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Published December 28th 2016
The One That Didn't Get Away
(by andyballard / Public Domain)
When the lights go out in Adelaide, anglers rejoice. Without the distraction of pesky electricity, our state's bream, salmon, prawns and crab are lulled into the hooks and nets of hungry locals eager to catch a fresh seafood lunch. Sitting on a pier beneath the moonlight, your fishing line will quickly feel the pull of nature's bounty but don't be frightened – unlike Captain Ahab, you won't lose a limb as you wrestle with your catch. Grab your bait and cast off from the top 10 fishing spots in Adelaide's suburbs.
West Lakes, New Port
The still waters of West Lakes, especially near Bower Road, only disturbed by the rhythmic rowing of canoes, draws fishers of all ages, alternating between the playground and picnic spots near the aquatic reserve and the shallow waters along the eastern side. You'll catch whiting and bream, armed only with your handreel.
West Beach, Barcoo Road
Judging from the line of boats waiting to cast off from the boat ramp, this spot near the Adelaide Shores Resort is well known to many locals as a great fishing spot. Don't be deterred though. While they sail beyond the rocky cove, you'll catch salmon and mulloway, standing in the water during summer (or swimming when the fish aren't biting).
Jetties near residential areas can be tricky for anglers as ferry traffic scares the fish away. Glenelg is the exception. Free of boating, squid and garfish can be caught amongst the seaweed surrounding the jetty's pylons, accessed from the Moseley Square light rail station, in the centre of dozens of cafes, shops and restaurants.
(by garnett / Public Domain)
Port Adelaide River, Riverview St
As the sun rises and the water is deep, toss a line from the rocks with live bait on your hook. You'll catch bream. If you do return empty-handed, check out the pub grub at the nearby Birkenhead Tavern.
Henley Beach Jetty, Seaview Rd
There is plenty of room along this long jetty to setup with your friends and catch fish in every season, spotting dolphins in summer. Stretching so far out into the St Vincent Gulf, you're in a prime spot to access deeper waters with live bait and catch garfish, mullet and blue crabs.
In our north-west, the long rock wall jutting into the gulf creates a fantastic natural bottle-neck as fish swim beside it, scanning for food. The tides for fishing are best in the early morning and late evening, when you'll catch salmon, pilchards and flathead. If you're catching and releasing, have the fisherman's basket or chicken schnitzel at the North Haven Surf Lifesaving Club on Australia Two Ave or the seafood at the Sailmaster Tavern on 16 Arcadia Court.
Snowden's Beach, Largs North
The long beach along Port Adelaide River, lined with shady trees is a comfortable spot to set up for a picnic and a day of swimming, sandcastles and seafood. Begin with bream for breakfast or stay for dinner with mullet.
(by JamesDeMers / Public Domain)
Torrens Island Power Station, Port Adelaide
Head along the Grand Trunkway, turning left at Garden Island when our solar panels and wind farms lie dormant during cloudy, windless days. Setup along the shoreline surrounding the station, fishing for whiting and bream at the eastern mouth of the Port Adelaide River.
Thompson Beach, Dublin
Take a weekend drive, heading north to escape the city at Thompson Beach. Get your legs wet (but keep your shoes on), wandering along the shoreline beside The Esplanade. Using a crabbing rake (which has wider gaps and large hooks compared with a gardening rake), you'll skim the surface for blue crabs, watching for the eyes glaring from the surface as the colourful bulk of the crab remains hidden beneath clumps of seaweed and sand. Don't let them nip you as you place them into a bucket to continue raking.
Maslin Beach, Onkaparinga
Southwest of the city, at the end of Main South Rd, Australia's first nude beach is over 3km long, allowing anglers to cast fish hooks into the sea without risking embarrassing accidents. With only small hooks, you'll catch salmon quite near to the shoreline.
For a fun day of fishing, especially if you're a beginner, please consider these tips:
In Victoria and NSW, anglers need to pay a small licence fee but in SA, we're free to fish non-commercially. Happy times!
Unless you're fishing solely for fun, kissing the fish and releasing it back into the water, you'll need to note the size and bag (quantity) limits for each species. For example, snapper needs to be 38cm long and you're limited to 5 between 38-60cm each and 2 over 60cm each. During November and the first half of December, you can't keep any snapper. Check the limits at the SA Govt Primary Industries and Regions website here. There are excellent details and photographs of the males, females and juveniles.
Look out for signs, obeying all official safety and sustainable fishing rules. Fishcare volunteers and rangers visit popular spots to provide guidance and answer questions. There is also a Fishwatch hotline for people to report suspicious or illegal activity.
Whether you're fishing from a boat, rocks, beach or jetty, stay safe, using sunglasses, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, wet weather gear, water and snacks. If you're boating or rock fishing, wear a life jacket and let someone know where you are.
Where did you catch your first fish or crab? We'd love to hear about your fishing stories (whether slightly exaggerated tall tales or happy childhood memories). Please let us know your thoughts or tips with a comment below.
One time when we went away on a holiday trip, we had rented out this place near a running river, and Dad left the fishing rod going and placed a chair on top of it to make sure it didn't fall in the water. At the end of the day, he caught a fish, and we hadn't, so he made sure to brag about it for as long as he could before he lost his voice!