River Fishing in Perth Perth is blessed with one of the cleanest major city rivers in the world with an abundance of marine life teeming below the surface. Fishing the Swan and Canning rivers is a great way to spend an hour or a day and you can be pretty confident you'll get a bite or two.
On the maps blue shading signifies the best spots, while red dots signify jetties.
Lower Swan River
Lower Swan River
There are many jetties along the lower Swan area. Closer to the river mouth you have B Shed, Mosman Park Jetty, Bicton Jetty and John Tonkin Park; all of which provide brilliant structure for Bream and Pinkies.
Blackwall Reach is my favourite fishing spot. The peacefulness of being away from roads, the cliffs, the bushland surrounding you; it is all very relaxing.
Fishing here is excellent, the drop off below the cliffs gets to 25 metres at points, great for housing large schools and predatory fish. The fact that Dolphins use the area frequently proves how abundant stocks can be.
Flathead are abundant off Point Walter
Huge schools of Mullet (which are notoriously hard to catch), herring and bream pass through regularly during the day. Tarwhine, Tailor, Garfish, pinkies and flatheads are regulars and reports surface of big dhufish and bull shark catches a few times a year. We've even managed to catch a few crabs with rod and reel here (you'll have better luck with nets though :p).
Blowies are a problem of course but they can be avoided. They tend to stick close to the surface and near the edge of the drop off. If you get your bait down deep quick enough you should be able avoid the bulk of these pests.
Point Walter is a very popular spot for flathead and the spit offers a great opportunity to practice fly fishing. Using minnows on an incoming tide is your best bet and either side is good, depending on wind conditions.
If you can get out to the end of the spit during summer Giant Herring frequent the area, using the bottleneck to gorge on the huge numbers of baitfish in the area. Just be wary that the incoming tide doesn't leave you marooned for hours.
Middle Swan River Middle Swan River
The Narrows Bridge is a favourite for river fishermen due to its central location, sheltered area and ease of access. On weekends and evenings in summer it is often overcrowded but if you get a spot the fishing is fantastic.
Investing in Lures is the best way to avoid Blowies
Mulloway from spring through to mid-summer lurk around the base of the structures while brim and herring can be caught throughout the year. The biggest problem here is all the gear left in the water. You'll lose more gear getting snagged on discarded line here than blowies, rocks and seaweed combined.
If you're looking for something a little quieter the stretch along mounts bay road to the Old Brewery is worth a try. It can be more inconsistent than being under the bridge but at least you have less competition.
Applecross is a much more peaceful location with a few sand flats and jetties to try your luck on some flathead. The build up of nutrients flushed down from the Canning River with the winter rains provides ample food for all your other bread and butter species as well.
Upper Swan River
Upper Swan River
I don't frequent the upper Swan area but when we do go, Maylands is always a surefire bet if you're after good sized black bream. They stick in close to the river banks here as there is less development and thus more structure for them to live with.
The further upstream you get the less blowies you see. By the time you hit Bayswater they are all but non-existent. Bayswater foreshore gives anglers a huge expanse of riverside as well as bridges, sand flats, spit posts and underwater snags (tree roots, jetty pylons etc.) to aim for - exactly where fish love to hide.
The many pedestrian, car, train and pipeline bridges up towards Guildford are lined with fishers all through the summer. The tranquil surrounds are an ideal way to relax for a day. Although I'm yet to have much luck the regulars swear there's plenty of Bream for the taking up here.
The whole west bank between Canning and Mt Henry bridge is perfect for fishing. Sand flats run the whole length with steep drop offs just beyond them. There are a few nice, quiet jetties to sit on or you can just set up shop anywhere along the banks.
Plenty of flathead roam the area, I've found running soft plastics along the bottom is very successful. The jetty at Deepwater Point is about to collapse which has provided excellent structure off the sand flats, just be careful where you step.
Canning Bridge itself is fantastic, one of the very best locations in Perth. It is noisy being below the busy road but you feel a million miles from anything (maybe because there's no parking nearby).
At the start of spring the anglers here target Mulloway. The bridge pylons provide a perfect spot for them to sit and wait in ambush. After dark reports of 8kg plus Mulloway pulled from the bottom are frequent enough to be believable, you're much more likely to get more modest sizes though.
Fresh fillets or even live bait are your best go for Mulla, lures have proven successful here to though.