Sensational fishing in Exmouth in the lead-up to GAMEX

Tackle World ExmouthPilbara News
Neil Williams with a red emperor.
Camera IconNeil Williams with a red emperor. Credit: Tackle World Exmouth

The government announcement last week of the $2.4 billion spend by West Australians on fishing and fishing-related activities certainly has the State talking.

Yes, almost 750,000 West Aussies go fishing in a State with a total population of about 2.89 million.

It will be very interesting to know how much money recreational fishing brings into the State from anglers outside WA, which we know is another staggering figure.

Not every angler is successful with fishing, and few actually target or reach the bag limit.

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Most of the time it is the experience that is the most rewarding part of recreational fishing. The average boat-based angler spends $13,559 a year — this does not include the purchase of the boat — and the average shore-based angler shells out $2253 a year.

This recreational activity is managed and we are so fortunate to have such a healthy and abundant fishery to sustain the industry that supports Western Australia in so many ways.

The excitement is building daily as March progresses — GAMEX month in town.

Yes, the billfish have been firing and many crews are here already testing the waters and getting their spread to perfection to ensure they raise the fish in the area.

Spreader bars, dredges and teasers have been flickering astern as skirted lures and baits are trolled in hope of a hungry fish.

Watchful eyes are fixed on any colour change, while ears are ready for the exciting sound of a screaming ratchet.

Dale Moir is one of the anglers who got out for five days and managed to raise 27 billfish and tag 15, with only one sailfish in the mix.

Local charter operator Eddy Lawler had some Victorian anglers who caught 13, 10 and seven black marlin and three, two and one sailfish in a day and then wanted to go reef fishing the next day.

These statistics would be a dream for any bill fishing angler and the comments came thick and fast when Ed posted the request on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Don Muelrath snapped off a 60lb-plus giant trevally when trying to clear loose fly line aboard Ningaloo Fly Fishing Charters.

A tiny loop of fly line caught around the fly reel handle, and the 50lb leader snapped.

Then they found a bunch of permit travelling and feeding on their way onto the flats.

Don caught a cracker permit in shallow water on the Gulf flats.

This operator, along with others in town, gets many overseas visitors to target the awesome fishing we have.

The deep water crews have been getting among the gold band, eight-bar cod, Robinson sea bream and red emperor.

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