Fishing in WA: Margaret Hope

Fishing in WA: Margaret Hope
January 12, 2022 Carolina Francia

Fishing in Western Australia

I am a Queenslander, but I prefer fishing in WA… I love WA better than Queensland. Broome is my favourite place in OZ. What got me there?  Well, my first husband was looking for work, so he tossed a coin, do we travel around Australia or go to NZ. We travelled down through NSW into Victoria, over SA and across the Nullarbor. This is in 1968 and the Nullarbor was a dirt track then. Half way across we lost a wheel and thought we would be there for ever in the middle of nowhere…

We had an old car with four small kids, the youngest was 4x weeks old… I was worried, but a mechanic came along and rescued us, towing the car to the next garage… We past trucks bogged up to the axil in bull dust and I remember the huge and parties of indigenous people dressed in paint with spears approached us… I said they won’t hurt us, and all they wanted was to sell us boomerangs… goodness knows what they needed money for out there in the desert…We had arrived in WA. Perth first, then straight up to Broome… there a week before John got a job in Port Headland…on the way we bogged the car. The back Axil broke so we were stranded. I had to feed the kids so I chased down a sheep and slaughtered, so we had meat. I had worked in meatworks. If you skin it and put the fleece over the fence, then you didn’t steal it… it was how people survived out there when they get stuck. Eventually we were helped by a local farmer who put us all up until the car was fixed… I have always fishing since I was a kid. I did yabbying and crabbing and then into fishing. We didn’t have much to eat back then in the depression years, so we lived off the land. So once we got settled, I got fishing… Fishing off the jetty. You didn’t need a boat.  I caught King Fish.  Huge fish. You pulled them in with a gaff, but you had to be careful, they would tangle the line and pull you over… I … got fish at Port Headland; all huge big fish, Moon fish, Gropers, sharks, crabs, muddies twice as big as here and massive rock oysters along with bream, whiting and Ocean Salmon… everything over there was plentiful and big…  nothing like it here… never caught anything like it here, not even in north Queensland… the blue ocean and massive skies…   It is Paradise… I have been all over WA. I would go back in a heartbeat.  I was born here in Goondiwindi, but over there is home… In fact, I live there in my memories..