The Perth metropolitan coastline is scattered with man-made rock formations, reef systems and beautiful white sandy beaches. Growing up minutes from the beach gave me plenty of opportunities to fine tune my angling skills at some of these very hot spots.
Having all these locations at your fingertips can often let you under-estimate the potential that they often have. Being a proud Pertharian, I thought it was only fair that I share some of my favorite haunts and a bit of local knowledge.
The North and South Moles at Fremantle harbours allow you to fish for just about any species and in any weather. Rain, hail or shine you can usually always find somewhere to fish.
The North Mole is renowned as a consistent location for larger fish. During the winter storms if you put in the hours and are sensible in hazardous weather you can be rewarded with some huge pink snapper and mulloway. At this time of the year, however, it is the place to be if a shore based Spaniard is on the agenda. Sending out livies and big baits on balloons near the light house is probably the most effective way to land a metro Spanish mackerel from shore. With an easterly behind you it doesn’t take long for your baits to get well offshore.
The South Mole is more of a small fish location and a great place to take the kids to get a feed of herring and squid with ease. It is relatively protected from the wind and still gives you the chance to snag something a bit bigger. Being at the mouth of the Swan River, it is quite common to get into a few mulloway there as they make their way in and out of the river.
Heading towards Cottesloe, there is a little, not so well known groyne called the “Dutch Inn”. It is about 600 metres south of the main Cottesloe groyne and has some spectacular fishing at times. There is no flat platform to get out on, so some rock hopping is needed to get out to the end. Once out there it is a great place to fish for big skippy, snook and tailor. The majority of the tip is surrounded by reef and it is for this reason I usually fish unweighted baits or with a float.
City Beach has won many awards as Perth’s best beach and for good reason too. It’s the kind of place you can just as easily lay on the sand and spend hours on end watching the waves roll in. It’s not only a great place to relax for a few hours, it is also a great place to fish. The rock groyne is a well positioned Fish Attracting Device that brings in array of species from whiting to mulloway. City Beach is a very comfortable place to fish, with a cement platform that goes all the way to the end which makes for very easy rock hopping. It can be a bit hairy at times in big swells so you have to keep an eye out for the incoming waves which are just itching to give you a salty shower. Most mornings you will see the locals head down for a feed of herring, whiting and the odd tailor.
Late afternoons into the evenings the tailor come on the chew and you can fish either from the rocks itself or just to the left and wet a line in the endless gutters that head toward Swanbourne Beach. The gutters on the south side of the groyne hold some massive yellowfin whiting, decent tailor and the occasional mulloway. The trick for the big yellowfin is to not cast too far. The shorter the cast the better. A big star sinker right into the shore break can be the undoing of many yellowfin.
Just to the north a few clicks is Floreat Beach and “The Drain”. The pipe which drains from the nearby lakes produces a nonstop burley trail running 24/7 which makes for some hot fishing. It is a perfect place to chase smaller species in the early to mid mornings, yet it’s one of those locations you could just about fish all day and still manage a feed. Most fisho’s opt for the right hand side of the drain as there seems to be better developed gutters on that side. Again, once the sun starts to set and the sea breeze comes in, this a great spot to get a feed of tailor. While this can be a very productive place at night time for sharks and mulloway, it’s advisable you check your car regularly as it’s quite common for the scum of Perth to introduce a brick to your car’s window which can be a real dampener on your night.
Brighton Beach is one of those spots that can really fire one night, then be dead as a doornail the next. The gutters in this area are for the most part deep and quite close to the shore. Lobbing a big bait a 100 metres out might seem like a good idea but it pays to check out the location during the day to see where it is worth casting. I’ve had most success fishing up to a high tide and later on at night. If you can combine a high tide that falls around midnight and manage to snag a new moon too, you will be in for some unbelievable fishing. It’s a recipe that is almost guaranteed to bring success on the larger species. Live herring and yellowtail are my baits of choice in this area for the sharks and mulloway, not to mention Brighton is also a great place to get some late season salmon and thumper tailor.
Well, that’s just a sprinkling of what Perth’s metro coast line has to offer. There’s no need to travel to far away destinations when you have some world class fishing and 5 star scenery in your own backyard.