The definitive list of fishing spots to visit post-COVID-19

With regional travel restrictions easing in the state, here are the best South Australian fishing spots to cast a line. (Image Source: AAP/Mark Brake)

By Max Rollins | @Maxrollins_

With Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions easing up soon, here is a list of South Australian places where fantastic fish and views are waiting for the return of fishers and explorers.

The following are experiences I have had with these places over the years. Tackle World also releases a weekly report on fish that have been caught recently, which I recommend checking out. It’s a good idea to keep informed about what fish are biting and when.

Point Turton (Yorke Peninsula)

Located about 114 kilometres west of Adelaide is the tranquil family town of Point Turton. Most of the 300 Point Turton residents are over the age of 25, perfect for a little bit of peace away from the bustling city of Adelaide.

The main attractions for keen fishers are the jetty and dual-lane boat ramp which are conveniently located in front of the Point Turton caravan park.

If jetty fishing is your thing, floats with gents for bait will attract tommies and garfish. It is also a good idea to have small lures for snook in your tackle box. If you are up for more of a challenge, try changing your line and hook for a bigger one, and you might even catch some yellowtail kingfish.

If you find that the fish below the jetty are not biting, grab your boat and head for the boat ramp. Launching is smooth off the slow descent ramp and once in the water, grab your rods for some squid and whiting. If you are keen to fish during the night, a great option is to grab a net and a torch. In shallow waters garfish love the sight of light from a torch and will come swimming right up to you. Just catch them with the net, it is that easy.

Fish caught recently: Squid

Recommended gear: Small to medium size rod with a white squid jig.

When to fish: For best results, fish for a few hours after sunrise and a few hours before and after sunset.

Port Wakefield (Yorke Peninsula)

A usually bustling location, 98.7 kilometres from Adelaide, Port Wakefield is often just seen as the halfway point for those travelling further down the Yorke. But do not be fooled; it is a fisherman’s paradise.

The boat ramp located at the beach offers dual-lane launching, with floating pontoons for boarding. Making your way out to sea is the tricky bit, a little navigating is needed as the low tide can be an issue with depth. Keeping up to date with the tides and venturing out at high tide is recommended.

Just like Point Turton, there is plenty of garfish if you dab at night during the summer months with little to no moon. During the day in summer, it is best to look out for yellowfin whiting, especially from October onwards. Blue crabs are also a great option to go for. All you need is a net, a fish head from the local general store and patience. Make sure you release pregnant female crabs as it is illegal to keep them.

Port Noarlunga (Fleurieu Peninsula)

Initially created to be used as a seaport about 30 kilometres south of Adelaide, the suburb of Port Noarlunga boasts excellent fishing all year round. The types of fish that are caught at the jetty include salmon, mullet and Australian herring (tommy ruff). If you want to challenge yourself more, hop onto a boat and launch from near the jetty. One kilometre off the coast expect to catch King George whiting, trevally, tuna and squid.

Fish caught recently: King George whiting

Recommended gear: Light to medium rod.

Bait: Goolwa pipis or worms.

Where to fish: Over clear sand.

Port Lincoln (Eyre Peninsula)

Port Lincoln, known as the fishing and seafood capital of South Australia, is perfect for casual fishermen and professionals alike. Located 650 kilometresway from Adelaide, it is a bit of a drive but well worth it. I recommend that you stay longer than a couple of days and, when not fishing, go sightseeing at the Lincoln National Park. If you intend to visit during the colder months, you might spot southern right whales swimming around Sleaford Bay, while in summer you can enjoy swimming and relaxing on the beach. Fishing off the jetty is easy in Port Lincoln as it has two main jetties, the Port Lincoln town jetty and the Port Lincoln Tourist Park jetty, which is also popular with local fishers.

Fish caught recently:

Tommy ruff

Recommended gear: Light gear and rod with a flexible tip.

Bait: Gents, cockles and worms.

Where to fish: Over weeds and rocky bottoms.

When to fish: Early morning and late afternoon.

Flathead

Recommended gear: Medium-size rod and line. Sinker to a swivel and then 70cm of trace in-between.

Bait: Frozen prawns, whitebait and live poddy mullet.

Where to fish: Over clear water.

When to fish: On a calm day, usually in the morning.

Squid

Recommended gear: Small to medium size rod with a white squid jig.

Where to fish: Around rocky and weedy places.

When to fish: Fish for a few hours after sunrise and a few hours before and after sunset for best results.

Fishing is a hard sport, and while you may catch a lot of fish one day and not many another, it is always good to stay informed to heighten chances of success. This includes talking to locals who fish regularly, checking what the tides and weather are doing, and having the right setup for the fish species you are trying to catch.

 

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