Fishing? For some, it's a challenging sport of wits and skill. For others it's a great excuse to get out and enjoy the sunshine, indulge in some quality thinking time, or catch up with a mate.
A Seafood Lover's Paradise
From crafty trout in the South West region to the world-famous sport fishing throughout the north, Western Australia offers something for every angler. Fishing is the State's largest recreational activity and is well supported with information booklets, websites, magazines, charter fishing boats, self-drive runabouts and professional fishing guides.
Among the most prized trophies is the exciting and elusive barramundi, found in the far northern rivers. These spectacular fish grow to around one metre in length and are famous for their strength, endurance and fighting tactics. You will often see them jumping high out of the water to toss the bait. They also make wonderful eating.
Off the coastal reefs, anglers will find hundreds of species including enormous snapper, hungry cod, delicious coral trout, sharks and blue-water giants such as the massive cobia. Sailfish are also popular in the north, and marlin are not uncommon along the deeper, blue-water trenches. Fishing can also be good closer to Perth, with herring, tailor and dhufish caught off the coast at Perth and Rottnest Island, either from boat or from shore.
The Crayfish: Marron, Lobster…
The clear southern rivers and lakes provide excellent fishing, pitting anglers against wary brown trout. Trout fishing is seasonal and requires a fishing license. Much of the trout fishing areas are also home to Western Australia's freshwater crayfish – the marron. These juicy crayfish are considered a delicacy by many, and regularly feature on the gourmet menus of local restaurants.
The most famous crayfish in the state is the western rock lobster, which is caught off the coastal reefs that extend from the Golden Outback to the Coral Coast regions. These culinary delights can weigh in at a couple of kilograms – plenty for a hearty meal.
Crabs too, are common along the Western Australian coast. Fishers should head north to try their hand at catching one of the huge mud crabs along the mangroves. These oversized crustaceans can grow to the size of a dinner plate, with nippers almost as large as a human fist. They are challenging to catch and make an excellent feast.
Mandurah is also famous for its blue manna crabs, which seasonally populate the estuary. They can be easily caught in nets or crab-pots.