Considering a move to Perth/WA from NZ

Hello all. I'm new to the forum and have a question for you guys. The Mrs and I are considering a move to Perth/WA from NZ. I have a mate over there and we have visited a few times. Love it. Got in to the surfcasting and caught a few fish. Also did a charter and caught a nice dhu fish.

At present, I am based in the Northland, NZ and the fishing is pretty bloody amazing. Snapper, yellowtail kingfish, kahawai (salmon) plus seasonal game fish are all there for the taking. It is rare to come home without a decent feed. I catch at least one 10lb plus snapper on most trips and don't claim to be the best angler in the world! I fish from a jet ski and only use soft baits or jigs. Can't remember the last time I did any serious bait fishing.

In general terms, how does your part of the world compare? I get the impression that the fishing wouldn't be quite as good, but don't know if this is fair. Also, would the soft plastics and lures do the job? How do you get on with sea conditions. It's a pretty windy part of the world. I imagine this limits trailer boat activities?

Particularly interested to hear from you if you have fished in both places, but any comments very welcome.



Dale's picture

Posts: 6410

Date Joined: 13/09/05

Tue, 2017-04-11 07:02

 Hey Boosh, welcome to the forum, we have some pretty good fishing here on our doorstep. You've already indicated that you've caught fish here, so you know first hand about availability. Don't expect to catch a pinkie every time you go out though. They're about and in such good numbers at times, we have a pinkie ban and a general demersal fishing ban. Crays are plentiful at times, we have guys here doing that on jet skis so that type of fishing gets explored to the inth degree, quite successfully too. Our salmon season is just starting off. That's generally a period of mayhem from most land based fisho's and boat fisho's alike. Keep an eye on this forum when you get here, hit up a couple of the jet ski fisho's and you'll be right. 


"Just because you are a Character, Doesn't mean you have Character."

Mr Wolf



Swompa's picture

Posts: 2120

Date Joined: 14/10/12

There are plenty of people on

Tue, 2017-04-11 12:54

There are plenty of people on this site who regularly catch good fish.

I feel they should share some waypoints with people like me.

Alan James's picture

Posts: 1813

Date Joined: 30/06/09

Welcome to the forum.

Tue, 2017-04-11 13:37

Welcome to the forum.  I lived in NZ for some 29 years prior to coming to WA in 1980.  During the years in NZ I fished around Auckland, Napier and Tauranga both from the shore surfcasting and also from boats.  It is difficult to compare NZ fishing to fishing in WA but I will give it a shot.

Firstly the regulations here are very different.  You won't be taking 7 snapper home per person like you can do in NZ.  The limit here is 2 per day but having said that the legal size limit for snapper in the Perth area is larger than in NZ.  500mm minimum here compared to your 300mm.  Generally speaking I believe snapper numbers in NZ would be greater than in WA however we have other species which compensate that to some degree.  It is my understanding that the sub-species of snapper we have in WA are different to those found in NZ and are slower growing and this is one of the reasons why our catch numbers are less than NZ.  Species such as kahawai (salmon), yellowtail kingfish, gurnard, trevally are here but not in the same numbers as in NZ.  WA however has tailor, herring, baldchin groper, dhufish, breaksea cod, samson fish none of which can be caught in NZ.

Soft baits and jigs work well here as well as they do in NZ.  I don't see any difference.  There are some here who choose not to use bait as there are I am sure in NZ.

Game fishing wise you guys catch a lot more marlin per year than we would in the Perth area.  Drive north of Perth and your chances of catching game fish will increase.  Mako sharks are a lot more common in NZ than here but we would have greater numbers of Great Whites and tiger sharks.  Shark fishing from the shore here is very doable.  Small swords (by NZ standards) have been caught off Perth but nothing like the size or numbers that frequent NZ.

Hapuka, bass and bluenose can be caught in the deeper waters off Perth but it's a fair distance probably close to 40nm offshore.  In NZ you wouldn't have to travel as far or fish as deep as we do here.

Our regulations are also different with respect to the use of jet skis.  In WA the regulations state that jet skis cannot be used more than 5nm from the mainland where I believe there is no limitation in NZ.  This 5nm restriction will I believe at times be problematic.

Weatherwise Perth is a lot windier than say Bay of Islands, but it is much warmer.  In NZ you can generally find somewhere sheltered to fish as you have west and east coast options, lots of small islands as well as harbours.  We don't have this luxury although we have the Swan river and other estuaries which introduce another set of species other than those previously mentioned.

There are various fishing restrictions and bans (mid Sept to mid Dec) that are in place where certain species are not to be targeted by anglers and that if caught those species must be returned to the water.  There is a lot more licencing over here than in NZ and you will need boat registration, recreational boat fishing licence however some of these fees are spent bettering facilities and the state of the fisheries which is not so prevalent in NZ.

Overall I think you have said it yourself.  The fishing in Northland is amazing and I think you would be hard pressed to find anything like it anywhere else in the world.  The fishing here is slightly less amazing.




Posts: 7

Date Joined: 09/04/17

Cheers for the replies. Alan,

Tue, 2017-04-11 16:07

Cheers for the replies. Alan, that is very comprehensive, thanks for taking the time to type it all up. Just what I was hoping for. Dale, interesting comment about the crays, I'm also a keen diver, but thought I'd leave that discussion for another time! A lot to think about! Decisions, decisions... In the meantime, a couple of my better fish from the ski.

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Alan James's picture

Posts: 1813

Date Joined: 30/06/09

Nice fush

Tue, 2017-04-11 19:03

Reiinforcing Dale's comment about crays if you are willing to dive or pot for them you shouldn't find it too difficult to put crays on the menu.  Diving and potting areas can be located within the 5nm restriction zone on jet skis.  As with most things there is a learning curve which I found out about late 2016 when I potted Perth waters for the first time. 




lachieH's picture

Posts: 1126

Date Joined: 02/03/13

 G'day Boosh. I have family

Thu, 2017-04-13 17:54

 G'day Boosh. I have family that live near Auckland and they do heaps of fishing. They have come here plenty of times and have worked out that New Zealand has a lot more snapper than WA, but the bigger pink snapper are found here. His biggest 5 snapper were all caught here but he reckons he still gets a bigger feed in NZ. He is probably biased but he also says the fishing is probably better in Kiwiland but it's still great here in WA. Hope that gives some food for thought!


Fishing the swan for bream, it's just an obsession

Posts: 7

Date Joined: 09/04/17

Cheers mate. We have no

Fri, 2017-04-14 06:42

Cheers mate. We have no shortage of big snapper in the Northland. I'd expect to catch something over 60cm on most trips, 70cm aren't uncommon either. In fact, the bigger fish can be a bit of a pest! I prefer the 45 - 50 cm models for filleting. The fillets from the bigger fish can be a bit too thick! What you say about Auckland is true though. I lived there for a a bit. Crazy number of fish, but definitely smaller. Wasn't too difficult to catch a bag limit of 7 from a kayak off a city beach!

Posts: 142

Date Joined: 22/12/16

ALOT more on offer but u will need to travel and it can be tough

Sun, 2017-04-16 15:19

 Hey man, WA has AMAZING fishing, remember wa is huge like 10 times bigger than NZ! And another perk is we have ALOT more species with fish like coral trout, baldchin groper and a lot more being much better eating than snapper. Around Perth as already described it is good but can be hard, the only guaranteed catch here is salmon when they run every autum/winter, but they are a lot bigger here than in NZ, with averages 70-80cms and a few 90cm 8kg+ models landed each season as well! We have Samson fish which are like a king but taller in shape, they are quite common around the reefs too, and commonly exceed 30kgs, which would be fun from a jet ski! Then further north u have shark bay, and beyond that Exmouth ad coral bay, these places have as much if not more fish than NZ, infact I will say more! And the variety is staggering! Instead on one good tasting reef fish(snapper), there is hundreds! Litteraly! And all keen to take a soft plastic or jig, and most are ALOT harder fighting than a snapper! Off shore in Perth we get Mahi mahi, mackerel, tuna and the occasional Marlin, and the further north u go the more there is, especially around coral bay to Broome, there is a lot up there! Basically Perth has some good fishing on offer and soft plastics will work very well, but it will take a while to master it all and know what lives where, but places from shark bay north the fishing is staggering, and far exceeds NZ in both quantity and quality, and new species than just snapper and kings must be a good thing! Cheers man good luck;)


one day a mulloway! 

Posts: 7

Date Joined: 09/04/17

458italia - you've sold it 

Mon, 2017-04-17 16:41

458italia - you've sold it 

crasny1's picture

Posts: 6676

Date Joined: 16/10/08

 When you come, please bring

Sun, 2017-04-16 17:42

 When you come, please bring a plentiful supply of John Dory with you.

Man I miss them having lived in New Plymouth as a youngster.

Best eating fish rarely found here 


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

Posts: 7

Date Joined: 09/04/17

They are good aren't they!

Mon, 2017-04-17 16:49

They are good aren't they! I've been catching a few lately on slow jigs and micro jigs, although I don't specifically target them. Just found a picture in the archives from my kayak fishing days.


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