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August 2000 Fishing Field Day:- Rottnest

Sixteen members of the Surfcasters braved the cold and headed for Rottnest last weekend. We met at the Fremantle ferry terminal at the ungodly hour of 07:00, loaded the gear into the trolleys provided and boarded the boat. Numerous warnings were given to the crew of the boat as our precious rods were handed over, many of them one piece rods in excess of twelve feet long.

These as usual went unheeded and the rods were dumped unceremoniously onto the deck. This time around, though I was prepared, and had taken a couple of two piece rods in a tube. The previous visit had seen me replacing two runners that were damaged on the return trip from Rotto. Other members actually have horror stories of rods being trodden on and broken clean in two.

Editor's Note:- The Club has made STRONG complaints to the boat operators, and has been given assurances that our gear will be treated properly in future. The August 2001 field day to Rottnest will be the test case.

The Club owns an air conditioned holiday house at Kalbarri which is available for rent to the public and club members at competitive rates

We arrived at Rotto, collected and after carefully inspecting our rods, headed off to the campsite to unpack This was just a case of throwing our bedding and dry clothes into the chalets and loading our fishing gear onto the trailer of the bus that would take us to Rotto's west end.

To my mind the west end of Rottnest is the only place to fish when on the Island. It's a bit of a hike to get there normally, but the club organizes a bus that drops off and picks up each day. I consider this something of a luxury, as I normally have to cycle to the west end, towing my gear behind on a trailer.

Gear required for a comfortable and successful trip to fish Rotto's west end reefs are as follows. Wet suit, reef boots, to stop you getting bowled over quite as much. Two reef bags, one for bait and tackle and one for your catch. A spinning rod, threadline reel with about eight to ten kilo line. I know this seems a bit heavy, but if you are lucky enough to hook up with a yellow tailed kingfish on the reef, you'll be glad of every kilo. A selection of poppers, some 5/0 gang of hooks and a few mulies.

After stopping to check out several potential fishing spots including the Caves and Strickland Bay on the way up, we arrived at the west end at about 10:30 and promptly headed to our own favorite spots. Some headed straight to Wilson's Bay, some to Radar Reef and the Tailor hole and some across the other side to Cathedral Rocks.

After studying the tides, I had decided to fish from the reef at either the Tailor hole or Cathedral Rocks on the Saturday and then break out the big gear and try for a Samson fish on the Sunday morning. That way I could have a swift shandy in the Quokka Arms on Saturday night without worrying too much about not being 100% the next day.

The club rules only allow you to weigh in thirty fish each at the end of the two days. Of these thirty fish, each species cannot exceed one day's bag limit. For example, you would only be allowed to weigh in eight tailor each for the weekend, even though legally you would be able to catch eight on each day.

Again with conservation in mind, points are awarded as ten points per species (for fish on the clubs allowable species list) and ten points per kilo. Therefore you would get thirty two points for a one kilo tailor and a herring, but only thirty points for two one kilo tailor. This deters people from hammering the herring for example and encourages a more skillful approach toward fishing, required when targeting specific species.

Andy Woodford. Field Day Officer.


The Rotto field days are usually a very good field day, and this one was no different. After a short ferry ride we arrived on the main jetty and found that the northerly wind was slowly getting stronger and the swell increasing. After sorting out our huts, the bus arrived and we were off to fish some of the west end reefs.

George and co. fished one of the beaches, but found things a bit slow, but Ken caught a nice king George Whiting, which he was very happy with. A few of us headed to Wilson Bay, and the other two groups went off to fish Radar Reef and Fish Hook Bay.

Things were a bit slow at Wilson's, so I decided to have a look at Radar. Things were slow there as well, so I then walked around to Fish Hook (a fairly long walk). Arriving there, I was quickly informed that the tailor were on at Cathedral Rocks. So off I went, and met up with Andy and his mate Pete. The first few casts confirmed the tailor was on, and Andy used bait while I decided to use lures (I really had no choice because I had left my bait back at Wilson's!).

Tailor are renowned for their lure throwing prowess, and of the tailor I hooked at least half of them threw the lure. Of the tailor I ended up landing only one was kept (for bait) and the rest released gently. The tailor bite shut down, so we tried a different area and we found a few more tailor. The fish weren't huge, with most under a kilo, but it was good fun, which is all that really matters.

After this we headed back to Fish Hook Bay where Damien was slide baiting live herring. A few minutes later Pete landed a nice dhuie of around 4 kg. Not much else was caught, so we walked back to Radar and waited for the bus. We headed back to camp, and some of the guys went to the pub, to watch the mighty Essendon Bombers humiliate the Roos.

Sunday morning came and most people decided to fish in comfort and stay dry. Not Damien, who decided to fish Cathedral Rocks. The rest of us either fished Fish Hook Bay or Riceys Beach. Unfortunately Riceys Beach was dead, and Fish Hook Bay was quiet. The only person to come across some decent fish that morning was Damien, who caught some nice tailor on lures.

We arrived back at camp and proceeded to have the weigh in. Most people had a couple of tailor, and Eddie caught a couple of small yellow tail kings. Tony had the biggest bag of fish, which was a good effort because the fishing was pretty slow. Herring are usually thick enough to walk on at Rotto, but this trip they were scarce and this could have been due to the fact that the swell was huge and the winds weren't really favourable.

After the weigh in we all headed down to the bakery (a tradition at Rotto!), and proceeded to eat them out of pies. Just before we boarded the ferry, the wind died down and the weather turned good.

The fishing may have been a bit slow, but everyone had a good trip, caught a few fish and generally enjoyed themselves.

Matt Sneddon


Attendance: Seniors - 17, Juniors - 0, Mini Juniors - 2, Visitors - 0.

Total fish weight:- 62.9 kg - weighed in gilled and gutted.

Name Fish Species Weight Points
D'Alonzo, Tony 30 5 13.55 kg 236
Eddie D'Uva 16 3 8.55 kg 166
Taggert, Ian 7 5 5.68 kg 157
Griffiths, Andy 8 1 6.65 kg 127
Black, Ken 8 4 2.92 kg 119
Zaknich, Brad 7 4 3.58 kg 116
Brown, Dean 9 4 3.25 kg 113
D'Mello, Damien 7 1 4.8 kg 108
Woodford, Andy 8 2 3.6 kg 106
Terpkoff, Paul 6 1 3.75 kg 98
Farnay, Mark 3 1 3.37 kg 94
Kolman, Morris 3 3 0.65 kg 87
Brightman, Peter 1 1 2.55 kg 76
Holman, George 0 0 0 kg 50
Parker, Eric 0 0 0 kg 50
Sneddon, Mat 0 0 0 kg 50
Stoeckel, Peter 0 0 0 kg 20
Stoeckel, Daniel 1 1 0.15 kg 22
Stoeckel, Andrew 0 0 0 kg 20

It should be noted that many members are now choosing to fish for the sport and not the competition. These members are following the catch and release ethic, and although they choose not to weigh in, it doesn't mean they are not catching plenty of fish. New competition rules in 2001/2002 will allow them to catch and release and still get field day points.

Field Day Prizes.

Heaviest Scale Fish Peter Brightman 2.55 kg Dhufish
Heaviest Bag of Scale Fish Tony D'Alonzo 13.55 kg mixed.

Masters Fish.

Andy Griffiths, Tailor 1.8 kg
Mark Farnay, Tailor 1.2 kg
Tony D'Alonzo, Skipjack Trevally 1.15 kg
Brad Zaknich, Skipjack Trevally 1.1 kg

Grand Masters Fish.

Ian Taggert, Snook 1.4 kg

Copyright © 2001 Surf Casting and Angling Club of W.A. (Inc.)

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This page last updated 4 August 2001.

Display of this page was updated on 21 January 2013. Contents updated as above.

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