June 23, 2024

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Complete Guide to Fishing at Perth, Australia

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Nestled between the winding Swan River and the ocean, Perth stands out as a top destination for anglers from all over the globe. Fishing in Perth is a year-round affair, with a myriad of options right at the city’s doorstep. From urban ponds and streams to the open waters of the Indian Ocean, success here is as always likely.

This is a city with an eclectic mix of urban charm and natural beauty. Its famous Kings Park provides panoramic views of the cityscape, while the sandy beaches offer a quick escape to nature. Whether north or south, the fishing grounds are abundant, establishing Perth as a one-stop destination for anglers in Western Australia.

This guide is your ticket to navigating the wonderful fishing scene in ‘the world’s most remote city,’ as some like to call it. We’ll delve into the best fishing spots, share tips on top techniques, and introduce you to the array of species that call these waters home. So, let’s explore the ‘city of light’ together!

Top Perth Fish Species

Perth is renowned for its fantastic weather and picturesque beaches. But it’s also influenced by the powerful Swan River, so its fishing spots can be seasonal. The ‘Leeuwin’, a warm ocean current, brings tropical fish down Australia’s west coast. As the current cools, Australian Salmon enter the Swan River and the beaches of Perth.

Meanwhile, species like Herring and Mahi Mahi can be found offshore, while the Rockingham region consistently yields Pink Snapper. Let’s dive deeper into the top catches…


Perth’s inshore waters teem with life. The local fishing menu consists of Flathead, Bream, Mulloway, Tailor, and Whiting in spots like Perth Beach and Yanchep Lagoon. North and South Mole also bustle with activity, providing home to a variety of species including Snapper and Sharks, complemented by the Australian Salmon run in the spring.


An elderly angler in a striped shirt holding up a Tailor fish while standing on a beach and holding his rod between his arm with the water visible behind him at sunset on  a summer's day

Known internationally as Bluefish, Tailor are a thrilling target in Perth’s coastal waters. These vigorous predators are famous for their aggressive nature, especially when caught on light tackle. Tailor typically hang out around structure such as reefs, jetties, and beach gutters. When hooked, they often leap out of the water spectacularly. Plus, these fish are actually delicious!

Their sleek, powerful bodies can grow over 1 metre (3 feet) in length and weigh more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds). Locals usually catch Bluefish with bait fish or lures that mimic their prey, especially in early mornings or late afternoons.

You can go after Tailor year-round in Perth, but their numbers peak during the warmer months. Popular spots for Tailor fishing include the city’s coastline beaches, as well as the jetties and groynes where they hunt for bait fish. You can also cast right from the rocks, especially in areas with a mix of sand and reef.


A man in a beanie hat holding a Whiting fish towards the camera aboard a fishing charter in Perth on a cloudy day,. with a number of other anglers dressed for winter visible behind him
Photo courtesy of Fremantle Boat Charters

A popular target for Perth anglers, Whiting are prized for their delicate flavour and the challenge they present on light tackle. These fish typically inhabit sandy or muddy bottoms in inshore waters. Small pieces of bait – be they worms, prawns, squid, or berley – are effective in attracting them. Whiting are social creatures, so where you find one, you are likely to find more.

Head out during an incoming tide, especially early in the morning or late in the afternoon and look for beaches, estuaries, and jetties. The Swan River, in particular, is home to a healthy population of Yellowfin Whiting.

With their small mouths, Whiting are a tricky catch. The key is to have all the finesse and patience possible. However, the reward is worth it. A light batter and quick fry result in a delicious meal, further enhancing the appeal of this fish!


Heading offshore from Perth opens up a realm of fishing adventures in the Indian Ocran. Locations such as the Five Fathom Bank are alive with activity, with species like Spanish Mackerel, Pink Snapper, and Westralian Jewfish. Tuna are also on the cards from Lancin in the north to Myalup in the south. Meanwhile, the Rottnest Island area is renowned for its Marlin and Mahi Mahi. Let’s take a closer look.


A late-teenage boy wearing a baseball cap with sunglasses on them holds a Kingfish with both arms aboard a fishing charter in Auckland on a sunny day with the water visible behind him
Photo courtesy of Fish n Dips Charters LTD

Known elsewhere as Yellowtail Amberjack, Kingfish are a prized catch off the coast of Perth, always offering a fierce battle on the end of the line. Popular for their strength and stamina, these fish have long become a favourite target for sport fishers. It’s not uncommon to find Kings reaching impressive sizes over 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

These fish patrol reefs, wrecks, and other underwater structures. You can easily identify them by their sleek, streamlined bodies and the distinctive yellow stripe running along their sides. Once hooked, these fish dive deep and fight relentlessly, providing a true challenge even for the most experienced anglers. Heavy tackle is a must to subdue a Kingfish.

The prime time to target them is during the warmer months when they’re more active and feeding closer to the surface. Although they can be caught year-round with the right techniques and some local knowledge.


Two male anglers, smiling and holding a Tuna each on an offshore sportfishing vessel from Moreton Bay on a sunny day
Photo courtesy of Top Gear Fishing Charters

Perth’s Tuna attract anglers from far and wide. These high-speed predators are abundant here, from the powerful Bluefin to the agile Yellowfin and resilient Dogtooth. While you may know them more for their table fare qualities, these fish are renowned for their speed and strength, and they promise to test both your skills and gear.

Tuna fishing in Perth is as diverse as it is thrilling. Trolling, jigging, and bait fishing with lures that mimic their natural prey can trigger aggressive strikes from Tuna. They usually travel in schools, so finding one often means there are more nearby!

If you’re planning a Tuna fishing trip in Perth, head out during the warmer months. Water temperatures are higher and the fish are more active, especially off Rottnest Island and further offshore.


Looking inland and the Swan River stands as a central figure in Perth’s fishing scene, famous for its Black Bream and a variety of other species. In the summer, the river transforms into a hub for Whiting, Flounder, Tailor, Grunter, Herring, and many, many more. Let’s talk about the local superstar:

Black Bream

A man holding a Black Bream aboard a fishing charter in Perth on a summer's day, with the open waters of the ocean across the deck of the boat behind him
Photo courtesy of Fremantle Boat Charters

These fish hold a special place as a freshwater favourite in Perth. They’re renowned for being cunning, along with the challenge they present on light gear. Light tackle and a stealthy approach are key when targeting Black Bream, especially in clearer waters. Locals use a range of lures and baits, including prawns, worms, and small fish to get the fish to bite.

Characterised by their dark colouration, robust bodies, and small, sharp teeth, Black Bream are opportunistic feeders. Their curious nature turns them into a fun challenge for anglers, as they’re known to inspect baits and lures thoroughly before striking.

You can find Black Bream year-round, but they show up in greater abundance during the warmer months. Fallen trees, rock bars, and jetty pylons provide the best chances of success – so now you know where to look!

How to Go Fishing in Perth

Now that you know what you can expect at the end of your fishing line, let’s get a bit more technical. There are various methods Perth anglers utilise, depending on the species they’re going after and where they’re fishing. The city, with its vast coastline, deep-sea trenches, and winding rivers, allows you to try a little bit of everything. Let’s delve into some of them…

Shore Fishing in Perth

A view across the water from a rocky shoreline towards a lone angler wading and surf fishing on a clear day near sunset

From the beaches of Cottesloe to the rocky outcrops of North Mole, shore fishers are up for a treat. You can target Herring, Tailor, Whiting, and more. Casting lures or baiting a hook and throwing it into the surf can produce impressive results. This is especially productive during the early morning or late afternoon when the fish are most active.

Tailor react well to light tackle and metal lures, especially when you cast them into white water around rocky areas. Whiting, in turn, prefer live worms or small pieces of prawn as bait.

For those willing to brave the evening hours, the piers and jetties of Perth bustle with activity. You can target Squid, Bream, and even the occasional Shark – providing a different kind of thrill for night fishers.

Inshore Fishing in Perth

Inshore fishing in Perth is no doubt a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Spots like the Swan River and Cockburn Sound are renowned for their Bream, Whiting, and Flathead. The Cockburn Sound, in particular, is famous for its winter Pink Snapper.

Fishing from a small boat or kayak allows access to some more secluded inshore areas, where Snapper and Mulloway hide. Trolling with lures or drift fishing with bait can be pretty effective around jetties, pylons, and rocky outcrops. However, be mindful of the tides and currents, as these can play a significant role in determining whether you’ll end up successful.

Deep Sea Fishing in Perth

A view across the deck of a deep sea fishing boat in Perth on a clear day with three trolling rods set up, trolling beyond the wake of the boat
Photo courtesy of Blue Water Adventure Charters

Perth’s offshore waters are ideal for deep-sea anglers, with species such as Kingfish, Tuna, and Marlin all on the cards. The deep-sea trenches and underwater canyons off the coast provide the perfect habitat for these pelagic predators.

The Rottnest Trench and Perth Canyon are two of the most popular deep-sea fishing spots, with anglers often trolling lures or bait to attract the attention of big game fish. Jigging and bottom bouncing can also be effective, especially when targeting Dhufish and Red Emperor.

River Fishing in Perth

The Swan River dominates Perth’s landscape, providing a serene setting for river fishing enthusiasts. Species such as Black Bream, Whiting, and Mulloway are all present in the river, along with exotic species such as Tilapia and Redfin Perch. Light tackle and soft plastics work well, especially around structure such as fallen trees and rock walls.

Fly fishing is also a popular pastime in the Swan River, with Bream being a favourite target. The upper reaches of the river offer a calmer fishing experience, with less boat traffic. Kayak fishing is growing in popularity here, allowing a different kind of workout along with access to more secluded spots.

Fishing Charters in Perth

A view across the water towards a large fishing charter nearshore out of Perth on a clear day with trolling rods set up on the side of the boat
Photo courtesy of Blue Water Adventure Charters

Booking a fishing charter in Perth is a fantastic way to experience the best of what the region has to offer. Experienced skippers will guide you to the top fishing spots and give you a helping hand. Whether you’re after the thrill of landing a big game fish offshore or exploring the inshore waters for Snapper and Dhufish, there’s a charter option to suit your needs.

Most charter companies provide all the necessary equipment, including rods, reels, bait, and tackle, making it a hassle-free option for both novice and experienced anglers. Popular destinations include the waters around Rottnest Island and the deeper offshore grounds that are home to Samson Fish, King George Whiting, and Pink Snapper.

Where to Go Fishing in Perth

A view towards a boat house and small wooden dock on the Swan River near Perth at sunset, with a palm tree visible on the right of the image

As we’ve already said, there’s an array of fishing spots in Perth. So much so that it would take an age to list them all! But here’s our pick of the best place to cast your line:

  • Swan River. This is an iconic fishing destination right in the city, offering Black Bream, Whiting, and Tailor. Explore the areas around the Narrows and various jetties for a rewarding experience.
  • Claremont Jetty. A part of the Swan River, this peaceful spot is popular for catching Black Bream.
  • North and South Mole. Located down in Fremantle, these are hotspots for Tailor, Herring, and sometimes even Snapper. They’re pretty accessible and provide a unique rock fishing experience.
  • Hillarys Boat Harbour. A great spot for beginners and families, this sheltered area provides a relaxing environment to catch Herring, Skippy, and Squid.
  • Ocean Reef Marina. This marina is good for both shore and boat fishing, with Bream, Tailor, and Herring as typical catches.
  • Woodman Point. Located in the south of Perth, this area is known for its Tailor, Herring, and Whiting fishing opportunities, especially during summer.
  • Trigg Beach. A popular beach fishing spot, especially for Tailor during their seasonal run. It’s also good for Herring and Whiting.

If that’s not enough, there are always more spots to discover yourself. We suggest you experiment as much as you want. But nothing beats fishing with a knowledgeable guide!

Perth Fishing Seasons

Perth’s unique location on the Western Australian coastline means year-round fishing action. With a Mediterranean climate, the city has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters, setting the stage for a variety of fishing seasons.

A view across a beach looking towards North Point Jetty in Perth at sunset, with the ocean water calmly brushing against the sandy beach

As temperatures soar in summer (December to February), pelagic predators such as Kingfish and various Tuna species invade the offshore waters. The beaches come alive with Tailor and Herring, especially around popular spots like Cottesloe Beach and the famed North and South Mole. Not to be outshone, the Swan River offers abundant Bream and Whiting.

Autumn (March to May) is all about transition, as the heat of summer gives way to milder temperatures. Pink Snapper start to dominate the inshore scene around the city’s reefs and the beaches and rocks become prime territory for Salmon on their migratory journey. Meanwhile, the Swan River maintains its reputation as a Bream hotspot, with Mulloway also making an appearance.

Winter (June to August) encourages you to embrace the cooler temperatures. The Swan River still shines as a haven for Black Bream, while offshore, Snapper grow larger and more abundant. This season also heralds the arrival of Squid, adding a unique target to Perth’s fishing repertoire.

And then in spring (September to November), there’s a reawakening. The beaches and rocks once again teem with Tailor and Herring, while the offshore scene buzzes with activity from larger pelagic species. The Swan River, ever a focal point for fishing in Perth, offers a variety of species as the water temperatures begin to rise.

Perth Fishing Rules and Regulations

An infographic featuring the flag of Western Australia followed by text that says "Perth Fishing Regulations What You Need to Know" along with the FishingBooker logo against a blue background

Fishing in Perth, like any popular angling destination, is subject to specific rules and regulations. First of all, unlike in some territories of Australia, every angler in Western Australia needs a fishing license. Find out all the information about which license you should get and their costs from the region’s governmental website.

You must also adhere to size and bag limits, which vary depending on the species and the time of year. In addition to that, a seasonal demersal fishing ban is enacted annually, temporarily halting bottom fishing activities to protect key species during their spawning periods. This includes Snapper, Baldchin Groper, and Westralian Jewfish. Again, you can get all of the information from the WA territory website.

Fishing in Perth: Australia’s Sunniest City

A view from a sandy beach across the Swan River towards Perth's skyline at sunset on a clear day

Wrapping up our in-depth journey into the world of fishing in Perth, it’s clear that this city is a true haven for fishermen from all walks of life. Now, with all this knowledge at your fingertips, you’re more than ready to tackle everything Perth has to offer. Happy fishing and tight lines!

Have you ever been fishing in Perth? What’s your favourite fish species to target? Any local tips you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

The post Fishing in Perth, Australia: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Lisa
Title: Fishing in Perth, Australia: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/fishing-in-perth/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2023 17:24:10 +0000

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