Sunday Times Column
A fine pair of mulloway with Kalbarri Land Based Fishing Tours
- Published: Thursday, 18 May 2017 08:55
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.
A family holiday in Kalbarri recently offered a long overdue chance to break the drought.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to head north of town with local fishing guide Robert ‘Tangles’ Tenaglia from Kalbarri Land Based Fishing Tours.
Tangles is a keen shore fisho who specialises in putting his clients onto mulloway along the largely untouched coast north of Murchison River and he had an opening for me to join him that afternoon.
I met Tangles and his client at the boat ramp mid-afternoon, for the short trip across the river on his barge.
From there, we took a spectacular ride up the coast on his customised Polaris four-wheeler to one of his favourite spots.
The drive was a delight and the weather was perfect, although the swell was up, with Tangles hopeful a particular gutter would produce the late afternoon goods.
Armed with fresh whiting and mullet for bait, he chose our location and we set about preparing the big surf outfits he supplied.
It had been a few years since I’d soaked a bait in the surf and it was a nice nostalgic feeling to be once again doing something I did all the time as a kid.
The surf was really thumping in as the turn of the tide approached and we soon discovered weed was a real issue in the gutter.
The pounding swell of the previous days was to blame, and without any touches and needing to free the lines of weed regularly, it wasn’t long before Tangles surmised we needed to find a ‘cleaner’ location.
The only witnesses were a few goats watching from the hills as we headed back south to a spot closer to the reef platform known as Oysters, which is just on the northern side of the river.
It really is a spectacular part of the coast, and on one side we had towering waves pounding onto jagged reef platforms and small sections of sloping beach, while on the other we had the dry coastal scrub of the Murchison Station.
Tangles was keen to have us in position before sunset to take advantage of a prime bite time, but alas weed again conspired to foil us.
However, the fishing was almost secondary to just enjoying the experience and it was just a marvellous place to be as the sun set in the west.
We had a couple of small touches which might have been fish, but it was hard to tell due to the pounding swell.
Tangles cooked us up some traditional Aussie sausages in bread to ward off hunger as we settled into the after dark session with a few quiet drinks.
Sadly we couldn’t get a touch and around 9pm he decided it was no longer worth persevering and that we were best off calling stumps on the evening.
My dream of a big surf mulloway would have to remain that, but it was still a fantastic afternoon on the beach.
As we made our way back across the river, Tangles explained that October was prime time and urged me to come back then to try again.
His knowledge of mulloway is second to none and he’s put his clients onto some fabulous fish, so I might just have to make that happen.
If you are looking to enjoy some great shore fishing around Kalbarri and want some local expertise, look up Kalbarri Land Based Fishing Tours.
I can guarantee you’ll have a great time and you might even catch that fish of a lifetime!
Caption: Trent Lambert (l) and Matt Fisher picked up this fine pair of mulloway with Kalbarri Land Based Fishing Tours.