For those interested in recreational fishing, the Coral Coast has variety galore from local beach fishing to catching a big fish on a charter tour. Here's what you need to plan your next fishing holiday adventure in the Coral Coast!
Let's get you started with a journey on the Indian Ocean Drive north of Perth, to find the towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Greenhead, and Dongara - Port Denison.
This coastal town is home to beautiful beaches for fishing and swimming, and the Indian Ocean Rock Lobster Factory, or Lobster Shack. Cervantes is home to a long-standing and significant fishing industry, and the Lobster Shack offers tours of their processing plant, and fishing charters which take passengers through the Cervantes Islands. Take an early morning walk along the beach to the fishing boat jetty and watch the catch of the day come in. Kangaroo Point and Hangover Bay are located a short distance from Nambung National Park, north of Cervantes and are great spots for snorkelling, swimming, fishing, and boating. Picnic facilities include BBQs, gazebos/shelters and toilets.
If you love fishing and crabbing you’ll love Jurien Bay. Try your luck casting a line from the beach, or head for local fishing spots including the Limestone Groynes, Jurien Bay Marina, or the two old factory jetties which are open to the public. Fishing charters also run from Jurien Bay and facilities for the boating public include accessible ramps and jetties. Check out Seaestar Fishing Charters for your Jurien fishing adventure. Enjoy the beautiful Sandy Cape however, look for signage before fishing, as there are restrictions in certain places. There are 100 campsites accessible by 2WD in the main campsite with eco toilets available.
Green Head offers awesome fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming opportunities. Check out Milligan Island, which is the only ‘nature-based’ short-term (72 hours maximum) camping site within the Shire of Coorow. This eco camping site is nestled behind a dune amongst natural vegetation and is ideal for RVs or self-contained tourists. Only a short walk from the campsite, a shallow reef lies off the tranquil beach and is an ideal fishing spot, dotted with a series of small rocky islands.
The twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison are considered to be the rock lobster capital of Australia and are perfect for the amateur fisherman. The Marina jetties are great for fishing and crabbing. The three jetties are situated along Arurine Bay are a great place to throw in a line while you enjoy panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Fishing gear, kayaks, surfboards and bicycles are available for hire from Breeze Inn. Otherwise, book a spot on a fishing tour. If you fancy a combination of camping, fishing, swimming, sunsets, and travelling with your pooch, you will enjoy Cliff Head, a free nature based campsite, 38kms south of Dongara on the Indian Ocean Drive.
Leaving the Indian Ocean Drive, head north to the regions of Geraldton and Kalbarri.
Point Moore and Separation Point are among WA’s best fishing spots for whiting and herring. The Batavia Coast Marina and Fisherman’s Wharf are good spots for catching bream and also offer a fantastic vantage point for watching the rock lobster fishing fleet during the peak season between November and June. Beach casting is another popular pastime among the locals. If you are looking for a more controlled fishing environment, try out Chapman Valley Fishing Park which offers a fun, affordable and unique social escape with no fishing experience or equipment necessary. Their catch and release fishing park means you can cast a line for silver perch and black bream all year round, fish for barramundi in Summer or try your hand at the marron pond. All fishing gear supplied, and refreshments available at the café.
60kms off the coast west from Geraldton, lies the unique coral cays of the Abrolhos Islands. The abundant sea life here translates to the world’s freshest seafood with Crayfish, Dhufish and Baldchin groper, as well as pelagic species like Spanish Mackerel in ready supply. Your catch is also likely to include octopus, scallops and the sought-after western rock lobster. There's no accommodation on the island so the fishing charters are the best option with live-aboard experiences and range from three to five day tours. All leave from Geraldton, about 5 hours drive from Perth, Western Australia. Be sure to check the recreational fishing regulations and observe exclusion zones.
Kalbarri boasts some of WA’s best shore and boat angling, with fishermen reeling in tailor, mulloway, gardie and Samson fish. Try estuary fishing for whiting and black bream or drop a net to yield blue swimmer and mud crabs. Fishing charters are popular, satisfying both the serious angler and the novice. They regularly return with a bounty of fish including mackerel, tuna, snapper, dhufish, coral trout and bald chin groper. Note: There is an annual West Coast Demersal fishing ban from Cervantes to Kalbarri from 15 October to 15 December inclusive.
South of Kalbarri, discover the authentic, accessible and affordable Horrocks beach, an ideal family beach destination with sheltered waters offering great conditions for swimming, fishing, surfing, diving, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, kitesurfing and windsurfing. The Bowes River Mouth is a scenic beach popular among surfers and fishing enthusiasts. During the warmer months a pontoon is moored for swimmers to enjoy and the jetty is popular for fishing and squidding. A short 4WD north of Horrocks, Little Bay offers a small campsite among picturesque coastal scenery.
Head further north to Shark Bay, Denham and Francois Peron National Park.
Shark Bay is teeming with hundreds of species of fish. To get a real piece of the action, join one of the fishing charters operating in this area of the Coral Coast. A top spot for fishing is Steep Point which is done via balloon-fishing equipment due to the 170m cliffs. During the summer months (December - February) the prevailing winds are Southerlies, perfect for gas ballooning at Steep Point enabling gamefish to be caught from the shore.
As Shark Bay is a protected area, there are restrictions on the quota and size of fish caught for recreational purposes. Information about local restrictions is available from the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Centre in Denham.
Francois Peron National Park offers a range of designated basic campsites, most notably at Herald Bight, Big Lagoon, Bottle Bay and Gregories. Many campsites lead to top fishing spots along the coastline and are great places to spot marine life or bird colonies. Bottle Bay is home to plunging red sea cliffs which frame a coastal landscape of red, white and blue. Bush camping, four-wheel driving and beach fishing are popular here in addition to swimming and boating.
Best known for year-round fishing conditions, the lure of catching the coveted pink snapper and many other species of fish attracts many recreational fishermen to Shark Bay. The protected waters also sustain extensive seagrass beds, which are key nursery areas for finfish, prawns and scallops. Join a fishing tour from Denham to access the best local spots. Stop by the Shark Bay World Heritage Discovery and Visitor Centre for current fishing information.
At the top of the region is the infamous Ningaloo Marine Park
Located in the southern part of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area, this scenic stretch of coastline boasts towering cliffs, beautiful beaches and plenty of wildlife. 4WD or visit for the day by helicopter to enjoy great fishing, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, snorkelling and wildlife encounters. Built in 1897, One Mile Jetty in Carnarvon is a very popular WA fishing spot. Common catches include mulloway, tailor, bream and mud crabs, with blue manna crabs making an appearance between March and July. Just south of the Carnarvon blowholes, crayfish and oysters can occasionally be found on the rocks surrounding the rock pools. Gnaraloo Station, approximately 90 minutes north of Carnarvon, is a top WA fishing spot for chasing emperor, mackerel, tuna, trevally, pink snapper, jobfish, cod and sailfish, most of which can be caught year-round. Drift baiting is also quite rewarding at Gnaraloo or try balloon fishing at Quobba Station and Red Bluff.
Bill’s Bay and Purdy Point are calm and protected swimming locations ideal for families. This is a sanctuary zone, where fishing is prohibited, meaning there is plenty to be seen whilst snorkelling. So enjoy!
Whilst Coral Bay is a fish sanctuary, there are locations where fishing is allowed and boy, is it good ...Jump on board a fishing tour with one of Coral Bay’s expert fishing operators, where you can experience exciting sport fishing whilst using top of the range quality tackle. Catch rates are impressive among the operators, meaning you’re sure to have an action packed fishing adventure! Deep sea fishing charters, light game fishing and beach fishing (away from the popular Coral Coast swimming beaches) are all on offer at Coral Bay You can experience the unusual snapper feeding frenzy at 3.30 pm each day – some tours allow you to hand feed them.
The Bundegi Flats are kilometres long with popular species including groper, coral trout, snapper and emperor. Learmonth Jetty is a fantastic WA fishing spot for leisure anglers, with bream, mackerel, whiting and queenfish swimming within reach of a rod and reel. Game fishing charters are also available in Exmouth and marlin, mahi mahi, mackerel and sailfish are regular catches on these outings.The waters surrounding Exmouth hold over 40 different game fish, including all six Australian species of billfish. Fish from the shore, from a boat or cast a line from the Learmonth Jetty. For beach fishing, try Point Maud at Coral Bay. Visit Exmouth during March for the annual GAMEX fishing competition.
Note: Check Sanctuary Zones before fishing, or ask a Visitor Centre for fishing guidelines in the Ningaloo Marine Park zone.