The demersal ban is almost upon us again, so it's time to get out of the house and get stuck into a few fish, and maybe stock up the freezer with tasty fish for the closure! The ban comes into place on 15 October and runs until 15 December, meaning that you have only a limited amount of time to target these bottom dwelling species before you are forced to focus on other things to get your fix.
It's well worth noting too, that both Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds have their own pink snapper bans, which begin on 1 September and run until 31 January.
Such regulations protect large aggregating schools of pink snapper, so anglers should take care when out fishing and do what they can to ensure healthy stocks in the future. Seasonal closures such as these and others around Western Australia are best clarified prior to heading out on your mission just to keep on the safe side of things.
Fishing with fresh bait always increases your odds and often outshines the packaged bait. While packaged baits bring in great-sized fish, presenting something straight from the ocean will tempt the fish that can be quite smart and sometimes fussy.
Heading out from our coastline, there are markers, poles and rock walls are all around. These structures are great for species like herring or salmon trout, which will happily take a bait chasing rig or small soft plastic dropped down beside them. When fishing horizontal structure with lures, remember that casting parallel to the rocks will allow you to bring your lure back through the structure that the smaller species love to hang around. When fishing for your bait along these rock structures, it can be worth throwing out a squid jig if you notice some weed patches amongst the rock, as you will often find some of your bigger squid are on this broken ground. Often you will find squid relatively close to shore, using your sight to both catch squid and locate suitable grounds. Stopping where it is clear, with water depths of around 3-4m, and casting around your visible patches should get you onto enough squid for a reef fishing session.
In most cases you are able to both gather your fresh bait or a delicious feed, or both! Since you can hunt squid in shallow water, you are able to get quickly onto some good squid gathering grounds close to the boat and even from the shore. As previously mentioned, rock walls with a bit of weed around are a great place to start, but if you are heading out wide, you may want to squid some of the slight deeper weed beds like the ones around Rockingham, Garden Island, Woodmans Point, Coogee and Fremantle.
Jig colour choices varies between anglers, but you can work on the theory that when the water is less clear, you may want to turn to bright colours that pop and stand out. Bold colours like pink, orange, green, yellow and even black are top performers when it comes to catching squid in messier conditions. When the water clarity is quite good, you can often opt for more natural colours, like gold, pilchard, white and prawn patterns. Although these colours are generally quite subtle, the natural colours are a big winner for many, as they do a great job at imitating real baitfish and crustaceans.