Fishing in the Margaret River region
Before You Start
You do not need a fishing license if you would like to fish recreationally from a beach. You do need a license if you are fishing from a powered boat. If you don’t have a ‘Recreational Fishing from Boat’ license (RFBL), you can still fish from a powered boat provided you are in the company of someone who does hold a valid license and you stay within their bag limit. You also need a license for rock lobster (crayfish) fishing, abalone fishing, marron fishing, fresh-water angling and net fishing.
You are able to apply for licenses from Australia Post outlets or online. If you are fishing upstream on the Margaret River you need a freshwater fishing license, if you are fishing downstream from the Margaret River you don’t need a license. You are able to spear fish anywhere here in the Margaret River region, a license is needed only if spear fishing from a boat. You are able to spear fish in Gracetown, although you are not allowed to spear fish on the ocean bottom (for slugs, starfish, etc).
Our Favourite Fishing Spots
- Augusta: the Hardy Inlet is well known for black bream, whiting, silver bream, herring, and mulloway. The upper reaches near Molloy Island are best for black bream and marron (local freshwater crayfish). Rock and beach fishing are great towards the lighthouse and Skippy Rock (off scenic drive). Offshore fishing is also good for pike, dhufish, and snapper. The boat ramp at Flinders Bay is best for ocean access, as the mouth of the river can be dangerous. There are two boat ramps in town and another one near Molloy Island. Deepdene Beach and Stinky Bay are top spots for salmon and silver bream during summer.
- Busselton: the Busselton Jetty provides good catches of squid, herring, whiting (including king george whiting) and crabs. The beaches and rocks also provide similar species but not as much success as with the jetty. Crabs can also be scooped along the beaches in the evenings. Offshore reefs fish well for dhufish, snapper and big skipjacks. Boat ramps are on the northern side of the jetty and near Abbey Beach towards Dunsborough.
- Dunsborough: there is an excellent boat ramp into a sheltered bay at Dunsborough near the locality of Quindalup; a sandy beach with a small wooden jetty. Old Dunsborough has another boat ramp but watch the rocks on the tides. Good reef fishing is just a few kilometres offshore. Land based anglers will have better results from Meelup to the lighthouse. Ask the locals for directions to the windmills, torpedo rocks and the artificial reef for big skippy, tailor and reef fish. The HMAS Swan dive wreck 3kms off Point Picot has a fishing exclusion zone, ask at the Dunsborough Visitor Centre for more details.
- Gracetown: nestled around the beautiful Cowaramup Bay. Excellent rock and beach fishing and there is a boat ramp into a sheltered but very rocky bay.
- Hamelin Bay: the remains of an old jetty and wrecks make this a mecca for divers and anglers. It has a boat ramp and large parking area and beach access for 4WDs. Great fishing from the beach and rocky headland for herring and salmon; small boat fishing for pike and reef fishing. Some professional salmon fishing is done from here; crayfish is another species but you need a license! Friendly eagle rays are often seen and fed in the bay - they are a protected species.
- Prevelly: the best fishing is at the mouth of the Margaret River. A good boat ramp at Gnarabup launches into a sheltered bay, however beware of the reef.
- Yallingup: rock fishing galore along this part of the coast for herring, whiting, skippy and salmon.
- Department of Fisheries in Busselton – +61 8 9752 2152
- Department of Fisheries in Perth – +61 8 9482 7333 or http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/