Expect Exmouth FADs to fire fast!

Some positive news for fishers in or heading to Exmouth – we were delighted to deploy three new FADs off Exmouth as part of our ongoing three-year trial Statewide FADs program launched in November.

Despite all the challenges of the current time, we continue on our mission of making the fishing experience even better in WA and were able to deploy the devices in time for the start of the Gamex tournament last week.

Nat Hutley with one of the first dolphinfish caught of the Exmouth FADs!

Three FADs went in west and north-west of Tantabiddi on Saturday and given how highly productive these tropical waters are, we have not been surprised to already hear of dolphinfish and tuna to be turning up on them within days of deployment.

CLICK HERE FOR THE EXMOUTH FADS COORDINATES

Exmouth FAD deployment underway

Consulting with the community

As with all the FADs in the statewide program, the locations of the Exmouth FADs was determined in close consultation with local community fishing experts and we hope they create some great new fishing opportunities for local and visiting fishers soon.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE FADS TRIAL HERE

The FADs trial is getting really exciting now as we begin to move into relatively unchartered waters in the FADs space, if you’ll forgive the pun.

This is what makes the three-year trial such a compelling program – with dolphinfish and tuna already being found on the Exmouth FADs, potentially you can find yourself out there hooking up to a plethora of awesome sportfish such as wahoo, as well as billfish of all kinds.

On the other hand, it maybe that some of the FADs we are deploying around the State might not fire up as we’d anticipated – this is the nature of the trial.

Trials and tribulations of running the FADs program

Clay Lewis with a beautiful dolphinfish caught on the metro FADs

We’ve already had a couple of FADs in Albany and the metro get battered off their moorings by high swell conditions and we’ve replaced one and looking at replacing the others as soon as possible.

We’re also looking at ways we can strengthen the FADs moorings for future deployments.

It’s all part of the trial which has pre-determined objectives against which we are monitoring the trial’s success.

It’s a responsibility we take very seriously as part of our mission to create great fishing experiences for the WA community and to ensure that your licence fees are effectively reinvested to make fishing better.

With Broome and Geraldton FADs to come, we are confident that the trial is going to provide even more exciting fishing opportunities – as well as provide an opportunity for us to learn how to best establish a permanent statewide FADs program into the future.

You can help us throughout this trial over the next couple of years by telling us about your experiences of fishing the FADs and sending us your FADs fishing pics. So, drop us a line and enter our FADs fishing photo comp for the chance to win a Shimano Stella SW500XG – click here for more details.

Fabulous FADs open up a wealth of sport fishing opportunities

Working in conjunction with local fishing clubs, Recfishwest is developing and deploying a network of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) off the coast of the Perth metro and WA regional centres as part of a three-year trial program.

FADs have been used across Australia and off the coasts of places such as Costa Rica and Hawaii to great effect to enhance sport-fishing opportunities for spectacular-fighting pelagic species such as mahi-mahi (dolphin fish), tuna, billfish and mackerel.

Funded by recfishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, we have developed the trial program working closely with local fishing clubs and have coordinated the production and physical deployment of the FADs.

This is exactly how we believe RFIF funds should be spent – as seed money to test ground-breaking projects such as this, that create great fishing opportunities for which there is high demand and support within the recfishing community.

For those who might not be familiar with the concept, FADs are essentially large floats anchored to the seafloor in open water, where they aggregate schools of baitfish, which in turn draw sizeable aggregations of pelagic species.

This creates spectacular sport-fishing opportunities for boat fishers – to get a flavor of just how good the fishing can be – check out this sensational footage filmed by Luke Ryan of TackleWest on the existing metro FADs.

If you’ve got a medium-size or larger boat (or even a tinnie if you’re in Broome!) sensational fishing like this could be accessible to you in the locations below.

*Once the FADs for each location are deployed, the exact GPS coordinates will be updated on our website.

UPDATE June 2020

All Metro, Albany and Cape Naturaliste FADs have now been brought back in for the winter and will be redeployed in late November 2020. Exmouth and Broome FADs will remain in place.

Perth

Expected time of re-deployment: Currently pulled in for winter, expected to be re-deployed in late November 2020.

Number of FAD’s/strategy: Two additional FADs going in West of Rottnest in addition to existing Perth Game Fishing Club FADs as well as four FADs for to be deployed further north, which can be accessed by boats launching out of northern metro ramps.

Perth FAD Coords with map

Albany

Expected time of re-deployment: Currently pulled in for winter, expected to be re-deployed in late November 2020
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Trialing four FADs in the more temperate waters off Albany, they could potentially draw species like yellowtail kingfish. First time recreational fishing FADS have ever been deployed off Albany.

Albany FAD Coords with maps

Cape Naturaliste

Expected time of re-deployment: Currently pulled in for winter, expected to be re-deployed in late November 2020
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Trialing four FADs for the first time off the cape in an area where the Leeuwen current flows – we’re expecting to see good aggregations of mahi-mahi here.

Cape Naturaliste FAD Coords with map

Geraldton

Expected time of deployment: Late November 2020
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Trialing three FADs West of the Abrolhos and one in closer to shore. Out-wide you can expect mahi-mahi, wahoo, tuna and marlin, while mahi-mahi and mackerel could be the go along the FAD that is closer to shore.

Geraldton FAD Coords with map

Exmouth

Expected time of deployment: Deployed March 2020 (GPS coordinates up to date)
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Trialing four FADs west of Ningaloo Reef. We are expecting good numbers of mahi-mahi, along with the possibility of wahoo and various species of tuna and billfish. FAD 1 yet to be deployed.

Exmouth FAD Coords with map

Broome

Expected time of deployment: Deployed June 2020 (GPS coordinates up to date)
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Fishing for mackerel and big trevallies could be accessible to even small boat owners.

BROOME FAD Coords with maps

FADtastic fishing for the future

It’s been a long journey and we’ve had to wade through a mess of red tape and push hard uphill all the way, but finally we’re here.

We’re really excited to be able to deliver this trial program, build our understanding and expertise in this space and be in a stronger position to source future investment in FADs from recfishing licence money and potentially industry sponsors.

So once they’re in, get out there and have a crack – we’re sure you’ll quickly become a FAD fanatic if you’re not already!

Check out what Recfishwest CEO Andrew Rowland had to say about the FAD rollout here:

 

FAD Coords all locations

Things to consider when fishing on FADs