Fishing tackle for southern WA waters

Southern WA offers a range of great fishing experiences, and you’ll need more than one rod-reel combo to enjoy it all.

That said, a lot of fishing can be done with a light spin outfit.

A 6kg spin outfit is the ideal all-rounder for WA’s temperate estuaries and sheltered waters, chasing bream, flathead, herring, small salmon, skippy and whiting. See some eBay listings here.

For chasing wary bream and whiting in clear water, such as the Swan River, a 3kg spin outfit is ideal for estuary whiting, bream and bass. See eBay listing here.

A heavy-duty surf rod is needed for surf mulloway, snapper and gummy shark fishing, see eBay listings here. A lighter surf rod can be used for tailor, salmon, skippy, herring and the like.

For boat fishing, a shorter, stouter rod/spinning reel combo loaded with 10kg line is ideal for general reef fishing in water to around 20m deep, and can also be used to cast lures to pelagic fish. See eBay listing here. Rods around 7′ long are ideal for boat fishing.

Metal slice lures are ideal for tailor, kingfish and salmon in the surf and off the rocks. See eBay listings here.

Soft plastic paddle tail lures are popular and effective all-round lures in estuaries, on the reefs and in stocked dams. They can be cast or jigged up and down. See eBay listings here.

Weighted jig heads are needed to rig most soft plastic paddle tail lures, although some have the jig head built in. See eBay listings here. It pays to use the lightest jig head possible, and light resin jig heads allow an angler to present a more realistic suspending lure action.

Sabiki bait jigs are great for catching WA herring, yakkas and slimy mackerel, buy them on eBay here. Remove droppers if required to stay legally compliant, cutting a complete rig in half will usually make two legal sets.

For WA squidding, standard unbaited squid jigs such as these are effective, see listings here.

Baited ‘spike jigs’ work well on large calamari squid. These jigs are cast under a float and left out until a squid takes the bait. Bait the jig with a small fish such as tommy ruff or mullet. These large baited jigs look clumsy compared with the smaller jigs more commonly seen, but they are effective … see listings here. The barbed version is even better if you can find them for sale.

Smaller squid can be targeted with baited spike jigs such as these … see eBay listings here.

The secret for successful squid fishing is to fish dusk, darkness and dawn, when the water is clear. Summer is usually best.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig where the sinker slides along the line, allowing a fish to easily run with a baited hook. See eBay listings for ball sinkers here, see listings for star sinkers here and for snapper leads here.

Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for tailor, salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). Listings on eBay here.

Ganged hooks (joined chains of hooks) are used when fishing pilchard or garfish baits for salmon, tailor and mackerel. Listings on eBay here.

Shrimp and yabbies are great baits for freshwater fishing. Strict regulations apply to the type of gear used in WA to catch freshwater crayfish, see marron regulations. Ebay sellers have a variety of yabby and shrimp traps, be sure to buy one that complies with local regulations.

Worms are an excellent bait for freshwater fishing, see worm farm listings on eBay here.

Other items you may need are wire trace to stop fish such as mackerel or sharks biting through your line, see eBay listings here, swivels to stop line twist when using spinning lures here, a filleting knife to clean your fish here, a burley bucket to attract fish to your area here, a waterproof torch here, a sharpening stone for knives and hooks here, bait jigs to catch baitfish such as herring or slimy mackerel for bait here, a sharpening stone for knives and hooks here, and of course a tackle box here.

Lastly, if don’t want to use traditional smelly baits, you can try a commercial bait product such as this.

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