WITH three tragic rock fishing fatalities last month, fishers are urged to’ keep the sand between their toes’ and fish from the beach. All three people lost their lives while rock fishing near Albany, two at the popular Salmon Holes.
The Salmon Holes was the scene of a fantastic rock fishing safety initiative over Easter, with the Albany Offshore Boating and Fishing Club co-ordinating a safety stand at the popular fishing location. The stand was supported by the local community, the Department of Parks and Wildlife who controlled parking and managed high levels of rubbish, the Department of Fisheries, Recfishwest and the University of Western Australia, which was on the beach surveying fishers behaviours.
Unfortunately the success of the Easter Weekend’s efforts has been over-shadowed by the recent tragedies. The three deaths coincided with the annual spawning migration of Australia Salmon, which is traditionally the peak time for rock fishing activity along the south coast.
Rock fishing can be safe if the right precautions are taken, however, with the best fishing usually on offer from the many beaches along this stretch of coast, salmon are a safer catch when you keep the sand between your toes.
Salmon move in large schools and often track very close to shore, making them accessible for 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 5-6kg fish jumping through the shallows as you pull it in.
Beach fishing is also a much better option for anyone wanting to catch and release some of these magnificent sportfish, as you’re closing to the water for the release and can hold the fish’s weight until it swims away.
Most importantly, your personal safety is paramount and fishing from the sand is the safest option, especially if you’re fishing with the family. Recfishers need to take responsibility for their own safety and not put their lives and the lives of others on the line just for a fish.
We will continue to work hard to ensure recreational fishers are educated about the risks associated with rock fishing and recommend anyone going salmon fishing to ‘keep the sand between your toes’.
Remember to keep the sand between your toes.