Kalbarri is one of the real fishing jewels in the Mid West crown. Located 570km north of Perth, the popular holiday town has plenty to offer visiting and local anglers of all persuasions. Whether you are an avid fisher looking for a trophy catch or just a family looking to wet a line, Kalbarri is a great place to visit.
Both shore and boat fishing can be productive in the Kalbarri area, and you get the added bonus of spending time in one of the more scenic locations along the WA coast.
Watching the sun set over the Indian Ocean from the Kalbarri foreshore is a great way to welcome in an evening, and there are plenty of tourist attractions including the new Kalbarri Skywalk in the Murchison River gorge.
The town has some great facilities and a range of accommodation, including caravan parks. If you want to find out what’s biting, just pop in and see Dean at Kalbarri Sports and Dive and he’ll have all the latest fishing goss.
For many people, the lure of Kalbarri fishing is the offshore action which can be accessed through the sometimes challenging Murchison River mouth.
Launching is within the river itself, so it pays to double check the conditions at the mouth before heading out to open ocean.
I’ve seen it so calm that we were able to paddle kayaks straight out across the reef at Chinaman’s to Spanish mackerel and tuna just out from there.
However, this is not overly common and it pays to exercise caution before heading offshore at Kalbarri.
Once free of the river’s confines, there are good offshore fishing options out of Kalbarri – although finding bottom structure can be challenging.
Those who like to chase pelagics will do well both north and south, with Kalbarri noted for producing good catches of Spanish mackerel most of the year.
North of the river mouth, the Sand Patch is a particularly productive spot that does well for trollers. Longtail tuna are another regular catch, while yellowfin tuna, wahoo and even marlin show up at times.
At certain times of the year bait balls form up offshore and these can be hammered by sharks, the usual pelagics and even big numbers of cobia.
Bottom fishers can catch a wide range of species. Heading out wide can produce red emperor and dhufish, while pink snapper, skippy, spangled emperor and baldchin groper can be found closer to shore.
With the lack of obvious structure. much of the good fishing is wide of town. Heading north along the cliffs is a good way to find better bottom fish, in particular.
Small boat anglers and kayakers can also target mulloway just inside the river mouth at times.
The options for shore anglers are widespread, and include both sides of town.
Those who can arrange transport across the river have access to a long stretch of relatively untouched coast that has enormous fishing potential.
A quad bike is the ideal way to fish this stretch, where many a trophy mulloway, countless tailor and even the odd bonefish get caught.
It’s an amazing stretch of coast and can really reward those who make the effort to fish it.
Closer to town, Frustrations – on the north side of the river – is also renowned for producing big tailor and good mulloway.
On the south side of the mouth, Chinaman’s is another spot where big tailor are often caught. Spots like Wittecarra and Red Bluff also offer tailor, herring and the odd mulloway, while the coastal gorges can produce pinkies, tailor, baldies and even mackerel.
Farther south, the pounding surf of Wagoe Beach is great for beach fishing.
Tailor and mulloway are again the main fare here, along with the odd pink snapper. When the easterly winds kick in, ballooners will float out baits for pelagics like Spaniards and tuna.
Right in town, the Murchison River is also a quality fishery, especially when other options are ruled out by the weather.
Quality mulloway are often taken near the mouth and upstream to the jetties.
Indeed, they can push well up the Murchison at times.
Black bream are common in the Murchison and get caught in good sizes, while giant herring also show up regularly.
Whiting are a common catch along the foreshore in town, and blue swimmer crabs enter the river in big numbers some years, while a few muddies can be found.
A few decent cod also show up, along with some mangrove jack around the boat jetties.
Weather can often be the deciding factor in choosing exactly what type of fishing to do in Kalbarri, especially amid strong winds.
However, if you are prepared to be flexible and keep your options open, then you are in the right place to enjoy some of the Mid West’s best angling action.
Looking for things to do for these school holidays? Kalbarri’s annual kids whiting competition will be held on 3 October and 8 October at Chinaman’s Beach. This fantastic event is great fun for the whole family – find out more here.