Kingston is one of South Australia’s crayfish capitals, home of the “big lobster”, but there are plenty of other fish to catch.
The town has good facilities, with sheltered boat launching, and an excellent fishing jetty and rock walls.
Maria Creek has black bream, juvenile salmon and mullet.
For boaters, the local weedbeds have whiting, mullet, garfish, flathead and squid.
Flounder spearing is popular on the sheltered beaches.
The jetty produces scores of tommy ruff and squid, along with mullet and occasional mulloway.
Boats can be launched from the beach by 4WD through to Granite Rocks 19km north of Kingston on Long Beach.
Nation Rock lies about 3km off Long Beach 17km north of Kingston (see GPS), but it can break unexpectedly. Long Beach becomes deep north of Granite Rocks and fishermen looking for mulloway concentrate on this section.
Drive along the beach track and look for likely gutters.
Travel with two vehicles because of soft sand patches.
Long Beach can have piled weed and is fully exposed to the Southern Ocean.
Mulloway are the main target, but salmon, snapper, gummy sharks, school sharks and flathead are caught.
The beach north of Tee Tree Crossing is closed to vehicles from October 24 to December 24. Camping is in marked areas.
Cockles are available.
A sanctuary exists along the beach between lattitudes 36 10.094S and 36 10.094S.
Victor Harbour is one of Adelaide’s great weekend fishing destinations.
Being outside the shelter of the Gulf of St Vincent, the rugged coastline between ‘Victor’ and Cape Jervis has some deeper beaches and rock platforms that can produce bigger fish.
Victor Harbour has a sheltered boat ramp, but the ocean outside is dangerous in poor weather.
Granite Island is Victor Harbour’s jewel for landbased fishos, being reached on foot by a long causeway over shallow weedbeds.
It is a long walk so take a trolley if you fish with a lot of gear.
The island’s Screwpile Jetty is a short but at times productive spot that produces salmon, snapper, seven-gill sharks, barracoutta, mulloway, silver trevally and sharks, as well as tommy ruff, sweep and chow. It is often hot or cold.
The snapper and mulloway bite best at dusk and dawn.
Near the Screwpile Jetty is an ocean rock wall that shields the jetty.
This rock wall produces just about anything, but should not be fished in a swell as waves break over the top.
The island’s causeway is good for gar and squid.
Victor Harbour’s two rivers hold black bream, with a few trout upstream.
Boaters will find squid, gar, tommy ruff, juvenile salmon on the shallow reefs in the area.
Bluefin tuna are reliable in season and are even targeted in canoes.
There is an anchorage inside Granite Island on the southern side.
Nearby, at Rosetta Head, the Bluff Jetty is small but popular, especially for squid fishos.
Boaters who want to fish inshore should concentrate on the grounds between Granite Island and Wright Island.
Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.
Some external videos filmed around Victor Harbour are featured below.
The eastern Top End is an exciting region for touring fishos, being far from population centres and therefore receiving less fishing pressure.
The habitat is first class, but fishing quality changes markedly with the seasons, depending on wet season rainfall.
Adventurous fishos who explore the coast in a boat will find tidal creeks that hardly see a lure or bait.
Most who visit here only fish the rivers and creeks, so the shallow reefs along the coast are hardly fished.
The eastern Top End has some of the Top End’s great barramundi rivers, such the Roper, Limmen and McArthur.
The central feature of this area for travellers is Limmen National Park, declared in July 2012.
There are several camping areas within the park. Munbililla (also called Tomato Island) is the most important for fishermen.
Limmen Bight Fishing Camp and Lorella Springs Wilderness Park on Rosie Creek are located outside the national park.
Boat launch sites are at Roper Bar, Munbililla, Port Roper, Towns River, Limmen Bight Fishing Camp, Rosie Creek, Robinson River, Mule Creek and McArthur River.
Visitors can drive in from the north or south, but the roads are subject to closure from annual wet season flooding, and are often corrugated.
Call Parks and Wildlife in Katherine (08 8973 8888) or Nathan River Ranger Station (08 8975 9940) for road info, and Katherine Rod and Rifle (08 8972 1020) for the latest fishing info.
Munbililla (Tomato Island) campground on the Roper, opened in 2013. This used to be just a clearing in the bush near the concrete boat ramp, but it became so popular a proper campground was needed. It has ablution facilities and a ranger station.
Port Roper, at the river mouth on the south bank, has a concrete ramp and cleared space in the bush nearby that is used for camping. This is a “roughing it location” but huge barramundi, groper, salmon and jewfish are caught.
Small tides are best at the Roper mouth, which are difficult to determine as the river has sometimes unpredictable tides because of quirks of the shallow Gulf of Carpentaria.
South of the Roper is the smaller Towns River, which has camping near the riverbank, with an associated ablution block.
The Towns has good barra fishing and crabbing, but the fish are on average smaller than Roper fish.
South again is the Limmen Bight River, which offers a bush camping experience along the river banks at Steve Barrett’s private fishing camp.
The campsites are unimproved, next to tidal water, and boats can be moored nearby, but they will dry out at low tide.
Fish the Limmen on reasonably large tides.
Being sandy, it is quite clear, and even the last creek at the mouth can have several feet of water clarity unless the wind stirs it up.
Small tides are not always ideal for chasing barramundi, with the exception being in rivers with turbid waters.
Centre Island tides provide approximate tide times to plan your Limmen River trip.
Mining traffic diminished with the closure of local mines in 2014 after a commodity slump, but there are still heavy vehicles using the highway.
Visitors must take most supplies in.
Fuel is at Borroloola, Hells Gate, Robinson River community and King Ash Bay (McArthur River). Roper Bar store was closed at publication of this post but nearby Urupunga store sells to the public.
The Limmen camp supplied fuel in jerry cans at $2.20 a litre at our last inquiry.
Tank water is at the Limmen camp only if there has been enough rain. Call first.
Keep in mind that the road is closed each year for the wet season. The roads are rough and can break trailers.
The coast from Warroora Station to Exmouth Peninsula, incorporating Ningaloo Reef, makes up one of Australia’s most spectacular marine habitats, and it has some of Australia’s best coastal camps.
Private station-managed camps are adjacent to white beaches and coral reef that extend from Quobba Station at the south, to Yardie Creek in the north.
North of Yardie Creek, beach camps are run by WA parks authorities. The parks are named Neds, Mesa, North T Bone, Lakeside (day use), Tulki, North Mandu, Kurrajong, Pilgramunna (day use), Osprey Bay, Bungarra, Yardie Creek, One K and Boat Harbour. See this image for their locations.
The camps have no power or water.
Most camps have easy access to beach fishing, but not all have boat launch sites.
Ningaloo is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef, at 260km long. It lies just 100m offshore at its closest point, and less than 7km at its furthest.
The Continental Shelf lies just 18.5km out.
Ningaloo Marine Park was opened in 1987 and covers 4000sqkm from Amherst Point in the south to Bundegi Reef in Exmouth Gulf to the north.
The park extends about 18.5km to sea.
Coral Bay has the only proper boat ramp in the immediate area, but there are beach launching sites.
On the stations, drivers must stick to tracks to prevent dune erosion, and carry fuel, food and water.
Visitors must take rubbish home and campers in some areas must have portable toilets.
Be prepared for private bag limits. Warroora Station, for example, has a 5kg fish fillet limit.
Ningaloo waters provide flats, beach, reef and offshore game fishing opportunities.
The beaches have permit, bonefish, queenfish, golden trevally and spangled emperor in the reef lagoons. Fly fishos have fine sport.
Out wide are emperor, cod, tuskfish, coral trout, mackerel, trevally, cobia and more.
Because the Continental Shelf comes close to the mainland, trailerboaters have a rare chance to catch blue, black and striped marlin, sailfish, wahoo, dolphin fish, mackerel and even broadbill swordfish.
Ningaloo has great dive sites from Gnaraloo through to Exmouth.
Whale sharks to 12m long are sighted from March to May, as they swim near the surface.
Whales are commonly seen near shore mid-year.
Fishing charter boats work from Coral Bay and Exmouth.
Fishermen can have a fine time using a dinghy at Ningaloo during calm weather.
However, to go outside the reef requires a seaworthy boat.
The Ningaloo region is 700km north of Perth, and 130km north of Carnarvon.
A 4WD vehicle is not needed within much of the Cape Range National Park that encompasses the Ningaloo coast, but is needed to drive beyond Yardie Creek.
The Yardie Creek crossing can be hazardous when the sand is low and there is tidal influence.
Sand driving in this area requires deflated tyres.
To reach Warroora Station, from the north take the Warroora Northern access 15km south of the Coral Bay turn-off.
Most visitors come between April and November.
High temperatures, strong winds and cyclones discourage summer visits.
Good fishing is had all year.
Bait & Tackle
A good surf rod is a must for beach and rock fishing in this area, together with some chrome lures for distance casting.
Balloon rigs are popular for getting baits out to the fish.
Ganged hooks and pilchard baits work well on tailor, mackerel, cobia and reef fish too.
Boat fishing requires everything from handlines to trolling and spinning rods.
Pelagic fish schools are common, so a spinning rod is a must.
Rock fishing outside the confines of the reef lagoons is dangerous. Never fish the lower ledges.
There are sealed ramps at Bundegi (north of Exmouth), Tantabiddi Creek and near Coral Bay.
Beach launching is required in many places, and is the only way south of Yardie Creek.
The beaches are generally calm as they are inside the protective reef.
Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.
Some external videos filmed around Ningaloo are featured below.
Depending on conditions, there is excellent fishing for everything from spanish flag to pink snapper, with huge popper-smashing tailor and spanish mackerel.
Urchin Point, 5km south of Cape Inscription, is a good platform in the right conditions.
It is a shallow reef with a rocky outcrop. There is a shack 30m from the beach.
Turtle Bay is beneath the lighthouse at Cape Inscription. The bay is accessed via a steep track that winds down loose sandy cliffs to a sheltered beach interspersed with reefs. There are countless fish.
Fishing with bait from the beach usually results in a feed of fish.
The Aquarium is about 20 minutes from Urchin Point via a track through tight scrub over some sharp rocks and diff-banging ledges. Expect reef fish and snapper to 6kg+.
Best results here are achieved drifting pillies down the cliff edges.
50 Cent Reef is a shallow reef washed by huge waves. Casting soft plastics produces smaller tailor and unstoppable runs by unseen bigger fish in water less than 1m deep.
Any of the island’s beaches can produce fish, especially those ending at headlands. The shallow bays inside the island have blue swimmer crabs.
Bait & Tackle
Take a cliff gaff and heaps of terminal tackle.
Take poppers and wire traces.
You’ll need long-life baits or frozen pillies if you have a freezer.
High-speed spinning reels on 3m rods are good for slugs and poppers, with longer rods for bait fishing the surf. Take a 15kg outfit for ballooning for pelagic species.