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.
Fishing on Yorke Peninsula
Port Wakefield to Price
Covered by mangroves, sand bars and tidal creeks, the tip of Gulf St Vincent and the top York Peninsula is a good area for recreational fishers. Garfish, King George whiting, mullet, big snapper and blue swimmer crabs are all popular species to target.This a great area for small boats as the area is protected from the wind.
Ardrossan to Port Vincent
Large blue swimmer crabs are caught in the summer the summer months and tommy ruffs and mullet are always plentiful. Garfish, squid, snook, flathead and the prized King George whiting and Snapper are also found in this area.
Tommy ruffs and squid can be caught from the jetty with blue swimmer crabs and garfish plentiful in the summer months.Mullet can be found at Stansbury from the end of February through to May. Boating people can get good catches of King George whiting at most times of the year and mullet, tommy ruffs and squid are also popular catches.The back beach is popular for raking crabs through summer.
Edithburgh to Sultana Point
Tommy ruffs, squid, garfish and snook can be caught from the jetty with King George whiting regularly caught from the south eastern side. A fantastic beach fishing area, with salmon, flathead, snook and whiting can be found.Very popular with the boaties but but these unprotected waters can get quite windy take care in small boats.
Troubridge to Marion Bay
The beaches from Troubridge to Marion Bay provide some the best fishing in South Australia. Large mulloway have been caught in this area with catches of squid, tommy ruffs, mullet, garfish, snapper, salmon and snook also Night fishing seems to be better for larger fish than daytime trips, with school and gummy sharks also caught at night.Top launch area for those wanting to try some deep water fishing at Marion Bay.
Marion Bay to Corny Point
Be rewarded with some awesome catches on these pristine beaches. Fantastic salmon grounds, including great catches of mulloway, flathead, shark, squid and mullet.Also good deep water fishing.
Corny Point to Point Turton
A wonderful rock and beach fishing coast with salmon, trevally, whiting, garfish and snook as common catches. In autumn, mullet can be caught all around the southern coast also good Snapper spot.
Known for its great catches of King George whiting, this area offers great boat and jetty fishing with excellent catches of squid, tommy ruffs, snapper, mullet, and garfish.This best times for Squid off the jetty is the winter months with those braving the conditions often bagging out.
Port Hughes, Moonta Bay and Wallaroo
All these towns have jetties and are great for fishing at certain times of the year from snook, to tommy ruffs, King George whiting, flathead, snapper, squid and blue swimmer crabs.Very popular area as it is so close to Adelaide.
Port Broughton and Fishermans Bay
Port Broughton has is great big snapper. This sheltered bay offers fantastic boating and fishing all year round. From light estuary fishing through to heavy offshore. Catch the plenty of Blue Crabs, King George whiting, snapper, tommy ruffs, garfish, squid and snook.There is a top caravan park with plenty of onsite accommadation but book early.
278km 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
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
these 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, however, 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
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
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 autumn/early winter 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 fishes well year round, with
bigger snapper available from late spring
into the summer months. Nannygai can
be expected consistently, while kingfish
are most reliable during the summer and
autumn. Big salmon often patrol the long
beach on Wedge’s northern end, making
great sport for both boaties and land-based
Few other surf beaches in South Australia
have received as much publicity over the
years as Browns. As it is situated within
the 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 paid for at the office near Stenhouse Bay.
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.
With salmon netting now curtailed around
Yorke Peninsula, stocks of big fish seem
to be steadily rebuilding – and that’s great
news for those who love to fish the surf.
This trend is expected to continue, so we
may get to experience salmon action at
Browns similar to that of the ‘good old days’.
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.
284km from Adelaide
Once one of Australia’s richest gypsum
mining areas, Stenhouse Bay has the
southernmost 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 fisherfolk 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 the Innes National Park, camping fees
apply to those staying overnight. Permits
are available from the visitor centre or self
DALY HEAD, THE DUSTHOLE
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.
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.
260km 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 Heads
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 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. Proprietors of Corny
Point Caravan Park offer 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 northwest
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,
particularly with those in small boats. You’ll
need a powerful hand-held 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.
230km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
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
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 new 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.
209km 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 a neat, tidy
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
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.
189km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
Situated just a couple of hours drive from
Adelaide, Port Victoria is one of the western
Yorke Peninsula towns that has really gone
ahead 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 taken 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
Boat launching at Port Victoria is now 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
remain within the confines of the bay, where
there are still whiting, snook and plenty of
calamari to be hooked.
194km 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 as 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
Balgowan is one 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
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.
171km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
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
Few other locations in this region can
boast such 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.
167km 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.
I can still remember the
first fish I caught on Yorke
Peninsula – a big tommy
from Edithburgh jetty
when I was knee high to a
That fish kicked off a love affair with the
place and it’s a love affair that shows
no sign of abating. I get back to YP
whenever my hectic schedule allows;
Browns or the Dusthole for salmon,
Wool Bay for squid, Ardrossan for
snapper, Port Hughes for jumbo whiting,
Black Point for lazy summer days and
red wine…….. the list is endless, as is
And now, with the fishing media my
business and principal focus, Yorke
Peninsula has taken on a whole new
significance. It provides countless stories
and experiences to be shared with
readers through the pages of SA Angler
and other publications.
Fish-rich, welcoming and readily
accessible, YP will remain a jewel in
the crown of South Australian tourist
destinations for my lifetime and
undoubtedly well beyond.
Shane Mensforth – SA Angler
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.
160km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
Wallaroo sprang to prominence late in 2006
when Sea SA kicked off its trans-gulf ferry
service. This has certainly brought a lot more
visitors to the town, many of whom try their
hand at fishing – particularly from the jetty.
Wallaroo is located a comfortable hour and
a half drive from Adelaide and 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.
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 great new marina complex now
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
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.
176km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
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
45km 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 from
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 swimmers must measure at least 11
centimetres across the carapace and that
any females carrying external eggs can’t be
47km 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 very light line with tiny
sinkers. Most of the yellowfin caught at
Middle Beach are good size, ranging up to
35 centimetres on occasions.
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
Blue swimmer crabs are available to those
prepared to wade the flats on the rising tide,
particularly through the summer months.
73km 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 who 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 sun
block, hats and plenty of ice to keep the
Port Parham has a free camping ground
for those wishing to stay overnight, but
as they say, don’t forget the Aeroguard!
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.
99km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
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 has been upgraded to
provide 24 hour access to the head of
Gulf St Vincent and there is a new multimillion
dollar marina project currently on
the drawing board. This will bring a lot more
people to Port Wakefield, as well as even
better amenities for recreational anglers. The
ramp offers dual lane launching with floating
pontoon for boarding and can be used at any
stage of the tide.
There are nice yellowfin whiting available
during the warmer months at Bald Hill,
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 ten kilograms
are common, with dawn and dusk the prime
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.
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
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 launch fee of two dollars
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 November through until Easter.
125km 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
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.
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 southeast
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.
149km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide,
Ardrossan is the first substantial settlement
along Yorke Peninsula’s eastern shoreline
and, as such, 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
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 try.
PINE POINT /
165km from Adelaide
Pine Point Boat launching –
Black Point Boat launching – Single
lane, not recommended at low tide
Pine Point is an easy one and a half to two
hours 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, as some are either below or just on the
legal minimum size of 11 centimetres.
The best location for raking blueys seems to
be around Billy Goats 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 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 tell-tale grey mounds in the
sand that often signal a crab in residence.
Black Point, just a short drive to the south, has
become a real seaside playground in recent
times, with beachside real estate prices now
well beyond the reach of the average wage
earner. A long, sandy and relatively protected
beach sweeps around at 90 degrees to the
coastline, offering great shelter from the
dominant summer south-easterly 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 swimmers in drop nets around the Black