Trial FADs network launch opens up new sport fishing options for WA

Yesterday Recfishwest joined the Minister for Fisheries in Fremantle to announce the launch of a trial State-wide Fish Aggregation Device (FADs) network.

We have been working closely with local fishing clubs to develop and deploy additional FADs off Perth metro and off Albany, Cape Naturaliste, Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome as part of a three-year trial program.

If you’re in any doubt about why this is fantastic news for WA’s boat fishers – check out this awesome footage of TackleWest’s Luke Ryan and his mate doing battle with mahi-mahi (dolphinfish) on the existing Perth FADs.

WATCH SOME AWESOME FADs FISHING OFF PERTH BELOW

More than a passing FAD – FADs for the future 

We’re sure that’s got you drooling and yesterday’s announcement will make new and exciting fishing options for these species along with billfish and tuna for metro fishers, and those fishing out of regional WA centres.

Those north of Perth can also expect mackerel in the mix on the FADs as well.

Funded by recfishing licence fees through the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF), this is exactly how RFIF funds can be spent – as seed money to test ground-breaking projects. These are projects that create great fishing opportunities and for which there is high demand and support within the recfishing community.

As a result, 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, from industry sponsors.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT THE LOCATION OF THE FADS AND WHAT SPECIES YOU CAN EXPECT TO CATCH ON THEM

A long road worth travelling

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 – new FADs ready to go in off Albany and Cape Naturaliste in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also in the next couple of weeks, we’re deploying extra FADs off the metro, west of Rotto, to complement the existing ones already there every year by the Perth Game Fishing Club (PGFC), along with four new ones that will be readily accessible to those launching from northern suburbs boat ramps.

All up, that’ll bring the total number of FADs in the Metro to 12.

We’d like to give special mention and thanks here to the PGFC and their President, Peter Coote, whose 20 years of FADs’ experience has been invaluable in helping us to develop the trial program and maximise the benefits to recfishers.

We also thank the many fishing clubs, tackle stores and individuals in the regions with whom we have consulted on developing this program for their time and local knowledge they have shared with us.

In early 2020, we plan to deploy a further four FADs each off Geraldton, Exmouth and Broome. The Broome FADs particularly are something of an experiment, as we’re deploying them in shallow water, relatively close inshore making them easily accessible to fisheries in all  boat sizes including tinnies. This presents the tantalising prospect of opening up some great bait-holding potential to enhance fishing action for pelagic species within just a quick run-out from the shore.

So, once they’re in, get out there and have a crack and let us know how you go.

READ WHAT THE MINISTER HAD TO SAY HERE

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 (please note these are proposed and  we will update you as they are rolled out):

Metro

Expected time of deployment: End of November or early December.
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 coordinates with maps

Albany

Expected time of deployment: End of November or early December.
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 coordinates with maps

Cape Naturaliste

Expected time of deployment: End of November or early December.
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 FAD coordinates with maps

Geraldton

Expected time of deployment: Feb/March 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 coordinates with maps

Exmouth

Expected time of deployment: Feb/March 2020.
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.

EXMOUTH FAD coordinates with maps

Broome

Expected time of deployment: Feb/March 2020
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Fishing for mackerel and big trevallies could be accessible to even small boat owners.

BROOME FAD coordinates 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:

All FAD coordinates for WA

FADs to be Deployed in Regional Fishing Hotspots

Regional fishing hotspots are set to get a boost in 2018 as fish aggregating devices (FAD’s) are deployed in WA regional centres including Exmouth, Geraldton and Albany. With funding from the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund, local communities are working with Recfishwest to deliver FADs. This will diversify fishing opportunities for locals and visiting fishers alike. FAD’s will provide fishers an opportunity to catch fast growing, highly migratory pelagic species.

Recfishwest’s Fishing Development Officer Matt Gillett with a Dolphin Fish caught off Jurien Bay.

Designed to aggregate fish such as Mahi Mahi, Tuna and Billfish, the regional FAD project will see the first FAD installed in 2018. FAD’s have been used successfully throughout Australia, including off the coast of Perth, where the Perth Game Fishing Club deploys FAD’s in November each year. These are accessed regularly by metropolitan fishers and provide high quality fishing for Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Wahoo and Marlin.

Some of these FAD’s will be in reach for regular trailer boat fishers with boats of less than 5 metres to enable them the opportunity to catch highly sought after sport fish.

Recfishwest looks forward to implementing this program and will keep subscribers up to date with progress reported through our Broad Cast and social media platforms.

This project was made possible by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund.