The push from the Town of Cambridge to ban all forms of land-based fishing along a popular fishing coastline between City Beach and Floreat has been slammed by the metro fishing community.
Last week, the Town of Cambridge pushed to ban all forms of land-based fishing in just over two weeks’ time along a 1,200m stretch of popular fishing coastline from around 50m south of the City Beach groyne up to the Floreat Surf Lifesaving Club to the north.
This stretch of coastline has provided some of Perth’s best land-based fishing experiences for generations and includes Floreat beach, which has been a much-loved fishing spot known for producing great catches of whiting, herring, tarwhine, tailor and mulloway.
It follows what the Town of Cambridge says is a number of shark fishing instances in the area over the summer, despite only one complaint on this along the same stretch between January 2022 and January 2023.
“It’s utterly ridiculous and ludicrous by the local Government and they don’t have the understanding, the ability or the knowledge of fishing to be able to create good public policy around fishing. To ban all fishing because the council have an issue with sharks is akin to stopping all cars on the road because there is an issue with speeding. It’s just bizarre that they would go down this pathway,” said Recfishwest Operations Manager Leyland Campbell on ABC Mornings last week with Nadia Mitsopoulos.
“This council proposal would stop little kids from having a dab net walking around the groyne and going for crabs or fishing for herring and whiting off the beach, it’s just madness. This is a State issue and it should be managed through State fisheries legislation.
“This stretch is one of the most iconic beach fishing locations in the Perth metro area and this is just an overreaction that completely ignores all the wellbeing, health and economic benefits that fishing provides. There has been no consulation with Recfishwest as the peak body for recreational fishing on this proposal.”
This contentious proposal has been widely condemned by the metro fishing community, with 6PR announcer Karl Langdon labelling the proposed ban an “absolute joke” and adding the groynes in this area are “one of the most accessible fishing platforms for parents to teach their kids how to fish and for those that are less able-bodied.”
Recfishwest recognises shore-based fishing for large “trophy” sharks (greater than three metres) at popular swimming beaches does not meet the community’s expectations of responsible behavior and is currently in discussion with the Minister for Fisheries on how best to address this specific matter.
Recfishwest believe State-based Fisheries legislation is and should remain the overriding legislation governing fisheries in Western Australia and LGA’s should stick to managing roads, rubbish and rates and leave recreational fisheries management to the State.
This ludicrous proposal will be open for public comment soon and we will keep you updated and informed on how you can tell the Town of Cambridge exactly what you think. We will continue to fight for the rights of recreational fishers across WA and together we can put a stop to this outrageous proposal – stay tuned.
With more salmon schools spotted moving into the South-West regions, the number of catches submitted into the Salmon Slam app are starting to increase!
With a welcome long weekend approaching alongside Easter – it means a lot of fishers are getting excited and gearing up for salmon fishing trips to our pristine southern and South-West beaches.
Want to know where the salmon schools are headed off our coastline? The Salmon Tracker 2023 page on Facebook is now live and keeping tabs on where salmon schools are being spotted and fish are being landed, so make sure you give the page a like and follow to improve your odds!
With the second half of the 2023 Salmon Slam now underway with phase three kicking off from April 1-14, there is a Shimano Maikuro 9ft rod, surf shoulder bag and Western Angler pack up for grabs for the fisher who catches the four longest salmon overall, along with adult and junior random prizes and another $250 Halco Tackle pack for best photo – so get out there!
Want to improve your odds at landing these plump beauties off the beach? We’ve compiled the best fishing gear tips from the salmon fishing experts on the link below!
The fishing action during phase two of the 2023 Salmon Slam became so fiercely competitive that it resulted in a draw!
Nathan Woods and Mitchell Daube both had fantastic salmon sessions on the south coast recently, with both talented anglers landing four salmon measuring 3,150mm exactly.
With Nathan landing his four salmon first on the south coast, it meant he narrowly pipped Mitchell to the post with his four salmon landed around Yeagarup, winning the four longest salmon overall in phase two and a new Shimano Vanford 5000 Reel valued at $439!
Great efforts to both of you and with phase three (April 1-14) and phase four (April 15 – May 1) of the Slam offering great prizes, we should see the numbers of catches only increase as we head into Easter!
Best photo winner
For fishers hoping to wet a line during the final two phases of the 2023 Salmon Slam, make sure that you have your camera quickly ready to go for taking a glory photo of your catch as there is a $250 Halco Tackle pack up for grabs containing ideal salmon lures for the best photo taken during both phases!
It was hard for us to go past this great snap of 21-year-old Kaitlan Angi on the beach near Esperance for the best overall photo in phase two as it showcases everything there is to love about salmon fishing in WA – catching hard-fighting sportfish on stunning beaches.
“I caught this salmon on March 3rd by flicking a baited mulie into a deep gutter right off the beach in Esperance. It put up an incredible fight and it was so enjoyable catching something that big right off the beach,” said Kaitlan.
Another reason why Kaitlan won best photo for phase two (hint hint) is this photo includes everything we prefer to see in a salmon photo – the fish is still alive and being held horizontally with no fingers in the gills, with a beaming smile and beautiful backdrop of our pristine coastline also visible!
Junior random winner
The south coast has been boasting the most salmon catches so far – although with schools now spotted cruising past Hamelin Bay and Boranup this week, the South-West regions could soon arise as the best place to be in the coming weeks.
Making the most of the recent red hot salmon action on the south coast was the Thorburn family, with sons Charlie, Patrick and Finn Thorburn pulling in some impressive fish off a beach close to Cheynes near the end of March.
It just goes to show that if you are in the right place at the right time, the whole family can experience the thrill of landing salmon when schools venture in close to shore, especially excited youngsters.
Father of three boys and avid fisher, Dean Thorburn, said it was one of the best fishing trips he has ever had with his family.
“We loaded five rods in the car and Finn (13), Patrick (10) and Charlie (7) hit the beach and started casting metal slices into the waves. Even though the casting distance wasn’t huge, salmon were cruising the closer channels, meaning anyone was in with a chance,” said Dean.
“Soon enough, Finn was on. We all raced over and encouraged him through the fight. His fishing rod buckled and drag was sizzling from the reel as the salmon used its strength in the waves for an epic contest.
“Eventually, Finn pulled it up with the wash and we all shared in the amazing catch. A few quick photos and the salmon was released back into the wash. Finn was absolutely over the moon and his smile persisted for hours.
“Switching to bait, Patrick’s rod then almost flew out of the holder as the salmon took multiple runs. He played the fish well, and sure enough he landed one of the biggest salmon captured over the weekend. We all agreed that his was one of our best days ever. Three proud happy boys, and a memory that will last a lifetime.”
As a result of their great session, the three Thorburn brothers have $100 to spend on fishing gear thanks to the crew from Compleat Angler in Nedlands!
Adult random winner
Another contestant who makes the most of the Salmon Slam each year is Beverley Tillman, who always makes an effort to go camping on the south coast with her husband in the hopes of finding large salmon schools.
With salmon catches providing great fishing opportunities to kids, that excitement doesn’t go away even in adulthood, with Beverley enjoying some of the best fishing experiences of her life after creating more salmon fishing memories recently in Windy Harbour.
“I think the Slam is a great idea, especially for getting kids into fishing and allowing them to experience the thrill of catching big fish with ease,” said Beverely.
“On our annual camping trip to Windy Harbour, my hubby spotted a school passing by and flicked out a line before quickly hooking up to this salmon on a light Shimano 3-6kg Jewel rod and Shimano 4000 Stradic using a five-inch Zman Diezel Minnowz.”
Congratulations to you and your husband Bev and we hope you both enjoy prowling for some new fishing gear courtesy of a $100 voucher from Anglers Fishing World in Fremantle!
Well done to all our phase two winners and now that the salmon are starting to move into the South-West, make sure you don’t waste time and wet a line!
Want to get involved with the second half of the 2023 Salmon Slam? Make sure you:
The biggest and best salmon fishing experiences in the country!
Due to their sheer abundance, WA salmon are the biggest in Australia growing up to nearly a metre-long. Every year as large salmon schools migrate up the coast, thousands of West Aussie mums, dads and mates flock to the South and South-west to hook up to one of these iconic southern sportfish on some of the world’s best beaches.
The salmon run is addictive. It’s unmatched – and that’s why the Salmon Slam is the biggest land-based fishing competition in Australia!
Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said, “Salmon fishing off WA’s spectacular beaches is part of West Aussie culture generating $331 million a year for the WA economy every year. The experience of being hooked up to an acrobatic hard-fishing salmon is simply priceless though!
“It’s something we at Recfishwest passionately believe deserves to be celebrated with the salmon abundance that underpins these magic fishing experiences protected forever”
That’s why we’re proud to launch this year’s Awesome Autumn of Salmon, proudly supported by Shimanoand Western Angler.
The ubiquitous sand whiting. Rarely the target of a day’s fishing, but prolific, fun to catch and fantastic eating, as well as decent bait.
Actually officially known as western school whiting as we don’t get true sandies in WA, they are a staple of WA fishing despite their low profile. They don’t get the love of their larger King George and yellowfin relatives, but are still an important fish in our waters.
I have fond memories of some fun trips off the northern suburbs of Perth a few years ago, in a friend’s boat, drifting in 10-20m of water and catching a magnificent feed of sand whiting (along with the odd goatfish and many tiny little flatties that were very spiky!).
A simple paternoster rig with a heavy enough sinker to get to the bottom and a couple of small hooks was all that was needed, along with some little pieces of squid for bait. However, their main food source is actually small crustaceans. Other bait options include coral prawn and whitebait. The durability of squid on the hook takes some beating though and that means you are not baiting up again every few moments.
We caught loads of sandies this way, often catching multiple fish at a time, and the fillets were beautiful, especially when you got fish around the 30cm mark. Sandies grow to about 35cm, and certainly get quite plump at that size. Their delicate white flesh is a treat on the plate.
Of course, sandies aren’t just an offshore species either and any beach angler who has wet a line in the surf as far north as Geraldton has caught them. Sometimes the little ones are in plague proportions right at your feet, picking at baits meant for much bigger fare.
A little flick rod and small baits can mean some great fun while waiting for the bigger fish to bite. It’s especially enjoyable fishing for kids, as there is no need for long casts or heavy tackle. Not to mention that fresh sandies are an ideal bait for bigger surf predators such as mulloway, tailor and salmon.
It does seem that the better class of sandies are usually in that slightly deeper water though. We get some really nice ones in Albany’s King George Sound, and the shipping channel into Cockburn Sound is noted for them.
Drifting likely ground is a productive approach and you will find patches of fish, but you could also anchor once you encounter some action. At the end of the day, no one in the house will complain if you return with a feed of fresh sand whiting!
One of the fishing community’s greatest challenges is maintaining access to high-quality fishing experiences across Western Australia.
Be it from industrial development, the deterioration and subsequent closing of jetties and platforms, or marine park zones that prohibit fishing, recreational fishers face a constant uphill battle in being able to access the experiences we all love and cherish.
In the case of marine parks, Recfishwest has been at the coalface this year as we advocate strongly for a fair and reasonable outcome for fishers in two marine parks currently going through the consultation process.
One of these parks – The Marmion Marine Park – is currently located between Trigg and Ocean Reef and has been in place since 1987. As part of a 2019 commitment, the State Government announced in February plans to extend the marine park further north from Trigg up to Two Rocks.
Another new marine park is also being proposed on the south coast, between Bremer Bay and the South Australian border.
In order to assist recfishers having their say, Recfishwest have directly engaged fishers along the south coast and metropolitan regions, as well as undertaking two online surveys, aimed at highlighting the most important areas for recreational fishing in both areas covered by the proposed parks.
Recfishers were surveyed on numerous questions such as asking them to highlight specific fishing spots they enjoy in these areas, how often they fish, the species they target and what was most important to their fishing experiences, such as accessibility, health benefits and safety.
Thanks to the great survey feedback provided from 761 fishers across both areas, Recfishwest has been advocating to decision-makers to ensure recfishing values are understood throughout the planning process.
We are continuing to meet with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and traditional owners to discuss what can be achieved in these marine parks when recfishing values are applied.
While marine parks are not a fisheries management tool, it is crucial that any zoning type that impacts on recreational fishing access must be justified by evidence, including how recreational fishing impacts upon the key values being protected.
Our surveys and meetings conducted in these areas underline the importance of recreational fishers being provided with an understanding around the process and rationale used to develop different zone types.
Extensive consultation processes are underway, in which Recfishwest is directly involved. Thanks to the feedback gathered below, Recfishwest will be in a stronger position to ensure recfishing values are well understood prior to draft marine park plans being released next year.
The release of these plans will provide further opportunity for fishers to put forward their point of view when it will again be important for the fishing community to have its collective say.
Marmion Marine Park Survey Findings
334 respondents identified 459 specific fishing areas important to them.
Combinations of fishing types were favoured by some, but the survey was dominated by solely dedicated shore or boat-based fishers.
Most important shore-based locations were aligned with access points, such as marinas and carparks.
Most important boat-based locations include Hillarys to Mindarie, capturing locations such as Three-Mile Reef and Staggie Reef.
South Coast Marine Park Survey Findings
427 responses from mostly shore-based fishers only (169), closely followed by shore-based and boat-based fishers (147).
110 respondents fished at least 20 days per year or more.
The majority of survey respondents fished between Bremer Bay and Cape Arid.
Eastern sections of proposed marine parks were fished less due to limited boat launching opportunities but were still rated incredibly important for wilderness fishing experiences.
Most important factors to fishers across both proposed areas
Easy accessibility to their favourite fishing spots, including boat ramps, four-wheel-drive tracks and launching sites.
Spending quality time with friends and family.
Being able to combine camping opportunities with fishing experiences.
The mental and physical health benefits that fishing provides.
Thanks to everyone involved with the fantastic feedback gathered above.
We will keep you updated on the planning processes for these marine parks and will ensure they are underpinned by peer-reviewed science and feedback from public consultation to improve recreational fishing experiences in these areas with no net loss of amenity.
The time is near! The salmon are rounding the bend of the South-West and heading your way!
With the annual salmon migration around the West Australia Coast upon us and the Easter long weekend fast approaching, fishers can go into over drive and go to all extremes to target these fish, often overlooking simple steps to ensure a safe return at the end of the day.
‘Keep the sand between your toes’ as you round up the family and dog, head to a nearby beach and give it a shot at catching these fantastic sport fish.
Being part of a community of fishers on the beach, experiencing world class fishing whilst spending it with our families is part of our culture and although salmon are a superb sports fish, it’s not worth putting your life at risk when the salmon turn up Recfishwest Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Rowland says.
“With countless locations suitable for beach fishing along our coast, offering a variety of experiences depending on the adventure you seek, there’s no excuse to not put personal safety at the forefront of your mind,” Andrew said.
As we’ve seen in previous years, Salmon move in large schools and often track close to shore, hiding in the gutters along the beach awaiting smaller prey, making them accessible from our beaches for fishers of varying abilities and ages. It’s a great way to introduce youngsters to the sport, point out the silver flashes as they dart past and wait for the rod to buckle over.
Fishing is an experience in itself, whether you catch and keep your fish, or release them after the fight, just to be able to bring your fish onto the sand, hear the cheers from fellow fishers and take some snaps with the kids, makes for a memorable outing with the family. The great thing is, if the fish are there, often given away by birds flying over as they pick up remaining bait fish and fish hitting the surface as the salmon force their prey to the top; they are caught using just about any method! Baits, lures, fly’s, you name it, they’ll chase it.
For those seeking the action, the popular spots to fish are along the beaches and headlands of the south western coasts. The sheltered bays around Dunsborough are famous for their salmon fishing as the schools pass through, with Bunker Bay and Rocky Point the most consistent locations. Along the south coast, the mouth of the Warren River, Windy Harbour, Parry’s Beach, Bornholm, Nanarup, Cheynes Beach, Bremer Bay, Reef Beach and Fosters Beach are all fine salmon fishing locations.
If you want to let those tyres down on your 4wd, White Hills to Preston beach area, Cheynes Beach and Parry’s Beach are popular spots and there will be fish between the capes and Hamelin Bay, making it a great spot to check into the camp grounds nearby and spend the weekend with the kids. Sometimes you’ll find some of these spots quite secluded offering privacy, relaxation and the sense of ‘the perfect getaway’ for some. What more could you want then to drive along a beach, set up the camp chairs, stick a rod in a holder and wait for the school to arrive with great company.
If Salmon isn’t your thing, majority of these beaches also produce Skippy, Whiting, Herring, Samson fish, Bonito and more. Alternatively the rivers on the south coast can offer superb bream fishing, where you’ll find Herring, Skippy, whiting and Squid waiting for a lure to pass by in the estuaries.
Where ever you are and whatever you are targeting, make sure you speak to your local tackle store before heading out, to find a safe beach near you where you can target fantastic fish like Salmon.
Not knowing your surroundings can make it unsafe but also unenjoyable, so please check the weather, read the safety/warning signs, keep an eye out for potential hazards, wear appropriate clothing/footwear and always tell someone y our plans.
Still haven’t arranged your accommodation for this weekend yet? We’ve got you covered! Join us at the annual ‘Great Salmon Campout Event’ for the 24-15th March with offers the fishing weekend getaway that you need without the hassle of having to arrange it yourself.
Recfishwest offer the perfect timing and location to learn how to catch Salmon all jammed into one awesome weekend, where you don’t have to think! Accommodation at Cheynes Beach Caravan Park is inclusive with plenty of activities on offer to keep you and the family busy.
We know that fishing offers many benefits to us both mentally and physically, so why not throw the reef shoes in the car and head down for a cast. Registrations are filling up so please get in quick!
For those heading to Albany for the Easter Weekend, head into your local tackle stores to find our map of safe beach fishing locations, Salmon fishing tips and catch care tips. Free loan life jackets are also available from these stores.
Want to know our top 3 salmon lure picks? Find them here.
Bait fishing your preferred option? Read about salmon rigs and techniques here.
Catching salmon from world class beaches is one of the most iconic WA fishing activities you and your family can have. Launching a lure into a huge school of salmon only 30 metres from the beach gives every fisher, novice or pro, a tremendous thrill and one which never seems to gets old.
Check out how easy it is to catch a salmon from the beach, click here.
Lure fishing for salmon on world class West Australian beaches has many great benefits:
No need for stinky bait and cheaper than buying bait all the time
You can cast further and be amongst the action by putting your lure in the zone
Adds to the ‘sportfishing’ element
Great way to get the kids into lure fishing
No skill needed in regards to lure movement or techniques
Great method for catch and release fishing
So with that in mind, we’ve come up with the top salmon lures you and your family must have this season.
Salmon Lure Criteria:
Castability: (beach casting only)
Price: Affordable for everyone
Catchability: Does it actually catch fish
The curved ends of the famous Twisty create an enticing action like no other metal lure. From a slow wobbling retrieve to a high-speed splashing retrieve, this lure is truly versatile. The Twisty Chrome has an incredibly realistic baitfish profile that has proven itself in both salt and freshwater.
How to fish them: For best results, vary speed and angle of retrieve, and choose different colours to match the available baitfish in the area. The Twisty Chrome comes in a range of weights. Constructed with a shiny chrome body, anglers have the choice of either a chrome, gold, green, or red holographic variety in a weight from 1.5g up to 70g.
The Richter Plug is a simple yet effective lure that is nearly indestructible. Favoured among anglers for its great action on the retrieve this lure is the go to in any condition. With their slim profile and weight, they make a great long-distance casting lure that can be fired out like a torpedo and this can be crucial when trying to reach distant schools of cruising salmon on southern beaches. Whether you’re casting into open clear water or around rocky reef structures, this is one lure you can’t do without this salmon season.
Other Species: Tailor, herring, bonito, tuna, trevally, Queenfish, Kingfish, ,ackerel
How to fish them: They can be fished as either a sinking stickbait or a surface lure or both during the same retrieve! Retrieve them fast to create a frantic baitfish surface splash action or slow the retrieve down and watch it dart around just under the surface.
Available in White, Red Head, Chartreuse, Pink and Yellow, and in five sizes from 28 grams through to 140 grams – sized from 138mm to 78mm.
Along with the Halco Twisty, Raider metal lures are one of the most versatile fishing products ever designed and are useful for many fishing applications. Not only do these lures work in all water depths, they are effective in all aspects of lure use. The range of sizes match most baitfish profiles. Their range of weights means they have multiple fishing applications but do their best work being cast off a beach at a hungry waiting school of salmon.
Other Species: Tailor, herring, bonito, tuna, trevally, Queenfish, Kingfish, mackerel
How to fish them: For best results, vary speed and angle of retrieve, and choose different colours to match the available baitfish in the area. The angled design allows for maximum casting distance, a ‘dart and weave’ motion on the retrieve at all but slow speeds for spinning.
Constructed with a shiny chrome body, anglers have the choice of nine sizes ranging from 10g upto 200g.
FREE SALMON HOTSPOT MAPS
Yes that’s right, we’re giving you all the tools and advice you need to catch one of these awesome sportsfish from your local beach by providing free beach fishing for salmon maps available for download here, alternatively pick one up from a local tackle store and speak to the experts on the ground.
Also why not be involved in all the excitement by checking out the Awesome Autumn of Salmon celebrations we’re having! More info here.
So what salmon lure is the best? What do you buy?
The answer is obvious, you can never have enough lures for all forms of fishing. Recfishwest’s suggestion is to buy one of each and try for yourself. Different lures will work best with different rod and reel setups. With the lures we’ve reviewed being so affordable and proven to catch salmon, it won’t break the bank if you buy one of each and make up your own mind!