Esperance’s new jetty on track to be ready to fish by March 2021

Esperance’s fishing community is closer to resecuring land-based fishing accessibility which has been lost for five years, with confirmation the town’s new $7.5 million jetty is half-way complete.

“We had hoped the jetty would be a little further along by now and completed by the end of the year, however, we are still on track as per the contract to be finished by March 2021,” Shire of Esperance CEO Shane Burge said, in great news for the Goldfields-Esperance region’s fishers.

Four-hundred metres of fantastic fishing

H+H Architects consulted Recfishwest regarding the new jetty’s design, with Recfishwest’s James Florisson playing a role in putting forward recommendations for fishing-specific features on the structure.

The new jetty will be 400m long once built and incorporate fishing-enhancing design elements, such as:

  • A widened modern fishing jetty component which will allow enough space for fishers to fish either side of the gangway;
  • Lower platforms to accommodate fishing and diving access;
  • Fishability ‘set-downs’ to allow people in wheelchairs and scooters to fish easily from the jetty;
  • Jetty-based fish-cleaning station positioned over water;
  • Fish-friendly lighting to fishing areas; and
  • Fisher-friendly railings and built-in fishing seats.

Unlocking fishing opportunity for locals and holidaymakers

An artist impression of the new Esperance jetty. Picture: H+H Architects

In December 2015, there was community uproar when it was announced Esperance’s renowned Tanker Jetty – which officially opened in 1935 – would be closed due to its declining condition.

The jetty had been an iconic fishing location for 80 years, with locals and holidaymakers alike fishing for a host of bread-and-butter species including herring, skippy and squid.

“Understandably, its closure was a massive blow to the community given the lack of land-based options at Esperance,” James, who cut his fishing teeth as a lad in Esperance, said.

“For many young fishers, myself included, the original jetty provided hours on hours of fishing fun.

“That’s why this new jetty is so important – that loss of land-based fishing accessibility was a huge blow for the fishing community, particularly kids who had limited other options in town.”

Once built, James said Esperance’s new jetty will re-open land-based fishing access which had been unavailable for almost five years.

“A quality, safe fishing platform in the heart of Esperance has always been an integral part of the local community,  also providing fishing access for the many visitors who roll into town each year,” he said.

“Many jetties have been lost across WA over the years, that is why it is great to see a new one being built – every seaside town should have a fishing jetty.”

Call out for Reef Vision volunteers

Recfishwest puts the call out for artificial reef filming fisher volunteers

Recfishwest is casting out for red-hot keen boat fishers who want to be part of the the marine citizen science program, Reef Vision – the first of its kind in the world.

We’re looking for more volunteers to join the ever-growing and valuable Reef Vision team and help catch valuable footage of the state’s artificial reefs while out fishing.

Reef Vision volunteers collect valuable data

The Reef Vision Program is made up of passionate fishers from the recreational fishing community who assist Recfishwest map and monitor the growth and development of these fish habitat-enhancement structures in Esperance, Dunsborough, Busselton, Mandurah and Exmouth.

The State’s artificial reefs program driven by Recfishwest, has been developed to provide great fishing opportunities relatively close to shore allowing small boat owners the chance to have better fishing experiences.

Each Reef Vision volunteer is given a BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) camera, and training on how to set up, deploy and retrieve the equipment.

The volunteers drop the cameras near to the reef on their way to their fishing spot and record an hour of video footage of the artificial reefs. This footage is later analysed by Recfishwest, university researchers and students to see what fish are using the reefs and helping us to understand the benefits of artificial reefs and the fish that call them home.

To date, Reef Vision volunteers have collected hundreds of hours of valuable footage from the six artificial reefs monitored in the reef vision program identifying hundreds of different species including dhufish, Samson fish, baldchin groper, pink snapper and large schools of mulloway and red emperor, Rankin cod, queenfish and blue bone.

Local community members deploying Baited Remove Underwater Video cameras

“I love my fishing here in WA and being part of Reef Vision gives me the chance to give something back. It’s also really cool to see what’s going on down there – there are some amazing things you see” said Reef Vision volunteer Garry Dyer.

Recfishwest’s Research Officer Steph Watts said, “We need to know what’s happening on these reefs, and it’s even more important that the volunteers are enjoying their time collecting the footage for us.

“They’re the backbone of Reef Vision, and we can’t thank them enough,”

Fishers who might be interested in participating and want to know more are asked to email steph@recfishwest.org.au.

Cooper Reef claims gong at Awards for Excellence

Throughout our great State, there are many community groups and champions rolling up their sleeves to make fishing better in their local area.

Graham Cooper accepting the award on behalf of the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club.

One of those clubs is the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club. The club has been recognised for their work on the Esperance Artificial Reef, named Cooper Reef in honour local stalwart Graham Cooper, who is helping lead the project.

The fantastic efforts were honoured on 29 June when Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club claimed the ‘Best Project’ award in the small clubs category of the Clubs WA Awards for Excellence.

Recfishwest attended the awards event with Graham and fellow club member Nigel Worth.

Part of what made the recognition extra special was the fact that many club members literally built the reef with their own hands when they helped to pour dozens of the 128 concrete modules that now make up the reef.

Artificial reefs from Esperance to Exmouth continue to provide great fishing experiences for local communities.

All of these projects were born out of dedicated local fishers who had a vision to improve fishing and the drive to make it happen.

Recfishwest are extremely proud to have been able to assist Graham and his team in delivering this exciting project for their local community.

Read more here in the Esperance express about the clubs great achievement.

Click here to find out more about Artificial reefs in WA including development information, location and how to fish them.

Family, friends and Recfishwest celebrating with Graham Cooper at the awards event on Saturday evening.

Local Hands to Build Esperance Reef

Esperance artificial reef build begins

ESPERANCE EXPRESS

Jesinta Burton

Read it online here.

The long awaited Esperance Artificial Reef development is another step closer with construction having officially commenced on Wednesday, June 6.

Local volunteers from the Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club will partake in a number of ‘busy bee’s’ throughout the month of June in order to build the artificial reef.

The $600,000 artificial reef development has been several years in the making.

Related stories:

The development came to fruition in December 2016, after it was announced it would receive $300,000 in funding from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.

In March last year, the project doubled in size after the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission matched the existing funding.

The local vision, which has now developed into a 150 tonne project, was designed to rectify the substantial loss of fishing access in the region due to geographical and environmental factors.

South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council chairman Graham Cooper said it was a special feeling to know that the reef build was something that both members and their children would be able to enjoy.

“It’s great that we could keep the work and the reef materials sourced locally,” he said.

“I can’t wait to catch a queenie or a sambo on a reef that the Esperance fishing community built with their own hands.”

Recfishwest Research officer James Florisson said the reef design was configured specifically for local species and had been thoughtfully designed by engineers, marine biologists and ecologists.

Mr Florisson said the reef configuration would create a productive ecosystem for a variety of different species of fish.

“It will provide a home for species such as Queen Snapper, Breaksea Cod, Skippy, Harlequin and Pink Snapper,” he said.

“This could not have been done without the support of the community and the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.”

The reef was built and will be installed by artificial reef experts at global marine foundation Subcon.

It is expected the reef will be deployed in September this year.

Recfishwest’s top lure picks for beach fishing for salmon

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.

A salmon spotted swimming through a wave well within casting range from the beach. (Photo courtesy of Tony Tropiano).

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

Halco Twisty

Photo credit: Halco Tackle

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.

Castability: 4/5
Price: 5/5 (approx. $5 – $10)
Catchability: 5/5

Other Species: Tailor, herring, bonito, tuna, trevally, Queenfish, freshwater trout, 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 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.

Richter Plug

Photo credit: Richter Lures

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.

 

 

Castability: 5/5
Price: 5/5 (approx. $5-$10)
Catchability: 5/5

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.

Spanyid Raider

Photo credit: Spanyid

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.

Castability: 5/5
Price: 5/5 (approx. $5 – $10)
Catchability: 5/5

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!

Have you caught a salmon on one of the lures above? Send us your pics! Email them to info@recfishwest.org.au

Angel Ring Saves Lives in Esperance

The recent investment in rock fishing safety initiatives is starting to make a real difference in WA and lives are being saved as a result. Initiatives such as Angel Rings (life rings) are proving genuine life savers, as was the case recently at Esperance.

A father of two was fishing from the rocks at Hellfire Bay while his children, aged 11 and 15, swam from the nearby beach. While he was fishing he saw his children being swept out to sea by a strong rip current.  His quick thinking had him grab the near by Angel Ring and he attempted to get it in the water as quickly as possible. Unfortunately he was hit by a large wave and swept in himself, placing all three of them in danger in what could have been a major tragedy. Fortunately he kept hold of the Angel Ring and was able to use it to support all three of them while they swam back to shore. The alarm was raised by others, but the trio made it safely back to dry land without assistance.

This is the first time it has been confirmed an Angel Ring has been used to save lives along the south coast of WA, although we believe it has happened on other occasions from local reports including Quobba and Albany. There is no doubt the immediate availability of the Angel Ring played a huge part in the positive outcome, potentially saving three lives. This story highlights the importance of continuing to invest in safety initiatives across the state.

Recfishwest CEO Andrew Rowland said the work done by community partners in Esperance to ensure Angel Rings were installed shouldn’t be forgotten.

“The Department of Parks and Wildlife, the Shire of Esperance and the South East Coast Recreational Fishing Council all played huge roles in installing Angel Rings in and around Esperance and the recent incident and the positive outcome is a testament to their work to keep the community safe,” Andrew said.

“This incident is a reminder of the importance of on ground safety equipment installations supported by local expertise and the need for the government to continue financial support for this initiative.”

Although Angel Rings are installed at many of the popular rock fishing destinations around WA, we still highly recommend the use of a life jacket while fishing, especially the new era of compact, self-inflating life jackets available which can be worn rock, boat or kayak fishing. Check out how popular these jackets are here.

Recfishwest wants you and your family to return home safe after a day of fishing, and because of that we are proud to work with our community partners, government and the public to make that a reality through safety initiatives around WA.