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Published December 31st 2018
The One That Didn't Get Away
Mowhawk fishing (by andyballard / Public Domain)
When the lights go out in Adelaide, anglers rejoice. During a blackout, you might as well go fishing, with bream, salmon, prawns and crab waiting to be reeled onto the dinner table.
Sit on a pier beneath the stars and you'll feel the pull of nature's bounty but don't be frightened. Whale attacks are rare, so you won't return with a Captain Ahab-styled peg leg 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, are only disturbed by the odd canoe.
The lakes draw fishers of all ages, moving 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 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 an open secret for locals.
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 ferries scare the fish away. Glenelg is the exception.
It's free of boats, leaving squid and garfish to be caught in the seaweed surrounding the jetty's pylons. Reach it via the Moseley Square light rail station, in the centre of dozens of cafes, shops and restaurants.
Picture perfect piscary (by garnett / Public Domain)
Port Adelaide River, Riverview St
As the sun rises and the water tide rises, toss a line from the rocks with live bait on your hook.
You'll catch bream but if you're unlucky, retire to the Birkenhead Tavern. You can tell your tall tale about the one that got away over a pub grub lunch.
Henley Beach Jetty, Seaview Rd
There's plenty of spots along this long jetty to setup with your friends and catch fish in year-round, with dolphin spotting a bonus in summer. It stretching into the St Vincent Gulf, putting you in a prime spot to tap 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 bottleneck as fish search for scraps along the natural barrier The tides for fishing are best in the early morning and late evening, when you'll catch salmon, pilchards and flathead.
The long beach along Port Adelaide River, lined with shady trees is a comfortable spot. Setup for a picnic and a day of swimming, sandcastles and seafood. Begin with bream for breakfast or stay for dinner with mullet.
You're never too young to fish (by JamesDeMers / Public Domain)
Torrens Island Power Station, Port Adelaide
Head along the Grand Trunkway, turning left at Garden Island. It's the site of solar panels and wind farms.
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, recreational fishing is free. Happy times!
Unless you're fishing just 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. It's a detailed guide with photographs of the male, female and juvenile variety of each species.
Look out for signs, obeying all official safety and sustainable fishing rules. Fishcare volunteers and rangers visit popular spots to offer guidance and answer questions. There is also a Fishwatch hotline to report suspicious or illegal activity.
Whether you're fishing from a boat, rocks, beach or jetty, stay safe. Use 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's your favourite fishing spot? Please let us know 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!