Brand new $10 million fishing platform to replace Woodman Point’s Ammo Jetty!

One of Perth’s most iconic fishing spots is set to receive an almost $10 million makeover to replace its renowned, but decaying, jetty in a major victory for land-based metro anglers.

The Ammo Jetty is an easily-accessible fishing spot in the south metro.

Premier Mark McGowan revealed on Sunday the State Government would commit $9.69 million to replacing the “Ammo Jetty” at Woodman Point as part of a larger $300 million investment package in sport and community infrastructure.

Although the Ammo Jetty is a very popular land-based fishing platform in the metro area, the current jetty at Woodman Point has been in a steady state of decline over the past few years.

It was approaching the end of its life and Perth’s fishing community was potentially facing the real possibility of losing this treasured, yet ailing, fishing platform in the next year or so.

To ensure the jetty wasn’t lost forever, Recfishwest Operations Lead Matt Gillett strongly advocated for its replacement through our involvement in a multi-agency working group.

The group, established in February last year, assessed options for the jetty’s future to ensure it continued to provide easy access to mums, dads and kids to quality fishing for many bread-and-butter species.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said it was very important land-based fishers continued to have access to great fishing platforms, such as the Ammo Jetty.

See what Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland has to say about the announcement below

“Like thousands of south metro anglers, I have fond memories of cutting my teeth at the Ammo Jetty as a kid, catching yellowtail scad and herring,” he said. “It’s one of those special fishing spots that holds a place in many Perth anglers’ hearts.

“Let’s not forget the Ammo Jetty provides one of the only fully wheelchair-accessible fishing platforms in the south metro and is used by our partner organisation Fishability to hold many of their metro fishing events.

“With these kinds of experiences offered by the jetty, it was critical we ensured that a jetty at Woodies was secured for the future.”

In addition to bread-and-butter species, the Ammo Jetty is also home to one of the best metro salmon fishing spots and during the annual salmon run it’s standing room-only on the jetty as anglers line up to get in on the action.

The rod-bending action doesn’t stop there – fishers are even in with a chance of catching tuna and mackerel from the Ammo Jetty in the summer months.

Check this fantastic video of the sheer chaos that ensues as a young tacker hooks up and lands a Spanish mackerel from the jetty!

With the touted Ammo Jetty set to be based south of the old structure, the old jetty’s existing concrete pylons – which were installed in 1938 – will stay in place to remain an attraction for divers.

Andrew said Recfishwest was looking forward to continuing to work with the Department of Transport to maximise fishing opportunities at the new jetty.

He added Recfishwest was also eager to provide input on its design to ensure the best outcomes for anglers.

“In WA, we have a history forgetting about our jetties and arguing about maintenance while they fall into disrepair, such as the icons at Esperance and Carnarvon,” Andrew said.

“So, while there is always more to be done, it is great to see Government recognising the need to invest in this instance and take action.”

The $9.69 million Ammo Jetty commitment coincided with confirmation the State Government would spend $1.3 million to upgrade Exmouth’s Tantabiddi boat ramp.

It caps off a great few days for WA’s fishers, after the State Government last week announced a tender to build a new boat ramp and jetty at Canal Rocks and $3 million to develop a new 112m jetty at Broome’s Town Beach allowing pedestrian, fishing and small boat access.

Great Southern Salmon Campout

Recfishwest has again teamed up with WA’s iconic fishing magazine Western Angler and Cheynes Beach Caravan Park to celebrate all things Salmon at the 2nd annual Great Southern Salmon Campout!

The weekend will take place at Cheynes Beach Caravan Park from Friday afternoon of the 29th March through to lunchtime on Sunday the 31st March.

The Great Southern Salmon Campout is designed for education, appreciation and loads of fun with your friends and family!

The event only costs $80 per adult or $40 per child, has plenty of activities to keep you busy and your mind on fishing the whole weekend. Camping or cabin accommodation is available at Cheynes Beach Caravan Park. Please contact them directly to book accommodation.

Read more and register here.

Salmon Slam Sponsors

We would like to say a big thank-you to all of our sponsors for this years Salmon Slam event!

Platinum Sponsors:

Compleate Angler NedlandsLogo Penn
Logo WhiteysLogo 4W Driver

Gold Sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:

Augusta X-TremeLogo Down South Camping

FADs in focus: Statewide 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 Statewide 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.

Clay Lewis with a nice metro FAD dollie and in the mix to win a Stella 5000!

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 aaron@recfishwest.org.au

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.

The Awesome Autumn of Salmon 2020 launches

Awesome Autumn of Salmon launch brings big haul of sensational salmon fishing events for WA recfishers

  • Premier announces salmon recfishing worth $331 million to WA economy every year
  • Bonanza of salmon fishing events include free three-month long competition through specially designed app
  • Salmon Spectacular in Albany (10-12 April), featuring footy legend Mark Lecras, and the Great Southern Salmon Campout (27-29 March) at spectacular Cheynes Beach, provide further salmon fishing opportunities for rec fishers

On the back of this week’s announcement by the State Premier Mark McGowan that recreational salmon fishing is worth $331 million a year to the WA economy, Recfishwest is proud and excited to announce the Awesome Autumn of Salmon – a whole season of great salmon fishing events.

These events, funded by a Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund (RFIF) grant and supported by partners in the fishing tackle, camping and outdoors industry, include:

  • The Salmon Slam 2020 – a three-month long salmon fishing competition open to anglers of all ranges and abilities who download a specially developed free app with the chance to win a heap of prizes including a dinghy and outboard motor
  • The Albany Salmon Spectacular – a free three-day family fishing comp in Albany over the Easter weekend (10-12 April), run in partnership with the Albany Offshore Boating and Fishing Club, again with lots of prizes and featuring special guest-start footy legend Mark Lecras

In addition, Recfishwest will be running its popular annual Great Southern Salmon Campout at Cheynes Beach (March 27-29) with a series of salmon fishing teach-ins from some of the leading experts in the game, as well as the chance to chase big salmon schools along one of the State’s most spectacular beaches.

The Premier was in Albany with Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley and Recfishwest to announce the results of an economic study, also RFF funded, into the value of recreational salmon fishing to the WA economy.

Recfishwest CEO Andrew Rowland said “Fishing for one of the world’s best and most accessible sportfish – the mighty West Aussie salmon – off some of the world’s best beaches, is one of the truly iconic WA fishing experiences enjoyed by tens of thousands WA fishing families every year.

“Having the State Premier recognise the economic value that the annual salmon migration up the south-west coast brings to regional WA every year is a great step forward in ensuring the abundance of these superb sportfish is protected.

“It’s that abundance of these fish that means WA salmon on average are bigger than anywhere else in Australia and ensures such exciting fishing experience which keeps fishers coming back every autumn. The fact that the study also showed that salmon fishers release three out of four fish they catch further underpins that abundance.

“We think being able to take part in this amazing fishing experience every year is something worth celebrating and that’s why we and the WA recfishing community are going to celebrate salmon this year like never before through the Awesome Autumn of Salmon.”

Albany-based fisher, writer and editor of Western Angler magazine, partner of the Awesome Autumn of Salmon, said, “It’s really exciting to see all these salmon fishing opportunities being created. There’s never been a salmon fishing event like the Salmon Slam before – a three-month long fishing event that anyone can enter taking a snap of their salmon catch and entering it through the free app. Having the comp set up like this allows anyone who likes to catch and release their salmon to enter as well making it truly open to all.

“I’m also pumped along with the Albany recfishing community to be hosting the Salmon Spectacular over Easter – this is a great event that fishers can participate in and win prizes without even having to catch a fish – and with Mark Lecras coming down to wet a line and have a yarn with participants, it’s already shaping up to be a cracker!”

When asked if he was surprised about the economic value of recreational salmon fishing to the state, Coghlan replied with, “Yes and no, as there was no way of knowing how much people spend on salmon. it is a bigger deal than most people think it is and for those who haven’t seen the impact of salmon, go down to any beach in the south coast or south west and you get an idea of what this amazing fish means to people”

Australind-based fisher and tackle store owner, Ben White said, “The salmon run is very important for our business, in a short period of time the store is swamped with customers, spending big on bait, hooks lures etc. I’m not surprised by the amount West Aussies spend on salmon, we see it in the shop every year during the run, people from Perth who are happy to travel down and chase salmon. We only see them once a year but when they come down, they are happy to spend big. We are excited for what this salmon season will bring, with all the events planned for this autumn”.

More information about the Awesome Autumn of Salmon events and the salmon economics study can be found at recfishwest.org.au/salmon

The Salmon Slam 2020 app can be downloaded on Android Google Play store and on iOS devices from the App store.

For all media enquiries, please contact Ben Carlish, Recfishwest Communications Lead, on 0434 942 678 or ben@recfishwest.org.au

The Great Southern Salmon Campout 2020

Fancy a crack at catching one the best land-based sportfish in the world? Would you like to learn some cool tips and tricks to improve your salmon fishing, including lure and bait fishing, beach casting tuition and how to prepare and fillet your fish?

This years 3rd annual Salmon Campout at Cheynes Beach Caravan Park is a must entry in your fishing calendar. It kicks off on Friday afternoon 27 March through to lunchtime on Sunday 29 March.

The Great Southern Salmon Campout is designed for education, appreciation and loads of fun with your friends and family!

The event only costs $80 per adult or $40 per child, has plenty of activities to keep you busy and your mind on fishing the whole weekend. Camping or cabin accommodation is available at Cheynes Beach Caravan Park. Please contact them directly to book accommodation.

The weekend will include the following:

  • Complimentary BBQ Dinner on the Friday Night – meet and greet
  • Registration pack including information and Recfishwest’s top Salmon lures
  • Demo and ‘How To’ workshops:
  • Lure casting for salmon – rigging and lure selection
  • Bait fishing for salmon – bait rigging and gear selection
  • 4×4 safety
  • Beach casting tuition
  • Fish filleting and preparation

 

You will have the opportunity to learn new skills from industry experts, fish from world class beaches and make memories that will last forever.

If this sounds like your kind of adventure, make sure you get in quick and register!

Click here to register!

Ticket sales end 22nd March 2019.

Our Stance on Salmon

Recfishwest’s position on the best use of salmon in WA:

All fish in WA should be managed to provide the best return to the West Australian public.

For salmon, this means tourism, recreation and a quality seafood product. Tens of thousands of West Aussies travel to our state’s South-west each year to catch salmon. It’s a West Australian tradition; and these quality fishing experiences must be maintained.

Using iconic sportfish solely as a bait product is not acceptable.

Catching this premier sportfish and sending them straight to the bait market is a practice that should not be happening in 2019. This includes the use of salmon cutlets, fillets, or trunks as bait. Salmon heads make excellent bait once the fillets have been used for human consumption. The same principle can be applied to iconic sportfish such as barramundi, marlin or a range of other species.

Measures should be taken to reduce current conflicts on beaches.

We continue to receive reports from anglers about conflict between sectors on our beaches. All user groups have a moral obligation to respect others on the beach. We ask all beach anglers to respect the activities of commercial salmon operations. However, please be aware that the fisheries legislation does not give any one sector the right to fish over the top of the other. It also doesn’t give any particular priority access to a particular beach or to individual schools of salmon.

In representing the interests of beach anglers, Recfishwest is calling for an immediate reduction in conflict during peak periods such as weekends and public holidays.

All fish stocks in WA must have clear and transparent management objectives.

Fisheries management objectives are a set of goals or aspirations which guide resource use in line with community values, benefits and expectations. Good management objectives are created through consultation and discussion with all stakeholders.

The current management system for salmon does not recognise or integrate social and economic dimensions. Nor does it protect the interest of the thousands of WA anglers who chase salmon on our beaches each year. The popularity of salmon along with a clear mandate from our members creates a strong bias for action and we will not stop advocating until your interests are recognised.

We are seeking a dedicated process to establish clear objectives for the future of salmon in WA so that the value and benefits for all users is recognised and clearly articulated in Government policy.

It must be noted that this is not a sustainability issue, salmon stocks are currently very healthy and it is these high abundances that are underpinning the great fishing we are experiencing along out coastline including a regular salmon run into Perth local waters.

Do You Fish for Salmon? We Want to Hear From You

Each year many fishers venture South to take part in the annual salmon season where large schools of big fish travel along the coast on their annual spawning migration. As these fish travel so close to shore, they’re incredibly accessible for all fishers.

Kids get the opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime

Beach fishing for salmon provides a safe and enjoyable form of fishing for families, where kids have the opportunity of fighting a big fish and creating a memory that will last a lifetime.

Whether you catch and keep your fish, or release them after the fight, salmon fishing from our South Coast beaches is ingrained in West Australian culture.

Recfishwest believes the pristine white sandy beaches of the WA coast combined with the splendid sportfishing qualities of this species truly makes this the world’s best fishing on the world’s best beaches.

This survey will help us understand what YOU value most about salmon and it will also provide us with an estimate of the amount of money fishers pump into the economy every year when fishing for salmon. This value will be incredibly useful in advocating for salmon to be managed in a way that will make your fishing experiences even better.

Click here to take the survey.

The survey is open until 30th June 2019. Your participation in this survey will allow Recfishwest to continue to advocate to ensure the great fishing experiences provided by Australian salmon are forever celebrated and enhanced. Ten minutes of your time now can help ensure a life time of great fishing for all.

*This survey is conducted by the Economic Research Association.

Superb fishing for all regardless of age or ability
Salmon are an incredible sport fish

Salmonitis Epidemic On The Rise Again

Are you ready for this year’s ‘salmonitis’ epidemic to hit the metro area?

Vuthy So caught this salmon at Bunker Bay last weekend

If you thought the man flu was bad, then you better look out for this annual craze that gets the blood pumping in any seasonal fisher between Perth – Esperance.

Salmonitis begins as an increased use of social media, with your partner spending hours at a time staring at their phone, scrolling through the newsfeed and keeping an eye on the Facebook page – Salmon School Tracker 2019.

It progresses into the need to suddenly layout all their fishing gear on the garage floor, carefully reviewing line strength, reel capability and determining what lures they have (and need).

You’ll begin to notice over the next few weeks, your partner acting extremely helpful, suggesting they run to the shops on your behalf to ‘grab some milk.’ Running errands on Thursday evenings leaves you feeling suspicious but also quite grateful your partner is doing something useful and helping reduce the workload.

Esperance locals catching salmon from local beaches

It’s not too long before you’ll notice the increase in spending, the trip to the shops, become spending sprees with the bank balance slowly diminishing. If it’s not the shops they’re going to, it’s the online shopping that has suddenly taken a priority, except nothing actually arrives at your address, leaving you feeling puzzled. Instead, it’s been carefully re-directed to their work address, just to avoid the argument no one wants to have.

It isn’t until you watch your partner squirm as they tell their boss they aren’t feeling ‘too well’ over the next few days that the dots begin to line up. It’s not a coincidence that your partner’s sick days become carefully aligned with days where the weather seems just perfect, 10-15knot easterly winds, with minimum swell.

Fishers of all ages can target these fantastic fish

This is when you know they have an extreme case of salmonitis!

Salmonitis is highly contagious and once you and the kids have it, there’s no turning back! As it comes in waves, on an annual basis, it’s something you can’t shrug off and pass off for another day. It’s here; it’s right on our doorstep and its value is extremely high.

Bringing fish up onto the beach with the sand between your toes is part of our culture

With more than 40,000 people expected to flock to the pristine white sandy beaches of the South-west, along with jetties and boat ramps over the upcoming weeks for the salmon season, this epidemic is not to be missed. Targeting these sensational sport fish allow you to reap the mental, physical, social and economic benefits they provide us, our partners, our families and communities.

Each year when the migrating salmon move along the South-west coast, they attract a migration of fishers to the same area; a place they base themselves while they explore vast coastline in search of one of these salmon schools. These trips to the South-west bring family and friends who frequently explore the towns nestled along the coast buying fuel, bait, lures, fishing gear, food, drinks, accommodation, camping gear, and fishing gear and clothing.

The economic return to these coastal towns cannot be underestimated; recreational fishing was recently valued at over $2.4 billion to the economy for the whole state, though it’s unknown just how much salmon contribute to this figure. Many fishers are spending their hard earnt money to head South and try their luck at hooking into one of these fish. If you ever embark on a salmon fishing trip, you’ll easily understand why people come back year after year, showing just how much Australian salmon is valued by all members of the community and the South-west region.

Salmon schools can easily be spotted from the beach

This year’s salmon season will be no different to those of the past, with plenty of hard fighting fish on offer and great locations to explore presenting a great excuse to head South with family or friends.

Tell us about your salmon fishing!

Fishing from the beach allows you to bring your fish onto the safe and pristine white sand
Sedin’s first ever Australian salmon!

Recfishwest believes the pristine white sandy beaches of the WA coast combined with the splendid sportfishing qualities of this species truly makes this the world’s best fishing on the world’s best beaches.

Help us determine the value YOU place on salmon and the benefits they derive as well as expenditure by completing the 10 minute survey. Click here.

The survey is open until 30th June 2019. Your participation in this survey will allow Recfishwest to continue to advocate to ensure the great fishing experiences provided by Australian salmon are forever celebrated and enhanced.

Ten minutes of your time now can help ensure a life time of great fishing for all.

Christopher Hoang with this superb salmon from this years season