By Marc Llewellyn
From reeling in mullet at the Murray Mouth, to fighting with bluefin tuna off Kangaroo Island, you’ll fall hook, line and sinker for the fishing in South Australia. With its remote beaches, romantic piers, calm estuaries and exciting deep-sea fishing, the state lures visitors keen on catching a feed while enjoying some of the best scenery in the world.
Fishing the Eyre Peninsula
Among South Australia’s top fishing spots is the Eyre Peninsula, a triangular area of land lapped by the waters of the Spencer Gulf and the Great Australian Bight. Around 65 per cent of the nation’s catch is reeled in from the ocean around here, so it’s no wonder that it’s a seafood frontier.
Eyre Peninsula restaurants are famed for serving locally-caught, green-lipped abalone, scallops, prawns, Coffin Bay oysters and line-caught tuna.
David Doudle, the owner-operator of Goin’ Off Safaris, offers a Hook and Sinker Fishing Safari targeting big Australian salmon and flathead off the beach, and huge snapper, nannygai, blue morwong, sharks and groper out in the Southern Ocean.
“The scenery will blow your mind away,” David says. “It’s magnificent sports fishing, and it’s great all year round. The rock fishing, the beach fishing … the remoteness captures people’s imaginations.”
He also runs a Hunt and Gather Seafood Safari from October to May.
“We take people to forage for their own seafood, to snorkel for abalone and collect cockles, to visit an oyster farm and fish for Australian salmon off one of the best beaches in Australia,” David says. “We cook what we catch and forage. You can’t beat it.”
Reeling in on the Yorke Peninsula
With its stunning beaches, national parks, and friendly coastal towns, the Yorke Peninsula is a family playground that offers good fishing too. You can stroll the shallows raking for blue swimmer crabs, or drop a line for King George whiting.
Head to the jetty at Stansbury to fish for tommy ruffs, whiting and squid, or make your way to Port Broughton to reel in some snapper. Fish off the beaches along the peninsula and you are likely to have a run in with a large Australian salmon. Browns Beach, near the peninsula’s tip, is a fishing hotspot for trevally and mullet.
Fancy night fishing for sharks from the safety of the land? Then cast out some bait at the Point Turton jetty. You might also catch garfish, snook, and large kingfish.
A big catch at Gulf St Vincent
Bordered by the Yorke Peninsula to the west and the Fleurieu Peninsula to the east, Gulf St Vincent harbours the capital of South Australia, Adelaide.
While you can’t fish in the Upper Gulf St Vincent Marine Park, a huge mangrove and salt marsh system that acts as a spawning ground and nursery for countless fish, there are some superb spots around to cast a line.
Blue swimmer crab, snapper, garfish and yellowfin whiting are among the most popular catches from the beaches and jetties.
Drop a line off Cape Jervis
On the western tip of the Fleurieu Peninsula – known for its wineries, rolling hills, rugged coastline and picturesque townships – is the town of Cape Jervis. Catch large Australian salmon and tommy ruff from the jetty.
Southern bluefin tuna is the catch of the day, but giant snapper, whiting, shark, snook, squid, Australian salmon, trevally, and crayfish are on the menu too.
The Murray Mouth and The Coorong
Where the mighty Murray River meets the ocean, the mulloway is king. Other species you might come across include mullet, Australian salmon, flounder and bream.
For the ultimate fishing adventure, pack a tent or swag and make your way by four-wheel-drive to the remote sand spits, salt-water lagoons and beaches of the Coorong National Park. Fish from the sand and you might bring in a gigantic mulloway longer and heavier than yourself!
Kangaroo Island offers great fishing too
While a third of Kangaroo Island is covered in nature reserves that protect penguin colonies, koalas, rare birds, sea lions, and other native species, it is also a fishing dream come true.
Kingscote, the island’s ‘capital’, is a good place to fish for whiting, garfish, salmon trout, barracuda and other fish. You can drop a net for big sand crabs here too. You can catch a range of fish from other places across the island, including whiting, snapper, harlequin fish, flathead, mullet, trevally, tommy ruff and yellowtail kingfish. Here’s a good guide to fishing on Kangaroo Island.