by Mike Roennfeldt
Along WA’s vast coastline there are endless wonderful fishing spots and plenty that I haven’t yet been privileged to visit. The following are just some of the more easily accessible places that have provided me with countless hours of pleasure and unforgettable fishing over the years.
Exmouth: undisputed game and sport fishing capital of the West Coast. Wonderful light tackle sport fishing in the gulf and inside Ningaloo Reef, world class trolling outside the reef for mackerel, sailfish and the like, superlative bottom fishing and consistently great marlin fishing for lots of small blacks and occasional huge blues. Exmouth has it all.
Kalbarri: heaps of shore fishing options. Big tailor from the reefs close to town and at the river mouth, mulloway along the beaches on both sides of the river, excellent rock fishing along the gorges to the south and big black bream and yellowfin whiting in the Murchison River. The first half of the year is best for trolling offshore for mackerel and tuna, with quality bottom fishing in season.
Geraldton: locals are spoilt for choice, with plenty of very good tailor and mulloway fishing options close to town. The S-Bend area to the south is great for both species and this is one place where dhufish are regularly caught from shore. A 4WD is certainly an advantage here. Port Denison Marina occasionally turns on excellent mulloway fishing from the rock wall.
Swan River: an amazing waterway that offers quality black bream fishing year-round, great wading for flathead in summer, mulloway in the deep holes around Mosman in autumn, heaps of tailor in the lower reaches from November onwards and occasional exciting sessions on giant herring to almost a metre long in early summer.
Rottnest Island: small boat fishing around the island can be great for herring and King George whiting. Big salmon schools turn up along the south side and at West End in autumn. Reefy outcrops often hold schools of big, arm-stretching yellowtail kings. Sanctuary zones have made shore fishing more difficult these days but there are some good spots accessible by bike that turn up big tailor, herring, skippy and King George.
Walpole: beautiful Nornalup Estuary and the Frankland River are ideal for small boat fishing for a range of species. Yellowfin whiting are a favourite and there is some unsurpassed sight fishing with lure and fly for black bream over the shallow flats in summer.
Esperance: the fabulous endless white beaches of Esperance are perfect for those who love light 4WD fishing. Salmon schools can usually be found somewhere at most times of the year and big tackle busting skippy regularly turn up in the deeper holes. There are King George whiting in the sand holes among the weed beds along the south coast and plenty of bream in the lakes around town.