Best species to target and suitable fishing tackle for beach/rockfishing!

Hi again

We are a couple of guys from Germany on a trip in WA and we promised to provide our ladies with regular fish for dinner and so, we have to deliver. We have no boat, so we try our luck land-based. Date is from mid April to mid May at those spots: Fremantle, Margaret River, Denmark, Albany, Jurien Bay, Kalbarri, Shark Bay, Gnaraloo and Exmouth. 

Since we are from Bavaria, we all are complete saltwater rookies. Hence, some advice on which kind of edible fish is good to catch from beaches/rocks
and a recommendation for suitable fishing tackle (type of rod, reel, line strength, etc.) for this purpose would be greatly appreciated.

Gav475's picture

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Date Joined: 16/11/11


Wed, 2016-12-14 07:32

 hi crayster. The further north you go the better the fishing will be. Albany denmark in may can be dangerous weather wise. Rock fishing and large swell do not mix and unfortunately we have tourists die nearly every year in these circumstances.  You will need a mix of gear as you will be able to target smaller herring, whiting and tailor from the beach but as you go north the fish tend to get bigger, pink snapper and large trevally are quite common.

Best advice is where ever you intend to fish go into the local tackle shop and speak to the local guys. Each are has its own local knowledge that they are usually happy to share with you.

Above all else the north of Wa is not like europe and there is nuge distances between help, very limited mobole phone coverage so dont rely on it and there isnt a shop just around the corner.








Madmerv's picture

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G'day Mate

Wed, 2016-12-14 07:37

 Get used to people saying that.

Well the question you asked sounds quite simple but is in actual fact quite complicated. For a start almost all fish are "edible" bar some like the puffer fish, blowfish to us, that can be poisonous. Generally if it eats other fish, or the bait you are using like fish strips, whole fish, prawns etc, then it will be edible. Depending on your own personal tastes, some are ok, some good and some great. Buy a fish identification book for WA fish and make sure it has an edibility scale, star system in it. Generally it will have a small catching section for how to catch each fish also.

As for gear to catch them.... Well that could create a debate on here that would last,,, well forever.

My recommendation would be a tough allrounder rod in the 10-12 foot mark, 2 piece, with a line strength of 15-20kg mark. Something that can take a bit of abuse on a road trip, so no carbon fiber, perhaps an Ugly Stik from shakespeare.

The reel is totally going to depend on your budget. Go for the best quality you can afford, that is salt water rated, and that can spool 15-20kg line. The more you spend the better the chances of the reel lasting a grueling road trip and working perfect every time you cast out. Just remember you may catch the fish of a life time on this trip and if your gear fails just when you dont want it to then you will have a life time to regret it.

So basically look for $100+ on the rod and $200+ or more like $250+ for the reel.

Go to a proper tackle shop like the site sponsors, Oceanside tackle, Complete angler, to get the best advice. If you know what you want, sorry sponsors, go to a chain store for the best price but dont take any of their advice as it is usually shit.

For all your terminal tackle, hooks sinkers swivels etc, go to a real tackle shop and ask them what to use to catch the fish in the area you are in. 

Looking for second hand equipment can save you a pile of cash but you really need to know what you are about there as a lot of it is in bad shape even when it looks good.

If you have the time get a list of what has been recommended to you and post it up here for the masters to have a look through. They might be able to recommend an alternative that is better suited or just as good a quality but cheaper.

Good luck mate.



 Sometimes when the water is quiet, you can hear the fish laughing at you !

crasny1's picture

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Plenty of Info on here

Wed, 2016-12-14 08:15

if you search. Might be safer down south (perth and below) to target what we call bread and butter species to begin with. Mostly this will be a lot safer than rock fishing (not for Novices In my opinion). Also look up skippy and gardies(Garfish).
Pick a couple and target them. Herring and whiting are the common Bread and butter species. Just go to the search bar and type in herring etc and even an area and you will find information.
Get to know what NOT to eat or touch. A cobbler sting will cause you all sorts of nightmares, and scare your travel insurance company (medical cost). Know what a blowie and cobbler look like to avoid them.
If you catch something and you are unsure what it is, ask!
Fishermen are normally friendly folk.
Otherwise when you arrive just post on here. I am sure some Fishwreckers will show you around. BUT we don't want to loose another overseas Fishwrecked visitor as happened in Exmouth a few years back, so always think save if you aren't sure, and ask away. Plenty on here willing to help.
If down Mandurah way give me a shout and Ill see what we can do.
PS: Its also simple with a rod/rig to fish for the B&B species. A cheap flick rod and a 2000-4000 reel will cover all of them. Even though small, herring and whiting are nice to eat (well some don't like herring). Also herring here is not your herring - a different species.
Lastly on my post - get a rule book and stay within fishing rules. Ignorance is no excuse, and mostly rule breakers are frowned on big time, especially on here.
Here is a link to the book, which also shows species and some further information.


"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk

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Date Joined: 14/05/13

land based

Wed, 2016-12-14 09:07

when you get here, call me April/may and I will see if weather permits to take you out on the boat if we can arrange a suitable time.

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Date Joined: 06/05/12

 spend some time on youtube,

Wed, 2016-12-14 13:35

 spend some time on youtube, heaps of fishing videos on there from WA coastline

crayster's picture

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Date Joined: 05/12/16

Ok wow you mates set up a

Thu, 2016-12-15 05:04

Ok wow you mates set up a whole WA Fishing Guide for us. Big thanks for all the tips & warnings. Great stuff, one cannot get enough of that. Your coastline seems to be a bit more dangerous fishing area than our Bavarian mountain lakes. The worst thing that may happen to you is that one or two ants pee on your feet.

@Crasny: In order not to end up in a similar situation: What exactly happened to those overseas visitors in Exmouth you “lost”?

Would be great to meet some of you guys and have a chat and maybe drop a line together. Would ease to get things started for us. Hope we will find a suitable time spot. @Frankf/Crasny or who else would like to: just leave me your number and we will call, when heading to your corner. Frank, where are you living. Perth?

crasny1's picture

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Tah Mate

Thu, 2016-12-15 08:10

When you get here, just use the PM function. To do that click on my/others name.
A menu will pop up and at the bottom it says "send user a private message"
Then its just like email and we can share more personal information.
The overseas Irish Visitor (FW name Liamo) drowned of Ningaloo in Turquoise Bay. Very sad as he loved fishing.


"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk

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 Crayster, there's adequate

Fri, 2016-12-16 10:23

 Crayster, there's adequate advice above so I'll try not to repeat. You sound as though you're not new to fishing but fish in lakes in Bavaria. If so you already have gear so perhaps it's not necessary to buy everything. The most difficult item to transport is the rod. Reel is easy as is all other peripheral stuff. Just pack in your luggage with protection. For a 10 - 12 ft rod you're looking at a Daiwa 4000 - 6000 size reel to balance. If you already have this then only thing you need to buy here are rods and perhaps some terminal gear. You may also have hooks but generally can boil it down to #6 for small fish and #4/0 for the bigger stuff. On jetties/piers, like crasny says a 6ft rod with small reel is all you need for small fish.

Hutch's picture

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 As mentioned above, a light

Sat, 2016-12-17 20:22

 As mentioned above, a light 6-10lb outfit should be adequate for most small species that you can catch off jetties and calm beaches.

For slightly larger fish 12 foot plus rods, larger reels and 20lb plus line with bigger hooks should be able to deal with most things you hook.

I'm also happy to take you out for a fish when you get here, send me a PM and we can make arrangements 


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Da pirate's picture

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That's the ticket !

Sat, 2016-12-17 20:55

 Good onya hutchman ! He ll be mad too pass up 

that opportunity good old Aussie way of helping out 

where you can ! Have good Xmas hutch and tight lines 

for the new year ! Cheers pirate !

Hutch's picture

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 Cheers pirate, you also have

Sun, 2016-12-18 15:29

 Cheers pirate, you also have a great Xmas and new year. Hopefully find some time to wet a line between celebrating


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crayster's picture

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Date Joined: 05/12/16

Pooh.. I've read through the

Sun, 2016-12-18 03:50

Pooh.. I've read through the threads with Liamo - tough story. This guy was so damn happy to finally have reached the fishing paradise he had been dreaming of. No doubt there was no better place on earth for him to pass away.. but at his age.. that's hard to accept.
kknlk, thanks for your advice. But my rods are cheap stuff and have seen better times. They will hardly survive 5 weeks road trip. Last years was very rare for me to go for a fish. Holidays are my time slot to catch up what I have  missed out during the year. Then I guess, I am hardly talking about anything else. My girlfriend hates it, but of course she does love a tasty fish for dinner.
Well, it looks like I will get me 2 rods: spinning rod (that’s what you call flick rod here?) and a solid surfcasting rod for long range and bigger fish. Thanks hutch for specs and your offer to take us out! Beer is on us!
I am also thinking about hiring a 6hp boat in Exmouth for 2 or 3 days. You need no licence for this one, but it has limited range of 200m off the shore. Is that worth it or are we better off staying on the beach?
One last: Whiting - Heard they taste delicious and are quite easy to catch. Is it likely to get some from the beaches/jetties at that time of year or are waters already too cold in the Southwest? What about further North?

Moist and Salty's picture

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Hiring a boat in Exy is

Sun, 2016-12-18 07:17

Hiring a boat in Exy is definietly worth it assuming the swell is down. Take it over the West side and flick lures toward the outer reef and bombies. If the weather allows take the passage outside the reef and troll or flick lures again along the back of the reef (not far out), just be sure to be back in before the wind picks up. Otherwise from Bundegi boat ramp theres great fish to be caught the second you get outside the protected area (we caught a 1500mm Spanich Mack on the way back as we were bringing the lures in).


It's very likely to get whiting thoughout the southwest, find a nice beach and a beer and target the shallow sandy areas, really delicate white flesh.

Posts: 185

Date Joined: 30/12/08

 So it looks like you'll be

Sun, 2016-12-18 19:39

 So it looks like you'll be getting the rods here. That's probably the better way as transporting rods in planes can be a pita. Depends which airline you fly with. If you have the appropriate reels do bring them. If you don't you'll find it cheaper there than here. Guys, correct me if I'm wrong but crayster still needs a Recreational Skippers Ticket and Recreational Fishing From Boat Licence. Hiring a powered boat on its own doesn't allow him to operate it or fish. Crayster, no licence required if using a kayak to fish

crasny1's picture

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It is needed if the engine is

Mon, 2016-12-19 07:47

It is needed if the engine is > 6hp. Below that I don't think so.


"I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact!!" _ Elon Musk