Kim Burton and Alan Guthrie, two of our dedicated volunteer fishing clinic instructors, spent the April school holidays delivering free fishing clinics to Mid West coastal communities. The duo visited Kalbarri, Geraldton, Port Denison, Leeman and Jurien Bay in the kindly donated Toyota Hilux from Rockingham Toyotaways, with the Recfishwest trailer full of fishing gear in tow.
The tour kicked off in Kalbarri at the estuary jetty near the Memorial Street boat ramp. Kim and Alan had their work cut out for them as over 40 participants registered to fish and the trailer only holds 34 rods. Luckily there were no unhappy fishers as many of the kids had bought their own rigs along.
With hats and sunscreen on, everyone couldn’t wait to get started. Locals and visitors alike, everyone with a line in the water caught a fish. Representatives from almost every corner of WA were in Kalbarri; local Kalbarri residents represented about a quarter of attendees so were well outnumbered by holiday maker families from Perth suburbs such as Ellenbrook, Fremantle, Chidlow, Kalamunda, Thornlie and Willetton, to other regional areas of Australind, Broome, Geraldton, Moora and Narajin.
As with many of our clinics which aim to introduce children and families to the best practice recreational fishing in WA, many of the young participants during the tour caught their first fish. Murchison River mouth had more than enough hungry fish on the bite. Species caught ranged from tailor and whiting to black and silver bream, moses perch, estuary cod and painted sweetlip.
Visitor Centres in Kalbarri, Geraldton, Dongara and Turquoise Coast at Jurien Bay had all the information about the ‘Who? When? and Where?’ of Midwest fishing clinic sessions and Leeman Community Resource Centre (CRC) was our fabulous partner and registration contact for the Leeman and Greenhead area.
So many species of fish were caught (and released) across the eight clinics. There was of course a few blowies in every group, but there were also whiting, flounder, flathead, skippy , king wrasse, butterfish, herring, squid, white spot rabbitfish and even a suckerfish that left it’s big black ray to take one very happy fisher kid’s line in Leeman.
Over 400 people attended these eight clinics, made up of families from every Midwest town we visited and school holiday-makers from across the state and country. Almost all our fishing clinic sessions were fully booked days ahead of our arrival. The many generous local business owners, local community groups and district shires all helped this tour become a success and have done so every year we run it.
Overall this Recfishwest SunSmart Midwest tour was a fabulous success and everyone who attended or helped thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Thank you to all the families and participants as well as our supporters in every location. A huge thank you to Healthway our main sponsor, Getaway Outdoors and a massive thank you to Rockingham Toyotaways for the loan of the car for the entire trip.
Recfishwest are planning another Fishing Clinic Midwest tour in April 2020. If you would like to support us to help make these a continued success and deliver the message of sustainable and accessible fishing, contact us today!
For more information about SunSmart click here and find out more about Healthway here.