Len Vertigan has been a fishing tragic all his life.
Originally a keen shore angler, he’s now a certified boatie and is currently president of the King Bay Fishing Club in Karratha, where he has been living for the past 26 years.
Prior to that, he lived in Perth, Carnarvon and Geraldton.
It was while in Perth that he helped found the WA branch of the Australian National Sportfishing Association (ANSA) with luminaries such as the late Hal Harvey and John Devitt around 40 years ago.
During his time in Perth, Len also helped form several other fishing clubs.
Old favourite shore-based fishing spots for Len include the beaches at White Hills and Golden Bay, and several locations around Geraldton, with mulloway and tailor regular captures.
He also used to be a regular at Steep Point and around Shark Bay, and his time in Carnarvon saw him develop an affinity for Quobba and also Miaboolya Beach, which he believes is the one of the most under-rated fishing beaches in WA.
When he moved to Karratha, he soon discovered shore fishing was hard work and used a 3.6m dinghy instead.
These days he runs a 6.9m Penguin Contender called Decadance and loves his offshore fishing and tries to get out at least once a month.
Len likes to mix it up, alternating between bottom bouncing, trolling and lure casting.
He is happy to try a bit of everything on most days, especially if he has the bag limit of demersals early, in which case he will switch to trolling for Mackerel, Tuna and Dolphinfish.
Len is always happy to get involved in anything involving fishing and the ocean, and was chairman of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Council (RFAC) in Karratha for 20 years.
He joined the King Bay club the year he arrived in Karratha and has been actively involved ever since.
He’s had a few stints as president and also been a committee member.
The club’s numbers have been building and it has around 200 members at the moment, with Len hopeful to pushing that figure beyond 300 in the next couple of years as it becomes more active in the local community.
For his contributions to recreational fishing, Len Vertigan is this month’s Recfishwest Community Champion.