Salmon fishing from a local beach

Sometimes it doesn’t take much for a day’s fishing to go from chocolates to boiled lollies.

As they say in the ad, your luck can change in an instant, and whether it’s the fish of the day (or lifetime) getting away, a favourite lure being lost, or a rod broken, the margin between triumph and despair is often much smaller than you’d like to think.

And so it was on a recent trip out of Albany in the Western Angler Westerberg project boat with Morris Wilkinson.

It was very much a spur of the moment decision, with Morris ringing mid-afternoon to see if I wanted to go salmon fishing from a local beach.

A mate had been catching salmon and squid just off Middleton Beach that morning, so instead we decided to quickly hook up the boat and drop it in for a couple of hours with the same plan.

Light tackle golden trevally from the flats in Shark Bay

One of the things I’m really enjoying more and more as I get older is light tackle fishing in shallow water.

Where once the theory was always that bigger is better, I now find there is a heck of a lot of pleasure to be had in some of the most simple fishing pursuits where I’m chasing small fish on light gear – it’s simple and fun.

A recent trip north was a perfect example of this, as our plan was mainly to chase big tailor off the beach and a few pelagics from the rocks.

The tailor weren’t biting and the sharks made spinning from the rocks a waste of time, so one day we decided to try some shallow water spinning on light tackle.

I had wisely packed three bream outfits for us, all 1.8-2.1m rods with matching spin reels, each spooled with 3-4kg line.

Salmon caught at first light on a south coast beach

It has to be said that I am not a morning person.

I know fishing is usually associated with early starts at what is often called ‘sparrow’s fart’, but I just can’t warm to the idea.

Give me a nice sunset fishing session over rising from beneath the doona in the pre-dawn gloom any day.

I remember someone once telling me dawn was the best time to be awake as you can watch the world come alive around you.

It sounded lovely and I’ll admit that on the odd occasion I have been forced out of bed at an ungodly hour the serenity and tranquillity has been quite nice and even somewhat enjoyable.

A nice spaniard didn't make it past the sharks off Exmouth

Sharks have been a hot topic in recent times.

With the two shark bites in Gracetown on the same day, and cancellation of the Rottnest Swim, Busselton Triathlon and Margaret River Pro in recent months due to shark sightings, there has been plenty of talk about great white numbers along our coast and what is the best way to manage the issue.

Large sharks have always been part of our aquatic environment, I can remember seeing whites at the whaling station in Albany as a kid, and no one wants to see them wiped out, but at the same time I can’t recall them ever having such a dramatic impact on the behaviour of ocean users in WA as the last decade.

Casting surface lures for big giant trevally

If there is one type of fishing I’d love to do more of it is casting surface lures for big giant trevally.

I’ve done a little bit of GT fishing here and there and have caught some decent fish over the years, but opportunities have been limited and I’ve largely been an onlooker as it has become a worldwide phenomenon.

These days GTs are a cult fish and there are legions of GT anglers across the globe who use specialised heavy gear worth thousands of dollars to stop these powerful beasts, often risking lures worth hundreds of dollars for that one chance at a big ‘geet’.

Anglers will fly across the world to find a trophy GT and places like Oman and the Pacific are favoured, but here in WA we are blessed to have some of the best locations for this style of fishing in the northern half of the State.

Knowing the weather forecast is a crucial part of the equation

When it comes to going fishing, knowing the weather forecast is a crucial part of the equation.

Especially when it comes to boat fishing, you want to know what the conditions are going to be like well before you are on the water, not just with regards to what it means for the fishing opportunities, but for safety reasons.

Of course, there are many ways to work out just what the weather is doing in WA, which of course stands for Windy Always, and some are more reliable than others.

The evening television news each night is one easy option, and of course you can always simply stick your outside and see what’s happening in your neck of the woods if that’s where you’ll be fishing.

Beach anchoring is one of the skills which will be covered at the Rottnest Safety Convoy

The Boating Industry Association of Western Australia (BIAWA) will run another of its popular Rottnest Safety Convoys later this year.

BIAWA has held several of these informative and fun weekends in recent years, and this year is teaming with the Department of Transport Marine Safety, sea rescue groups and their members to hold the convoys.

After the cancellation of its first scheduled convoy of the year in March, the next one is scheduled for November 10 and 11.

This is just in time for the peak metro boating period over summer, and is perfect for boaters unfamiliar with navigating around, and mooring at, Rottnest Island.

A collection of vintage outboard motors at last year's Perth Boat Show

One of the most fascinating displays at last year’s Perth Boat Show was a collection of vintage outboard motors.

The display belonged to the Westralian Old Outboard Chapter (WOCC), which is linked to of the bigger Antique Outboard Motor Club in America, and features motors more than a century old.

The local club is a small group of vintage outboard enthusiasts, who came together in mid-2015 and were officially established as a chapter of the American club the following years.

WOCC president Boyd Peters discovered his passion for old outboards when he rowed at high school and saw someone working on motors in the rowing shed.

Throw in an interest in mechanics passed down by his marine engineer father and an obsession was born, with 25 in his personal collection now.