Western Australia has one of the longest, pristine coastlines in the world. Find out where the best fishing spots in Western Australia are with this guide.
Western Australia has one of the longest, most pristine coastlines in the world.
Measuring up to 12,899 kilometers, it stretches from the hot dry temperatures up north in The Kimberleys to the down south’s cold and windy southern ocean; offering fisherman a large range of fish species to target because of the variety of climates. With so many great choices of fishing spots to choose from along the coastline (and not all necessarily requiring a long road trip out of Perth), it can get easy to get confused at where you should go in hopes for a high success rate.
So to get more comfortable with WA’s huge coastline (and the species of WA fish you’ll find), I’ve surfed the fishing online forums and interviewed some fisherman to get the best fishing spots in Western Australia.
Use the below recommendations as a basic guide, because let’s be honest here – the pro’s will never give up their secret fishing spots.
If you have any more to add to this list, comment below!
Albany is a port city located in the great southern region of WA, 418km SE of Perth. It’s most famous for being the home of the last Australian whaling station, but there is more to Albany than whales – it’s reported that the salmon run here include the average size of 5-6kg and some up to 10kg.
Top salmon spots in Albany include the Sand Patch, Cable Beach and the Salmon Holes. Although some of these take effort to reach physically (lots of stairs). There are also multiple bays around Albany. Oyster Harbour, Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound can see you catching king george whiting, herring, silver trevally and salmon, while Middleton Beach produces salmon, tailor, herring, whiting, leatherjacket and silver trevally. The King and Kalgan rivers that flow into Oyster Harbour also produce bream and are said to be consistent fishing spots.
Anglers fishing offshore in Albany don’t need to travel far; coreal reefs at the back of Michelmas and Breaksea islands are productive for snapper, blue morwong, dhufish, samson fish, yellowtail kingfish and some willing to venture closer to the rocks, blue groper. Yellowfin tuna are often caught in close to King George Sound.
Abrolhos Islands (Houtman Abrolhos)
The Abrolhols Islands are a chain of 122 islands and associated coral reefs in the Indian Ocean, 80km west of Geraldton, Western Australia. Nominally located at 28°43′S 113°47′E, it is the southernmost true coral reef in the Indian Ocean, and is one of the highest latitude reef systems in the world. Abrolhos Islands hosts one of the worlds important seabird breeding sites, and is the centre of Western Australia’s largest single species fishery, the Western Rock Lobster Fishery.
The Abrolhos waters are well known for holding many iconic species including the baldchin groper, pink snapper, coral trout, a variety of cods and dhufish. There are plenty of good shallow grounds here, so you don’t need to go too deep to find good fish.
What fish you will find here: shallow water dhuies, baldies and heaps of XOS fish, giving anglers the best of both northern and southern species all in one spot.Augusta
Augusta is on the south west tip of Western Australia where the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse stands at the junction of the Indian and Southern Oceans. It’s magical deep sea fishing and beach fishing here (as well as surfing, 4wd driving, and wineries close by to keep your partner happy). Expect to catch in Augusta herring, bream, skippy, yellowtail kingfish, mulloway, salmon, whiting, flathead, samsons and snapper. Also a great spot for diving and crayfish.
The top fishing spots in Augusta are Dead Finish (herring, cobbler, silver bream, KG whiting, skippy); Colour Patch (near the shops at the estuaray mouth you can catch whiting, flathead, bream and herring); Ellis St Jetty (all fish mentioned); Ringbolt Bay (squid from the rocks particularly); Deepdene (you will need a 4wd but great beach fishing where you can catch herring, salmon bream, whiting, mullies, tailor and maybe even a shark); Hamelin Bay (try the beach or travel along toe Caves Road with a 4wd to get great salmon in season) and Skippy Rock.
Bussleton is a regional city located in the South West region of WA, located approximately 230km south of Perth and nestled in the corner of Geographe Bay. The city has been voted WA’s top tourist town three times in 1995, 1996 and 2005.
There are many excellent fishing opportunities here with one well known attraction being the iconic Busselton Jetty, which can be found down the end of the main street running down through town. The jetty is 1837 meters long and can be fished in almost all conditions for a wide variety of fish from crabs and squid to mulloway and samson fish. Salmon and some big tailor show up in their respective seasons while herring, skippy and gardies are almost anytime caught. Bonito fish are regularly sought after on early summer mornings out the end and a few blue tuna are usually seen each year too. The Busselton Jetty is worth a nice trip down to regardless.
Esperance is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of WA, on the Southern Ocean coastline approximately 720km (450 mi) east-southeast of Perth. Its major industries are tourism, agriculture and fishing.
There are fantastic beach fishing opportunities in Esperance. Most of the beach fishing is 4wd access only, with miles and miles of great beaches to explore. Off the beaches in Esperance you can catch herring, skippy, flathead, salmon, mulloway, big tailor (at selected beaches) gummy sharks and bronze sharks. If you head out east at the right time, pink snapper could be on the menu too. Cape Arid (120km east of Esperance) is said to be like “heaven” from visiting fishermen.
Skippy Rock is also said to be exceptionally good to catch herring, skippy (sometimes 2kg+), salmon (in season), samsons, YT kings and snapper. Skippy Rock is accessible 4km off Springdale Rd, off the South Coast Hwy west of Esperance, however a 4wd is required.
If you are limited to a 2wd vehicle, try Salmon Beach and Fourth Beach for salmon and herring. When in town, try the Esperance Jetty for squid, herring and snook.
Carnarvon is a coastal town situated approximately 900km north of Perth, lying at the mouth of Gascoyne River on the Indian Ocean. On either side, the Shark Bay world heritage area lies to the south of the town, and the Ningaloo Reef lies to the north.
There is a major focus on prawn fishing here, but it’s also one of the best mulloway spots in Australia. You aren’t just limited to flats fishing here, mulloway, tailor, snapper, mackerel, tuna and sharks are often encountered by boat anglers in the deeper waters. Dorree and Burnie Islands are 27 nautical miles west of Carnarvon which is close enough for a day trip. Also check out Quobba at the southern tip of the Ningaloo Reef marine park. Quobba has a reputation as one of Australia’s longest stretches of coastline for land based game fishing.
Built in 1897, One Mile Jetty in Carnarvon is a very popular WA fishing spot. Common catches include mulloway, tailor, bream and mud crabs, with blue manna crabs making an appearance between March and July.
Just south of the Carnarvon blowholes, crayfish and oysters can occasionally be found on the rocks surrounding the rock pools. Gnaraloo Station, approximately 90 minutes north of Carnarvon, is a top WA fishing spot for chasing emperor, mackerel, tuna, trevally, pink snapper, jobfish, cod and sailfish, most of which can be caught year-round. Drift baiting is also quite rewarding at Gnaraloo.
For information about licences and other fishing regulations, visit the Department of Fisherieswebsite. Check out the list of Coral Coast fishing charters and be sure to drop in to the local bait shop and ask the experts to share their tips on the best WA fishing spotsCockburn Sound
Cockburn Sound is an inlet of the Indian Ocean on the coast of Western Australia, extending from the south of of the Swan River’s mouth at Fremantle for about 25km to Cape Peron near Rockingham, located at 32°10′14″S 115°43′26″E, with the total area of the sound being 110km2. It is bounded on the east by the mainland suburbs of Cockburn and Kwinana, on the west by Garden Island and Carnac Island.
Coral Bay is a small town, located 1,2000km (750 mi) north of Perth, with its main industries being tourism and fishing. It’s a marine paradise in the Ningaloo region of Australia, with its stunning coral gardens just meters from the pristine white beaches. It’s an hour and a half drive to reach Coral Bay from Exmouth centre, and here you’ll experience some of the best deep game fishing Australia offers.
The boating is superb here with the possibility of catching so many species, from gamefish, to table fish to pelagics.
Dampier is a major industrial port in the northwest of WA, being a part of the Dampier Archipelago, it is 1500km north of Perth (and 850km south of Broome). The Dampier town is well known for it’s ‘Red Dog’ history, where a red kelpie/cattledog roamed the area in the 1970’s hitching rides in strangers’ cars to nearby towns; and of course, the fishing, where the most commonly targeted species being barramundi.
The Dampier Archipelago is a maze of 42 islands off the coast of Dampier and Point Samson and is within reach of small boats. You can catch marlin, sailfish, spanish mackerel, yellowfin, longtail and mackeral tuna, as well as giant and golden travelly and queenfish. Bottom species include coral trout, red emperor, scarlet sea perch, spangled emperor, black jewfish, norwest snapper and bluebone.
Denmark is a coastal town in the Great Southern region of WA, 423km (263 mi) south-south-east of Perth and 50km from Albany. You will be fishing the Southern Ocean so expect clear watrs and southern rock formations (not the limestone you get in Perth), where species are wide and varied. Around town you can catch herring, whiting, salmon, squid, skppy, tarwhine and more. Offshore you can catch nannygai, swallowtail, pink snapper, queen snapper and gummy sharks. Dhufish are also around most of the year and the deep waters close to the shore means less travelling then what is needed.
For land based fishing, check out Ocean Beach (7km from Denmark centre) where you’ll mainly catch herring, tarwhine, skippy, whiting and salmon. You may even pick up the odd large tailor or mulloway. Lights Beach is great for the casual angler and a place called Flat Rock near the fishing club is a top spot for kids (it’s a short walk from the carpark).Exmouth
Exmouth is one of the worlds richest and most diverse marine-life destinations, and it’s also one of the few areas in Australia that boasts both a massive range and reef experience. Cape Range National Park has magnificent gorges that are nestled on the west coast of the Cape, providing a large variety of camp sites on the coastal fringe of the park; and then there’s the world-heritage listed Ningaloo Marine Park, a 15 hour drive north of Perth that boasts the largest fringing reef in Australia, extending 300km along the west coast of the Cape. Within this area exists several special conservation ‘sanctuary zones’ where fishing is strictly prohibited, so watch out for these signs.
There are many opportunities for beach, reef, game, sport, flats and fly fishing in the diverse environment of ningaloo. Land-based fishing is popular with many species able to be caught. Beach fishing in the Ningalooo Lagoon or along the Exmouth Gulf shores often produce spangled emperor (nor-west snapper), queenfish, whiting, bream and trevally. If you check out Learmonth Jetty at the bottom of the Exmouth Gulf you can potentially get whiting, bream, longtail tuna and spanish mackerel, while the rocks around the tip of teh Nroth West Cape are renowned to have monster giant trevally that patrol the edges.
All six Australian billfish species (Blue, black and striped marlin, sailfish, broadbill swordfish and shortbill spearfish) are here, as well as yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi (dolphinfish), wahoo, cobia, spanish mackerel, giant trevally and more. There’s an Exmouth Game Fishing Club every year in March that hosts a Gamex Tournament, and this always produces fantastic, record breaking catches. Game fishing charters operate out of both Exmouth and Coral Bay.
Hillarys Boat Harbour
No doubt about it, Hillarys Boat Harbour is the ultimate place to fish for absolute beginners. And it’s still a great spot for the pro’s who want somewhere local to go to get their quick fix. The rock walls here are always dotted with avid fishers chasing King George whiting, skippy and tailor but this area can be a bit of a hit-and-miss in terms of catch rates. Inside the walls there large schools of herring, brim, skippy and even snook can be seen. The fishing jetty in front of AQWA is also a popular choice for evening fishing. Crabbing here is rewarding.Jurien Bay
Jurien Bay is a coastal town in the Wheatbelt region of WA, 220km (137 mi) north of Perth facing the Indian Ocean. Crayfishing is popular here, and has now become a multi-million dollar industry, sending crays regularly to Japan and the US. But there is certainly more to Jurien Bay then just crays, it is known to be one of the best spots on the western coast to catch snapper, dhufish and baldchin groper. Try your luck casting a line from the beach or head for the local fishing spots which include the limestone groynes, marina or the two old factory jetties which are open to the public.
With the completion of Indian Ocean Drive, it is faster than ever before to get to Jurien Bay from Perth suburbs as well as to its neighbouring towns of Leeman, Cervantes and Green Head. And each of these are worthy to check out on the way to Jurien Bay too.
The Murchison River that flows alongside Kalbarri is home to species such as black bream, mulloway, whiting, giant herring and trevally. These popular WA fishing spots are frequented by local and visiting anglers.
Sitting at the mouth of the Murchison River, Black Rock and Oyster Reef can produce some great catches, especially tailor. Take extra care in these areas, as huge swells can catch the inexperienced fisherman off-guard.
Chinaman’s Beach is also a great spot for chasing mulloway, tailor and mackerel. Wittecarra Creek and Red Bluff, located south of town, are excellent for surf casting, offering the chance of catching mackerel, tailor, mullaway and cod.
The Kimberley is one of nine regions of WA, situated in the northern part of WA. It is bordered on the west by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Timor Sea, on the south by the Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts, and on the east by the Northern Territory. The Kimberely has a thriving fishing industry, where on the Kimberely coast, you will find Australia’s best sport fishing opportunities due to the diversity of fish habitats – from coral reefs, blue water and mangrove inlets, to sand flats and tidal creeks.
Fish here: Blue water Pelagics include spanish mackerel, northern bluefin tuna, giant trevally, golden trevally, queenfish, barracuda longtom and big saddletail, fingermark and other sea perches, emperors, coral trout, Queensland groper and cods are around the deeper reefs. In the creeks here, you will find barramundi, mangrove jack, bluenosed salmon and threadfin salmon.
There are approximately 30 major rivers in the Kimberely, with Fitzroy River (in the West Kimberely region) being in particular a popular place to fish. It’s regarded by some fisherman as the premier barramundi fishing waterway.
Margaret River is a town in the South West of WA, located in the valley of Margaret River, 277km (172 mi) south of Perth. It is a renowned surfing location known for its surf breaks, as well as its surrounding wine region. But fishing here is just as good.
One of the most popular beaches is Smiths Beach, and its filled with Dhu fish, salmon, sweep and flathead. You can also fish near Quindalup Boat Ramp in Dunsborough to catch KG whiting, squid and even crabs. Most recreational fishers choose the rocks towards meelup because they provide them with additional adventure. Another great rocky area to fish is Whydaup Rocks, where you can get salmon, bonito, southern bluefine tuna, samson fish and tailor.
For boating, go near Quindalup, Rocky Point and Wright Bank, right down to Flinders Bay in Augusta.
Hamelin Bay (and Karridale)
Hamelin Bay is located in the stunning National Park that hugs the coastline from Cape Naturalist to Cape Leeuwin. Approximately 15km north of Augusta and 30kms south of Margaret River, this park is established on a wide section of a bay where ships used to harbour in the timber milling days.
Beach fishing here is popular here, with species caught being herring and salmon. There is also a boat ramp if you want to explore the open ocean of nearby Augusta.
An archipelago of around 174 small islands (about 92 of which are named) lying 20 km (12 mi) north of Barrow Island and 130km (81 mi) off the Pilbara coast of north-western Australia.
They have very accessible fishing grounds around the Monte Bello islands. The waters here are crystal clear allowing for superb visibility of reefs and their inhabitants. With the warm waters and often shallow depths (3-10m), fishing, as well as other water activities, is effortless. Top quality eating and fighting fish are everywhere around these islands, making bottom fishing fun for the advanced fisherman.
Fish here are abundant; coral trout, emperors, reds and cod are typical, and trevally is common too. You’ll also have fun playing in the shallows around the islands with high chance of seeing big schools of squid.Ocean Reef Marina
In the northern suburbs of Perth is Ocean Reef Marina, and it offers all the small species (herring, gardies, whiting, pile, slimies) as well as great cray fishing opportunities. Between September and March, theres chances to catch tailor. In summer, mulloway are present. Cast at the entrance of the harbour towards the starboard marker for best results.
Yes, it may be hard to fish in Perth metropolitan waters and get a decent catch, but hey, it’s convenient – and when you do get that catch, it is extremely rewarding. Perth waters are a great place for beginners to get started before you start up the fuel cost of those long road trips.
If you are an avid freshwater angler then head down south in scenic Pemberton – a great spot for catching trout.
With roughly 1,400mm of rain falling every year; a river, brook or stream is never far away in the karri forest here. Some of the best places to explore near Pemberton is where the forest meets the water. Big Brook dam is minutes from town and is great for fishing and canoeing, while the Cascades (5 minutes from town in Gloucester National Park), Moons Crossing and River Road Bridge on the Warren River also offer fishing opportunities. Beedelup Falls is always worth a visit too, because of its amazing waterfall.
Trout, Perch and Marron can be found in Pemberton’s rivers and streams. Licenses are required for trout fishing and marron and can be obtained from the local post office. Keep in mind, trout season starts on 1 September and ends on 30 April, however the blackwood, donnelly and warren rivers are open all year round.
Check with the tourist centre or Fisheries Department for licensing and sizing requirements for trout, marron and coastal fishing.Pilbara
Balla Balla Creek in Whim Creek is easily the best spot for XOS Black Jewfish in the Pilbara if not the whole of WA. Good spot for threadfin in the cooler months and barra in the warmer months. Geographe shoals just offshore offer fantastic reef/sport fishing. Easy access from Karratha and Port Hedland.
Onslow is a coastal town in the Pilbara region worth checking out.
With numerous rock platforms and beautifu beaches, Rottnest Island really does offer year-round opportunities for every angler, from the beginner to the advanced. One big advantage here is the shoreline fishing though, with many fishing from Thomson Bay and Geordie Bay. Jetties also offer typical opportunities, but take a bike ride out to Radar Reef or Ricey Beach to try your luck catching some more target worthy species. Shore fishing here gives you herring, and a mixed bag that includes skippy, tailor, tarwhine and gardies. WA salmon can be caught in large numbers during April and May too.
Boat fishing around Rottnest Island can be extremely rewarding. Some of WA’s best known species of fish like the dhufish, breaksea cod, pink snapper, samson fish and baldchin grouper inhabit the surrounding rocky reef areas which are quite deep. During spring and summer though, some species do move into the shallower waters and can be occasionally caught from the shore.
Offshore anglers target pelagic species such as billfish and various species of shark just a few km off the West End of Rottnest Island, where the continental shelf drops away rapidly to great depths where apex predators can be found. Because of this, you could possibly attract world class sport fish such as yellowtail kingfish, dolphin fish (mahi-mahi) and mackerel.
Situated in WA’s north west, Rowley Shoals Marine Park lies 300km west of Broome. It is made of three coral atolls, with untouched coral gardens, thriving marine life and clear lagoons. The deep waters surrounding the Rowley Shoals are home to large populations of pelgaic species such as sharks, marlin and sailfish. This is why it is considered one of the best sportfishing sports Australia has to offer. It’s been seen on many fishing shows too. Other species here apparently include YFT, Wahoo, Dogtooth Tuna, Spaniards, GT’s, Sailfish Coral Trout, many Emperor Species.
This is a greaet spot to experience the thrill of big game fishing. For more information about Rowley Shoals fishing, contact Broome Visitor Centre.Yanchep
Two Rocks in Yanchep is a decent place to fish, giving you plenty of surprises – and hey, it’s not that far from Perth either, just 30minutes or so from the CBD.
North of Two Rocks Marina you’ll find a couple of patches of reef that can hold tailor. Rumour also has it that fishing on the southern side of the Yanchep Lagoon is excellent.
Shark Bay is one of Western Australia’s premier recreational fishing destinations. In this massive protected marine embayment, it does offer superior fishing opportunities for small boats and shore-based anglers, just so long as you are aware of the different zones and regulations in place before you catch a feed. Some excellent fishing sites in Shark Bay include Steep Point, False Entrance and South Passage. Steep Point in particular is famous for its cliff fishing for mackerel and other pelagic species.
Fishing from the steep cliffs along Shark Bay’s western edge is a thrilling but very dangerous past time. Make sure you are fully prepared. Click here for information on Shark Bay Rock and Cliff fishing. Or stay on dry land and try dropping a line from the shore or jetty in Denham.
Loctated 66km west of Denmark, Walpole is a twon that lies very close to the northern point of the 100-hectare Walpole inlet, from which it takes its name.
Love fishing my home ground, there is some of the best black bream fishing the state has to offer with heaps of by catches which will keep almost anyone entertained. You can fish from land or by boat, the scenery is magnificent and there’s always other alternatives to keep you busy if the conditions aren’t suitable for fishing. There is also untapped deepsea fishing and the rock fishing, whilst dangerous, provides opportunities to catch fish of all sizes depending upon the anglers experience. Not even to mention the 4wd driving which is another exciting part of every fishing trip.
I’m collecting photos for this article. If you have a photo of yourself with a fish in of the locations I’ve mentioned (or perhaps a new location I need to add to this list) please comment below. Thanks!
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