Fishing the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia

The Swan River is a great fishing spot all year round for those fisherman located in Perth.

Aerial view of the Swan River in Western Australia
Aerial view of the Swan River, Perth

Swan River Fishing Spots

The Swan River provides some fantastic fishing spots within the Perth area. Whether you’re kayak fishing, land based or have access to a boat, there is a spot suited for everyone.

Some great fishing spots on the Swan River include:

  1. Mosman Park Foreshore and Mosman Park Bay
  2. Maltilda Bay
  3. Blackwell Reach area
  4. Point Walter
  5. Canning Bridge
  6. Causeway Bridge
  7. The Narrows Bridge
  8. Swan River Jetties
  9. Belmont foreshore area
  10. Maylands foreshore area
  11. Ron Courtney Island

Mosman Park Foreshore and Bay area

The Mosman Park Foreshore and Bay area is another great fishing spot to try on the Swan River.  From here you’re likely to catch a number of different species including Bream (Tarwhine), Whiting, Flathead, Tailor and the occasional Mulloway.  It’s also possible to catch Prawns from here at night.

Facing east, this bay is also quite sheltered from the westerly winds, hence always a good option when the afternoon seabreeze kicks in.

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Maltilda Bay

Matilda Bay is a beautiful picturesque bay located with the Swan River (near the University of Western Australia).  You can fish from the shore within the bay or if you have access to a boat or kayak there is Matilda Bay Boat Ramp where you can head out from.

Matilda Bay on the Swan River

Apart from the common river and estuary based species, Matilda Bay is also a popular spot for Blue Manna Crabs.  During the season you’ll find a number of fisherman walking the area scooping for crabs.  There are also a number of divers that will head out from here to free divers for crabs and large river prawns.

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Pelican Point Jetty (Matilda Bay)

Located to the south end of Matilda Bay, Pelican Point Jetty is also a great little jetty to fish from.  With a small beach and some grass areas nearby, this Jetty is an ideal spot to take the kids fishing.  Fishing from here you’re likely to catch a number of river species, including Bream (mainly Black Bream), Tailor, Flathead and the occasional Mulloway.

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Blackwell Reach area

Blackwell Reach is one of the best spots to fish from within the Swan River.  This area has a number of limestone cliffs (the highest rising up to 8m out of the water) with a rocky broken ground surrounding it. 

With such a landscape, a number of different species are attracted to the area including Bream (Both Black and Tarwhine), Herring, Tailor (mainly chopper Tailor though some bigger ones come through), Flathead, Whiting, small Pink Snapper and the odd Mulloway.

Kayak fishing along the cliffs at Blackwell Reach

In addition, Blackwell Reach is also popular for divers who like to chase Blue Manna Crabs and River and King Prawns.

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Point Walter

Point Walter is a well known area by fisherman within Perth.  With a large sand spit that stretches out into the river, a number of anglers cast a line from here in the hope to catch the likes of Flathead, Flounder, Whiting, Tailor and Herring. 

Aerial view of the Point Walter sand bar in Swan River

It’s also not uncommon for Giant Herring to visit the area chasing baitfish up and down the sand bank so look out for this as they put up an awesome fight!

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Canning Bridge

Canning Bridge can be access from both sides, with each side providing different fishing options. If you need to cross the bridge, there is a pedestrain walk way to do so.

In addition, there is also a nice fishing platform under the bridge. This can be access from the east side of the bridge.

Fish species that you can catch in and around the Canning Bridge include Flathead, Bream, chopper Tailor and Mulloway.

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Causeway Bridge

Stretching over Heirisson Island, from East Perth to Victoria Park, the Causeway Bridge is another spot worth trying when fishing in the Swan River.

The Causeway Bridge fishing location on Swan River
A section of the causeway bridge

With Heirisson Island in the middle you have two sections of the bridge you can fish.

There are a number of different species that can be caught in and around the bridge pylons and surrounding structures, including but not limited to Bream, Flathead, Tailor and even the elusive Mulloway.

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The Narrows Bridge

The Narrows Bridge is the main bridge stretching over the Swan River from Perth City to South Perth.

South end fishing platform at the Narrows Bridge on Swan River
Fishing platform under the Narrows Bridge

As this bridge supports the Mitchell free there is a large underwater support system consisting of numerous pylons that inhabit a range of different fish species.

Check out the below video of a local fisherman who goes for a fish under the Narrow’s bridge at night time.

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Herrison Island

The Herrison Island is the island that the Causeway Bridge crosses over. Although you’re not allowed to fish the lakes within Herrison Island, you are allowed to fish the river banks of the Island.

If you plan to fish these banks then species you’re likely to catch are the likes of Bream, Flathead, Tailor, Cobbler and the silver ghost… Mulloway.

With the shallow banks this is also a great area to cast a fly, hence if fly fishing is your thing give Herrison Island a go!

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Swan River Jetties

There are a number of great jetties to fish from within the swan river.

Fishing area off end of Coode Street Jetty on Swan River

Jetties that you want to consider fishing from include:

  • Applecross Jetty
  • Como Jetty
  • Claughton Reserve Jetty
  • Claremont
  • Bicton Baths
  • Deepwater Point Jetty
  • Freshwater Bay Jetty
  • Garvey Park Jetty
  • Coode Street Jetty
  • Fremantle Sea Scouts Jetty
  • Keane Street Jetty
  • Kent Street Jetty (Bicton)
  • Gunbower Road Jetty (Mt Pleasant)
  • Gazebo Jetty (Riverside Gardens)
  • Memorial Drive Boat Ramp Jetty
  • Point Reserve Jetty
  • Mt Henry Bridge Jetty (Mt Pleasant)
  • Mosman Bay Jetty
  • Point Walter Jetty
  • Queen Street Jetty (South Perth)
  • Success Hill Reserve Jetty
  • Rookwood Street Jetty (Mt Pleasant)
  • Redcliffe Jetty
  • Wiber Street Jetty (Rossmoyne)
  • Sandy Beach Reserve Jetty (Bassendean)

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What fish can you catch in the Swan River?

There are a wide variety of fish species that can be caught in the Swan River. The most common species are chopper Tailor, Herring, Skippy, Yellowfin Whiting, Bream and Flathead.

Some great footage of some decent Flathead being caught from the river banks of the swan.

When looking at bigger species the most frequently targeted fish in the swan river is the Mulloway. This magnificent fish put up an awesome fight and can grow in access of 40kg!

Video by shottstravel

Another awesome fighting fish that can be caught on the swa, is Giant Herring! These put up a great fight and can be found along areas such as the the Point Walter sand bar.

Video by Frontline Fishing

What is the best bait to use in the Swan River?

There are a few great baits to use when fishing in the Swan River. These baits can vary depending on what species you are fishing for though as a general rule all these baits work well.

  • River Prawns
  • Worms
  • Mussels
  • Pilchards (Used closer to the river mouth)
  • Squid (Used closer to the river mouth)

What are the best lures to use in the Swan River?

Basically your lures want to mimic the bait of the species you’re going for, hence if you’re chasing Bream then consider worm or prawn like soft plastics. 

If you’re going for Bream then small minnow type lures or soft plastics that have a nature fish movement on a slow retrieval will work well.

Can you catch Crabs in the Swan River?

Yes, you certainly can! The Swan River is known for producing top quality blue manna crabs and is fished by many every year. The below video shows what an awesome blue manna fishery the Swan River is.

The below sign provides some information on the rules and regulations for catching crabs from within the Swan River system.

Crabbing sign for in Swan River Perth at Coode Street Boat Ramp

However, as the Swan River is sometimes prone to algae blooms you may come across signs like this when fishing for crabs in the Swan River. Therefore, always ensure you follow such guide lines when it comes to cleaning and eating them.

Crab hazard sign on Swan River in Perth

Check out our Blue Manna Crabs page for more info on how to catch crabs.

Where can I launch my boat in the Swan River?

There are a number of convenient boat ramps located along the Swan River from Fremantle all the way up through to Ascot. Check out our Swan River Boat Ramps page for a map of the different ramps.

Swan River Fishing Videos

Below are collection of videos relating to fishing in the Swan River.

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