One of the things that the Margaret River region is famous for is its coastline – and for good reason. It’s vast, varied, and ruggedly beautiful. What better way to enjoy it than dangling a line into the ocean, the smell of salt fresh in the air and the sobering wind in your hair?
Fishing has been a way of life in the Margaret River region for millennia. The region’s first peoples, the Wardandi tribe of the Noongar people, are a coastal people, and have long-relied on the ocean for food and, of course, fun.
Today, fishing is still a great source of enjoyment for many families. We’ve compiled this list to give you the low-down on all the best family-friendly spots about the region. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for easy access or to get off the beaten track a little.
First thing’s first – book yourself in at Big 4 Beachlands, the perfect launching pad for the ultimate family holiday. This place is complete with everything you could need to keep the whole family happy, is located super close to the turquoise waters of Geographe Bay, and situates you right at the gateway to the Margaret River region’s many fishing spots.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rods, pack up the car, and get fishing!
Geographe Bay is a delightful spot to spend the afternoon fishing with the kids – not to mention a mere hop, skip and jump away from your holiday digs at Big 4 Beachlands. It’s almost always calm, and protected from the persistent summer breeze.
During the summer months, whiting, herring, skippy, and blue swimmer crabs hang around the sand flats between Dunsborough and the Busselton Jetty, and squid can be found further out into the Bay.
Winter storms bring larger fish into the bay, and snapper have rumoured to have been caught from the beach here.
When looking for somewhere to fish here, you’re a little spoilt for choice. All along Geographe Bay, just take a turn down one of the many beachside tracks, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a quiet stretch of beach to yourself.
Or, these accessible jetties provide a pleasant spot to fish in slightly deeper water.
- Busselton Jetty (which at 1.8km is the second longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, and has excellent wheelchair access and fishing platforms)
- Abbey Boat Ramp jetty
- Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp (also wheelchair accessible)
On the western side of Dunsborough, Meelup, Point Piquet, Eagle Bay, and Bunker Bay offer similar conditions, though with a few more granite rocks mixed in to the scenery. Australian Salmon can also be caught from the beach here, during the annual migration between March and May.
One of the most popular beaches in the Margaret River region, Yallingup also offers a variety of family-friendly fishing options. The inner tidal pools, located just below the main car park and facilities, are home to a calm lagoon. This reef is a marine reserve where rod fishing is permitted, but other methods of collecting marine life are forbidden.
A little further to the north is the Granny’s Pool, the main fishing spot of this beach, where water rushes out from the lagoon. It can be dangerous in mid to large swells, so is best fished on calm days with low swell and wind. Here you’ll find small reef fish, and the usual species of herring, whiting, and, seasonally, salmon.
A stunning stretch of sand, this beach is vast, dramatic, and also hosts some excellent fishing. The southern end of the beach, where you will see the tall sand dune, is the most friendly and accessible fishing spot. It’s protected from large swells and the incessant southerly breeze, and the sand dune offers an excellent form of alternative entertainment!
A little more remote, Kilcarnup is four-wheel-drive access only, and offers a calm, white sandy beach for those looking to get off the beaten track. You can drive along the beach, and shallow offshore reefs make for generally calm conditions near shore, though it is un-patrolled.
Once the heart of Western Australia’s timber trade, Hamelin Bay is also teeming with marine life! Look no further than the giant sting rays flapping along the shoreline, for example. The boat ramp here can get busy in summer, as many head out to fish the offshore reefs, but you can also catch plenty of fish from the beach. It’s generally calm and sheltered here, and you can walk a little way up the beach to find your own secluded spot.
Augusta is the quintessential Western Australian seaside holiday town, and of course, that means excellent fishing. Try your luck in the river, where you can fish for silver bream or blue swimmer crabs from the jetty on the Blackwood River foreshore.
If it’s ocean species you’re after, have a go off the jetty at Flinders Bay, Western Australia’s original whaling settlement. Larger pelagic fish can also be caught from the newly built Augusta marina, though it can be rough here in larger swells.
If all else fails, try the local fish and chip shop. You won’t be disappointed.
Boat Charters & Fishing Tours
For those without a boat who have their eye on the highly prized West Australian Dhufish or other deep sea catches, there is also the option to join a fishing charter. The experienced crew aboard Legend Charters will take you to a selection of their thousands of secret fishing spots off the south-western coast, in search of Dhufish, Pink Snapper, King George Whiting and Nannygai. They’ll assist in everything from catching, cleaning, and preparing for take-home, to breakfast, morning and afternoon tea on the boat. Charters depart from Dunsborough or Gracetown at 6am and 6.30am respectively on tour days.
Alternatively, visitors can capitalise on the region’s annual salmon run by spending a day fishing off Meelup beach with a Wadandi Cultural Custodian. Koomal Dreaming & Cape Cultural Tours run the Djiljit Coastal Fishing Experience throughout the salmon season from February – May each year, passing on the stories of the Wadandi ‘boodja’ – the local people and country – during a walk along the pristine coastline. Not only will you enjoy a great day out fishing, you’ll also learn about how the six Aboriginal seasons influence what the Wadandi forage, gather and hunt. You’ll be taught how to prepare your fish – and forage for your salad, before sitting down together for a sensational ‘catch and cook’ BBQ lunch served with local beers.
For those with a boat and a keen sense of marine adventure, these boat ramps are conveniently located around the region.