For the past two summers, the popular fish aggregating devices (FADs) have created exciting new sportfishing opportunities across the State – especially for fishers in the State’s south. Continue reading “Don’t let the fish aggregating devices trial be a passing FAD – send us photos and videos of your catch!”
Tag: mahi mahi
Reviewing the State-wide FADs trial program – two years on
There’s just one year left in the three-year State-wide fish aggregating devices (FADs) trial program, which has unlocked new sportfishing opportunities across WA from Broome to Albany. Continue reading “Reviewing the State-wide FADs trial program – two years on”
FADs in focus: State-wide trial program update
Following the launch of our trial FADs network back in November last year, we are getting excited to be in a position to deploy four new FADs off Exmouth opening up more fantastic fishing opportunities for local and visiting boat fishers.
We were very close to rolling this latest round of FADs in our State-wide network – but with cyclonic conditions forecast in the north of the State, we took the decision to hang fire until the weather conditions settled.
But everything is in place and once the conditions are favourable, deployment will go ahead with the new FADs catering for those who intend to target a range of highly-sought after pelagic species.
While species such as dolphinfish and tuna are expected to be encountered around those FADs located closer to shore, those located further offshore are expected to attract bigger species such as wahoo, yellowfin tuna and marlin.
The Exmouth FADs deployment has been a long-time coming, with the community asking for them for a number of years and it’s another example of how recfishing licence fees can be used to create fantastic new sports fishing opportunities aggregating abundant schools of fast-growing, spectacular-fighting pelagic species.
Delivering on our FADs promise
We promised a trial State-wide FADs network and that’s exactly what we’re delivering- once they go in off Exmouth, we’ll have deployed FADs in four different locations in the southern half of the State (off the north metro, south west of Rotto, Cape Naturaliste and Albany) and Exmouth in the north, with Geraldton and Broome to follow soon.
We have also received positive reports from fishers in the south, with fish, mostly dolphinfish being caught off both the Albany and Cape Naturaliste FADs. The Perth metro FADs are also firing, with plenty of fishers getting amongst the action and landing some great dolphinfish and tuna.
Learning the lessons
This FAD program was always designed as a trial. We’ve deployed different types of FADs in different locations to assess their suitability. Unfortunately, this has meant some break-off’s. Currently, we have had two FADs break away from Albany, one of which has been replaced in a more suitable location, and one break away from south west of Rottnest, which has yet to be replaced.
Due to all our FADs having trackers placed inside them, we are able to track wayward FADs, and when conditions are suitable, we’re able to recover them with the assistance of Western Angler editor Scott Coghlan and some of our supporters in the region – thanks, guys – your efforts were greatly appreciated! We will continue to refine locations and the design of these FADs to improve their ability to aggregate fish, but to also improve their robustness. This enables them to be deployed for longer periods of time, even in particularly heavy seas, such as those experienced along the south coast.
Gero and Broome FADs coming soon
By the time you read this article, Recfishwest will be closer to deploying FADs off Geraldton and Broome. We plan on deploying one FAD closer inshore to Geraldton and the remaining three, west of the Abrolhos Islands, in the hope of attracting larger gamefish. The Broome FADs in particular are somewhat of an experiment, as we’re deploying them in shallow water, relatively close to shore making them easily accessible to fishers 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.
Hit up the fab FADs photo comp
Want to be in the mix to win a Shimano Stella 4000 in our fabulous FADs photo comp? We have made the entry conditions as easy as possible so more of you can enter and be in for the running for this top of the line reel, which is also perfect for taming any small to medium-sized pelagics you might encounter while fishing the FADs. This competition will be running till June 30 and includes all FADs deployed across Western Australia.
So, here are some basic rules and what you need to send us to be in the running:
- A high-quality picture of a fish caught at any of the FADs deployed across the State (see contact details below);
- In your picture make sure the FAD is clearly visible in the background;
- If the fish is bleeding heavily, wash away excess blood before taking the photo;
- Fish must be caught during the competition time;
- Unlimited entries per fisher;
- Competition is open to both line and spear fishers;
- By entering you waive any intellectual rights to the image and agree to us to use the image you sent for any of our promotional materials including all of our digital channels and for any content we provide for external publications
Email in your high-quality pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, it’s over to you – get out there, give the FADS a crack and let us know how you go – we’d love to hear from you and see some of your pics of prized catches on the new FADs.
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.
*Once the FADs for each location are deployed, the exact GPS coordinates will be updated on our website.
UPDATE June 2020
All Metro, Albany and Cape Naturaliste FADs have now been brought back in for the winter and will be redeployed in late November 2020. Exmouth and Broome FADs will remain in place.
Expected time of re-deployment: Currently pulled in for winter, expected to be re-deployed in late November 2020.
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.
Expected time of re-deployment: Currently pulled in for winter, expected to be re-deployed in late November 2020
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.
Expected time of re-deployment: Currently pulled in for winter, expected to be re-deployed in late November 2020
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 Naturaliste FAD Coords with map
Expected time of deployment: Late November 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.
Expected time of deployment: Deployed March 2020 (GPS coordinates up to date)
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. FAD 1 yet to be deployed.
Expected time of deployment: Deployed June 2020 (GPS coordinates up to date)
Number of FAD’s/strategy: Fishing for mackerel and big trevallies could be accessible to even small boat owners.
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:
FAD Coords all locations
Things to consider when fishing on FADs
FADs to be Deployed in Regional Fishing Hotspots
Regional fishing hotspots are set to get a boost in 2018 as fish aggregating devices (FADs) 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. FADs will provide fishers an opportunity to catch fast growing, highly migratory pelagic species.
Designed to aggregate fish such as Mahi Mahi, Tuna and Billfish, the regional FAD project will see the first FAD installed in 2018. FADs have been used successfully throughout Australia, including off the coast of Perth, where the Perth Game Fishing Club deploys FADs 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 5m to enable them the opportunity to catch highly sought after sportfish.
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.