Dhufish (Glaucosoma Hebraicum)
Everyone wants to catch one. Grows to around 15kgs in Kalbarri waters. Caught over rock and reef. Schools up in shallow water to spawn in June/July when many are caught.
Pink Snapper (Chrysophrys Auratus)
Much sought after bottom species. Grows to about 10kg in Kalbarri waters. More common in winter over reef structure when they move inshore.
Red Emperor (Lutjanus Sebae)
Not often caught in Kalbarri waters but found over soft corals in 45m or more.
Coral Trout (Plectropomus Leopardus)
Uncommon catch, a bonus when hooked, five star eating.
Baldchin Groper (Choerodon rubescens)
Hard fighting and top quality table fish. Grows to about 8kgs in Kalbarri waters. Found over coral outcrops.
Black-Spot Tuskfish (Choerodon Schoenleinii)
Same family as the Baldchin Groper but found in more tropical waters.
Spangled emperor (Lethrinus nebulosus)
Not very common in Kalbarri but great to catch. Same habits & locations as pink snapper. Min. size 410mm & 2 per licence holder.
Red-throat emperor (Lethrinus miniatus)
One of the common nor’west snappers, caught on most reef edges. Great eating, but don’t grow much bigger than this in Kalbarri. Minimum size 280mm Max 2 per licence holder.
Sweet-lip emperor sp. (Lethrinus sp.)
Another variation of the minatus species. 2 per licence holder
Sweet-lip emperor (Lethrinus sp.)
Another of the many difficult nor’west snapper to identify. Probabaly a Variation of minatus. 2 per licence holder
Blue-Spotted Emperor (Lethrinus Choeorhynchus)
One of the many nor’west snapper that are abundant in the North West of Western Australia. Easily caught on any bait and usually a by catch while fishing for larger species.
Long-spined snapper (Argyrops spinifer)
Rarely caught but of interest. Has a very long red spine in the top dorsal fin. Best released.
Threadfin emperor (Lethrinus genivittatus)
Very common over sand and weed bottoms near reef. Grows to about 250mm, so not a target species.
Saddle-tailed sea perch (Lutjanus malabaricus)
Uncommon catch in the Kalbarri area but becoming more common. Mainly caught north of Shark Bay. Category one species, good eating. 2 per licence holder.
Painted sweetlips (Diagramma labiosum)
Fairly common catch, pull like hell. poor eating quality especially when they get into this size range, Min. size 300mm.
Gold spotted sweetlips (Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus)
A common catch, not worth keeping due to poor eating quality. Min. size 300mm.
Brown striped Seaperch (Lutjanus vitta)
Another uncommon catch, this one took a bait set for snapper on good reef structure in 25m of water.
Stripy seaperch (Lutanus carponotatus)
One of the many variations of seaperch that occasionally show up in the catch.
Yellow emperor (Diploprion bifasciatum)
Also known as a soap fish. First one ever to be caught in Kalbarri waters to my knowlege. usually found much further north. can be bought as an aquarium fish!
Moses perch (Lutanus russelli)
Uncomon but occsionally caught over reef areas, good eating. Category one species – 2 per licence holder.
Esturay cod (Epinephelus coioides)
Small ones are common but big ones are hard to get up from the bottom. Min. size limit 400mm. Maximum size 1000mm or 30kgs. 2 per licence holder
Rankin cod (Epinephelus multinotatus)
Real name white-blotched rockcod, but better known as rankin cod. A great catch over good reef country, with some fish up to 9kgs. Very good eating & fortunatly getting more common in Kalbarri. Bag limit 2 per licence holder no size limit.
Hexagon Rockcod (Epinephelus Heagonatus)
A common northern water cod that inhabits shallow exposed outer reef structure. This is about as big as they get, 30cm.
Malabar cod (Epinephelus malabaricus)
First one I have seen caught in the Murchison River. Usually a more northern species. Spends its juvinile life in estuarys and then moves out to sea, growing to 25kgs. 2 per licence holder
Black-Tipped rock cod (Epinephelus Fasciatus)
Common catch over reefy ground. Usually caught when the fishing has shut down. Grows to about 300mm, hardly worth keeping, best released
Breaksea Cod (Epinephelides Arnatus)
A common fish caught on all the reef systems around Kalbarri. Also know as black arse cod because of the black marking on anal vent. Good eating.
Chinaman Fish (Symphorus Nematophorus)
Not a comon catch, but welcome then when caught. Hard fighters and found over reef structure.
Tomato rockcod (Cephalopholis sonnerati)
Incidental catch, caught while fishing for more common species. Bigger specimens worth keeping.
Long-Finned Rockcod (Epinephelus Quoyanus)
A northern waters cod prolific in shallow reef areas. Grows to about 35cm max
Coral Cod (Cephalopholis Miniata)
Looks a lot like a coral trout but does not grow as big. Very pretty fish not often caught. No size limit but best let go.
Coronation Trout (Variola Louti)
A very pretty fish, but not much fight when pulled up from their favoured deep water reef areas over 35m.
Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)
Similar to the mackerel species but found in deeper water, 50m to 100m. Sorte after for it’s great fast swiming and hard fighting characteristics when hooked. Size limit 900mm and 3 per licence holder.
Narrow-barred spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson)
Most common mackerel caught. Mainly caught trolling lures and baits, but also on drifted and set baits. Jan – July in Kalbarri only. Minimum size 900mm & 3 per licence holder.
Shark mackerel (Grammatorcynus bicarinatus)
Uncommon, sometimes caught in Jan/Feb in Kalbarri. Minumum size 500mm & 3 per licence holder.
Australian spotted mackerel (Scomberomorus munroi)
Caught occasionally while trolling for narrow-barred mackerel usually January & February in Kalbarri. Minimum size 500mm Max 3 per licence holder.
Broad-Barred Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomoruc Semifasciatus)
Uncommon, caught occasionally trolling. This is a National & State junior 6kg line class record at 9.5kgs.
Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda)
Not a commonly caught species in Kalbarri. Poor eating best released.
Giant Seapike (Sphyraena jello)
These strange fish smash poppers and bait, but are a bit lame and come to the boat easily when hooked.
Cobia (Rachycentron canadus)
A game fish taking lures but often caught on the bottom. Size limit 750mm & 3 per licence holder.
Samson fish (Seriola hippos)
Great fun to catch but best returned as poor quality eating. Minimum size 600mm & 3 per licence holder.
Amberjack (Seriola dumerili)
Fairly common catch, usually miss identified as a samson fish. Caught often on lures. Very tough fighters. poor eating.
Yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi valenciennes)
Caught fairly often taking lures set for mackerel and sometimes from the bottom on baits. Min. size 600mm & 3 per licence holder
Big-eye tuna (Thunnus obesus)
Commonly mistaken for a yellow-fin tuna, but subtle differences are discernible. Much more common than yellow-fin and the main tuna species caught out from Kalbarri. 3 per licence holder.
Yellow-fin tuna (Thunnus alalunga)
Very strong fighters. A challenge on any tackle. Caught mainly on lures set for mackerel and tend to come from 25m deep or more areas. No size limit & 3 per licence holder.
Mackerel tuna (Euthynnus affinis)
Not a very common tuna for this area. Identified by the stripes on the back and 3 small dots on the belly. Grows to around 10kg taking lures and chrome slices cast to working schools. No size limit, 3 per angler.
Northerm Long-tail Tuna (Thunnus tonggol)
Similar to big-eye and yellow-fin but longer and thinner and not as common. Same habits. No size limit & 3 per licence holder.
Skipjack tuna (Kalsuwonis pelamis)
A very fast swiming tuna that changes direction quickly when hooked. Great little fighters caught mainly from February to May. Does not grow very big in Kalbarri with a 5kg fish the upper limit. No size limit, max 3 per licence holder.
Watson’s leaping bonito (Cybiosarda elegans)
A comon fish but not often caught as it can be very fussy when feeding on particular baitfish and “matching the hatch” is vital.
Rainbow Runner (Elegatis bipunnulata)
First one caught from my boats and only one I have known to be caught from Kalbarri waters. Fun to catch and fight hard. Found around structure in deep clean water.
Golden trevally (Gnathanodon speciosus)
An uncommon catch in Kalbarri usually around August to October. Very tough fighters inhabiting good reef structure. No min. size limit max. 2 per licence holder.
Gold-spot trevally (Carangoides Fulvoguttatus)
Similer habits and characteristics as the more common golden trevally.
Bludger Trevally (Carangoides Gymnostethus)
A tough little trevally that inhabits the same structure as skippy, fights hard and easily confused with similar species, gold-spot trevally. Grows to about 11kg but not usually as big around the midwest.
Club-Nosed Trevally (Carangoides Chrysophrys)
Very similar habits and characteristics as the skippy. Grows to about 60cm in Kalbarri area.
Pennantfish (Alectis ciliaris)
U unusual for the Midwest region. This is a juvenile and it will loose it’s long fins when it matures. One of the many trevally species
Silver trevally Skippy (Pseudocaranx denyex)
These great little fighters are common in winter over good reef structure. They grow to quite respectable sizes in Kalbarri and are good eating. Min. size 250mm max 8 per person.
Common Dart (Trachinotus Bolta)
A common catch usually taken as a by catch for anglers fishing for Mulloway and Tailor
Talang quenfish (Scomberoides commersonnianus)
The most common caught queenfish species. Great sportfishing target taking lures with gusto and jumping when hooked. poor quality eating. 8 per licence holder
Indio-pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus)
A much sorte after game fish. Caught in accessable areas mainly north of Carnarvon and along it’s favoured haunts offshore from the Ningaloo Reef. Favoured depth range from 30m to 50mm. Nearly every fish hooked is released.
Black marlin (Makaira indica)
A lucky few hook up to these game fish but are far too rare around Kalbarri. No size limit. 1 per angler.
Blue marlin (Makaira Mazara)
Deep water marlin found in over 300m off the continental shelf. This one was caught off the west side out from Exmouth.
Dolphinfish (Mahi mahi) (Coryphaena hippurus)
Exciting fish to catch, but not often caught. Leaps from the water frequently. Good eating fresh. Min. size 500mm & 3 per licence holder.
Sandbar Shark (Carcharinus plumbeus)
Similar to the whalers, taking baits set for demersal fish. Puts up quite a fair account of itself. 3 per angler.
Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas)
A common shark that enters river estuaries and up river into the fresh water.
Smooth Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna sygaena)
Makes it’self known by snooping around boats and then easily caught by tossing a bait to it. Fights well when it finds out that it is hooked! 3 per licence holder.
Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus Oxyrinchus)
Snoops around boats looking for an easy feed. Takes hooked fish from anglers. One of the great sport fishing sharks due to it’s explosive jumps and powerful runs. 3 per licence holder.
Whaler Shark (Carcharhinus species)
Sharks are hard to identify, and are not usually kept by anglers. Big sharks have a build up of heavy metals so any fish over 1.5m is a health risk to eat. They are frequently caught from the bottom as a by catch and usually bite through the line before being brought to the boat. They are also known to take lures and sometimes hooked fish. Size limits apply and 3 per licence holder.
Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharais taurus)
One of the protected shark species. Fairly common over good reef areas on the west coast, but threatened from over fishing on the east coast. A protected species, must be released.
Wiskery Shark (Furgaleus macki)
Incidental bycatch caught on the bottom. One of the better eating shark species. 3 per angler.
Pencil Shark (Hypogaleus hyugaenis)
Northern most range for this species. Sometimes misidentified as a gummy shark. Caught as a bycatch over reef areas. Grows to about 1.5m and has small fine teeth. Thrashes around a lot when landed. 3 per angler.
Giant Shovelnose Ray (Rhinobatos typus)
A big fish caught from the beaches along the “Coral Coast” mainly at night. Difficult to land due to it’s never give up attitude and relative large size. 3 per angler.
Banded Wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus)
Quite a common catch over reef areas. Feels like a heavy weight when pulling it up to the surface. Very little edible flesh on a fish this size, so best released. Can grow to 3 metres in length. 3 per angler.
Black Stingray (Dasyatis Thetidis)
Caught infrequently and very hard to stop and bring up from the bottom. Will not give up! Has poisonous spines at the base of it’s tail. Grows to 65kgs and 1800mm dia. disc.
Striped Stingaree (Trygonoplera ovalis)
Small ray caught infrequently, spine on tail venomous so handle with care and return to the depths.
Cookiecutter shark (Isistius Spp)
This is the bite on a tuna from one of these two species of sharks. A surface feeding shark that has a bio-luminescent underside that blends with the bright ocean surface and brown bar at its’ throat which acts as a lure to attract predators. The cookiecutter then turns on the predator and takes a cookiecutter shaped bite. Grows to 50cm and is worldwide.
Southern Drummer (Kyphosus bigibbus)
A weed eating fish that does not usually take bait. Can be tempted with a small bait cast among a burley trail. Grows to 6kg and is a strong fighter. Flesh is full of iodine from weed eating thus unpalatable.
Ember parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus)
This is a female of the species. A fish, caught mainly on reef with little fishing pressure. Easily fished out and not common.
Ember parrotfish (Scarus rubroviolaceus)
This is the male of the species. Caught over lightly fished reef areas.
Tailor (Pomatomus saltatrix)
Jumbo tailor abound in Kalbarri. Fish the white water around reef breaks. Best times – early morning & late evening. Min. size 300mm & 8 per angler with max 2 fish over 500mm.
Black Bream (Acanthopagrus Butcheri)
The most targeted and common in the river estuary and right up river. Prawn baits soft plastics and small minow lures.
Catfish (Arius Thalassinus)
Unusual catch, occasional specimens take bait while fishing for reef fish. Grows to around 600mm here but much bigger further north. Saltwater caught fish can be eaten & said to be good.
Spotted javelinfish (pomadasys kaakan)
Not often caught but takes baits set for black bream in the river. Southern range for this warm water fish. Min. size 300mm.
Bar-tailed flathead Platycephalus endrachtensis
Small specimens are abundant over sand, but larger specimens like this one are found close to reef. Usually a bycatch but good eating. Minimum size 300 & 8 per person.
Tarwhine (Rhabdosargus sarba)
Some times called silver bream. Inhabits coral reefs in shallow water up to 25m. Juviniles found in the estuary. Bites and fights like a snapper. Min. size 250mm & 6 per angler.
Mulloway (Argyrosomus hololepidotus)
Caught mainly at night, evening or morning from shore. Occasional fish caught from boats on reef structure during the day. Minimum size 500mm & 2 per angler.
Mangrove Jacks (Lutjanus argentimaculatus)
Likes structure around the jetties and well up river. Fillet, prawn & live baits. Minimum size 300mm & 2 per licence holder
Crescent Perch (Terapon jarbua)
Caught in the river occasionally, grow to about 35cm. Usually caught north of Shark Bay.
Giant threadfin (Eleutheronema tetradactylum)
Commonly caught in tidal estuary and mangrove mudflats locations. Great fighting fish changing direction quickly. Bait and lures both work on this fish. Size and bag limits apply. 2 per licence holder
Yellow- finned whiting (Sillago schomburgkii)
Bread & butter fish sought after in the river and from the ocean beaches where most of the larger specimens come from. Caught on small fillets, prawns and blood worms. No min. size limit and 12 per angler.
Western yellow-fin bream (Acanthopagrus latus)
Found throughout WA but larger specimens only found in the northern part where it replaces the black bream.
Small-toothed flounder (Pseudorhombus jenynsii)
An unusual catch but usually taken over sand areas. Grows to about 35cm and can be an agressive feeder with the right tackle. Max 8 per angler and min size 250mm.
Stout longtom (Tylosurus gavialoides)
Not normally found as far south a Kalbarri, but this large specimen must have come down in a warm current. Takes fish baits and lures but dificult to hook as it holds the bait/lure in it’s toothy mouth, turning it before swallowing.
Dottyback (Ogilbyina species)
Small wrasse type fish, very colourfull, not often caught due to it’s small size.
Black Damsel Fish (Neoglyphidodon Nigroris)
One of the many coral reef fish. An incidental catch that should never be kept. Always return them to the water.
Western Blue Devil (Paraplesiops meleagrisl)
Common by catch over reef and coral. Small size means it is not worth keeping and should be let go. max. size about 250mm.
Queensland Yellowtail Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus meredithi)
First one seen from my boats. One of the many small reef fish that inadvertently get caught.
Blackspot goatfish (Parupeneus spilurus)
Incidental catch over reef and sand. This is about as big as they get. 2 per licence holder.
Yellow-Striped Goatfish (Parupeneus chrysopleuron)
An incidental bycatch caught over sand and weed bottoms. A small fish not usually targeted. Max. size around 300mm. 2 per licence holder.
Gold-spot Pigfish (Bodianus perditio)
Occasionally caught and looks a bit like a wrasse. They don’t grow much bigger than this and best released. a category one species, 2 per angler.
Large-scaled Grinner (Saurida undosquamis)
Quite a few are caught over reef structure. Identified by their huge mouth for their body size. Must be an awsome predator, but do not grow much bigger than this.
Nor’west Blowie (Lagocephalus Scleratus)
Also known as a Silver Toadfish. Common puffer fish. don’t eat these they are poisonous.
Smooth Golden Toadfish (Lagocephalus inermis)
Unusual catch in Kalbarri waters. This poisonous pufferfish is not as aggressive as the more comon silver toadfish. Growing to about 40cm.
Blotched Porcupine Fish (Diodon Liturosus)
One of the pufferfish, but not often caught due to it’s small mouth. Grows to about 40cm.
Leatherjacket (Cantherhines sp)
One of the 60 odd species of leatherjacket that vary from location to location. Not often caught due to their small mouths.
Smudgespot spinefoot (Siganus canaliculatus)
Also known as “Happy Moments” due to it’s poisonous spines. Anglers that get spiked experience a surge of euphoria a few seconds before the pain sets in. Caught occasionally in the winter months. Probably more common than thought as they have a small mouth so do not get hooked easily.
Sand Bass (Psammoperca waigiensis)
Not a comon catch. Inhabits reef with weed. Colour is varable from silver to dark brown.
Starry triggerfish (Abalistes stellatus)
Not caught very often, but found over coral and rocky reefs. Grows to about 60cm.
Unicorn Leatherjacket (Aluterus monoceros)
This is the only one of this species caught from my boats, quite weird looking.
Banded Sweep (Scorpis georgianus)
Unusual catch as far north as Kalbarri. A reef species taking small baits. Grows to about 300mm. 4 per licence holder.
Sergeant Baker (Aulopus purpurlissatus)
Sometimes prolific over reef & coral. Aggressive predator but only growing to about 400mm here. Best cut up for bait immediatly to catch dhuefish.
Red-barred grubfish (Parapercis nebulosa)
A very unusual bycatch from deaper waters, northern part of Australia.
Western Red Scorpion Cod (Scorpaena sumptuosa)
Caught over reefs & can be a nuisance. One of the gurnard species. Do not touch these as the fin spikes are poisonous.
Long-finned Garfish (Euleptorhamphus viridis)
Very odd looking garfish. This one jumped/flew into the boat while trolling in shallow water.
Western King Wrasse (Coris auricularis)
Very common over reef and coral but due to it’s small size not often caught. Grows to a max size of about 300mm
Brown Spotted Wrasse (Notolabrus parilus)
Another dificult fish to identify. colour varies considerably with most wrasse species.
Black-striped wrasse (Coris pictoides)
A small wrasse not often caught due to it’s small size. Grows to 300mm, best returned.
Wrasse (Halichoeres species)
One of the many wrasse caught that defy identification by the lay person.
Western Frogfish (Batrachomoeus occidentalis)
Unusual catch over reef country. Has poisonous spines so keep clear. Grows to about 200mm
Woodward’s Reef Eel (Gymnothorax Woodwardi)
Small specimens are caught over reef areas, tangling and knotting themselves around fishing lines. Bite is painful and has anticoagulant properties, stay clear.
Estuary snake eel (Pisodonophis boro)
Caught in the Murchison River at night. Only one ever caught that I know of.
Flappy Snake Eel (Phyllophichthus xenodontus)
A strange one caught at night in the estuary.
Ribboned Pipehorse (Haliichthys taeniophorus)
Not a comon fish to come into contact with but can sometimes be seen snorkling.
West Australian Rock Lobster (Panulirus & Jasus Spp)
Sometimes called a crayfish and is the main commercial catch out from Kalbarri. Recreational fishers catch them in pots or by diving. A recreational license is required and bag and size limits apply, Very good eating and easy to catch early December to Early January during the “Run of the Whites”
Mud Crab (Scylla spp.)
Caught in drop-nets anywhere in the river. Mainly Jan – June. Minimum size 150mm. 5 per licence holder, and boat limit 10.
Blue Swimmer Crab (Portunus Pelagicus)
Type of crab in the river system. Caught with drop nets and scooping from the estuary mouth right up to the end of the tidal influence.
Roe’s Abalone (Haliotis roei)
These tasty shellfish are found on most reef edges around Kalbarri. Usually just out of reach in the surf zone. Collecting them can be risky and a low swell and low tide is best. W.A. Fisheries licence is required. Season opens 1st October to 15th May, from the Greenough River, north to the Northern Territory border.
Cuttlefish (Cephalopoda Sepia Apama)
Sometimes gets tangled and hooked on bait. Can get much bigger than this. Be careful they can squirt vast amounts of black ink making a mess of the boat.