Broome fishing community buoyed with excitement by trailblazing FADs deployment

Recfishers in Broome are buzzing at the prospect of wetting a line at the town’s newly deployed nearshore FADs.

Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures skipper Ross Newton and his crew deployed four over the weekend – ranging between 5km to 38km off Broome – making them the fifth set of the fish aggregating devices to be deployed as part of Recfishwest’s three-year State-wide FADs trial program.

With FADs also trialed off Perth, Albany, Cape Naturaliste and Exmouth, the Broome devices are the most ground-breaking to date given this is the first time any FADs have been deployed in the area, two of which are based close to shore and in shallow water accessible to small boat owners. Previous FAD trials off WA have been deployed in depths of more than 150m, while the Broome FADs have been deployed in waters from 10m to 30m.

Click here for Broome FAD coordinates

Broome fisher Ross Italiano is one of many passionate anglers eager to fish the new FADs and is hoping billfish might turn up on them.

Tackle World Broome Owner Steve Chambers said many anglers were raring to go to fish the new FADs.

“FADs will provide some great diversity in fishing experiences locally,” he said. “They will act as a beacon for hard-fighting pelagic fish, which people can target in addition to the traditionally popular bottom fish.”

At other FADs sites across the State, dolphinfish have been the main species along with tuna and billfish. However, because the Broome FADs are deployed in shallow water close to shore, there is a lot of anticipation around what species might show up on the devices.

The Broome FADs’ locations were determined through a thorough consultation process with local fishers and charter operators who provided their expertise and input.

Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures did a great job deploying the four Broome FADs.

They reported big schools of fish regularly aggregating around anchored vessels and now the FAD deployment will aim to replicate this phenomenon. In the surrounding areas, pelagic species including Spanish mackerel, queenfish, cobia and trevally are also common captures.

“The Broome Fishing Club were pleased to have input into the decision-making process for FAD locations in Broome,” Broome Fishing Club President Wes Franks said. “Our members are extremely excited to see what the FADs will hold during the season.”

Recfishwest gives a big shout out to all members of the community involved in helping us get the FADs in the water, with an extra round of applause for Reel Teaser Fishing Adventures for deploying the devices.

Recfishwest will be monitoring the success of the Broome FADs via social media and regular communication with tackle shop owners, fishing clubs, charter operators and local avid fishers. All fishers can play their part by sending us in pictures of their captures on the FADs any feedback they might have to 

The FADs are part of the ongoing trial program funded through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

The Broome FADs will be taken out of the water ahead of cyclone season.

Recfishwest also plans to deploy more FADs off Geraldton later in the year.