Every town on the coast of Yorke Peninsula is featured here.Some of the best fishing spots in S.A can be found on the Yorke Peninsula and its only a couple of hours drive from Adelaide so wether your heading to Wallaroo for some Blue Crabs or Stansbury for some Garfish your sure to catch something.
Try Ardrossen for crabs,Stansbury for whiting,Edethburg for Squid there are many places to catch fish here is a few more Marion Bay,Point Turton,Port Rickaby,Port Hughes,Moonta bay,Wallaroo and port broughton.
Just check out chart below for full details.
PORT GAWLER 40km from Adelaide Although not one of SA’s most well-known locations for scale fish, Port Gawler is definitely a hit with land-based crabbers. It’s just a half hour drive north of Adelaide and all you need to grab a feed of plump blue swimmers is a crab rake, plastic tub and a pair of old sneakers. It is here that the Gawler River enters Gulf St. Vincent via a small delta. Mullet, salmon trout, yellowfin whiting, flathead and bream can be caught near the river mouth, particularly around the last couple of hours of the flood tide. This is a reliable light tackle area, with either small lures or natural baits worth trying. Spring and summer are probably the best seasons to fish, although bream can be caught year-round. The best time of year for crabbing is just before Christmas through until March. The idea is to get there about an hour before low tide, then follow the water back in after the tide turns. Be mindful, of course, that blue swimmer crabs must measure at least 11 centimetres across the carapace from the base of the largest spine and that any females carrying external eggs are protected and can’t be taken.
Raking for crabs
MIDDLE BEACH 45km from Adelaide Accessible from Port Wakefield Road, Middle Beach consists of expansive tidal flats and a dense mangrove fringe. These mangroves make up an integral part of the inshore ecosystem of eastern Gulf St. Vincent and are a significant nursery area for juvenile fish of many varieties. Yellowfin whiting are caught at Middle Beach in summer by those fishing the rising tide late in the afternoon. Live tube worms or nippers (marine yabbies) are the preferred baits. Nippers can be pumped from the sand flats when the tide is low and they are best fished on a very light line with tiny sinkers. Most of the yellowfin caught at Middle Beach are good size, ranging up to 35 centimetres on occasion. It is possible to launch a small boat here, but only around high tide. There are plenty of gar to be dabbed at night and King George whiting offshore over areas of broken bottom. Blue swimmer crabs are available to those prepared to wade the flats on the rising tide, particularly through the summer months. These vary in size, with the biggest crabs usually turning up late in the season. Provided you rake at the right time of day, it’s often possible to pick up a personal bag limit of blueys on a single tide.
PORT PARHAM 67km from Adelaide This is easily the most famous and most regularly visited crab raking location in South Australia. When the blueys are at their peak after Christmas, it’s not unusual to see more than a hundred rakers walking the Parham sand flats, most of whom bring home a good feed of succulent crabs. Crabbing along the northern beaches is very much a social outing for most families. A barbecue and an esky full of drinks are nearly always standard equipment, along with sunblock, hats and plenty of ice to keep the catch cold. Port Parham has a free camping ground for those wishing to stay overnight, but don’t forget the mozzie repellent! This is a mosquito breeding area and there are few things more likely to spoil an otherwise enjoyable day on the water than a swarm of hungry mozzies.
PORT WAKEFIELD 99km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, boarding pontoon Port Wakefield is one of SA’s most historic maritime settlements and also a very productive area for recreational anglers. Port Wakefield used to be one of the busiest cargo ports in the state and was, in fact, the first settlement in the state north of Adelaide. It has a permanent population of around 540 and offers plenty of facilities and services for those planning a trip. The boat ramp offers dual lane launching with floating pontoon for boarding. Getting out through the channel to open water depends upon the size and draft of your boat and tide variations. At low tide it can be an issue as the depth varies considerably. We recommend you plan your launch and retrieval around higher tides to avoid any issues. There are nice yellowfin whiting available during the warmer months, plenty of garfish
for dabbers on still, moonless evenings and King George whiting over broken bottom to the south and east of the Port Wakefield channel. Size can be an issue when whiting fishing, but it is possible to pick up a feed of keepers from among the smaller ones. Snook are prolific during the warmer months, most of which are caught by trolling lures from small boats. Blue crabs are available for both rakers and drop netters out of Port Wakefield and you’ll find some thumper snapper swimming around the top of the gulf from late October onward. These are spawning fish that migrate up the gulf in vast aggregations before settling on recognised grounds to reproduce. There are a lot of artificial reefs between Port Wakefield and Ardrossan, most of which were made by either commercial or recreational anglers, and many hold big snapper during late spring and summer. Fish of more than 10 kilograms are common, with dawn and dusk the prime feeding times. Most travelling anglers only ever get to see Port Wakefield’s service stations and bakeries, but it’s a fact that the location’s fishing potential is brilliant. A Marine Park Sanctuary Zone restricts fishing activities offshore from Port Wakefield.
PORT CLINTON 126km from Adelaide Boat launching – Beach ramp Very similar in coastal geography to the opposite side of upper Gulf St. Vincent, Port Clinton is a tiny settlement with a permanent population of 260 and is within a comfortable 90 minute drive of Adelaide. Surrounded by an 1850 hectare conservation park, Port Clinton is rich in birdlife and is the ideal location to explore from a car-topper aluminium dinghy. There is small boat launching available, but unless you have access to a tractor, it’s a bit tricky when the tide is well down, so it’s best to plan both launches and retrievals around high water. Salmon trout and mullet are the two fish varieties that are easiest to locate and there are usually plenty of blue swimmer crabs about in the warmer months. Garfish can be prolific around the top of Gulf St. Vincent at night and dabbing them with spotlight and long-handled net is a popular activity at Port Clinton. Offshore there are plenty of snapper ‘drops’, many of which are man-made from derelict car bodies, old boats and building refuse. However, most of these are well-kept secrets and are guarded closely by their creators. Some enormous snapper come from this region, a few topping 14 kilograms, and it is well worth exploring with an echo sounder if you have the time and patience. King George whiting are taken regularly from Port Clinton, but many are undersize and must be thrown back. Those who persist can generally pick up a feed of bigger whiting, along with snook and plenty of small bronze whaler sharks in the summer months. Wading crabbers do pretty well between Christmas and Easter time, although the average size of the blueys can vary from season to season. Drop netting for
crabs from small boats is also widely practised around Port Clinton. A Marine Park Sanctuary Zone lies just to the north of Port Clinton, so make sure you don’t wet a line in the wrong area! See pages 6 and 7 for more information. Price 133km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide Just seven kilometres south of Port Clinton, Price is a slightly smaller settlement with substantial mangrove forests and associated birdlife. There are two creek systems here - Shag Creek and Wills Creek - both of which are very important fish nursery areas. Boat launching can be tricky again at low tide, but a little thoughtful planning can overcome any associated problems. The Wills Creek boat ramp (also known as “Grumpy’s Ramp”) often carries a lot of dead ribbon weed, which can make launching a little challenging around low water. There is also a strong tidal run in the creek, so take care during periods of peak water movement. There is ample car and trailer parking, and a small launch fee applies. The Price creek system yields big mullet, crabs, garfish, salmon trout and the occasional flathead, and is the ideal sheltered location for small boat fishing. Those with larger boats often venture outside on to the gulf to catch King George whiting, snapper and plenty of blue crabs in season. Price is a crabber’s delight, and if you are there at the right time, pulling a boat limit isn’t difficult. The months of January and February are peak time for blueys, but they can be caught from around October/November through until March/April.
ARDROSSAN 150km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Ardrossan is the first substantial settlement along Yorke Peninsula’s eastern shoreline and boasts excellent facilities for the visiting angler. The small, protected boat harbour, adjacent to the bulk loading jetty, provides safe and convenient launching. It features pontoon boarding, all tide access and a spacious, sealed car park. There are plenty of productive grounds within easy reach of the harbour, so you don’t have to own a big boat to catch a decent feed. Ardrossan lies about 150 kilometres by road from Adelaide, so it is easily accessible for a weekend stay or even a day trip. There are two jetties at Ardrossan, one of which is open to public access and is very popular with visiting anglers. The second, much longer jetty is off limits to land-based fishers, but can be visited in a small boat. An oversized replica of a blue crab greets you as you approach the town jetty, providing a definite clue as to what you can expect to catch. Tommies, squid, snook, blue crabs, salmon trout and mullet are bagged regularly from the public jetty, as well as a few school mulloway for those who put in the time. It is probably at its
best from late afternoon and into the evening, especially from October through until Easter. For those with a decent-sized trailer boat, Ardrossan can be an exciting place to fish. There are usually nice salmon around the end of the bulk loading jetty and plenty of big snapper further out. The Ardrossan barge, which was deliberately sunk south-east of the town back in 1984 to replace access to the historic Zanoni shipwreck site, has been a reliable spot for big snapper for many years. Reds to 15 kilograms are caught here during the Christmas period each summer, along with slimy mackerel, whiting and the occasional large mulloway. Prime times to visit the barge are dusk and dawn, but big snapper can be caught throughout the night, particularly around tide changes. Keep an eye out for great white sharks, which are frequent visitors when the snapper run is at its peak. There are plenty of good crab raking areas to the north and south of the town and it is possible to dab gar and spear flounder in the same locations when the tide is up and the water is calm. Marine Park’s Offshore Ardrossan Sanctuary Zone restricts fishing activities offshore from Ardrossan around the Zanoni shipwreck.
PINE POINT 166km from Adelaide Boat launching – Beach launch Pine Point is an easy two hours’ drive from Adelaide. The population swells dramatically during peak holiday periods as the visiting masses descend. This is a favourite wading area for those raking blue crabs, but it’s wise to keep a crab measuring gauge handy to ensure you are only taking the legal minimum size of 11 centimetres. The best location for raking blueys seems to be around Billy Goat Flat, which becomes totally exposed around low tide. There is a lot of rubble and rock on the flat, but it’s the broken ground fringed with sand and weed that produces the best crabbing. Optimum time to be out there with your tub and rake is just after the tide turns to come in, when the crabs are mostly buried, but quite easy to detect. Simply follow the tide back in as it floods and look for those telltale grey mounds in the sand that often signal a crab in residence.
BLACK POINT 170km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane Black Point has become a real seaside playground. A long, sandy and relatively protected north-facing beach sweeps around at 90 degrees to the coastline, offering great shelter from the dominant summer southeasterly winds. There are King George whiting, gar, tommies, salmon trout, blue crabs and snook in the bay and for those with larger boats and a bit of local knowledge, some big snapper offshore. The Ardrossan barge is well within trailer boat range
of Black Point, as are several other recognised snapper patches to the east. Summer crabbers catch thousands of blue swimmer crabs in drop nets around the Black Point sand spit, and on calm, moonless evenings there are garfish in good numbers for dabbers. The boat launching facility has been redeveloped with a dual lane ramp that extends further into the sea.
PORT JULIA 178km from Adelaide Although rarely recognised as a productive land-based fishing venue, Port Julia offers plenty for those with small boats. The short jetty becomes almost high and dry around low tide, but can yield surprising catches when the water is up. It is quite popular with visiting anglers in the warmer months, with reasonable catches of squid and tommies made after dark. Young anglers with the right equipment often tangle with big eagle rays and small bronze whaler sharks from the jetty, and there are blue swimmer crabs available in season. Yellowfin whiting action along the adjacent beaches can be rewarding in the warmer months, and there are also some big mullet from Easter onward. Port Julia is totally exposed to the strong summer sea breezes, making small boats a little risky in the afternoons. There are whiting, gar, crabs and squid offshore from nearby Sheaoak Flat. Night time gar dabbers often do very well off Port Julia, particularly when the water is clear and calm and there is little moonlight. All you need for this fun activity is a small, manoeuvrable boat, a handheld spotlight and a long-handled net. Garfish can be dabbed at any time after the sun goes down and it’s often possible to bag several dozen in quick time.
PORT VINCENT 192km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Port Vincent is about two and a half hours by road from Adelaide and now attracts thousands of visiting boaties annually. With a marina and all-weather launching facilities, it’s a great access point for both inshore and offshore fishing. The Orontes Bank, renowned for its snapper and big whiting, is less than 10 kilometres out to sea, and there are plenty of good whiting bottom to the east and south-east of the marina. You’ll need a larger boat to fish the Orontes safely, but those with small boats can look forward to excellent squid fishing close in along the coast immediately south of Port Vincent. Simply drift over the inshore weed beds with a couple of artificial jigs set just above the bottom and, if conditions are right, catching a good feed shouldn’t be a problem.
Tommies, gar, snook and blue crabs are also well within range of the small boat brigade, but as the bay is open to winds from the southeast, care should be taken on typically breezy summer afternoons. The boat ramp, located within the confines of the marina, is one of the best on Yorke Peninsula. It can cater for trailer boats of virtually any size at any stage of the tide and offers a spacious car and trailer park and good security for those staying out overnight. Port Vincent has no jetty for recreational fishing, but there is a conveniently located wharf that attracts plenty of interest from visitors. Tommies and mullet are regular catches from the wharf, along with the occasional nice bream. Best results from the wharf seem to come from late afternoon into the evening. As is the case right along this stretch of coastline, there are opportunities for crab raking on the flats adjacent to Port Vincent, with most of the summer blueys of excellent size.
STANSBURY 206km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Legendary among those who visit Yorke Peninsula regularly, Stansbury is situated on Oyster Bay. It’s a comfortable two and a half hour drive from Adelaide and has an excellent jetty that attracts a lot of visiting anglers when the weather is right. This jetty is good for blue crabs in the summer, as well as squid, mullet, gar, tommies and snook at night under the lights. Stansbury’s back beach is great for big mullet in the autumn and it’s also possible to rake blue swimmer crabs in the same location. Surprisingly, Stansbury jetty also produces some thumper King George whiting at times. The best whiting come from the seaward end, where the bottom is a mixture of sand, tape weed and low limestone outcrops. Don’t expect to catch a bag limit of whiting from the jetty,
but hauls of half a dozen fish per angler are common and some are better than 40 centimetres. Cockle baits will catch these whiting, but better results are achieved by those who use live tube worms or pieces of peeled green prawn meat. Keep the tackle as light as possible, as inshore whiting can be touchy at times, shying away from heavy sinkers and thick nylon traces. The offshore fishing for King George whiting can be excellent too, particularly during the cooler months. This is when the fish are generally bigger and tend to school up in better numbers. Inshore squidding can be action-packed when the water is clear, especially for those drifting the weed beds in small boats just after sunrise. Those trailering fishing boats to Stansbury can look forward to excellent launching facilities. The ramp is multi-laned with twin floating boarding pontoons and a small, but strategically positioned breakwater for protection from summer winds. The car and trailer park is sealed and quite secure for overnight expeditions.
WOOL BAY 215km from Adelaide It’s almost three hours by road from Adelaide to Wool Bay, but it’s worth the trip. Here you’ll find one of the best squidding jetties in South Australia. A casual stroll along the jetty will reveal wall-to-wall squid ink, indicating just how many of the delectable cephalopods are caught here annually. It’s a busy jetty during holiday periods and on warm summer evenings, but squid numbers are still high. Tommies and some nice gar are also available from the jetty, with best catches coming from late afternoon through into the evening. Use a floating rig and gents for bait and make sure you have a steady berley source to entice and hold the fish. A mixture of soaked stale bread, bran and some tuna oil will usually have the tommies and gar lined up for a feed. Those keen enough to fish well into the wee small hours often do best at Wool Bay, with the period around sunrise sometimes prime time for calamari. Artificial squid jigs generally work well, but employing a ‘teaser’ line with a whole tommy ruff or gar regularly improves the catch. To escape the jetty hordes, launching a small aluminium dinghy from the beach will often result in bag limit catches of squid, many of which are quite large. There are some King George whiting, snapper and snook offshore, but the nearest launching for bigger trailer boats is either Edithburgh or Stansbury.
PORT GILES 222km from Adelaide Port Giles has long been one of SA’s most popular and reliable jetty fishing venues. The long bulk handling pier was built over existing snapper grounds and was a truly remarkable place to fish back in the 1960s and ‘70s. The jetty is open to recreational fishers when there isn’t any shipping or maintenance activity. Visit http://portmis.flindersports.com.au for access information. There is productive boat fishing for snapper and whiting to the north and south of the Port Giles jetty. It’s just a short trip from the Edithburgh boat harbour in good weather and although the snapper action isn’t as consistent as it once was, there is still a chance of pulling a 20 pounder if your luck is in. Likewise, hauls of 40 centimetre-plus King George whiting are often made on the grounds about five kilometres south-east of Port Giles jetty.
EDITHBURGH 227km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon It’s roughly three hours by road from Adelaide to Edithburgh - a trip made by thousands of hopeful holiday anglers each year. This delightful, historic port has a medium-length jetty that is renowned for its night time tommy ruff catches and also yields plenty of squid on still summer evenings. Edithburgh is one of the few jetties that consistently produces King George whiting, which are generally caught by casting well out from the south-eastern corner. There has also been the odd big snapper taken from the jetty, so it’s well worth setting a big bait on the bottom while concentrating on smaller species. With a permanent population of around 450, Edithburgh offers good facilities and services. A modern boat harbour with multi-lane launching and floating boarding pontoons can handle trailer boats of any size at any stage of the tide. From here it’s just a short run out to Tapley Shoal, which is a renowned area for snapper and big King George whiting.
Tapley Shoal is a favourite area for charter boat operators, but as it comes from relatively deep water and is subject to strong tides, it’s not an easy area to fish. Local knowledge is essential for anyone venturing to the Shoal, both to optimise chances of a good catch and for safety reasons. It’s definitely not the place to be in a small boat on a choppy day! The rock fishing between Edithburgh and Troubridge Point can be rewarding at times, with big snook, salmon and a few snapper caught when inshore conditions are favourable. Some of the better fishing is done with whole pilchard baits set beneath polystyrene floats. Both salmon and snook are suckers for this style of presentation and can provide great sport. King George whiting are easy to locate in the bay at Edithburgh and most are of good size. When the water is clear, a lot of whiting are taken by drifting over areas of broken bottom, as are squid and snook. Night time gar dabbers often net plenty of big fish in the summer time when the water is calm and there is little or no moon.
STURT BAY/ FOUL BAY Foul Bay, 268km from Adelaide Foul Bay Boat launching – Single lane, not recommended at low tide Although the ‘sole’ of the Yorke Peninsula ‘foot’ doesn’t attract as much of the limelight as many more prominent locations, it can be a very productive stretch of coastline to fish. Sturt Bay is a mullet fisher’s paradise from late March through into the winter and most of the fish are big, silver and in prime condition. Be on the beach early with a rising tide to find the mullet at their hungriest and make sure to have a good supply of berley to attract and hold them in the general fishing area. By far the best bait for mullet are the local seaweed worms, which can be dug from beneath rotting ribbon weed piled up in some spots along the beach. There are some enormous King George whiting in the deeper water off Sturt Bay, particularly at the Point Davenport end. Fish to more than 50 centimetres are caught at times, along with rugger snapper, school sharks and some nice flathead. Despite its rather uninspiring name, Foul Bay is also a legendary location for truly big whiting. The reefy areas off Point Yorke often yield kilogram-plus whiting, and medium snapper sometimes put in an appearance toward the beginning of summer. The launching ramp isn’t the best at low tide and those with larger trailer craft often drive across from Marion Bay. Further west of Foul Bay is Butlers Beach and Salmon Beach. These beaches offer good catches of salmon, mullet and King George whiting. Access is through Hillocks Drive, a private property, a small entrance fee applies. A Marine Park Sanctuary Zone is located near Point Davenport, which extends well into Foul Bay.
MARION BAY 283km from Adelaide Boat launching – Single lane, not recommended at low tide There are few locations on Yorke Peninsula that can match the reputation of Marion Bay for its deep water fishing. It is the largest coastal settlement along the bottom of Yorke Peninsula with a permanent population of 120. Marion Bay is situated just before the entrance to Innes National Park and is popular as a base for both anglers and surfers. The long jetty at Marion Bay is legendary for its big squid and there are thousands of mullet caught along the beaches from Easter onwards. Seaweed worms are the ‘gun’ bait for these tasty little fish and they are quite easy to come by in piles of decaying ribbon weed found lying on the beach. Keep the tackle really light for the best results on mullet and have a good supply of bread-based berley on hand to maintain their interest. Despite the convenience of the jetty and beaches, it is the offshore fishing that draws most anglers to this area. Those with large trailer boats can venture well out into Investigator Strait and beyond to fish the deep water grounds. Launching a decent boat at Marion Bay can be a problem, particularly for those without a four wheel drive tow vehicle. It’s dicey when the swell is up and also when dead seaweed piles up after strong onshore winds. Some locals employ old farm tractors as launch vehicles, eliminating most of the problems associated with what is essentially a sub-standard ramp. These hassles aside, the offshore waters can be bountiful for species such as snapper, nannygai, big whiting, sharks, squid and even tuna and samson fish. Those anglers who are keen to fish offshore from Marion Bay, but either haven’t got a big enough boat or lack the confidence required, can take advantage of a local fishing charter.
WEDGE ISLAND Accessible via big boat from Marion Bay or by aeroplane from Adelaide and Warooka, Wedge has developed a massive reputation as an angler’s paradise. It is part of the Gambier group of islands and is situated in lower Spencer Gulf. A handful of trailer boat operators visit Wedge each year, but by far the safest and most convenient way to sample the action is on board a Marion Bay-based charter boat. This is big water in a remote location and is no place to be in a small craft if the weather blows up. All manner of deep water fish are available around the island and on adjacent reef systems and bommies. Snapper of all sizes, big nannygai, yellowtail kings, samson fish, XOS whiting and blue morwong are among the usual charter catch and it’s sometimes possible to hook southern bluefin tuna during the annual summer/spring run. Most charter operators visit Wedge on an extended trip basis, usually staying on or near the island for between two and five days. Luxurious beach house accommodation is available as part of a charter package, which really adds to the experience and makes for a pleasant way to end a successful day on the water. Wedge Island has good fishing year-round, with bigger snapper available from late spring into the summer months. Nannygai can be expected consistently, while kingfish are most reliable during summer and autumn. Big salmon often patrol the long beach on Wedge’s northern end, making great sport for both boaties and landbased lure casters.
King George whiting to well over one kilogram are taken regularly in the waters east of Marion Bay or outside in Investigator Strait. There are also plenty of snapper in the warmer months, varying from just-legal ruggers up to 10 kilo thumpers, as well as silver trevally, blue groper (which must be returned if caught) and a variety of small sharks. Southern bluefin tuna occasionally venture close enough to Marion Bay for the big boat brigade to chase, but only when prevailing weather conditions are perfect. A Marine Park Sanctuary Zone extends from Chinamans Hat Island out to Seal Island and surrounds.
STENHOUSE BAY 289km from Adelaide Once one of Australia’s richest gypsum mining areas, Stenhouse Bay has the southern most jetty on Yorke Peninsula. The jetty used to be off limits to recreational anglers, but when the gypsum mine closed, the 290 metre pier was upgraded and set aside for visiting fisher folk to enjoy. This is a great place to fish for big sharks if you have the right equipment, but most who visit the jetty try for tommies and squid. There are no lights on the jetty for night fishing, so a good lantern is an important part of the kit. Mullet are often caught in the shallows, with tommies, squid and a few snook coming from deeper water. There have been big snapper taken from the end of the jetty, but the abundant rays will usually grab a bait on the bottom and make life tough for all but the most determined angler. It’s a reasonable walk from the car park to the jetty and back, so carrying a mountain of tackle isn’t advised. Autumn and winter are probably the best seasons to try your luck at Stenhouse Bay, as the prevailing winds are offshore and the waters can be calm for extended periods. Big tommies are available at this time of year, with the best catches coming between dusk and dawn. As the jetty is situated within Innes National Park, entry and camping fees apply. Pay for entry fees and book camping at www.parks.sa.gov.au before entering the park. Agents also sell entry and camping permits.
BROWNS BEACH 311km from Adelaide Few other surf beaches in South Australia have received as much publicity over the years as Browns. As it is situated within Innes National Park, you’ll have to pay an entry fee to fish at Browns and get a camping permit to stay overnight. Both can be purchased online at www.parks.sa.gov.au. Browns is legendary for its salmon fishing, but it is one of those ‘feast or famine’ locations that runs hot one day, then goes cold the next. Walking from the Browns Beach car park to the far end of the beach requires a reasonable degree of fitness. The sand can be quite soft in places and those who aren’t in the best physical condition will definitely have raised a puff by the time they are ready to begin fishing. The beach is fronted by a substantial reef system that forms a type of lagoon and it is into this lagoon the salmon schools venture in search of baitfish. Catching them can be as easy as flicking out a metal lure one day or near impossible when they are in a fussy mood. It definitely pays to carry both lures and some fresh pilchards to cover all bases.
Big mullet are caught in the surf at Browns as well, particularly during their annual autumn migration around lower Yorke Peninsula. These will take a wide variety of baits and are sometimes caught on salmon gear. It is pretty much an all-year fishery, but be prepared to keep coming back if you don’t strike salmon there on your first visit. It is imperative that those anglers who visit Browns Beach leave the place as tidy as they found it. Litter has been a constant problem over the years, with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources seriously considering a general closure at one stage. Plastic bait bags, paper, fish carcasses, drink cans and sundry other refuse left on the beach can only be detrimental to future access, so please take your rubbish with you.
DALY HEAD, THE DUSTHOLE 277km from Adelaide As far as surf beaches go, there are few in the state that can match the splendour of the Dusthole at Daly Head. It is a comfortable 20 minute drive from Marion Bay and provides several kilometres of surf fishing opportunities for both salmon and mulloway enthusiasts. Up until a few years ago it was necessary to climb down a reasonably difficult hill at the northern end of Dusthole Beach to access the sand, but the installation of a wooden staircase has now made it a safer and far more convenient place to fish. Big salmon can be expected around Daly Head and the Dusthole at any time of year, but are probably most reliable during winter and spring. The key to catching them in numbers is to first locate a decent ‘gutter’ along the beach – a channel through the surf where deep water acts as a thoroughfare for both baitfish and predators. Casting pilchards into such a gutter, usually on a rising tide, is the most reliable way of attracting the interest of feeding salmon, but they will also take metal lures. Quite often it is possible to locate salmon schools from the headland before venturing on to the beach, particularly if the fish are congregating near the northern end. They appear as a tight mass of dark shapes and can sometimes be confused with moving seaweed patches. Summer is mulloway time at the Dusthole. A decent rising tide is preferred and if it peaks just after sunset, so much the better. There have been mulloway to more than 30 kilograms caught on this beach, but persistence is the key. A few anglers will fish all night, also tangling with various sharks and rays. The best baits for mulloway in this location are fresh squid heads, salmon fillets and whole mullet.
GLEESONS LANDING 275km from Adelaide Boat launching – Beach ramp Most of the surf beaches on the ‘foot’ of Yorke Peninsula that face south or west are visited by salmon, particularly during the autumn and winter months. Gleesons Landing, situated about 20 kilometres south of Corny Point, is popular with weekend surf fishers, but it can be inconsistent. A four-wheel drive vehicle will assist with access, but it is possible to park away from the beach and walk in. Big mulloway are taken occasionally from Gleesons from late October through until the end of summer, but only by those who put in the hours. Fish to 25 kilograms and better have been caught, with fresh fish fillets and squid heads the most productive baits. A rising tide that peaks just after sunset is ideal and, as with the Dusthole, it is imperative to survey the beach to find a deep gutter prior to fishing. Nice mullet and a few salmon are caught from Easter throughout the cooler months, along with sharks and rays of various species and sizes. It is wise to cover all bases when fishing Gleesons, with a light rod for mullet, a medium outfit for salmon and a heavier stick for sharks and mulloway.
CORNY POINT 265km from Adelaide One of the very best things about Corny Point is its proximity to both productive beach fishing and top class offshore action. Many who try their luck in the surf at Gleesons Landing, Berry Bay or Daly Head use Corny as a base. Situated right on the north-western tip of Yorke Peninsula’s ‘foot’, Corny is a small settlement that relies heavily on tourist dollars for its wellbeing. As well as top class beach fishing nearby, Corny Point provides access to some of the eastern Spencer Gulf’s best deep water grounds. Its snapper and King George whiting fishing is legendary and most who own holiday houses here are equipped with large, seaworthy boats. There is no boat ramp at Corny and only those with access to a tractor can launch a trailer boat safely. The Corny Point Caravan Park offers a tractor launch and retrieval service at a very reasonable rate. Some of the better snapper fishing can be found in deep water to the west and north-west of the lighthouse, with summer again the most reliable season. Whiting are caught year-round and it is possible to find them not far offshore in the winter time. There are plenty of squid over the inshore ribbon weed beds, some big snook and good numbers of garfish when the water is warm. Gar dabbing is quite popular at Corny Point, particularly with those in small boats. You’ll need a powerful handheld spotlight, fine mesh dab net and a fully charged 12 volt battery for a few hours’ dabbing and, of course, the catch will be much better when the moon is down.
POINT TURTON 232km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Situated just a short drive from Warooka, this progressive little resort has become very popular in recent times with visiting anglers. It has a permanent population of around 250, which swells considerably during holiday periods and long weekends. The jetty is very consistent for big tommies at night time, as well as squid, snook and garfish. The caravan park at Turton is among the best equipped on Yorke Peninsula, and its close proximity to both the jetty and launching ramp enhance its appeal to visitors. Point Turton jetty fishes well year-round, but it is the warm summer evenings that attract most visiting anglers. Float fishing with gents for bait will produce the tommies and gar and it’s a good idea to have a couple of small lures in the tackle box for snook. It is not uncommon to see small yellowtail kingfish around the Turton jetty, but they are often difficult to catch. The boat harbour with multi-lane ramp provides access to excellent fishing grounds to the north and west. There is a fish cleaning facility adjacent to the ramp car park, which is in regular demand.
The whiting fishing, in particular, is very consistent all year-round and there are heaps of squid in close for those with small boats. It’s also a gar dabber’s paradise, especially on warm summer evenings with little or no moon. Spearing flounder at night with the aid of a spotlight can be productive around Point Turton, but it has to be dead calm and moonless. The flats to the east of the boat harbour are well worth a try and there can be good flathead here as well.
PORT RICKABY 216km from Adelaide Boat launching – Beach launch Although Port Rickaby receives limited exposure through the angling media, the truth is it’s a pretty good location to try, particularly if you’re after a decent feed of squid. Located about 35 kilometres north of Point Turton, Rickaby is a quaint little settlement with its own jetty and caravan park. Although the jetty isn’t a long one, it produces a few mullet throughout the autumn and early winter and plenty of tommies, gar and squid year-round. Most of the regular Rickaby calamari catchers use artificial jigs suspended beneath a styrene float. The technique is simple; cast the jig as far as possible from the jetty, retrieve it slowly and erratically and wait for a hungry squid to hop on. Most of the squid are good ones, and by far the best times to try are late afternoon/early evening and sunrise. There are no lights on the jetty, so make sure you have a torch or lantern handy for illumination. There is reasonable boat launching here from the beach, but no established ramp, so a four-wheel drive or tractor are mandatory. Rickaby is a great location for big King George whiting, which bite year-round on the offshore grounds, and snapper of mixed sizes during the warmer months. There are also plenty of snook to be caught over the inshore ribbon weed beds.
PORT VICTORIA 195km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Situated just a couple of hours’ drive from Adelaide, Port Victoria is one of the western Yorke Peninsula towns that has really excelled in recent times, with most facilities now first class. The town jetty is a good one for squid, snook, gar and big tommies at night, and offshore there are plenty of snapper and big whiting. Wardang Island protects the bay at Port Victoria from strong onshore winds. The fishing in the bay is generally excellent, particularly for whiting during the cooler months. Many of these fish are better than 40 centimetres and can be caught from a number of recognised grounds when conditions are right. The L-shaped jetty can provide a lot of fun at night for those who enjoy catching snook. These fish aren’t the giants regularly caught offshore, but average approximately 60 centimetres and they are often keen to grab small minnow lures or strip baits. The best way to hook them is to cast lure or bait out into the shadows at night, then work it back through the illuminated area under the jetty lights. Catches of a dozen snook or more per session are common on still, warm summer evenings. Boat launching at Port Victoria is very convenient. The ramp is situated just south of the town and can handle bigger trailer boats at all stages of the tide. Snapper fishing around and beyond Wardang Island is first rate during the summer months, but you’ll need a big, fast trailer boat to access the wide grounds safely. It can be quite blowy during the afternoons and is no place to be in a small tinny. Those with small boats are better advised to remain within the confines of the bay, where there are still whiting, snook and plenty of calamari to be hooked.
BALGOWAN 192km from Adelaide Boat launching – Single lane, all tide Balgowan rarely grabs as much of the fishing spotlight as higher profile neighbours like Port Hughes or Port Victoria, but it remains one of Yorke Peninsula’s very best locations for snapper and King George whiting. Whiting can be found year-round and some are absolute giants of 50 centimetres plus. It is also of the most popular Yorke Peninsula destinations for keen snapper anglers. The boat ramp car park is often full to overflowing when the season reopening coincides with good weather. Snapper of mixed sizes can be taken on a number of grounds, which range from just a few kilometres from the ramp all the way out to the Spencer Gulf shipping lanes. The single lane boat ramp is located just west of the general store, but it doesn’t have a floating boarding pontoon and can be a little tricky around dead low tide. The ramp is protected by a small breakwater to the west, but is open to winds from the north. Some locals prefer to launch from the beach via tractor. Best times to visit Balgowan are autumn (when the weather is calmest) and, if you have a larger trailer boat, summer for big snapper. Incessant south-easterly winds can make summer fishing a challenge, but the results are often well worth the long boat rides and choppy seas.
PORT HUGHES 165km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Few anglers visiting Yorke Peninsula for any length of time drive past Port Hughes without stopping off to check out the fishing potential. Located just north of Balgowan around the other side of Cape Elizabeth, Port Hughes is one of the most popular all round fishing venues on Yorke Peninsula. It has a long jetty, small boat harbour with dual lane ramp and a wide range of accommodation options. Once again, it is snapper and King George whiting that most visiting boaties want to catch offshore, but there are plenty of snook, gar and squid as alternative species. There are a variety of charter fishing options. Most of the local operators run big, seaworthy boats, as catching snapper in the summer time often involves lengthy trips to far-flung grounds. It’s not unusual for an experienced charter
skipper to cover 100 kilometres in a single day, depending on where the fish are located. Cape Elizabeth to the south-west produces some of the biggest whiting, along with salmon up to around two kilograms in late winter. The salmon can be caught in close to the reefs south of the Cape, with trolled lures the best option. There are some really big snook in this area as well, so a trolling session can be quite rewarding. The Port Hughes steamer channel, some 20 kilometres offshore, is where many of the area’s truly big snapper are caught between October and April. This is big boat territory only, as it can become quite rough out wide under the influence of summer afternoon sea breezes. The channel is an area of heavy tide run, so snapper trips need to be planned to coincide with the turn of either high or low water. Tiparra Reef, west of the Port Hughes jetty, is a reliable area for squid, snook and big garfish. The best way of catching snook in this area is to anchor and set up a steady berley trail of cut fish pieces or crushed pilchards. The snook can then be hooked on either lures or unweighted baits. Blue swimmer crabs, garfish, tommies and squid are the regular fare from the long jetty, which attracts thousands of anglers over the course of a year. Early morning and evening are prime times for jetty triers.
MOONTA BAY 165km from Adelaide The long, L-shaped jetty in Moonta Bay rarely rates a mention in the fishing press, but it can be well worth a visit when tides and weather are favourable. It’s the old standbys – tommy ruffs, garfish and squid that make up the bulk of the catch at Moonta Bay – and it has become a favourite venue with many visiting fishing families.
The tide goes out a long way in Moonta Bay, regularly leaving half the jetty high and dry, but there is still enough water at the seaward end to catch a fish or two. By far the best period to fish from this pier is later in the afternoon and into early evening, especially when the tide is on the way in. Set up a berley trail to attract gar and tommies and have a squid jig ready at all times. Using a float rig is probably best, with either gents, cray tail or pieces of cockle for bait. Keep hook size down to number eight or smaller and use only as much weight as necessary. As is often the case at nearby locations such as Port Victoria and Port Hughes, small to medium size snook visit the Moonta Bay jetty at night and these are worth a shot with either minnow lures or strip baits. A sliver of squid or fish fillet on ganged hooks will often attract their attention, but you will need a small bean sinker or several split shot to add some casting weight to the rig.
WALLAROO 156km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Wallaroo is endowed with one of the best fishing jetties in the state. It stretches out into quite deep water, where big snapper visit from time to time. Occasionally 20 pounders are caught and there are yellowtail kingfish hooked as well. Evening is the best for tommies, which are often quite large. The commercial end of the jetty is closed to recreational fishing when there is shipping or maintenance activity. You can check access at http://portmis.flindersports.com.au If it’s snapper you’re after, best catches are made from the jetty during and directly after heavy weather. Blue swimmer crabs are available during the warmer months, so it’s a good idea to include a couple of drop nets with long ropes. Fish heads are top crab bait and remember, it is illegal to use baits such as red meat or chicken. Rock fishers often catch snapper from the shore at Point Riley, which is a short drive to the north.
These fish are at their best when the winds are strong and onshore during the winter months. Dawn is the ideal time to be at Point Riley and you’ll need a capable surf rod and either squid or fish fillets for bait. The inshore snapper vary from just legal up to 10 kilograms and better, so the tackle has to be robust. Wallaroo’s marina complex provides multi-lane boat launching and permanent waterside accommodation. The fishing inside the marina isn’t bad either, with nice bream and yellowfin whiting taken regularly. School mulloway have been hooked as well, so setting a small live bait in the evening could bring a bonus hook up. Kayakers often do well in the marina using small soft plastic lures for both bream and mulloway. Wallaroo’s offshore snapper and whiting fishing are excellent, particularly from October through into the New Year. Big snapper are caught both north and south of the port, and there are whiting patches throughout the bay. This is also an exceptional area for squid when the inshore waters are clear.
PORT BROUGHTON 173 km from Adelaide Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon Port Broughton has developed an enviable reputation over the years as one of Australia’s premier locations for truly big snapper. This rather unique inlet from upper Spencer Gulf offers many angling alternatives, from light estuary through to heavy offshore. The inlet itself is almost totally protected from strong winds and provides some first class fishing for yellowfin whiting in the winter time. Yellowfin to 40 centimetres provide terrific light tackle action from the jetty, with tube worms, prawns and clickers the preferred baits. These fish are caught day and night and most who are there at the right time have little trouble filling the personal quota. There are salmon, trout, mullet and tommies available for much of the year, along with some nice garfish when conditions are calm. However, it is Port Broughton’s offshore potential for top class snapper fishing that really stirs the imagination of visiting anglers. There are some terrific deep water grounds, such as the wreck of
the Illusion and Plank Shoal, which can produce snapper up to 14 kilograms. Charter operators are on hand to take paying clients out to the offshore snapper grounds, most of whom are highly experienced and regularly achieve exciting results. It is not uncommon for charter groups to catch a boat limit of snapper to 13 kilograms or better. The area’s King George whiting are generally medium size, but there are a few bigger ones taken offshore in deeper water. You’ll need a good size boat with a big fuel range, as many of the snapper grounds are well offshore – sometimes further than halfway across the Gulf. There are plenty of snook offshore as well, along with squid, gar and the occasional flathead. Boat launching facilities at Broughton are excellent. The ramp features dual lanes, twin boarding pontoons, ample security lighting and a spacious, sealed car park