Recfishwest on the road – our Cossack fishing clinic!

Recfishwest’s recent fishing clinic in the Pilbara town of Cossack was a major hit with the local community, enthusiastically attended by kids, adults and Elders alike all eager to wet a line!  

Taking place on beautiful Ngarluma land, the fishing clinic, run by Recfishwest, with the support of the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd, Roebourne Hub Community Resource Centre, Woodside Energy and DPIRD, saw at least 40 kids and adults arrive by buses supplied by the Yaandina Community Services and Real Employment for Aboriginal People (REFAP) to one of Cossack’s popular fishing platforms. 

As soon as the next generation of young fishers turned up and saw the rods and hand lines perched against the rocks waiting for them, they excitedly sprinted over itching to get casting!  

Over 40 fishers from the Roebourne community both young and old tried their luck at catching a wide range of species, with many having success!

Recfishwest acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land and sea, and we pay our respect to Elders past, present and future. We recognise the strength, resilience and capacity of traditional custodians in managing and caring for the land and sea. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to life in WA.

Running for around five hours, it was clear that none of the fishers wanted to take breaks either! Attendees fished non-stop and landed great species such as golden trevally, bream, honeycomb cod, estuary cod and others.  

Around 30 rods and 15 hand lines made available from Recfishwest were handed out to attendees and our team was kept busy baiting the hooks of fishers, who were happily educated and entertained with fishing tips and bites.  

With a strong connection and knowledge of sea country, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities share many of the same values as recreational fishers and those in and around Cossack were no exception!    

The care for the sustainability of these species was evident by all of those attending the clinic, with a majority of fish caught and carefully and quickly released back into the pristine waters.  

Recfishwest’s Sam Russell said, “We had just as much fun coordinating this fishing clinic as the friendly kids and Elders did in wetting a line. Their connection to the land and sea and passion for fishing was abundantly clear and it was awesome to see fishing bringing people together in this way,” said “There was plenty of fish biting and seeing everyone coming together and catching a few was one of those moments that make doing what we do so special – we can’t wait to come back next year.”  

Danielle East, Woodside Communities Advisor for Corporate Affairs in Karratha, said, “The event was incredibly successful and the feedback we have received from participants has been very positive. Community members are already asking when there will be another clinic!” said Danielle. 

“We certainly would like to see more of these types of activities in the future. The knowledge sharing that was made possible from this event was invaluable. Not only the information the Recfishwest team could share with community, but the knowledge the Elders were able to share with Recfishwest was very useful too.” 

It’s clear how important fishing is for regional aboriginal community members, who have a strong cultural connection to the land and waters.

Our Recfishwest team are also excited to head back to Cossack next year and engage with community members.  

“We’d like to thank NYFL and the Roebourne community for their warm welcome and Woodside Energy for funding this program, none of this would have been possible without all of you guys.”  

Make sure you check out the Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd Facebook post for more images of this fishing clinic!   

Recfishwest Celebrate Gone Fishing Day

November 2016

The first National Gone Fishing Day was held on October 16 across Australia. Fishers united to wet a line on the day that was all for celebrating fishing in our community and teaching the next generation of fisher-kids.

Recfishwest participated in Gone Fishing Day by running a free family event on the South Perth foreshore. Hundreds of people attended the day and left feeling more confident in their fishing ability. Recfishwest aimed to encourage parents to get involved in their child’s fishing and together practice some of the vital basic fishing skills needed to wet a line over the summer months, and hopefully forever.

SunSmart fishing clinics were run all day for the kids to learn casting, fish handling skills and catch care.
It was a fantastic sight to see the banks of the river filled with energetic kids keen to learn the basics with mum and dad on hand, all with the Perth skyline just a stone’s throw away.

Other highlights of the day included:
The Crab Run: Kids and parents had the opportunity to learn a bit about fishing for blue swimmer crabs, the most popular recreational species caught every year in WA. Equipped with a crab scoop and a crab gauge, families quickly set out on the crab run to scoop up their bag limit of size crab cut outs as fast as they could, ensuring they stayed within the rules they had just learnt. Kids had a great time using crab scoops and learning some fun facts about such an iconic WA species.

The Dry Casting: This was a massive hit with the kids, mastering perfect casting techniques. Once they had mastered their casting techniques they were given the chance to use these skills to try and hit casting targets for prizes. Longtime Recfishwest supporter John Curtis and the guys from the Fremantle Fishing Club were on hand as casting experts, to teach the kids all they needed to know to master the art of casting.

The Mystery Ice Slurry: This activity was the show stopper of the day. Many of the kids at the event had never handled a real fish before and their reactions were priceless as they reached into the mystery ice slurry and pulled out a range of fish species. With the assistance of Recfishwest staff and the Recfishwest Smartphone App, kids identified and measured species, such as Black Bream, Herring, Tailor, Prawns, Blue-lined Emperor and even Mussels.

Recfishwest would like to thank all the volunteers that gave up their Sunday to help. Thank you to our community sponsors, Getaway Outdoors who helped on the day, provided the kids with plenty of prizes and giveaways. A big thank you also to Bluewater Tackle for their support for the event with kids prizes.

Our partners at Healthway threw their support behind the event providing sunscreen stations, hats and water bottles for the kids as prizes and giveaways and we were thrilled by the number of SunSmart fishers participating on the day.

The guys and girls from ‘Outdoors October’ also came down to show their support with plenty of happy snaps being taken for their annual October campaign – which highlights and promotes the West Australian community getting out and about in the great outdoors.

A shout out to Fishability team who also came down to help out, accompanied by their custom built Fishing Clinic trailer, on display for all of South Perth to see.
And thanks to all the volunteers who came out on their Sunday morning to lend a hand to help the families of Perth enjoy what could become their new favourite family activity.
Gone Fishing Day is set to become an annual event and Recfishwest is looking forward to expanding its profile across WA with more regional events.