Down on The Farm
  |  First Published: November 2008

In recent reports I have mentioned The Farm, a reef off Swansea, and what a frustrating place it can be to fish with leatherjackets in plague proportions.

Unfortunately, I can’t foresee these pests thinning out any time soon and it is a shame because there are some class fish waiting to be caught in 100m off Swansea.

Talk to any angler who had fished the area over 10 years ago and they will attest just how good it can be.

This reef runs north-south off Swansea in anywhere from 85m to 120m, similar to the headlands and cliffs of Redhead and Dudley. In some isolated spots the ledges provide drop-offs from 90m to 110m. You tend to get excited when you the fish finder shows these drops.

You can anchor and try your luck to see if you get bitten off almost instantly as you deploy your baits.

Or, as I do, you can sound the drop-offs, stop and simply drift over the ledge with baits weighted with 8oz to 12oz leads. If you are lucky you should be able to experience a reasonable amount of time, say 20 minutes, without losing your gear to a jacket.

I’ll spend that amount of time drifting and then move to another section of the ledge and repeat the process.

I think the secret is to move as many times as your patience will allow to avoid the jackets. Persistence is the key and a nice bag of fish will provide a morning’s fun and possibly some envious glances back at the boat ramp from those cleaning leatherjackets.

For GPS locations to fish these locations, send me an email to request at --e-mail address hidden-- .

Still, take plenty of sinkers and some knottable wire, just in case the jackets find you too quickly.


You see a lot of fishos with different methods of filleting fish so I thought I’d detail one method I find quick and easy.

Firstly, always have a super-sharp fillet knife set aside in your kit and use it only for filleting table fish.

Don’t scale the fish, just slide the blade along the back parallel to the backbone, starting from just behind the gill plate. Stop the fillet at the narrowest part of the tail and flick the fillet over to lay flat. Then continue to run the blade along the skin and separate the flesh from the skin. Cut the rib cage out and there you have a clean fillet ready to cook.


Last issue I predicted we could experience a late tailor season and in recent weeks many lake fishos have experienced some great catches, including some bag limits with fish to 1.5kg.

Most productive locations include close to Coal Point, south to Wyee and Fishing Point.

In the last few weeks I have been spending some time on the beaches and although the water is still cool, the gutters and sandbanks along Blacksmiths Beach and others are absolutely outstanding. The next few months will provide some excellent beach fishing.

Access to Blacksmiths Beach by 4WD can be a little troublesome because the street sign is regularly removed by vandals. It’s the street adjacent to the Sailaway business at Belmont South traffic lights.

Remember, though, the sand is always very soft so be prepared to let your tyres down to around 18psi.

Rock fishing has been superb with light westerly winds providing great access to the lower ledges around Catherine Hill Bay and Redhead.

This month and next will be unreal for fishing these areas for snapper, tailor and kingfish because the water should be clear and there should be plenty of baitfish around.

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