It is salmon season again in the South-West and the schools are on the move. Recfishwest is encouraging recreational fishers to fish from the beach for salmon, rather than rocks, wherever possible. Salmon move in large schools and often track very close to shore, they are usually within casting range of even the least experienced of beach anglers.
Catching a salmon from the beach is a world-class fishing experience and there are few things better than seeing a 4-6kg fish slide up onto the sand. Beach fishing is also a much better option for anyone wanting to catch and release some of these magnificent sportfish. Most importantly though, personal safety is not as much of an issue from the sand and there are countless locations suitable for beach fishing.
At the moment there are big numbers of salmon being caught from Esperance to Perth. There are many great beach fishing locations throughout the South-West.
The south side and West End at Rottnest Island often hold fish, while Point Peron can produce salmon at times, as can the North Mole, with boat anglers doing well in Cockburn Sound and around Mewstones and Stragglers. The Ammo Jetty always fishes well and reports are encouraging of catches from the jetty. Recfishwest encourage all fishers to respect their catch, other fishers and the environment. Around Mandurah, the White Hills to Preston stretch can offer great salmon fishing at times and offers fishers the chance to drive along the beach looking for passing schools. The sheltered bays around Dunsborough are famous for their salmon fishing as the schools pass through, with Bunker Bay and Rocky Point the most consistent locations. There will be plenty of fish between the Capes, and Hamelin Bay is one of the great salmon fishing spots for those with a 4WD.
Along the south coast, there are countless fine salmon fishing locations including the mouth of the Warren River, Windy Harbour, Parry’s Beach, Bornholm, Nanarup, Cheynes Beach and Foster’s Beach. As salmon schools are constantly moving, patience is a virtue and you often need to wait for the fish to pass by.
The great thing about salmon is they can be caught with just about any method, including bait, lure and fly. Mulies are a top bait and easily fished on a set of ganged hooks on a weighted or unweighted rig, depending on location and conditions. If catching and releasing salmon it is recommended that fishers use single hooks on lures and single or snelled hooks with bait to maximise the salmon’s chance of survival. Any lure that does a good imitation of a mulie is a chance to catch fish, especially minnow lures. Surface poppers, stickbaits and soft plastics also catch plenty of fish and the visual aspect of surface fishing is hard to beat for many anglers. Big metals are also an important part of the angler’s armoury, as they enable long casts to schools sitting well off the shore.
If keeping your fish Recfishwest encourages fishers to dispatch the fish quickly and thoroughly and put it on ice, clean your fishing area and put your rubbish in the bin.
If you would like to find out more about fishing for salmon in Western Australia, check out our How to Catch Salmon article.