City of Cockburn Fishing Clinic – Session 2

Recfishwest with support from the City of Cockburn are running two fishing clinics to encourage children and families to get outdoors, hopefully enjoy some beautiful weather and learn how to fish responsibly and safely. Our focus is entirely to create and promote wonderful fishing experiences. With this in mind, the Recfishwest Sunsmart Fishing Clinics will be run by Recfishwest’s experienced volunteer instructors with all equipment provided. The session is $5 per person and must be paid online by clicking on the ‘register’ tab *registration fee is non-refundable. Up to 30 children aged five to 15 years may be registered per fishing clinic. Parents are expected to be present as supervisors for children 12 and under and are strongly encouraged to join in at all of our clinics (although not required to register as participant). Please feel free to bring along your lunch, some snacks are provided. As always our Sunsmart Fishing Clinics are smoke free and all participants must wear a hat.

Please register your interest here. (SORRY THIS CLINIC IS NOW FULLY BOOKED)

 

City of Cockburn Fishing Clinic – Session 1

Recfishwest with support from the City of Cockburn are running two fishing clinics to encourage children and families to get outdoors, hopefully enjoy some beautiful weather and learn how to fish responsibly and safely. Our focus is entirely to create and promote wonderful fishing experiences. With this in mind, the Recfishwest Sunsmart Fishing Clinics will be run by Recfishwest’s experienced volunteer instructors with all equipment provided. The session is $5 per person and must be paid online by clicking on the ‘register’ tab *registration fee is non-refundable. Up to 30 children aged five to 15 years may be registered per fishing clinic. Parents are expected to be present as supervisors for children 12 and under and are strongly encouraged to join in at all of our clinics (although not required to register as participant). Please feel free to bring along your lunch, some snacks are provided. As always our Sunsmart Fishing Clinics are smoke free and all participants must wear a hat.Please register your interest here.

A Story about James, Stephen and Jack

August 4th and 5th was a weekend jam-packed with activity options for families in the Pilbara communities of Karratha and Dampier. The annual FeNaClNG Festival (Stands for: Fe[Iron]NaCl[Salt]NG[Natural Gas]) celebrates community and brings in supporters and spectators from far and wide. Local group KSEN (Karratha Science Engagement Network) for ‘epic’, (empowering people in communities), took the chance to team up with Recfishwest and local fishing clubs to hold two Junior Recfishwest SunSmart fishing clinics.

More than 40 families participated across the two clinics at King Bay Game Fishing Club and Nickol Bay Sportfishing Club. As the second session of the day drew to a close, an unexpected finale unfolded.


It’s not often Recfishwest call an early end to one of our fishing clinics; but when the younger kids are losing interest as a result of catching just two fish over two hours, instructors Matt Gillett and Kim Burton were left with little choice. The group ventured back up to the Nicol Bay Sports Fishing Club (at Hampton Harbour Boat and Sailing Club) to hold the clinic debrief where Matt and Kim recapped the important SunSmart and fishing safety messages and handed out a huge array of prizes. Participants were spoiled for choice with a huge selection of lures thanks to Nickol Bay Sportfishing Club and ‘epic’/KSEN as well as hats, water bottles or books from Recfishwest and SunSmart.

So after completing the quiz and prize session, Kim (ever keen for one more cast) suggested if any of the children would like to finish off the session with a little more fishing he was happy to accommodate with some “one on one” tuition.

Stephen Farey and son James (aged 7) from Denmark in WA’s deep south, were in Karratha for the FeNaClNG weekend and had some unfinished business. Like many others for the day, James had not landed a fish during the session…. that was hopefully about to change.

Stephen and Kim chewed the fat over past clinics Kim had conducted at the location, with Kim pointing out over the twenty or so clinics he had done there, never had he seen a clinic with so little fish. Over the years at past clinics the participants had caught gardies, queenfish, squid, juvenile giant and golden trevally, flathead, javelin fish and massive diamond scale mullet to name a few……..all missing from this clinic. This time no amount of berlying from Kim and Matt had made any effect whatsoever.

So after another 30 minutes of fishless time had passed, the sun hit the horizon and as Kim called ‘last cast’, Stephen’s 6kg monofilament line took off with line peeling from the reel. It was pretty evident that there was a fair fish on the end of it. So while Stephen was holding the rod, James suddenly sprung to life. To start, dad Stephen was a little over exuberant with the tiny outfits meant for smaller fare so Kim suggested that he let the fish run and take line from the spool when it wants to go then pump and wind when the fish tires. Not wanting to miss out on the action, James all of a sudden wanted in and a father and son team effort ensued.

The water in front of the Nicol Bay Sports Fishing club at the time was around waist deep. The fish took runs parallel to shore leaving large boils behind. With the murky water there was no way of telling what they had hooked, but with past catches from this beach everything pointed to one of the trevally species, more than likely a good size golden trevally.

Too much tension on the line would have seen the line break, not enough and it would be disaster into the rocks and dreams about a fish of a lifetime fade away with the looming sunset. It wasn’t to be as the father and son combination had the culprit in the shallows after a six or seven minute tussle but the fish would not give in that easy. With the fish only metres from shore there was no way of telling what we had on in the murky shallows, a glimpse of what was hooked would have satisfied everyone at this delicate stage.

And after what must have been the best part of a ten minute fight we caught a glimpse of the red tail and then the whole fish. They had done it. A 46cm Mangrove Jack caught on a size one circle hook and small piece of prawn carefully dragged on to the shore safely landed. A real team effort in what many anglers with greater experience could only dream of.

”This was one of the best days of my life!” – Said James, reflecting on the day when talking to his dad that evening.

It doesn’t always happen but in this case, persistence and patience paid off with both James and Stephen walking away from the Recfishwest Fishing Clinic with memories to last a lifetime and Matt and Kim knowing that they have another junior angler who had participated in the Recfishwest Fishing Clinics hooked for life.

By Kim Burton (Recfishwest Fishing Clinic Instructor from FeNaClNG weekend clinics Aug 4th 2018)

400 more hooked on fishing

Family Fishing Fundays…

Kim Burton and Alan Guthrie, two of our dedicated volunteer fishing clinic instructors, spent the April school holidays delivering free fishing clinics to Midwest coastal communities. They visited Kalbarri, Geraldton, Port Denison, Leeman and Jurien Bay in the kindly donated Toyota Hilux from Rockingham Toyotaways, with the Recfishwest trailer full of fishing gear in tow.

The tour kicked off in Kalbarri at the estuary jetty near the Memorial St Boat ramp. Kim and Alan had their work cut out for them as over 40 participants registered to fish and the trailer only holds 34 rods!! Luckily there were no unhappy fishers as many of the kids had bought their own rigs along.

With hats and sunscreen on, everyone couldn’t wait to get started. Locals and visitors alike, everyone with a line in the water caught a fish. Representatives from almost every corner of WA were in Kalbarri; local Kalbarri residents represented about a quarter of attendees so were well outnumbered by holiday maker families from Perth suburbs such as Ellenbrook, Fremantle, Chidlow, Kalamunda, Thornlie and Willetton, to other regional areas of Australind, Broome, Geraldton, Moora and Narajin.

As with many of our clinics which aim to introduce children and families to the best practice recreational fishing in WA, many of the young participants during the tour caught their first fish. Murchison River mouth had more than enough hungry fish on the bite. Species caught ranged from tailor and whiting to black and silver bream, moses perch, estuary cod and painted sweetlip.

Visitor Centres in Kalbarri, Geraldton, Dongara and Turquoise Coast at Jurien Bay had all the information about the ‘Who? When? and Where?’ of Midwest fishing clinic sessions and Leeman Community Resource Centre (CRC) was our fabulous partner and registration contact for the Leeman and Greenhead area.

So many species of fish were caught (and released) across the eight clinics. There was of course a few blowies in every group, but there were also whiting, flounder, flathead, skippy , king wrasse, butterfish, herring, squid, white spot rabbitfish and even a suckerfish that left it’s big black ray to take one very happy fisher kid’s line in Leeman.

Over 400 people attended these eight clinics, made up of families from every Midwest town we visited and school holiday-makers from across the state and country. Almost all our fishing clinic sessions were fully booked days ahead of our arrival. The many generous local business owners, local community groups and district shires all helped this tour become a success and have done so every year we run it.

Overall this Recfishwest SunSmart Midwest tour was a fabulous success and everyone who attended or helped thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Thank you to all the families and participants as well as our supporters in every location. A huge THANK YOU to Healthway our main sponsor, Getaway Outdoors and a massive THANK YOU to Rockingham Toyotaways for the loan of the car for the entire trip.

Recfishwest are planning another Fishing Clinic Midwest tour in April 2020. If you would like to support us to help make these a continued success and deliver the message of sustainable and accessible fishing, contact us today!

 

Click here for more information about SunSmart.

For more information about Healthway, please click here.

 

Point Samson Fishing Frenzy

Recfishwest and the Pilbara community of Point Samson joined forces for the Easter long weekend to assist the Point Samson Community Association (PSCA) with their first and very successful Junior Fishing Competition.

It was a three day “Catch, Click and Release” event, promoting safe and sustainable family fishing. The small event drew fishers in from as far away as Dampier and Port Hedland, swelling the small community from 300 to over an impressive 500!

Recfishwest held free fishing clinics on Good Friday and Easter Saturday at the town beach to encourage interest in the competition and be the source of any information kids and families needed to answer their fishing questions for the weekend. The clinics covered fishing and environment, safety, catch care, gear handling, casting skills and of course the SunSmart principals of Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide and Seek.

Both clinics were very well attended and the majority of participants were registered to fish in the weekend competition. After the all-important introduction, demonstration and safety talk, kids and families headed to the water to try out some of the casting techniques they had just learned and caught a variety of local species including Garfish, Trevally, Flathead and the very toothy Long Tom.

The competition kicked off early Saturday with over 90 junior entrants (6-16 years) collecting their registration packs from The Cove Caravan park. Rego packs included PSCA back sack, bucket hat and water bottle, a Halco lure, current Fisheries ruler sticker and a hook-out; the hook remover tool.

The morning of Easter Sunday, earlier than expected, an influx of keen families descended on the Community Hall and parkland before the official 11am kick-off time. The PSCA had organised food trucks, local groups fundraising with food stalls, bouncing castle and an Easter egg hunt.

The pressure was on for the judges to tally the competition results. Over 50 photos of an amazing variety of fish and shellfish were sorted through, debated on and organised into categories. Finally at half past midday the results were in. Of the 20 awesome prize packs up for grabs, only three categories went unclaimed. Among the notables were “most unusual catch”, a clam – “mystery fish” a dark surgeon and the extremely cheeky April fool’s joke entrant of very large deep sea arrow squid; turned out to be the bait that a young competitor had purchased to catch his quarry, to no avail, so decided to play the April first card on the judges!

The prize pool included fishing rods, tackle packs and junior fishing gear bundles all generously supplied by event supporters Shimano, Halco Lures, local business Tidal Solutions Pty Ltd, NYFL (Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation Ltd) and the PSCA.

As the young winners celebrated and examined their loot, the afternoon activities were set up on the grass. Locals were not particularly phased and

many joined in, but the combination of lots of chocolate and Pilbara heat kept a number of kids away from the casting skills game and the tug-of-war. Many chose to divide their time between swimming at the beach and the bouncing castle or in the shade of the playground or park.

This event was an amazing success for the PSCA and without the support from City of Karratha, local Woolworths, Rio Tinto, not to mention the vast number of volunteer hours put in by PSCA president and committee members, staff at The Cove Caravan Park and all the other community volunteers.

We hope to continue to support this event into the future and look forward to more opportunities like this in the Pilbara.

If you and your community group, would like to see our fishing clinic program visit you, please contact our fishing clinic coordinator Kate, to get the local kids off the couch and into fishing.

The Recfishwest Statewide Family Fishing Clinics are made possible by the funding support of Healthway and Getaway Outdoors, and other contributing partners.

Getaway Outdoors Teams Up with Recfishwest to Get WA Kids Into Fishing

Western Australia’s peak body for recreational fishing, Recfishwest, and community focused outdoor retailer Getaway Outdoors, have teamed up to get more kids off the couch and into fishing!

For 16 years Recfishwest have been delivering WA’s only Statewide Fishing Clinic Program, reaching over 30,000 fishing families and kids from Wyndham to Esperance.

Getaway Outdoors General Manager Matt Williams said the team at Getaway Outdoors believe more kids in WA should be out fishing and experiencing our great fishing environments.

“We believe in getting more kids off the couch and into fishing,” Mr Williams said.

Fishing has proven and well documented health and wellbeing benefits including being active and interacting with nature, reducing stress and anxiety, providing a positive state of mind and sense of happiness. Fishing also has everlasting family benefits with the activity being enjoyed from families and kids from a young age.

“Recfishwest’s Statewide Family Fishing Clinic program naturally aligns to why Getaway Outdoors exists and we believe we can help Recfishwest reach more families right around WA.”

“By supporting Recfishwest, who campaign to ensure all West Aussies have access to great fishing, it makes sense for Getaway Outdoors to partner with them and give the kids and families of WA access to better fishing.”

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said having supporting partners on board of the calibre of Getaway Outdoors was exciting.

“Getaway Outdoors have supported us at many previous community events such as Swanfish, Gone Fishing Day and Snapper Guardians and to have them on board in an official capacity is great,” Dr Rowland said.

“As a not-for-profit organisation it’s important to have partners who believe in our values and align with our vision of ensuring we have safe, sustainable, accessible and enjoyable fishing for the community forever.”

Visit Getaway Outdoors Online here.

 

________________________________________
Partnering with Recfishwest allows businesses to access one of WA’s most engaged and active communities, some 750,000 fishing West Aussies. Recfishwest have a range of Partnerships that can meet your social and corporate needs from supporting kids and families, to conservation and research, to fishing safety and digital communications. Contact Tim at tim@recfishwest.org.au to find out more.