The Sunday Times
Get Hooked Kids cast in a line
For many kids across WA, fishing is a terrific outdoors activity for a host of reasons, but mainly because it’s fun.
When it comes to parent-child bonding activities, there’s nothing quite as beloved as fishing.
The treasured pastime sees countless families pack state jetties to relax and unwind over the tackle box, while your little tyke delights in catching their first mulloway.
Peak body Recfishwest knows first-hand the joys of introducing youth to the fishing rod and holds a popular clinic to encourage the activity in Western Australia.
In partnership with Healthway, the organisation delivers sustainable and safe fishing lessons and promotes stewardship of the unrivalled WA marine environment.
Clinic coordinator Luke Doherty said with family support, these clinics – which have been held for more than 20 years – were raising the next generation of fishers. “They are extremely popular,” Mr Doherty said. “So much so that they’re booked out until June 30.
“For many kids across WA, fishing is a terrific outdoor activity for a host of reasons, but mainly because it’s fun.
“I myself have a young son and nothing brings a smile to his face – and mine – quite like catching a herring, a skippy or even a blue swimmer crab.”
Mr Doherty described fishing as an integral part of the WA lifestyle and said the state was home to more than 750,000 recreational fishers, many of whom were children.
For families who don’t have the resources to burn around in a boat off the coast of Rottnest Island, Mr Doherty said there were many family-friendly and accessible locations to fish along the shoreline.
Among the most popular were fishing spots along the Swan River, Hillarys Boat Harbour or Busselton Jetty, all safe locations that boast fun fishing opportunities for veteran fishers down to an eight-year-old novice.
Throughout autumn, the state’s fishers are celebrating the return of salmon, a species that annually migrates westward this time of year.
Mr Doherty said WA was blessed to have some of the best marine offerings on earth, describing our waters as rich with a variety of sealife, including herring, whiting, skippy or squid.
“Preferably, I most enjoy making the most of the beautiful spring weather as the temperature starts to heat up and take my son fishing in the Swan River for black bream, tailor and sometimes even flathead,” he said.
“In terms of the best time of day, morning or evening are usually the best times because it is generally when the fish are feeding.
“If you’re new to fishing and keen to get your kids involved, be sure to visit Recfishwest’s www.ilovefishing.com.au website for many great hints and tips for wetting a line.”