Exmouth Gulf action in the Western Angler Westerberg Bandit

Legendary WA fishing writer Ross Cusack, aka Cuey, has a favourite saying – “He’s gone to boats”.

It is a damning comment by the veteran beach fisherman on the credibility of any shore angler who dares forsake the sand beneath their toes for the allure of offshore fishing.

I’ve never quite “gone to boats” but I did go to kayaks when I started looking for something to expand my fishing horizons more than a decade ago, and a thoroughly rewarding decision that has been.

The State Government is reviewing boat safety

The State Government is reviewing the safety equipment required on recreational vessels and wants feedback from the boating public on topics including making wearing life jackets compulsory.

The previous review, which led to the current regulations, was back in 1992 and given the massive changes in recreational boating over 25 years it would seem appropriate to revisit the regulations.

There are several new types of recreational vessels these days, including pedal kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, and the technology available for marine users has also changed significantly.

For example, there are a plethora of EPIRBs and PLBs available these days, while global positioning technology has also advanced dramatically.

This particular lump of rock and reef off Fremantle

If you want to get into the metro salmon, then Mewstone continues to be the place to try.

I’m not exactly sure what it is about this particular lump of rock and reef off Fremantle which appeals so much to salmon, but it produces high numbers of fish on a remarkably consistent basis.

A good forecast saw us heading out there last week on the Western Angler Westerberg Bandit project boat to see if we could get our salmon fix.

After launching at Woodman Point at gentleman’s hours our first stop was Carnac Island, hoping we could find some fish away from the big crowds.

Unfortunately, all we could raise there was hordes of herring, so we moved on and turned the bow towards Mewstone, where the outline of a number of boats could be seen in the distance.

It had been years since I had been there and it was quite a sight to see 30 boats all anchored around what is known as Row Boat Rock.

Depths of the Continental Shelf

There is a growing group of anglers who get their fishing fix by heading out to the depths of the Continental Shelf to fish the bottom in hundreds of metres of water.

Using specialised electric reels powered by large batteries, they tangle with deep-water species which have rarely been seen by recreational fishers until recent years.

Tasty goliaths from the depths like blue-eye trevalla, bass grouper and hapuka are what metro aficionados of this style of fishing seek, using powerful marine electronics to reveal the best fishing locations and then employing the latest fishing gear to catch them.

Another major fish kill

Another major fish kill in the Murray River has highlighted the parlous health of some of our major southern estuaries.

The kill last week was the second in a few months, and appears to have been on a much bigger scale than the earlier one.

Sadly, fish kills are not uncommon in the Murray, near Mandurah, these days.

A fine pair of mulloway with Kalbarri Land Based Fishing Tours

One of the items on my angling bucket list has long been a big mulloway from the beach.

I’ve caught good mulloway at Shark Bay, in the Swan and Albany’s Kalgan River, but only ever managed small ones from the sand.

I first read about catching big beach mulloway in Frank Marshall’s Let’s Go Surf Fishing as a kid around 40 years ago and have been dreaming of one ever since.

Lovely queenfish from the kayak

I’ll never forget the first time I caught a big queenfish.

I was fishing off Dampier on Ed Olkowski’s little aluminium boat when we found a school of big queenies near a small island.

We had a ball over the next few hours, catching plenty of fish around the metre-mark and enjoying the spectacular strikes and acrobatic leaps.

The secret to consistently catching the fish

I've been having a ball catching salmon from the beach in recent weeks and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by readers of this column.

In fact, a couple of people emailed asking what is the secret to consistently catching the fish.

The truth is you need a bit of luck in that salmon are a highly mobile species and you do need to be in the right place at the right time to find them, especially when shore fishing.