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Posted 01th March 2023

Landbased Series: Perth Region

Landbased Series: Perth Region
Landbased Series: Perth Region

By Robert Thornton

It’s often said that the West Coast is the best coast. You could certainly get into some serious arguments about the matter, but the fact is that this side of Australia is an outdoor junkies’ dream. Whether you get your thrills by surfing, camping, road tripping, hiking, diving or fishing, the West Australian coastline is an amazing place to discover and explore.

Good management of fisheries, responsible recreational activities, and a relatively sparse population have all contributed to conserving this world-class fishing region, and it’s no surprise that it’s a common bucket list destination for anglers. As for angling options in the west, your imagination is the limit, and this even applies to those without a boat. Granted, you might not be able to access much of the incredible offshore fishing WA is famous for, but you won’t be kept out of the action altogether. In fact, being boatless can sometimes work to your advantage, and this is particularly true in the Metropolitan areas of Perth!

It is common for serious West Australian anglers to drive long distances for a fishing trip, and a 20-hour round trip for a weekend of fishing is not unusual for the diehards. But for those simply wanting to scratch the itch, or even just find a way into the sport of lure fishing, you have everything you need in the Perth region.

Perth local and Daiwa Pro Team member Chris Dixon very much fits to mould of a western angler – he fishes to the seasons, and doesn’t mind driving long distances for trophy fish. With that said though, he has spent countless hours lure fishing in Perth’s waterways and knows just how productive they can be at times.

“There’s good variation with the seasons here, and lots of different species to catch,” he says, “and generally spots are quite easy to get into – there’s very few out-of-bounds areas, which is good.”

Let’s take a look at the landbased fishing scene in the wild west!

Landbased Kit

If you’ve read any of our other blogs from this landbased series, you’ll know by now how important it is to think about your kit. Having well-organised and compact tackle storage is going to make fishing so much easier and hassle-free, even if your tackle collection is very small. Smart anglers will tailor their tackle storage to their mode of transport.

Daiwa’s Guide Waist Bag and Sling Bag are very compact storage options and perfect for people without a car. If you’re relying on public transport, a bicycle, moped, or you’re simply walking from spot to spot, smaller bags such as these are a good option.

The Trout Shoulder Bag is another good option, and anyone who likes to carry a compact but broad selection of tackle and accessories will love this piece of kit. The plier holder, mesh pockets, multiple Velcro pockets, multiple toggles, and a sealed zipper pocket, makes it ideal for trout anglers who like to chop and change their presentation often, but is great for any lure fisher.

If you want to carry extra gear and keep your bases covered, the Guide Backpack will allow you to do that. This pack is particularly useful for those who don’t have a vehicle to use for extra storage. What’s more, the Guide Backpack, Guide Waist Bag and Guide Phone Pouch can be combined in a bag-on-bag system!

Inside your pack, it’s a good idea to keep everything tidy and neat to prevent tangles or damage to your tackle. This is where the Soft Plastic Wallet and Egi Wallet come in. These are designed to slide inside carry bags, and will make sure your soft plastics and squid jigs don’t get tangled up with one another, and can prevent them banging around or even getting mixed up and melting.

Daiwa has other storage and luggage options to suit landbased anglers, so make sure you check them out!

Landbased Tackle

Having such a huge variety of species to choose from can make the idea of tackle selection seem a little daunting, however there is a lot of overlap within Perth’s fishery, where one presentation can be used for a range of species and techniques.

“If I had to pick one outfit it’d be a 1-4 kilo spin rod, about 7 and a half foot,” Chris says, “The Infeet Z is my go-to for most stuff, with a 2500 Revelry or Caldia reel and 8lb braid.”

“This outfit is good for bream, whiting, flathead, calamari, plus if I hook something bigger like a mulloway or salmon I have a good chance of landing it.”

Speaking of salmon, Perth and the rest of the South West Coast is known for its epic salmon run in autumn and winter, where landbased anglers can tangle with salmon to 7-8kg! The Over There range of spin rods are ideal of throwing lures into salmon schools from the sand or breakwalls. Paired with a 3000-4000 size spin reel, they’re also ideal for beach fishing in general, and the Perth region has kilometres of accessible sand to wet a line from.

However you choose to fish and whatever you aim to target, there’s certainly no need for more than one or two rods and reels. Selecting tackle for its versatility is by far a better option, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t want to go ‘all in’ just yet. There is certainly value in super technique-specific outfits, however the ones outlined above are more than enough to dip your toe in with!

Landbased Lures

Once again, versatility is the key when choosing lures, and Daiwa’s range easily covers your landbased options in the Perth region.

“For my topwater stuff I like to throw one of the smaller Slippery Dogs,” Chris explains, “These are great lures to have on you, especially in summer when the whiting are active.”

“For working under the surface I like soft plastics, and I prefer the BaitJunkie 2.5inch Grub,” he continues, “they can be worked slower than the Minnow – which is also a good plastic – I just find the Grub works extremely well on shutdown fish.”

“I like to fish a lot on the flats,” he says, “and for that I like to throw the new Infeet Sazanamis, the shallower ones.”

Along the coast, especially around the Freemantle area, calamari are a popular target, so it would be almost criminal to prepare for a landbased session without packing at least a few squid jigs. Daiwa’s Emeraldas Peak, Nude and Dart II series of jigs are all proven performers on the cephalopods, with 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 being good sizes for the local squid.

Bigger pelagics are a possibility in just about any tidal water too, so having a few presentations ready to throw in case fish start feeding nearby is a good idea. While small plastics and hardbodies suited to bread-and-butter species will work, having a few larger lures can’t hurt. The Slippery Dog 97F, as well as the Shore Spartan Rough Ride, Break Through and Power Splash are very useful to have on hand if you’re expecting salmon, tailor, tuna, mackerel or any other larger ocean-going speedsters to move through the area. 

Additionally, metal slugs are always great to have in a few different sizes and colours, and they’re small-but-heavy design makes them ideal for distance casting.

Perth Fishing Spots

Perth anglers are absolutely blessed with a huge variety of fishing locations within the city itself. Venturing just north, south or east can open up even more options to the intrepid landbased angler, with the general rule being the further away from people you travel, the better the fishing tends to be. Let’s look at a few popular landbased fishing spots areas close to the city.

Bread-and-butter Species

Anglers do not have to look too far to get amongst plentiful, hard-fighting and often great tasting bread-and-butter species. On the West Coast, this refers to species like black bream, sand and yellowfin whiting, Australian herring (known as tommy ruff in eastern states), calamari, and bluespot and bartail flathead.

“South Mole at Freemantle is a great landbased spot for squid,” Chris explains, “and Hillarys Boat Harbour is a productive squid spot too.”

“Heading south a bit, you’ll find plenty of squid fishing from any of the jetties and rock walls in Cockburn Sound, especially if there’s weedbeds nearby.”

Black bream are another popular target for landbased fishers, and these charismatic little predators can be found in most estuary systems throughout the South West.

“There’s heaps of bream in Swan River,” Chris says, “I generally fish upstream of The Causeway, as there’s lots of snags to cast at and a lot less blowfish to destroy your lures!”

“As for whiting,” he continues, “sand whiting can be caught off any beach year-round, and yellowfin whiting will take lures in the lower reaches of the Swan, the flats near Rockingham, and in the Peel-Harvey Estuary System in summer.”

“If you’re chasing flathead, Applecross, Point Walter and East Freo are good areas to try with soft plastics.”

Pelagics and Larger Estuary Predators

The migrating pelagics that visit the Perth area are another part of the fishery that offers a lot for landbased anglers.

The South West salmon run through the early part of autumn and into winter sees anglers gathering along beaches from just north of Perth to the South Australian/West Australian border. Fishing from any rock wall, jetty or stretch of beach in this region puts you in with a chance of intercepting a school of ravenous salmon, however the pelagic fishery doesn’t stop there.

“You can find good tailor in the Swan,” Chris says, “they turn up in the same areas as the flathead, but more so around the drop-offs.”

“They’re a fairly safe bet pretty much every evening through summer along the beaches too,” he goes on, “Swanbourne and Cottesloe are popular locations for this.”

“Skippy will turn up in the marinas, especially with a good berley trail,” he explains, “Hillarys, North and South Mole, and any of the jetties in Cockburn Sound will have skippy around them.”

It might be hard to believe, but Spanish mackerel and longtail tuna also make an appearance for landbased anglers in Perth each year, usually in January and February. While this is far from an easy fishery, those looking for a challenge can really put their skills to the test.

“Fishing large lures or live baits from Cockburn Sound or any rock walls is the way to catch bigger pelagics,” Chris says.

Perth is well known for its well-managed ‘demersal’ (meaning fish that live near the sea floor) fishery, and in the right conditions you don’t need a boat to enjoy it.

“During storms and large swells, pink snapper up to 10kg get caught regularly,” Chris explains, “basically, terrible weather out on the ocean means there will be good snapper fishing.”

“There’s also good numbers of mulloway in the Swan and along the beaches.”

“Summer and autumn tend to be the best times, with spots like The Narrows and The Causeway good for lure fishers.”


Just when you thought it sounded good, it gets better! The South West region has plenty of viable options for those wanting to chase a variety of freshwater fish, however trout and redfin are the dominant species.

“There’s trout stocked into Waroona, Harvey and Wellington dams,” Chris says, “however you’ll need a license to fish them.”

“Trout don’t breed in WA, so all fish need to be stocked, and this is why buying a license is important.”

“There’s also redfin in pretty much all freshwater in this area, and they’re good fun on lures as well.”


Whether you’re a Perth local or are just visiting, don’t discount the landbased fishing available right under your nose. Clued-in anglers have proven time and again that some seriously impressive fish lurk around the man-made structures of the big city. Sure, West Australians like to drive for hours outside of the cities in search of fish, but if it’s a simple feed you’re after or even just a bit of wholesome sport, our capital in the West just about has it all.

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