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Recfishwest's State-wide Fishing Report 22 March 2024 ūüé£

 | By Seamus on 3/21/2024 7:30:00 PM | Views (318)
Recfishwest Newsletter
Fishing Report
Dampier's pristine waters on full display. This great aerial snap was taken by @johnnyutah29 who catches plenty of the fantastic species on offer in this part of the world, give his page a follow! 
Our contributors
Sam Bock
Sam Russell
Jarrad Lawford
Sedin Hasanovic 
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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!  

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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!

Check out this pending Western Australian women’s black marlin record of 22.78kg caught by Nikki Sutton on just 3kg line! This was the only billfish weighed out of nearly 500 caught throughout the GAMEX tournament in Exmouth recently and was sampled for research by our Fishing for Science team. This fish is estimated to be less than two years old and the meat was kindly donated to more than 10 families to enjoy in the near future.

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Click on the image above to watch our interview with Ben Knaggs from Exmouth Game Fishing Club's discussing the awesome results from last weekend's GAMEX fishing tournament in Exmouth, including some unreal billfish footage! 

Recfishwest's Fishing for Science crew ventured up to Exmouth for the 2024 GAMEX fishing tournament over the weekend, with 212 anglers aboard more than 50 boats experiencing the adrenaline rush of catching dozens of incredible Gascoyne species ūüí™

Hear from Exmouth Game Fishing Club (EGFC) Club Manager Ben Knaggs on the GAMEX recap, including its importance to the Exmouth community and economy along with how it's become one of the biggest attractions to the coastal town each year ūüé£

A big thanks to the EGFC for having us and putting on a great Sunsmart fishing clinic, which we were delighted to help out with and to all competitors for allowing our Fishing for Science team to take around 50 belly samples for analysis at the weigh-in station!

A big thanks also to Woodside Energy for their ongoing support for our Fishing for Science program. Learn more about our Fishing for Science program here. 

Broome catches
@joshy_ellis managed to find this brute of a barra near one of the Kimberley creek mouths this week which would've let his biceps know they're alive! There were a few metrey's turning up this past week across our northern regions which was great to see. 


The weather recently has made boat fishing tough, with strong winds and challenging swell. Despite this, a few fishers who managed to head out to the creeks a little further out of town were rewarded with some solid barramundi crossing the magical metre mark. Most of the reported catches occurred near the mouths of the creeks as they seemed to be lingering here to attack the baitfish cruising in and out. The weather was going fine over the past few days but the south-easterly wind will take a random spike along with the swell over this weekend. The sheltered areas or creeks might be your best bet. 


Land-based fishing has been the way to go, with the jetties around town producing some solid catches whilst being sheltered from the weather. Queenies around the 50-60cm mark have been the main target around these jetties with 20g micro jigs and Halco Twisties working wonders for most fishers. Little blue lined emperor and cod have also been caught around the jetties using fresh squid and prawns. A few good mangrove jack have been wrangled out at night using 5-inch soft plastics around structure, with many catches crossing the 45cm mark. Last Friday there were good numbers of solid threadfin salmon across the bay taking prawns.

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
Exmouth continuously produces solid spangos and @elimitter plucked this beauty from one of the inshore reefs. 


GAMEX saw copious amounts of black marlin and sailfish, with 95 marlin being landed in just a single day. They ranged in size with smaller blacks dominating the catch, but a number of good sized marlin were also caught, including a few potential records, such as Nikki Sutton's 22.78kg black marlin landed on 3kg line which took out pic of the week. The west side of the Gulf out from Tantabiddi in deeper water up to 250m saw the most action, with Richter’s Soft Grassies and Bonze’s skirted lures being some of the more productive lures for the billfish. Solid bycatches of wahoo, dog tooth tuna as well as other tuna species and dolphinfish were reported amongst the billfish madness, with Halco poppers working well on the latter two species. In the reefs near Tantabiddi, anglers targeting mangrove jack, bluebone and Spanish mackerel were most successful in depths around 20m. The visibility on the eastern side of the Gulf was fairly poor and was somewhat swelly, which made fishing difficult. The weather is looking brilliant over the coming week but make sure you slap on the sunscreen because it's going to be a scorcher. 


The tip of the Cape saw some solid spangled emperor taking dumbbell poppers, Nomad Madscad and stickbaits, as well as fresh baits of prawn or squid. Queenies, dart, blue nosed salmon, and pretty decent trevally were also common bycatch along the Cape. Larger fish including cobia are a chance for land-based anglers and have been reportedly taking stickbaits on the west side. The marinas have fished well for mangrove jack, queenies, and bream on the incoming tide. In the coming weeks, yellowfin whiting should start moving into the Gulf in larger numbers, which provides plenty of fun land-based fishing opportunities.

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! 
Kalbarri catches


Tuna have been around but they have proved difficult to land, with only a few specimens to show for the many that were hooked. There was some reports of various mackerel species but very few were around. Thankfully there is some promising signs for the coming days that should see some increased pelagic action. Larger swell conditions have made it difficult for fishers but those using deeper diving lures have accounted for the most pelagic captures. While it doesn't look too bad on the water this weekend, those stronger easterlies and higher swell might make it better for a land-based session. Tuesday morning could hold the best boating weather. 


The cliffs around Red Bluff have been productive this week, with a couple of nice snapper around the 50-60cm mark as well as a Spanish mackerel being hooked, but unable to be landed. Dart and tailor have also been caught around the cliffs as a bycatch. Wittecarra Creek produced mulloway and a number of tailor, while the back beach has been the pick for larger tailor which have been chomping stickbaits and poppers. The Murchison has been quite rewarding for fishers, with many reporting solid estuary cod in the range of 40-50cm near the Town Jetty and decent bream reaching up to 35cm. Solid chopper tailor have also been caught 1-2km upstream and whiting have been in good numbers near the Sand Spit and foreshore. Mud crabs have also been caught around the marina at the Maritime facility.

Shout out 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


Boating has been limited due to very windy, swelly and weedy conditions. Some boaties have been able to sneak out in weather windows often during the early mornings where they have been targeting squid in 10m of water with good results, with common catches of cuttlefish and octopus also turning up in good numbers. While the raging easterly winds this weekend combined with a 2m swell will make it very rough for the boats, it could mean land-based fishing is the go. Monday and Tuesday next week could hold great boating conditions. 


Weed continued to make fishing difficult this week, but fishing north of Dongara and any beach spots free of weed have proved fruitful. Good tailor turning up after dark on mulies have been the main beach catches on top of the usual suspects of herring. Some small snapper have been caught by drone fishers near Drummond Cove and Coronation. Herring and barracuda were in good numbers along the Dongara Marina and rock groynes in Geraldton and the north side of the Batavia has also been a good spot, with some large specimens reaching 35cm. Squid have dropped off in close due to the weather, but were still caught on the north side of the marina. Blue swimmers also have been caught around the marina and rock walls, with chicken necks mixed in with mulies working well in the nets. 

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
Curtis Waterman's old man Russell was in pelagic heaven over the weekend in Jurien Bay, catching loads of tuna, dolphinfish and this lovely wahoo. A highly underrated fish that is up there as one of the best eating species around. 


There have been plenty of tuna and bonito around, which have been providing endless entertainment for boat fishers ducking out only a short distance from shore. There were wide reports of schools starting just outside the bay in 10-12m depths, with fishers on smaller boats and jetski's able to catch some of these little speedsters on deeper diving lures, Halco Twisties and skirts. Inside the bay squid have greatly improved in numbers, with some great catches throughout the week for those drifting over the patchy weed beds and working their squid jigs aggressively. Lobster potters have been pulling full pots as well, with a lot more of the lobsters on the move. The wind will range from moderate to strong easterlies and south-easterlies this weekend but the boating conditions should improve from Monday onwards. Land-based fishing is looking the goods this weekend. 


It's been the summer of snapper for the beach casters and there has been no signs of this slowing down with some great catches again this week. Drone fishers at Seabird have been catching some dhufish, baldchin groper and plenty of pink snapper in decent sizes. While the waters have been turbid, it’s been more difficult to find where the tailor are biting. South of town fared best for choppers around the Fence or Tailor Reef and some good catches were had from some of the bay's beaches. Heading north generally meant the tailor were harder to find this week but there were still some nice greenbacks caught via casting lures to some of the reef breaks and gutters. Lancelin Jetty fished well this week with plenty of fishers finding tailor at sunset by casting pilchards, with herring also coming onto the bite through the night under the lights. This weekend is looking great for a land-based flick so get out there. 

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. 
Esperance catches
It's one of the greatest spectacles to watch hundreds of boats charge out of the bay for the Classic each year! You can see footage of this in our recent YouTube video here along with why this event and access to these offshore fishing spots is so important to so many. 


Thankfully there were some good conditions that coincided with the Esperance Archipelago Offshore Angling Classic which saw more than 300 competitors on 100 boats punching out of the bay at sunrise! Excellent nannygai up to 65cm were caught in 60m depths regularly on both baits and jigs and in the same area breaksea cod around 2-3kg were in very good numbers. The eyebrow-raising catch of the Classic went to Esperance Deep Sea Angling Club President Corrina Worth, who plucked a 7.5kg+ monster of a skippy to shatter the club record. That stonker had her thinking it was a Sambo when she first hooked it! Samsonfish have been caught along the inshore and offshore islands via large jigs worked upwards quickly, with the odd bycatch of yellowtail kingfish as well. Good numbers of tuna were out wide around Giant Rocks where trolling hardbodies at 8 knots seemed to be the sweet spot. Closer to shore big queen snapper up to 7kg and harlequin have been caught amongst the inshore islands. Squid have also been in good numbers within the bay, especially on the drift. While the stronger easterlies and 1.7m swell are sticking around for most of this week, Saturday and Sunday morning should hold the calmest windows over the coming days if you wish to duck out early. Sunday morning looks better at this stage. 


Esperance Jetty has been amongst the best spots for squid and herring this past week, with any time after dark producing the best numbers. For beach fishers, big flathead have been caught at Fourth Beach as well as skippy at Blue Haven. Big schools of salmon have been spotted at Roses Beach, with metal slices or mullies working nicely. For bigger salmon however, Warrenup has been productive for bigger specimens of both salmon and gummy sharks. Thomas River has been a hot spot for mulloway in the 7-10kg range as well as the odd gummy too. Bandy Creek Harbour was good for King George whiting and black bream, but those chasing bigger bream have headed to Wheatfield Lake using shallow diving hardbodies where the sizes tended to be 40cm+.
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
It just goes to show that soaking a bait within Albany's inshore waters can produce the goods! usually it's Sambos turning up through this stretch but Toby McInnes managed to hook up to this impressive land-based pinkie after throwing out a squid head. Awesome stuff Toby! This snap was uploaded to the Albany W.A Recreational Fishing Enthusiasts Facebook page. 


Sunday saw a nice gap in the weather which allowed plenty of boaties to duck out, with many reporting nannygai in 60m depths as well as other demersals such as dhufish and snapper. Protected waters such as Oyster Bay were productive for King George whiting, and the odd salmon was seen in inshore bays which is always a chance for tinny owners who wish to have a troll or flick some lures around. Those prevailing easterlies should drop off slightly on Sunday morning but Monday onwards should see some very nice conditions roll through for the boats with minimal winds and lower swells. 


Large salmon schools have been spotted moving along the coast, with schools frequenting Bremer Bay and Salmon Holes. The salmon have not been fussy and have been crunching the usual suspects of Halco Twisties, metal slugs and generally whatever else you land in front of them. If they are being fiddly to entice to a strike (which does happen on occasions), try mixing it up with different lures or baits until something breaks the ice. A live bait will also get them quite excited. Squid, herring and skippy have been consistent off the groynes and throwing out a squid head worked wonders for Toby McInnes close to town this week, with this ripper of a pinkie being landed in the image above. 

Cheers to 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. Remember, you'll also catch just as many fish off the beaches than the rocks and it is always much safer to go with this option on the south coast. 

South-West catches
@templereefau hooked up to a herring just off the coast in Dunsborough which was quickly engulfed by this fiesty Sambo in the shallows! 


The weather has been challenging for the boaties, so most decided to stay closer inshore and have a crack within the inlets. There were reports of small tuna hanging around but they have been difficult to find, most of the catches were apparently a little north of Bunbury where sizes ranged from jellybeans to 10kg+ models. For the best odds, keep an eye out for drifting seaweed as this means you're in a current line and the tuna tend to follow these as it's where most of the bait ends up. All of the patchy ground in close from Bunbury and Busselton delivered the goods for squid and King George whiting, with the occasional Samsonfish turning up just off the coast of Cape Naturaliste and Dunsborough (as pictured above). The moderate easterly winds might make it a tad choppy coming back into shore this weekend but Monday onwards looks best for the boats. 


@oskar._sw is the Busselton jetty fishing master at the moment! He picked up a mighty Spanish mackerel a couple of weeks back and recently backed it up with this solid SBT. Just goes to show this landmark is one of the best land-based fishing spots in WA. 

Larger salmon schools have been spotted at Injudup and Margaret River around Gas Bay, with smaller schools of 5-15 juveniles making their way up to the coast near Bunbury. Metal slugs, Twisties, and slingshots have been the best lures for salmon, while bait fishers have opted for live baits which have also been successful. A couple of nice snapper have been caught, and shark fishers have seen good catches of bronzies as well as gummy sharks. Tailor and mulloway have been a little harder to find, but the beaches headed north of Bunbury again reported the best sizes despite numbers being down. Land-based fishing conditions are looking great this weekend so get out there and remember to enter your catches into the Salmon Slam app for a crack at some great prizes!  

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. 

It's been a bit patchy over the past few weeks for freshwater catches but the @2_oceans_tackle crew from Busselton managed to recently rustle up some redfin perch and this stunning brown trout on one of their X-Stream rods.  
As the weather cools down, water temperatures are becoming more productive for freshwater catches thanks to more numbers of trout starting to move about. A few yearling browns have been caught all around the Pemberton region, while the Lefroy has been quiet besides a few fish landed in the lower reaches mainly on small hard bodies and spinners. Redfin are also coming about as the water levels decline. Now is the time they begin to spawn, so it’s a good time to start targeting them (not to mention you're also helping eradicate an invasive species by taking these delicious fish home). It is very early into the season, but in the coming weeks the fishing should start to fire and it will only improve from there. 
Mandurah and surrounds
Therw were some good land-based pinkie catches over the past week along the WA coast! Hats off to Kyle Bielecki for reeling in this healthy fish over the weekend with the snap uploaded to the Mandurah Fishing Facebook page. 


Boats: The pelagic action has been rather quiet offshore, with a majority of fish tending to hang closer to shore following the the cooler temperatures that lingered around over the past week. The cooler waters have also been bringing in squid and some large skippy specimens that usually wouldn't be seen until later on in the year. For the best chance of squid, the 8-12m depths worked best as they prefer the colder depths and working your squid jigs quite aggressively on the drift is a good way to go home with a delicious feed of calamari. Tuna have been a bit sporadic at times, but the 40m depths seemed to work best and keep an eye out for floating weed as this means you're in a current line and the tuna will follow this in schools. Expect those moderate easterly winds to make it choppy coming back in to the ramps but it should be relatively flat on the water over the coming week. 
Land-based: Locals have been giving squidding from the beach a go, with a number of solid krakens being landed to provide a delicious feed. Just make sure your squid jig is dancing about a metre from the bottom for the best odds of a hook up and try to yeet your cast out as far as possible to cover the most ground. Big skippy have been turning up inshore and were congregating up near the rockwalls and groynes along with tailor and herring. Tailor have continued to be caught in consistent numbers off the beaches and especially in the estuary, where the sizes have consistently crossed 40cm. The conditions are looking ideal for the land-based fishos this weekend so get out there!

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: The FADs out the back of Garden Island have produced dolphinfish and bluefin tuna for the few boats that were able to make it out there this week. Richter’s Jelly Babe was the lure of choice when trolling. There were a few Samsonfish and yellowtail kingfish in the reefs behind Garden Island which were taking jigs and even the odd hooked herring. Mangles Bay and Coat Hanger Bay were productive King George whiting spots too. You'll be riding the easterly winds out on the boats this weekend, but expect the conditions to become calmer from Monday onwards. 
Land-based: Plenty of mulloway have been taken towards Long Point and the Secret Harbour beaches, which were mostly taking fresh mullet strips. Good numbers of tailor, whiting, herring and skippy have been caught off the beaches when the winds allowed it, but the better tailor catches came from the evenings when it was a bit more choppy. A school of resident salmon were spotted off Palm Beach but only a few small specimens were caught from the school. Palm Beach Jetty and Ammo Jetty had big scalies and consistent herring being pulled up as well. That strong easterly wind should help with casting off the beaches over the coming days. 

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
He's been bitten by the tailor bug! @hanyeoh13 was back working the Skinnypop 90 lure and this solid river tailor found it irresistible. It's been a ripper few months of tailor fishing in the Swan and the Metro beach captures should only start to increase in size as we head deeper into the cooler months. 


The winds have been quite heavy this week which saw a lot of white cap waves rolling through. For those braving the conditions however, the shipping channels out of Fremantle have been good for King George and sand whiting when using fresh squid. Rowboat Reef has been a hotspot for tailor, which have been smashing mulies, small stickbaits and minnows. Anglers on the west end of Rottnest have dropped live baits and large jigs to great success, landing some chunky Samsonfish and yellowtail kingfish. Squidding has been solid in the deeper water of Cockburn Sound as they tend to prefer the cooler water temperatures at this time of year, with 9-11 metres being the sweet spot. Darker squid jigs have reportedly worked best here as they have a better contrast down in the deeper waters. There were a few dolphinfish and tuna reported at the FADs, but not many boats punched out there this week given the rather windy conditions. Boats trolling for tailor in the river did very well given the choppier conditions, with some big 45cm+ models turning up when flicking metals or trolling along the drop offs between Burswood and the river mouth. The wind is a bit all over the place this weekend with a low swell, but it would be wise to duck out early across both days during the calmer easterly winds before the breeze skyrockets in the afternoon. Expect it to glass off from Monday onwards. 


There were plenty of good chopper tailor landed off North Mole and numerous other rock groynes between Cottesloe and Freo this week, with bread and butter species like whiting and herring also in good numbers. In the Swan, mulloway from bigger models down to soapies have been caught mainly on live mullet and bony herring as far up stream as Guildford. Bream have been a staple throughout the river, which were caught in respectable numbers. Beaches north of Fremantle have fished well for tailor, whiting, herring and tarwhine using fresh baits and small micro jigs, but the wind has largely prevented beach fishing throughout the week. The Swan River was a great spot to fish for tailor this week given the stronger afternoon sea breeze. Throwing stickbaits or metals out as far as possible over the drop offs saw plenty of 45cm+ models landed all over the place. It's looking decent for land-based fishing conditions too with an easterly wind in your back over the coming mornings. 

Don’t forget - the salmon season is upon us and they are running wild along the South-West coastline and pushing their way north. So make sure you download the Salmon Slam app on your phone and have a crack at catching these hard-fighting species during the Salmon Slam competition over the next few months! The salmon are bigger and in more numbers than we’ve seen in the past 10 years and it could land you some impressive prizes!

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 Bream
Black Bream

Black Marlin
Black Marlin

Bluefin Tuna
Bluefin Tuna


Breaksea Cod
Breaksea Cod

Brown Trout
Brown Trout



Dusky Flathead
Dusky Flathead

Flathead Catfish
Flathead Catfish

Goldlined Seabream
Goldlined Seabream

Great Barracuda
Great Barracuda

Gummy Shark
Gummy Shark

This Fishing Report was submitted on 3/21/2024 7:30:00 PM by Seamus and last updated on 3/24/2024 10:45:50 PM.


3/45 Northside Drive
Hillarys, WA AU

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