Good fishing on all the FADs in the water off the WA coast
There are more FADs in the water off the WA coast than ever before and the good news is they are really starting to fire.
Although the Perth Game Fishing Club ones off Perth went in at the usual time during summer, bureaucratic delays meant the deployment of some of Recfishwest’s FADs was delayed.
A few of the Recfishwest ones were only deployed in recent weeks, much later than would have been ideal, but it hasn’t taken long for pelagic fish to find them and take up residence.
There have been reports of good fishing on all the FADs off the metro area in recent weeks, mainly for dolphinfish but several wahoo have also been caught, as well as those off Geographe Bay, Jurien Bay and even Albany, a spot not exactly renowned for its offshore game fishing.
Albany’s Matt Pullella enjoyed an amazing session off his home town with mate Jake Puls.
The pair had heard reports of a few dolphinfish being seen in local waters, so headed out for a look after finishing work around lunchtime.
It took around an hour to get to the FAD, and when they got there they immediately thought it looked promising.
There was plenty of life around the marker, with lots of birds, tuna flicking around and boils on the surface.
Cutting the motor just off the FAD, they drifted past to start fishing, with Matt tying on an Ocean’s Legacy Keeling stickbait.
“First cast, I wound twice and I was on and then it jumped, so we knew we were into the dollies,” he said.
That first fish was around five kilos and sparked an amazing session as its mates all fired up.
“As soon as we hooked one it all turned on,” he said..
“There were dollies everywhere we looked, we could see them busting up.
“We could throw whatever we liked at them and they were hitting everything.”
Matt tried a bibbed minnow and when the bib broke off, continued to use it as a surface stickbait.
“It didn’t have any action, but it didn’t matter,” he said.
“I was on as soon as the lure hit the water.”
Many of the fish were big bulls that were 10kg-plus, and Matt estimated the biggest at around 12-13 kilos.
He reckoned there were at least 50 fish in the school and most were of good size.
“It was amazing fishing for Albany,” he said.
More FADs are also due to be deployed off Mandurah and Lancelin in the coming weeks.
Information on FAD locations can be found at www.recfishwest.org.au .
When fishing the FADs remember to be considerate of other water users, including anglers and divers.
Never tie up to the FADs as this can cause them to break free of their mooring, and wait your turn if drifting past.
Try to also use stealth to your advantage, as Matt and Jake did by cutting their motor, as running straight over the top of the dolphinfish will often see them shut down.
Image caption: Matt Pullella with a cracking Albany dolphinfish pulled off a FAD.