A dolphin fish caught off Exmouth, Steve Cooper

Situated about 1200 km north of Perth, Exmouth is Australia’s only known bonefish fishery. The Continental Shelf is only kilometres offshore and Ningaloo Reef runs for 250 km along the coastline, forming a giant lagoon with kilometres of shallow sand flats. Saltwater fly aficionados who venture here claim these are the least fished bonefish in the world.

Other fish caught on the flats include golden, giant, blue and gold spot trevallies, and there are queenfish, spangled emperor, milkfish, giant herring, tarpon, cobia, sweetlips and permit.

Fishing is prohibited in sanctuary zones within the marine park, but there are many other areas within the marine park where the fishing  is superb.

Land-based fishing is a popular recreational pastime as there are many different species to be caught. Beach fishing often produces surprising reef species, while fishing in Exmouth Gulf turns up estuarine species including mud crabs and squid. Sought-after offshore species include Norwest snapper, blue bone, coral trout and red emperor.

Ningaloo Reef is recognised as a premier gamefishing destination and produces black and blue marlin, dolphinfish, Spanish mackerel, sailfish and various tuna.

Exmouth boat harbour, 2 km south of town, has concrete ramps within the sheltered wall of the marina. Other boat ramps are at Bundegi Beach, 12 km north, and  at Tantabiddi, about 35 km from town (just north of Cape Range National Park). Other small boat- launching areas are available from campsites in the park, although these are generally only accessible to 4WD vehicles.

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