Another magical morning on the beach at Hamelin
Hamelin Bay has been a favourite fishing spot of mine for many years and it certainly didn’t let me down during the recent school holidays.
This year we booked one of the fantastic chalets looking over the water at the Hamelin Bay Holiday Park and spent four nights there, with salmon on my mind.
Ever since I first tried it 30 years ago, I have absolutely loved driving along the stunning stretch of beach towards Boranup looking for salmon as I reckon fishing doesn’t get any more enjoyable than this type of sight fishing for these great sportfish.
As luck would have it, the schools only started showing up in the days just before we arrived.
We lobbed at the caravan park to news the pros had just netted a school and walked the short distance to the beach from the chalet on that first afternoon to be told a school had just passed through, which was a most encouraging development even if it was a little frustrating to know we had just missed them.
We needn’t have worried as we encountered heaps of schools over the next three days, from small pods to black masses that held thousands of fish, and sometimes had a few sharks following them too.
Late one afternoon as we pottered about the chalet I put my drone up just to see if there were any fish about and soon picked out a school just down the beach.
Claremont coach Ash Prescott was with us and he and his son, Xavier, shot down the beach immediately to find them just a long cast from our digs.
Morris Wilkinson and I soon followed down the beach from the caravan park to a small reefy section any Hamelin veteran would know, and found the school sitting right on the surface in front of us just on sunset, which was just as well as there was no other way to spot them with the sun so low.
The highlight though was driving along the beach each day spotting schools after using Bob’s Track to access this magnificent long stretch of sand and surf.
Polarised sunglasses make spotting salmon easy over the sandy bottom and we encountered multiple schools each day.
While some proved very hard to tempt, long casts that could reach them usually produced a result eventually and we enjoyed some amazing sportfishing.
On our last full day, we found three schools in quick time and the last one was well up towards the northern end of the beach.
We spent a memorable couple of hours following this school and had them all to ourselves almost the entire time, casting a variety of lures at them with great success and managing to get the kids onto some fish.
Conditions were absolutely perfect with a light breeze at our backs, some warmth in the air, not a cloud in the sky, clear water and a dropping swell that made it the sort of delightful autumn fishing experience I have long associated Hamelin Bay with.
We took it in turns driving the car as we followed the school slowly along the beach, until lunchtime arrived and we had to get back to base camp to join our families for lunch, happily leaving them biting.
It was yet another magical morning on the beach at Hamelin and it’s a pretty special experience to have fishing action like that at your doorstep while on a family holiday.
Caption: Morris Wilkinson and Archer Coghlan gave Hamelin Bay the thumbs up after catching this salmon.