Hot Spots 03/12/2017

METRO: Well-known eastern states fishing personality Al McGlashan has been in town and helped with tagging pink snapper in Cockburn Sound for Fisheries research.

They had no trouble finding spawning aggregations of fish up to a metre in length, leaving Al very impressed with local management of the Cockburn and Warnbro sounds snapper fisheries, both of which are currently closed to protect the spawning fish. Al was blown away by the sight of schools of the big pinkies circling on the surface.>

The Swan and Canning are fishing well, with a lot of small mulloway showing up in both rivers in a good sign for the future. Small tailor are still absolutely thick in the rivers, with them being found across a wide area and aggressively hitting baits and lures. A lot of river fishos are saying they’ve never seen so many small choppers. Good news is that a lot more 40cm-plus fish are also getting caught now. There have been a few whispers of mulloway in the lower reaches of the Swan. The cooler weather slowed down giant herring action and there were few reports this week, but those who have been lucky enough to find them have been impressed with the size. Black bream are spread through both rivers but have been hard to catch at times. Early mornings are worth a try with surface lures and shallow running minnows. The flatfish action is steadily improving, with flathead showing well up the Swan. The flats around Applecross and Claremont are well worth trying. Crabbing has been pretty good in the Swan, with quite a few pushing up in the shallows. Tailor and herring have been the main fare for shore anglers along the beaches and rockwalls. There have been plenty of scalies at E-Shed. The crayfishing action is improving daily it seems. The run of whites has started and should only improve after the next full moon. The offshore fishing scene has been pretty quiet, but those chasing a feed have been doing well on king george and sand whiting. Samson fish jigging charters have been getting some nice fish when they can get away from the plagues of sharks. Around Mandurah, the surface session on yellowfin whiting has really picked up over the last week. Tailor are also turning up in the Cut and the estuary and along the beaches, especially south of Mandurah. There have been some good KGs in the Cut, but herring are hard to catch, especially at a decent size. There have been some juvenile salmon in the estuary and the crabbing season has got off to a fine start, with plenty caught and many of good size. Those fishing offshore are getting samson fish and southern bluefin tuna, and king george whiting on the bottom.

GERALDTON: The team at Getaway Outdoors reports beach anglers have enjoyed reasonable success as of late with good numbers of tailor, whiting and large herring hitting the shores. Reports have been widespread with good results coming from Drummond Cove through to Buller River, Pages Beach, Tarcoola Beach, Southgates and Greenough’s first and second points. Some locations have filled with weed recently so be prepared to move around until suitable conditions can be found. Those putting in the effort after dark have encountered numerous school sharks, shovelnose rays and some fine mulloway up to 13kg. Species such as estuary cod and mangrove jack are becoming more active inside the Batavia Coast Marina and the Fisherman’s Wharf. It should be noted that estuary cod are protected by the demersal closure until December 15 and must be released. The Chapman River is still producing black bream up to 32cm along with a few encounters with giant herring, and both baits and artificials have seen their share of action.

SHARK BAY: Dylan Skinns had another good trip to Denham, enjoying some good fishing despite some windy weather. The first day saw them working around Dirk Hartog Island and they were rewarded with some good coral trout on stickbaits on soft plastics. The second day saw the group heading to Steep Point, but they couldn’t find any pelagics, likely due to the water still being a bit cool. They did have a whale shark swim past the boat in just 20m of water. On the way back to Denham, they found a nice patch of pink snapper near Useless Loop. Their final day saw them get onto more pinkies on plastics in the Bay. The wind has kept most boats in, but those fishing off the jetty have done well on squid.