With the onset of summer the beaches, river and rocky headlands are all producing quality catches and offshore fishers are eagerly waiting for the first big run of mackerel in Shark Bay – everything is looking good.
Anglers who have lobster pots are still catching good-sized crayfish with the shallow reefs in Shark Bay producing the best.
There has been a good run of snapper with fishing expected to slow down a bit as most anglers look to turn their attention to the pelagic season ahead.
Those chasing snapper on soft plastics have had a great year with most trips producing fish. Woody Head and Black Rock have been the hot spots with the better fish now moving back into deep water.
Good cobia are now starting to show on the shallow inshore reefs. With schools of bait moving onto the same reefs, things are starting to shape up for the season ahead.
The beaches have been fishing really well with a big run of large whiting. Most beaches have been holding fish in good numbers with Shark Bay being the pick spot. Live beachworms have been a must with fresh prawns a good back-up, so take the time to collect quality bait.
Big jew are available for those willing to collect the best big livebaits. Only the serious anglers who spend time with a bait in the water are catching the big fish.
Baits and large soft plastic lures have been working but all the big fish coming on livebait. Some anglers using both techniques have experienced some hot bites.
The prime spot at the moment has been Back Beach at Iluka with several good fish landed last month.
Those chasing flathead with white pillies have also done well. With most anglers throwing soft plastics these days, the old bait anglers have had many of the traditional spots to them selves and have been making the most of it.
The southern end of Shark Bay has been the spot to be for switched-on anglers using white pillies rigged on jig heads meant for soft plastics.
Off the rocks, the big trevally are still on the bite with the Iluka Bluff the place to be. Large poppers are still your best bet but check the hooks before you start fishing and upgrade them to 4X strong if necessary. When you find that really big one you need good hooks to get you through a back-breaking workout.
Off the main breakwall those salmon to 6kg are still on the chew with most lures around 3” to 4” size working. Tailor and small tuna are also showing up in better numbers now with the arrival of the large pelagic fish only a few weeks away.
Unfortunately the jew off the rocks have been a bit up and down lately with the Iluka Bluff producing the best run of fish, around 15kg.
In the river the whiting are on the bite with most of the recognised spots producing good fish. Live worms, fresh prawns and live yabbies are working well with Sleeper Island producing the best night fishing.
Through the day, Whiting Beach and Goodwood Island are the places if you’re land-based and those with boats should try around Turkey Island and the North Arm.
The sandy flats are now holding good schools of flathead with the North Arm and Oyster Channel producing the best table-quality fish. The top of the tide is the best time to fish with white pillies and soft plastics working.
Those in search of larger flathead will find them schooling up in the deeper water along the walls in the lower reaches of the river.