Perth’s premier family fishing event, Swanfish, is on again this weekend, with a new direction aimed at better engaging fishers throughout the event. With a focus on catch and release fishing and for the first time ever, the use of a purpose-built smartphone app, Swanfish will provide participants with a live scoreboard and an instant method of logging their catches.
The Swanfish App, built by the team at TrackMyFish, will allow fishers to take a photo of their catch and enter it into the competition with only a few simple clicks. The app includes a live feed with photos so fishers can see in real time what’s being caught elsewhere on the river. This style of app has been utilised in other fishing events throughout Australia and has proven to be extremely useful for competitors.
The app will also turn all competitors into citizen scientists for the weekend, as each logged catch goes into a database which will be built on over future events. Long term data such as this is vital in providing insight into decision making around river management going forward.
The use of the app has also allowed Swanfish to change its format to a catch and release event. Whilst Swanfish has included a catch and release section for years, this new technology has allowed the event to go almost fully catch and release, with only large Mulloway able to be captured and brought to the award ceremony on the Sunday.
See what Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly had to say about the exciting new direction Swanfish is taking, read his statement here.
Thanks to our Swanfish sponsors, there are 20 categories and over $9000 worth in prizes. Please note you must be in attendance on Sunday at Garvey Park to win.
These changes will ensure that Swanfish continues to provide Perth families with the opportunity to connect with the river and enjoy the health and wellbeing aspects of fishing for many years to come.
To learn more about Swanfish, please visit www.swanfish.com.au
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.