Metro FADs lure in hard-fighting pelagics and sportfishing lovers this summer

Many mad-keen Perth boat fishers have been asking: “when are Recfishwest’s metro fish aggregation devices (FADs) being redeployed?”.

“Well, the wait is over,” Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said. “Get ready for a sensational summer of sportfishing off Perth, because they’re back in the water.”

The three-year State-wide FADs trial officially entered its second year this morning, after five of the metro FADs left Hillarys Boat Harbour and were redeployed in anticipation for many action-packed sportfishing sessions.

Check out the metro FAD locations here!

Recfishwest was stoked with the fishing community’s response to the metro FADs – which complement the Perth Game Fishing Club’s already successful Rottnest program – and the amazing fishing they produced in just their first season.

WATCH: Hot fishing action from the FADs in their first year!

Dr Rowland said the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund-backed program’s first 12 months created amazing sportfishing opportunities, with catches varying at the different locations across the State.

“From dolphinfish at the FADs of Albany, Cape Naturaliste and Perth, to wahoo and billfish off Exmouth and cobia off Broome, there were many fantastic species caught at the devices with many WA recfishers telling us how much they rated the new FADs fishing experience,” he said.

“The three-year FADs trial program is a great example of how your recfishing licence fees should be spent – to simply make fishing better.

Recfishwest’s Mike Minutillo and Aaron Moses help Port Bouvard Charters’ Marty Paull ready the FADs at Hillarys before deployment. Picture: Zach Relph / Recfishwest

“However, not everything went to plan in in the trial’s first year and several FADs broke free.

“But this is why we run trials like this – to learn the lessons from them and in this next phase we are trialling more robust anchoring systems, as we aim to constantly improve your FADs fishing experiences.”

If you haven’t fished the FADs before but are interested in having a crack – check out our ‘How to Fish FADs‘ web page and be sure to check out the safe fishing section.

The FADs are a fair way offshore and being aware of potential hazards will ensure you enjoy a great day out on the water and come home safely to tell the tale.

New FADs on the way in Gero and the south metro

“We’re very excited to be deploying four FADs off Geraldton early next week to provide the Mid West fishers with new spots to get into some dolphinfish, tuna or possibly even billfish action,” Dr Rowland said.

Recfishwest Operations Officer Mike Minutillo was hands on getting the metro FADs in the water. Picture: Zach Relph / Recfishwest

“And, in welcome news for south metro fishers, we’re also excited to be deploying FADs off the Rockingham coast this summer in partnership with Mangles Bay Fishing Club.

“So, keep your eyes on our various channels over the next few weeks as we roll out the program’s next phase.”

The southern FADs could turn out to be even more interesting as weather experts are predicting La Nina climatic conditions to persist into early 2021 which signals a stronger Leeuwin Current along the lower west coast of WA this summer.

Solidifying FADs’ fishing future

If you’re fishing the FADs, be sure to send Recfishwest photos of what you’re catching at info@recfishwest.org.au or tagging #recfishwest on social media!

Photographic evidence helps the Recfishwest team gauge each location’s success and ensure the program continues to develop, Dr Rowland explained.

“We want to have an overwhelming collection of evidence to be able to secure support and funding to advance the program after the initial trial concludes in 2022 and establish a permanent State-wide FADs program as part of the WA fishing landscape,” he said.

“I hope you can out there and enjoy some fantastic FADs fishing action this summer.”

Cody Suladra got among the new sportfishing opportunities unlocked off Perth at the metro FADs last summer. Picture: Beau Suladra

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