro Sound has been producing a few good specimens. There are also a few odd salmon still being taken, along with tailor and snapper. The snapper size seems to vary according to location so it may require a bit of moving around until a school of larger fish is found. There are good King George whiting being caught along with some skippy in the upper areas of Warnbro Sound. Squid are everywhere and are being taken by both boat and shore based fishers.

Metro Catches

Metro pink snapper

Picture: Pinkies have been caught in good numbers along Five Fathom Bank and within Cockburn Sound (Photo courtesy of Liam Kavanagh, pictured in his Crewsaver 165 life jacket, built by fishers, worn by fishers. Get yours today!).


Salmon are still schooling near Mewstone and Stragglers, however the 3kg to 7kg fish have been reluctant to strike at baits and lures at times. Pink snapper have been found in good numbers along Five Fathom Bank and within Cockburn Sound. A couple of crews who ventured to the Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) when conditions permitted encountered dolphin fish and tuna close to the structures. Deep droppers found ruby snapper in the 220m to 250m depths while queen snapper were picked up in about 80m of water. Squid are still being caught in good numbers along the seagrass beds off Fremantle and within the sound despite the rougher conditions.

Shore based

Rock fishers who put in the time during, and just following, the recent storm events were rewarded with some nice pink snapper from the metropolitan stones. A customer of Anglers Fishing World caught two pink snapper of 84cm and 64cm during a single session at North Mole last week then went on to gaff his friend’s 75cm fish. More snapper were caught from Woodman Point and South Mole as well as some of the other rock walls located within Cockburn Sound. Those targeting snapper also caught a few salmon along with plenty of herring. Bag limits of squid have been achieved from the Fremantle rock walls. The deep channels and gutters that were formed along the beaches as a result of the big swells and strong winds are worth trying for mulloway.

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Circle hooks

Technical Rating: Novice

A simple innovation that both saves time and produces less unwanted damage to non-target fish is the circle hook. Various shapes and forms of circle hook are available with some representing more of a triangle shape but essentially what defines them is an inward facing point. Effectively what this does is when a fish swallows a bait deep in its throat, the point doesn’t catch deep in its throat. When the fish pulls back on the line the hook can slide up the fish’s throat until the hook settles around the hinge of the fishes jaw before exiting its mouth. Another small tug or a strike in the rod from the angler results in the hook rotating as it is caught in the corner of the fishes mouth, now exposing and coming into contact with the hook point which penetrates and creates a neat hook up in the corner of the mouth almost every time. The clean hook up allows easy release of unwanted or undersize fish causing minimal damage and means you don’t have to be digging a hook out from deep in a fish’s throat.

For more on catch care and releasing your fish properly, click here.