Some of the world’s best deep sea, freshwater and beach fishing opportunities
The world-class challenges and rewards of fishing Western Australia lure many keen novice and pro anglers to the State’s rivers and 20,781-kilometre coastline to chase their best catch. From the tropical north to the temperate south, you can catch some of the most sought-after species right throughout the State. Little wonder it’s one of the most popular recreational activities in WA, with plenty of great local fishing guides for reference and fishing charters.
Deep sea fishing and big game fishing
Beside the coral reefs, islands and atolls of WA, deep sea fishing charters will take you within striking distance of hundreds of fish species, including enormous snapper, dhufish, cod, bald chin groper and the much sought after table fish - coral trout. Be sure to add the Abrolhos Islands, Montebello Islands and Rowley Shoals to your wish-list.
Local charters will also take you beyond the designated sanctuary zones of the world’s largest fringing reef, Ningaloo Reef, to one of the of the few places on Earth where marlin, mahi mahi, Spanish mackerel and sailfish are regular big game fishing catches.
Beach fishing and shore-based fishing
An impressive and tasty catch can also be landed on the beaches and rocks outside the sanctuary zones of the Perth coast, Rottnest Island, Kalbarri, Green Head, Leeman, Shark Bay, Exmouth and Coral Bay. Get your beach tackle ready for chasing herring, king george whiting, tailor, Western Australian salmon, samson fish, queenfish and giant trevalley. Fish safely and grab a lifejacket if you decide to fish from the rocks with catches of mackerel, pink snaper and mulloway on offer when the conditions are right.
The clear rivers, dams and lakes of the South West lure anglers to test their skills in pursuit of brown trout, bream, rainbow trout and WA’s most delicious freshwater delicacy – marron. However, the most highly prized trophy of them all - the barramundi - lies in the north of the State, in the mighty Fitzroy and Ord rivers. Lake Kununurra has also recently been stocked full of over 300,000 barramundi for the purpose of fisherman landing one of the best game fish on the planet.
Barramundi fishing is an institution for Western Australians and proves to be one of the greatest freshwater challenges on Earth – a real test of strength, endurance and fighting tactics.
Mandurah, south of Perth, is famous for its blue manna (blue swimmer) crabs, which populate the estuary and provide a great way to while away an afternoon during the summer crabbing season. For a larger catch, head for the mangroves of Cape Leveque, north of Broome, where local Indigenous guides share their secrets for catching mud crabs the size of dinner plates.
Experience the delights of catching and eating a fresh western rock lobster off the coastal reefs that extend from Esperance in the south to Exmouth on the Coral Coast. Weighing in at a couple of kilograms, it’s a favourite local feast from the sea.
Recreational fishing licences are required in WA for recreational fishing from a boat, freshwater fishing, net fishing, abalone, trout and marron. See the Department of Fisheries for details.
Check out the list of Top Ten WA Fishing Spots or visit recfishwest.org.au for all your fishing information and reports – you might even learn a thing or two from the locals.