The Pilbara Coast offers something for everyone when it comes to fishing, from land-based fishing off the rocks for Mangrove Jack in the north to Red Emperor off the Mackerel Islands in the south. Read on for seven of the best spots for you to fish!
1. Cape Keraudren Coastal Reserve
This is a dream for any land-based fisherman! The rocky headland at low tide makes a perfect casting platform to catch the famous WA Bluebone, Giant Trevally or Gold Spotted Estuary Cod.
The reserve is located at the start of 80 Mile Beach which is well known as a Threadfin Salmon beach fishing hotspot, and at the other end of the reserve you'll find a part-concrete boat ramp perfect to launch the tinnie. With a couple of mangrove creeks at the back of the reserve, it’s also a great place for hooking a mud crab or two.
Cape Keraudren also offers camping and most sites come with water views, with plenty of room for everyone.
Don’t forget to pay your fees to the Ranger on the way in, and check the tides each day before you head out.
2. Pardoo Station Stay
A working cattle station and fisherman’s paradise just 140 clicks north of Port Hedland. Set up camp in the well-run caravan park and jump in your 4WD for an afternoon fish. Follow one of the tracks down to the tidal creeks or beach and catch some of the best table fish the Pilbara has to offer - from the mighty Barramundi to the hard-fighting Mangrove Jack, they have it all.
3. Port Hedland
Join a land-based fishing tour with a local from Pilbara Tours – Phil will take you to one of his secret land-based fishing spots and show you what this place has to offer without getting seasick. Alternatively, launch yourself at one of the excellent boat ramps or cast a line from the public jetty (adjacent to Marapikurrinya Park), Cooke Point or the Spoil Bank which is accessed via an unsealed road off Sutherland Dve.
4. Point Samson
Pack the tinnie and book a room at the Cove Holiday Village in Point Samson for a week of fishing. Port Samson has great boat ramp facilities and heading out to sea in the marked channel is a breeze … and the fishing isn’t that bad either! Choose from one of the many islands or bombies to fish around or bottom bounce for Cod, Coral Trout and Bluebone in the deep holes.
Just down the road you'll find the old ghost town of Cossack which has a boat ramp and plenty of parking. Try your luck mud crabbing at the back of the creek on the incoming tide.
5. Fishing Charters to the Montebello Islands
Now we're really getting serious - splash out and jump aboard an extended fishing charter for the trip of a lifetime on some of the best fishing waters WA can offer. Take your pick and either board at Dampier (Karratha) or Onslow in the afternoon and wake up in the Montes.
One morning you’ll be jigging for Red Emperor, Coral Trout and Rankine Cod and the next you’ll be trolling lures for Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo and Sailfish. It just doesn’t get any better than that!
A quick 20-minute drive from Karratha, this is a perfect spot to set up camp for the week and fish the days away. Cleaverville Creek offers a natural boat ramp for launching the tinnie. Head out the front and throw lures at the boiling schools of Tuna, drop pots for blue swimmer crabs at the front of the creek or fish from the banks and catch Bluenose and Threadfin Salmon.
Cleaverville campground is a three-minute drive from the creek and overlooks the ocean - think great beach fishing, and a beautiful afternoon sea breeze. Say hi to the Ranger on the way in and pay your fees if you're camping, and be sure to bring your own water supply and chemical toilet.
7. Onslow & the Mackerel Islands
Onslow is just over 70 clicks off the main Highway, three hours south of Karratha. Base yourself in Onslow for some onshore fishing at the beaches and creeks around the town, or take the ferry or a scenic flight to a fisherman’s haven - the Mackerel Islands. Fringed by coral reefs. Fish from the sandy beaches or take a boat out for the day to test your fishing skills on species like Spanish Mackerel, Red Emperor, Coral Trout and Giant Trevally just to name a few.
There's accommodation on Thevenard Island and 'The Mackies' also has moorings for rent, so you can take your own boat and moor it right out the front for a quick getaway to your new favourite fishing spot.
Fishing licences and safety
You'll need a Recreational Fishing from Boat Licence (RFBL) for any fishing activity from a powered boat unless you're on an organised fishing charter or tour. For most land-based fishing, a licence is not required however for certain fishing equipment including some fishing nets a licence may be required. For information on when a licence is required or to purchase your licence check out the Fisheries website, or visit one of the many tackle stores in the Pilbara.
Remember, always fish for the future and be crocwise in the North West!