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Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 12 January 2024 🎣

 | By Seamus on 1/12/2024 3:24:40 AM | Views (260)
Recfishwest Newsletter
Fishing Report
Can you identify this fish species? This is the first time this species has been identified at King Reef (Exmouth Artificial Reef) through Baited Remote Undewater Video (BRUV) monitoring. Even after five years, there's new species calling King Reef home! 

(Hint: It's not a giant trevally)
Our contributors
Sam Bock
Sam Russell
Jarrad Lawford
Sedin Hasanovic 
Want to know the best tips for taking great fish photos and also on how to handle fish out of the water? We've got you covered with our responsible fish handling and photography tips page. The page gives a perfect explanation on the types of images we love to use in our weekly Fishing Report and why. 

If you've got a cracking fish photo you want to send in, remember to keep sending us your catches by tagging #recfishwest in your online posts! You can also follow and private message your catches to our Instagram page @recfishwest and make sure you let us know where and how you caught it!  

Keep up to date with events, clinics, news and amazing catches across WA by following our Instagram page @recfishwest and give our Recfishwest Facebook page a like!

For your photos to appear in the weekly fishing report, please make sure they reflect our responsible fish handling practices (so fish held horizontally, no blood, hand under the belly, no fingers in gills, etc), just like the images below.

If you're planning to head out this week, stay safe, take plenty of photos and have fun! 

William Bennett


Pic of the Week!

Talk about making memories! Luke and James Peck got into the creeks chasing muddies out near Port Hedland. An awesome photo to remember, and a worthy pic of the week!
Credit: Robbie Peck

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Denmark's Rainbow Classic back on!

The 2024 Rainbow Coast Fishing Competition will be running on the 20th and 21st January. This is a weekend of fishing for some great prizes, for more information contact the Denmark Boating and Angling Club.

Broome catches
Darcy caught himself a nice healthy saltwater barramundi, great stuff! Credit: Reef Chief Australia


Most boaties have been concentrating on the creeks this week, with Dampier Creek coming up trumps again, producing barramundi and the odd threadfin salmon caught mainly on hard-bodied lures. Big javelin fish have also been in Dampier Creek and they too have been hitting the trolled hard-bodies. Crab Creek has offered fewer barramundi but threadfin catches have been better there. Both creeks have held good numbers of blue-nosed salmon and mud crabs, while northern mulloway continue to hang around the creek entrances.  A few threadfin salmon have also come from the Fingers. In Roebuck Bay tripletail have been hanging around the moorings but have been reluctant to bite.


At Town Beach Jetty; trevally, queenfish and javelin fish have been the main fare while at the Port Jetty barramundi are still hanging around the pylons while the queenfish and trevally have been active on the high tide. Anglers wading out from Entrance Point have also caught queenfish and trevally. Barred Creek has produced barramundi and mangrove jack, Willie Creek has offered barramundi and queenfish while Crab Creek has held threadfin salmon and mud crabs. In the Fitzroy River barramundi fishing has been good at Telegraph Pool.      

Big thanks to the crew from Tackle World Broome for their tips! Make sure you pay them a visit for the best gear and advice for your next fishing trip. 
Exmouth catches
Dan Coughlan has been out in the gulf chasing some nice tuna and managed to land this torpedo. Great work!


Blue marlin activity has died off again but the 300m depths have offered a few for crews who have persevered. Among the bycatch have been tuna, dolphinfish and wahoo. Sailfish and black marlin have been active in 80-150m depths, along with a similar bycatch, while wahoo have been taken on the Helby Bank in just 30m. Spanish mackerel have been in reasonable numbers west of the cape, mainly at the northern end, while deep droppers tangled with ruby snapper in 200m between Tantabiddi and Coral Bay. Out at the Well Heads cod and the odd ruby snapper have been caught in 250-300m and closer in pearl perch and goldband snapper have been active in 80-150m. The 40-70m marks out west have fished well for Rankin cod, red emperor and spangled emperor. Around the Muirons, coral and coronation trout have been caught in 10-20m along with a few Spanish mackerel and towards Peak Island bigger Spaniards and giant trevally have been landed. Off the tip of the cape and around the Muirons red-throat emperor in the 40-50cm range have been taken in good numbers. The gulf has offered coral trout and Rankin cod around the shallow lumps, while on the flats queenfish have been active. A few blue swimmer crabs have been netted south of the marina, while down towards the Bay of Rest permit and queenfish have been sighted on the flats.   


Learmonth Jetty has produced giant trevally at times while the bream and mangrove jack catches have been consistent. Throwing 15-20g Twistys around Bundegi has produced small trevally and queenfish and the ramp has been good for squid, while the shallows south of Bundegi towards the marine sanctuary have fished well for whiting.  In the town marina bream have been a consistent catch and small cod and mangrove jack have been about as well. The rock walls have been one the better spots for squid of late, while the bluebone patrolling the marina’s rock walls caused quite a few bust-offs this week. Spangled emperor have been caught from just south of the marina right up to the tip of the cape. Giant trevally have been hanging around Mildura Wreck but have been hard to tempt but a few big fish have been hooked with many lost. Tantabiddi has offered a few different emperor species.

These great tips were courtesy of the friendly team at Tackle World Exmouth. Swing by their store for the best advice and gear ahead of your next trip! 

Fish the FADs below for dolphinfish between February-March to potentially score a big payday!

There's a fantastic FADs fishing competition coming our way with some awesome prizes up for grabs! 🤑

During February and March, landing a big dolphinfish at one of the FADs listed above could score you an impressive payday, thanks to Compleat Angler Nedlands, Getaway Outdoors Balcatta, Anglers Fishing World and Seasport Tackle Jurien Bay creating a great alternative for fishers while our demersal stocks take a break 👌

Visit any of the stores for more info and we'll keep you posted on this competition!
Kalbarri catches


Dirty water and early sea breezes shut down pelagic activity this week but some crews managed good feeds of demersal species. Pink snapper were caught around the Sand Patch along with baldchin groper and breaksea cod. Dhufish and baldchin groper were landed in 30-35m at Bald Face while past Bald Face pink snapper to 75cm and dhufish to 80cm hit the deck.


Wittecarra and Red Buff have offered good numbers of chopper tailor and big dart, some nudging 70cm.  At Chinamans the river mouth and Back Beach tailor up to 70cm have been caught, with poppers accounting for a lot of the bigger fish. In the Murchison River mud crabs continue to be caught in good numbers while mulloway to 90cm have been landed at the marina jetty at night. Tailor have also been caught at the marina in the evenings and at the Sand Spit, which has held good numbers of yellowfin whiting. The inside of Oyster Reef has also produced plenty of yellowfin whiting. Bream up to 40cm have been in the Murchison River’s upper reaches. There have been whispers of mangrove jack around the pens at the marina jetty and at this time of year fingermark perch and javelin fish are often encountered. Cod have been caught around structure throughout the river. A group of anglers who camped at Lucky Bay last weekend caught plenty of good tailor at night and in the day managed to land a Spanish mackerel on a balloon but were thwarted by sharks. 

Shout to to Dean from Kalbarri Sports and Dive for his tips! Feel free to venture into his store to ask for advice if you're wetting a line around Kalbarri!
Geraldton catches


Poor weather this week put paid to pelagic and demersal action but conditions look much better this weekend and into next week. Boaties that stayed close to shore around Pages Beach caught herring, whiting and a few squid this week.     


Tailor activity has slowed a little but there are still good numbers of fish about. Good catches have come from the Greenough River mouth’s first and second points in the mornings and evenings with pike and dart among the bycatch. Southgates has been quieter than usual for tailor but they have been caught there along with herring and tarwhine, while Tarcoola Beach has been spasmodic for tailor but offered lots of dart and yellowfin whiting.  From Pages Beach to Greys Bay tailor fishing has been hard going but tailor have been at The Lives in varying sizes, along with school-sized whiting. The north side of the Batavia Coast Marina has produced good-sized squid but not in big numbers, while a few chopper tailor have been caught there as well.  A few tailor have been caught at Drummond Cove but weed has been a problem, while up at Port Gregory a very big dart was landed this week.

Thanks to the team at Geraldton Sports Centre for their tips! They will happily provide you with great gear and the solid advice for your next fishing trip. 
Lancelin catches
Garrit had a fantastic time on the kayak chasing pinkies in close.


The boats have been out in force over the holiday period with plenty of great catches to mention. Boats heading out deeper have been onto the larger dhufish and have been making the most of the trip by trying the FADs and finding plenty of activity. Schools of baitfish are under the FAD’s and dolphinfish are in residence as well as some reports of ‘unstoppable’ fish. There are plenty of tuna schools passing throughout the range of depths for the boats who find the trip out to the FADs a little too far. Plenty of Baldies have come from the 30’s while pink snapper are just in plague proportions along the nearshore reefs. Around the bay we've seen large blue spot flathead, snook, herring, King George whiting and skippy are becoming a regular in the burly trail.


The beach fishing has been exceptional with some great tailor sessions during sunset along with the odd school mulloway or pink snapper, often nowhere near the reef. Early mornings have been crazy with pink snapper often out numbering the tailor and at times, impossible to get a bait past! The snapper are ranging from undersized to some good 4-5kg fish. As the sun rises and the snapper move to deeper water herring have been coming onto the bite.

A big Recfishwest thanks to Peter Fullarton for his tips on what's biting around Lancelin each week! If you want Peter to put you on to the fish directly, make sure you check out his Tailored Treks Tours page. Always a great time and Peter knows the best spots around Lancelin like the back of his hand. 


Surf Life Saving WA has given the go-ahead for this Saturday's scheduled abalone hour in the West Coast Zone - but are urging caution due to a medium risk rating.

Abalone fishers can expect low to medium swells of an average of 1 m across the various zones with the northern zones forecast to be exposed to slightly higher swell periods during the 7 am- 8 am fishing hour.

Make sure you take all the necessary precautions, wear the appropriate gear and if you can't swim - stay at home - no molluscs are worth risking your life for.
Esperance catches
What a way to start 2024! Tyson managed to land this absolute unit of a mulloway measuring in at 145cm. What a weapon!


Pink snapper up to 70cm have been landed at Leg of Lamb, while out towards Observatory Island good queen snapper have been caught. Harlequin fish have been caught near Lion Island and Sweet Rocks, while big skippy have come from Coopers Reef and further out big Samson fish have been encountered at Giants and Portal. There have been plenty of squid in Esperance Bay, along with herring as well as big snook up to a metre long.  Squid have also been at Cook Rocks and big King George whiting have been caught on the edge of the weed at Wylie Bay. Sand whiting have been in good numbers at Twilight Beach and Fourth Beach in 12m.       


Thomas River and Poison Creek have fished well for big mulloway and metre-plus gummy sharks, while there have been plenty of skippy and Salmon at Dunns Beach. Local gun Tyson “TNT”  Tietjens landed a 1.45m mulloway east of town this week. Closer to town Wylie Bay has offered big flathead and Bandy Creek Boat Harbour has produced skippy and King George whiting. Big squid and herring have been caught from the Town Jetty, while big flathead have shown a liking for soft plastics flicked along the town foreshore. Lovers Cove has also held good flathead along with King George whiting, while there have been lots of salmon and skippy at Fourth Beach and 10-Mile Lagoon. Lure fishing at Woody Lake has produced bream up to 43cm and Stokes Inlet has also been a bream hotspot.

Hats off to the very knowledgeable team at Southern Sports & Tackle for their tips! These guys love their fishing as well, so make sure you swing by their store for the best gear and advice before wetting a line around Esperance. 

Great Southern catches


A few boats managed to get out to the coral ground when weather windows emerged earlier this week and caught pink snapper, queen snapper and nannygai, while squid and smallish King George whiting have been caught in King George Sound. A few blue swimmer crabs have been reported in Princess Royal and Oyster harbours.


If you want to get your kids outside and learning how to fish along our beautiful south coast, Recfishwest's FREE SunSmart Southern Fishing Clinic Tour is back on the south coast next week and while our Albany clinics have already fully booked out, there is still spots open at Denmark and Walpole!

14th January - Denmark - two clinics from 9-11am and 12-2pm - click here to book
15th January - Walpole - two clinics from 9-11am and 12-2pm - click here to book

A few resident salmon have turned up at Sand Patch and Salmon Holes, while decent tarwhine have been caught at Shelley Beach. Holidaymakers have been catching squid and whiting at Frenchman Bay and Goodes Beach. Emu Point has been hammered by south-easterlies but has produced the odd squid, while Gull Rock has offered herring and tarwhine when fishable. The King and Kalgan rivers have been steady for bream and a few soapy mulloway have been around as well.

Good on the Trailblazers Albany crew for their tips this week! Swing by their store if you're after some top gear and advice ahead of your next fishing trip. 

South-West catches
Ray Boffey caught this sensational dhuie off Dunsborough, good work!


Dhufish and pink snapper have been caught from Myalup right down to the capes. The 15-30m depths have been the sweet spot for both species and breaksea cod and baldchin groper have been among the bycatch, especially towards the capes, while big King George whiting have come from the dhufish grounds around Bunbury. Tuna have been active in the open water about 2km out from Bunbury, with savvy anglers keeping an eye on their sounder and using binoculars to spot bust-ups. A 1.3m Spanish mackerel was caught a couple of kilometres off Myalup recently. In Geographe Bay squid have been active in 8-10m and King George whiting have been in reasonable numbers, along with sand whiting. Crayfishers have been dropping pots in depths up to 50m but south of Bunbury at the Hutts and Stratham, crays are much closer in and still accessible for those swimming out from shore. Squid have been in good numbers along this stretch as well. In the Leschenault estuary dinghy fishers have done well trolling for tailor up to 50cm and they have caught blue swimmer crabs in drop nets on the northern side. Most of the blue swimmer crabs in the Collie River are undersize but in Busselton near the Port Geographe Marina numbers and sizes have been good.


Want us to teach your kids how to fish in our beautiful South-West? Recfishwest's FREE SunSmart Southern Fishing Clinic Tour is back on the road with free rods on offer and our last stop will be in Augusta on 17 January! Click here to book your spot at one of our two Augusta clinics!

In the Leschenault Inlet yellowfin whiting have been most active when temperatures have been over 30°C but tailor have been more consistent from the drop-offs and channels. The Collie River has held a few bream and mulloway over the metre mark with have been talking live baits. Most of the beaches from Preston to south of Bunbury have held chopper tailor and herring, with the pick of the Bunbury beaches being Back Beach, Whippy Point and the Lighthouse.  The Bunbury Cut has offered the same species along with decent tarwhine. Squid catches have been consistent at Busselton Jetty while the shoreline in Geographe Bay has offered herring, chopper tailor and yellowfin whiting.

Big cheers to Whitey's Tackle & Camping for their top fishing tips as always! If you're in Australind or Bunbury and are keen to wet a line throughout our South-West make sure you ask their very friendly team who love their fishing for advice and stock up on gear at their store. If you're in Busselton, the 2 Oceans Tackle team are also incredibly helpful. 

With the marron season in full swing the freshwater angling scene has been a little quieter. Marron fishing has been slow in the Albany region but good catches have come from Wellington Dam and reasonable catches from the Peel region. Good numbers of redfin perch have been caught around structure at Harvey and Wellington as well as in deeper water, while in low light they have been hitting surface lures. Harvey Dam has held a few rainbow trout as has the Warren River, which has also produced plenty of redfin perch. The rivers in the Ferguson Valley have been holding brown and rainbow trout which have been caught on flies and hard-bodied lures.
Mandurah and surrounds


Unfavourable winds have curtailed a lot of the action at the southern FADs which had really been firing for tuna and dolphinfish, however, inside the FADs in 80m tuna have been caught in good numbers and dolphinfish have been making an appearance but failing to commit to either baits or lures. The Five-Fathom Bank has been quieter for pink snapper with a limited bite time right on sunset, while inside the Five there have been plenty of sand whiting.  Demersal fishing has been excellent with dhufish and baldchin groper the main catches in 30-70m and good King George whiting in 20-50m. In the estuary the excellent run of 40cm-plus tailor shows no sign of slowing down with plenty of super-sized herring around the 30cm mark among them. The chunky choppers have been caught land-based from the drop-offs, on the troll or at anchor, with lures a good option given the number of blowfish in the estuary system. In fact, the estuary has out-fished the beaches for tailor but this could change when the afternoon sea breezes start to kick in more. The Mandurah traffic bridges have held herring and a few chopper tailor, likewise the Dawesville Cut with a few squid thrown into the mix there. The Serpentine and Murray rivers have continued to fish well for big bream and soapy mulloway. Yellowfin whiting have become harder to target in the estuary but they have started to become active early in the mornings on beaches from Melros and Falcon right up to Halls Head. Blue swimmer crabs have started to move from the river mouths further into the estuary in better sizes and numbers. Drop netters have been faring best in the mornings and during the day, while scooping has been better in the evenings and at night.

Thinking of wetting a line around Mandurah? These great tips were courtesy of the super friendly and helpful team at Tackle World Miami so make sure you swing by their store for the best tips and gear before your next fishing trip! 


Boats: Offshore fishing has been excellent with breaksea cod, baldchin groper and just-sized pink snapper in the 20-30m depths and dhufish on the 50-60m marks behind the Five-Fathom Bank and Garden Island. Jigs and Nomad Squidtrex vibes have worked well as have traditional dhufish baits such as octopus and squid. There have been plenty of tuna taken on the troll in 50-60m and around the FADs wahoo and dolphinfish have been landed. Herring, sand whiting and King George whiting have been caught in Warnbro and Cockburn sounds and in Mangles Bay, along with squid which have favoured weed in 8m depths. Most of the blue swimmer crabs in Warnbro Sound have been undersized.
Land-based: The stellar tailor run has showed no signs of slowing with plenty of 40cm fish and the odd 50cm model being caught off local beaches. Secret Harbour has been the pick of the beaches but Port Kennedy and Long Point have also offered quality fish. Anglers have done well on lures in the mornings and used baits at night, which have also accounted for some big mulloway. In the daytime these beaches have offered sand whiting and a few herring. Kwinana Beach has also fished well for sand whiting. At Palm Beach and Rockingham jetties, herring, a few squid and the odd whiting have been caught along with chopper tailor in the evenings. The Ammo jetty has held plenty of scaly mackerel but fishing there has been quiet. Point Peron has fished well for squid.

These great fishing tips were provided by the friendly team at Compleat Angler & Camping World in Rockingham, so make sure you chat to their experienced crew in store and stock up before heading out!
Perth catches
Levi De Boni went out at sea to tussle with some Sambo's. By the looks of it, he won! Great work!


The FADs have continued to fire for dolphinfish and tuna, while a wahoo was hooked there this week and Spanish mackerel were sighted. The action has tended to be much better very early in the mornings. Yellowtail kingfish have been caught at the West End of Rottnest, while big Samson fish have been stretching arms out at the wrecks. Dhufish have been caught in 80m depths south of Rottnest and big pink snapper have come from north of the island in 100m depths. Good King George whiting and chunky sand whiting have come from south of Rottnest and it’s been the same story at the Windmills but the KGs have been smaller there. Most anglers haven’t bothered chasing tailor at the exposed reefs such as Mewstones but they have been about and a decent yellowtail kingfish was also caught there this week. Dhufish and pink snapper have come from behind the Three-Mile Reef and in 40m depths out from Mindarie and Two Rocks, while good mixed bags of breaksea cod, King George whiting, skippy and flathead have come from inside the Three-Mile. Squid have moved out a little deeper with 6-8m off South Fremantle a good starting point. Trolling for chopper tailor has been good in the Swan River as far up as the Narrows, while dropnetters have been finding blue swimmer crabs at East Fremantle. Claremont, the old Swan Brewery, the Narrows and Como.  


Those chasing the elusive giant herring have found a few in the middle reaches of the Swan River with Alfred Cove and Claremont good starting points. Far less elusive in the Swan have been flathead and flounder which have been caught in good numbers at East Fremantle, Mosman Park, Bicton, Point Walter, Claremont, Peppermint Grove and Applecross. A lot of fishers have been targeting flathead from the drop-offs using micro jigs such as Palms or Major Craft Jigparas, or even 10g Halco Twistys worked vertically.  Tailor have also been prolific right though the system. A 50cm model was caught in Fremantle Harbour this week and they have been caught as far up river as the Causeway. Better spots have been Point Walter, Claremont, Crawley and the Narrows. Bream catches in the Swan and Canning rivers have been reasonable with structure around the Causeway and up river as far as Guildford and Shelley producing fish. Soapy and school-size mulloway have also been active in the river with Canning Bridge and the Narrows among the better spots.  Crabbing has been slower in the Swan this week but drop netters should concentrate on jetties around East and North Fremantle and Mosman or maybe the jetty at the old Swan Brewery or Como Jetty. Around East Fremantle yellowfin whiting have been caught at night and in the early mornings on fresh prawns and fresh squid, a few of which have been caught in small sizes in the river at night. Elsewhere, the Fremantle moles have been fairly quiet with North Mole offering herring in the day and tailor at night, while South Mole has its usual staples of herring and squid. Squid have been in better numbers from the southern metro rock walls as far down as Coogee, while a decent mulloway was landed at South Beach this week. The morning easterlies have been favourable for tailor catches at Trigg, Mindarie, Quinns and Yanchep, while City and Floreat beaches have fished well in the mornings for mixed bags of chopper tailor, herring, tarwhine, skippy and flathead.  By far the most impressive metro land-based catch this week was a slab of a dhufish caught at Rottnest’s West End.

A big thanks to Anglers Fishing World in Fremantle for their great tips! These guys love their fishing just as much as we all do, so make sure you ask their super friendly team for advice and stock up before wetting a line off the land or boat! 
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Recfishwest · 3/45 Northside Drive Hillarys · Perth, WA 6025 · Australia

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Catch Information

Australasian Snapper
Australasian Snapper

Baldchin Groper
Baldchin Groper


Black Marlin
Black Marlin

Blue Marlin
Blue Marlin


Breaksea Cod
Breaksea Cod

Coral Trout
Coral Trout


Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Flathead Catfish
Flathead Catfish


Giant Trevally
Giant Trevally

Goldband Snapper
Goldband Snapper

Goldlined Seabream
Goldlined Seabream

Gummy Shark
Gummy Shark

This Fishing Report was submitted on 1/12/2024 3:24:40 AM by Seamus and last updated on 1/15/2024 1:45:53 PM.


3/45 Northside Drive
Hillarys, WA AU

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