Going fishing with the kids is a great way to spend time with them in the outdoors and make memories to last a lifetime, but sometimes their attention span can be a bit short. Here are some suggestions for places to take them fishing where there are other interesting things to see and do in case their patience runs dry while waiting for the fish to bite. There's jetty fishing, beach fishing, river fishing and boat fishing and I'll tell you what fish you can catch, where you can catch them, and when. This is by no means an exhaustive list so let us know where your favourite place is to take the kids fishing around Adelaide in the comments.
1. Jetty fishing
The easiest of all options in terms of access and amenities as all of Adelaide's metropolitan jetties have car parking, toilets and playgrounds nearby in case the kids get bored.
Port Noarlunga Jetty
Port Noarlunga Jetty extending to the reef. By Peripitus - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2965155
This long jetty stretches out to an offshore reef, providing excellent viewing for curious kids and has heaps of parks and shops and amenities nearby. You can catch salmon and salmon trout year-round (the jetty is legendary during the rougher winter weather for salmon), and tommy ruffs, yellowfin whiting, squid and blue swimmer crabs in the warmer months. Head down the southern expressway and take the Noarlunga exit.
Semaphore jetty is so easy to get to from all around Adelaide and is close to the city. Featuring beautiful parks, gardens, playgrounds, this sandy and gentle beach with its wide jetty is an excellent choice for family fishing jaunts. There's great parking nearby and the Semaphore Road strip nearby offers a huge range of shops in case the fish aren't biting. You can catch salmon trout, yellowfin whiting, tommy ruffs, squid and crabs from the jetty. Try fishing from the beach near the breakwater a little further south for whiting and mullet. From the CBD, head down Port Road, go through Port Adelaide, and cross the river to find Semaphore Road.
The Port River has long been a jewel in Adelaide's fishing crown. It's accessible and surrounded by suburbs but it is one of the worlds only dolphin sanctuaries in a metropolitan area. There are plenty of places along the Port River and North Arm that you can drive up to and cast a line into the river for bream, mulloway and salmon trout. Here's a quick list.
A massive man-made project that completed the transformation of Adelaide's western suburbs from swamps into beautiful residential land. Walking paths, parks and gardens all around the lakes offer easy access to the water. You can catch mulloway, bream, salmon trout and whiting in the lakes. Here are some fave local spots.
St Kilda is north of the metro area but is worth the forty-odd minute drive from the CBD to check out the fishing. There's plenty of space and amenities nearby and the kids may be more interested in the massive adventure playground. Walk out along St Kilda breakwater to the end, where fisherman regularly line up on the change of tides to catch salmon trout, whiting and bream. St Kilda is also an excellent spot to launch your boat and fish along the channel and the section bank that divides Outer Harbour and the Port River from Barker Inlet and North Arm. The Section Bank a huge expanse of sand flat and the waters inside it are generally always calm enough for timid boaties. It's also the only place in the river system you can anchor your boat due to restrictions inside the river proper. With a boat, you can travel towards the gulf a little further and set your crab nets in summer for blue swimmer crabs.
The Onkaparinga River estuary is a fair way south of the city but can be easily reached via the southern expressway. The Onkaparinga River finds its way to the sea near Port Noarlunga and offers a wide range of fishing opportunities. The banks around the railway bridge and toward South Road are ideal for estuary fishing though there are few amenities further upstream. You'll catch bream, mulloway and whiting at the right times and tides.
What kind of setup can you use and what time is best?
Any kind of 'general purpose' rod and reel combo you can buy will do the job and will often come with line already spooled onto the reel. I recommend looking for pre-made rigs in the same place you find the rods. The finicky knot-tying is already done allowing you to spend more time fishing rather than tying hooks onto the line, threading sinkers and untangling knots.
Generally speaking, high tides at dawn and dusk are best although the turn of the low tide can also be pretty good. If it's windy, you can always head to West Lakes and find a sheltered spot out of the teeth of the gales.
Of course, size and catch limits apply along with some other restrictions and you can check them here.