Swan River, Perth in the 1960's and 1970's

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Bob Fisher
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Swan River, Perth in the 1960's and 1970's

Post by Bob Fisher » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:23 am

Swan River Perth in the 1960's and 1970's and maybe just into the 1980's
Islander wrote:I guess you are aware of the US Bass Style fishery competition that has sprung up around black bream fishing in the Swan and other rivers downunder now Bob?

Looks like you two were a couple of the early pioneers huh?

Used to spend a little of my time way back dragging a prawn net around the East street jetty in Maylands, and used to belong to the Bayswater Amateur swimming club back in the days when we used to swim in the river at Garret Road bridge, for training and competitions on the weekends.

After races - we would swim across to the Ascot racecourse on the opposite side of the river, climb up the camera tower - and listen to the jockeys whipping each other (not their horses) and swearing at each other on the back straight stretch.

Then we would swim back across the river in tiome to go home with parents etc.

I remember a kid got bitten by a bull shark at the Ascot swimming club jetty a bit further up river from Ascot race course one year - that kinda freaked our parents a bit with the amount we would swim in the river - we even had 1 mile swim thru's out in the middle river etc.

The amount of jelly fish at some times were bloody awful - especially the big purple & brown Portuguese man o wars, they would sting you a bit as you ploughed on thru them.

When I got a bit older and joined the dive club - we used to do an annual river cleanup dive at Garret Road Bridge area and one year we recovered a stolen safe and oxyacetylene gear that must have been dumped there in the water after a robbery, it was obviously found cut open and contents missing.

Funny the thing you remember from childhood - eh!

We probably stomped around those same suburbs around the same time Bob, I would have been there from about 1965 onwards for 7 or 8 years.

You're covering a lot of material there mate. I've started it again as a separate thread from the Bream Thread as it's going to take a while - but that's ok as you've got me motivated!

Also mate you are going to stretch my memory here!

Our family lived in Cloverdale (Kennerly St) from sometime in the 1960's through to about 1980. Where were you living at that time Islander?

FYI Rusty was just down the road in Belmont???
I'm looking at a Google Map of the area...
I see Miles Park, I see Oswell St... Am I close Rusty?

Me and my mates would ride our bikes down to the river to swim and to fish. Our school swimming classes were held at the 'Springs' in Maylands and my parents would sometimes take us down to the Garret Road Bridge for a swim on weekends.

I remember two shark attacks. I believe one was at what was known as the 'Springs' in Maylands and the other one was at the so called 'Bunbury Bridge' - at the back of the East Perth power station. In those days the attacks were attributed to the infamous "Swan River Whaler", a Bronze Whaler shark that would swim upstream into freshwater (as far as and sometimes past the Garret Road Bridge) to rid itself of parasites... that's what they thought back then anyway!

Apparently now they are called "Bull Sharks" which is the name of the shark involved in most of the attacks in the US on the East Coast around to the Gulf Coast of Florida.

I also remember that during those times a fisherman put out a set-line from Herrison Island to the Eastern shore overnight and hooked and landed a reasonable sized "Swan River River Whaler Shark"... Can't find anything on Google about it but I remember it, it was in the West Australian at the time and its a fact!

Need Rusty's help here but in the later years we occassionally use to water ski behind his Baron Sportsman at the back of the Ascot Racecourse? Was that the Burswood Ramp where we put the boat in?

Madness takes it's toll - please have exact change handy.
Last edited by Bob Fisher on Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I was

Post by Islander » Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:34 am

I was a Bayswater lad (Well Bedford Park really, next door to Bayswater) - lived in Edward street about 4 doors up from Beaufort Street.

These days it is a cul de sac and doesn't join Beaufort street - but in my day it was a 4 way corner with electric trolley busses and vehicles etc - we lived on the hill and would ride skate boards and soap boxes down the hill and across Beaufort street all the time, - a wonder we never got skittled.

I think I lived there from 1959 - 1977 or thereabouts before I moved to Narrogin for 8 or so years then Nannup for another 20 years - Mandurah for 2 years and now West Moore Island.

Schooled at Hillcrest primary and John Forrest Senior High school.

Used to walk across the big silver water pipe on the Garret Road bridge and do bombies in the boating channel....etc

Them were the days eh!.

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Post by Bob Fisher » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:29 pm

G'Day Islander,

My Background
I went to Cloverdale Primary School and then to Applecross Senior High... I should have gone to Belmont High but I won an art scholarship and they had a special class (five year course) at Applecross for budding artists. That's where I met Linc who sometimes visits these pages...

My Dad was an electrical engineer in the mines (the family came from kalgoorlie) we moved a bit in the early days before Cloverdale... lived in Norseman for a little while and also Gwalia, near Leonora and even a short stint in a place called Savage River in Tasmania...

Living in Cloverdale
Back to living in Cloverdale... We'd ride our bikes anywhere from the Swan River to Lesmurdie Falls!!! less people, less traffic, those were the days... We use to swim in the swamps out near the Perth Airport runway, get covered in leeches, catch jilgies and all sorts of fun stuff!

The Causeway
I also fished the Causeway a lot, I would get on the bus with my canvas haversack and a bucket with bait and my rods... people were friendlier back then and would actually sit and chat to the scruffy little kid who was going on a fishing adventure and even wish him luck and wave through the glass when he got off!

There were a diehard group of men and women who fished from the top of the bridges at the Causeway as cars whizzed by behind them. Any blowies that were caught met their demise by being thrown out onto the road where they were popped and flattened most ungraciously...

Tailor were a common catch, although some specialized in Mulloway. They would bring the big fish to the surface out in the centre of the river and then have to walk to either shore to land the fish, typically on heavy handlines...

The attached pic is NOT from those earlier times but instead from a time when I was older and had my own vehicle. An afternoon on the sandy shoreline fishing for anything that came through but hoping for a big Mullolway...
"sandy shoreline"
ok that's embellishing it a bit, I just looked at the pic again, how about the rocky shoreline covered in shells... what were those shells anyway?
Fishing the Causeway in Perth during the 1970's. Bob fisher
Perth-Causeway-1970s.jpg (30.09 KiB) Viewed 8749 times
Here is a young fishmaster with two Mulloway that were caught on lures from the 'Bunbury Bridge' at the back of the East Perth Power Station... this ones an interesting story actually
East-Perth-Mulloway.jpg (46.17 KiB) Viewed 8742 times
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Post by rusty » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:21 am

Bob you got me going there, my parents shifted to 17 Oswell street cloverdale in 1959, i went to belmay primary for 7 years and then to belmont seniour high, the kid who got bitten by the bull shark was a girl in my class at belmont high 1 st year, her name was ingrid gersmanis, took a big chunk out of her right thigh.
The shells are a type of oyster at the causway area, my grandfather told me as a boy in the teens last century they let all the perth sewerage flow into the river and this wiped them out in the 20s.
they were very prolific evidentley.
I too used to swim at the ascot and also the Garret rd bridges and also caught my 1 st mulloway at the ascot racecourse side of the river right near the same lookout box you are talking about islander, surprised we never crossed paths?????? we also used to prawn at the bank opposite the bayswater jetty on the eastway drive in side, we used to park our cars in late 60s early 70s and really clean up on the prawns, one particular year kosic and i were getting about 60litres per drag.
We used to swim from ascot to the middle channel marker off the racecourse every year for the ascot swimming club.
Kosic lived just up the rd from the swimming jettys and we used to fish for black bream near the ascot swing behind armanasco's stables, met Neville limb there in 1966, little cheeky redhead, met kosic in 65 at high school.
O h boy gotta really think now aye, but met you Bob around 1974 or 5 in the offshore was it not??? cant remember to many scotches aye dimms the brain cells.
I live with fear sometimes she lets me go fishing!!!!!!!!

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Post by Bob Fisher » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:49 am

Rusty wrote:met you Bob around 1974 or 5 in the offshore was it not???
Not sure exactly when we met mate but around that time... however what I do remember is that I use to walk past Nev's house every day to go to school... sat next to his sister Rose in primary school for a year. We had those double wooden desks with the ink wells etc... FYI Nev's family have seen the fishing pics of him on this site and are very grateful. (I think you must have told them about it?) I've promised them some old video footage of Nev when I get my dual format PAL/NTSC Video Player/Recorder working again!
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Post by barra_on_fly » Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:49 am

MEMmmmm - ories.....
Like the corners of our lives.....

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