How to catch bream

Black bream at Museums Victoria
Eastern yellowfin bream at the Australian Museum
Western yellowfin bream at Museums Victoria
Northwest black bream at Museums Victoria
Pikey bream at Museums Victoria
Tarwhine at the Australian Museum

Bream are usually easy to catch, but consistently getting big fish is not easy.

Bream are probably Australia’s most popular sportfish because they are common near human settlement, are fun to catch, and the big ones are a genuine challenge.

They are also possibly our most annoying fish, with swarms of tiddlers picking baits apart.

So how to catch them?

First, let’s have a quick look at bream species, as there are several fish most Aussies would recognise as a bream and they are slightly different in their habits.

*The black bream Acanthopagrus butcheri is the most widely caught, being common in rivers and estuaries across southern Australia, including Tasmania.
*The eastern yellowfin bream Acanthopagrus australis is found in estuaries and along beaches across south-eastern Australia, occasionally interbreeding with black bream.
*The western yellowfin bream Acanthopagrus morrisoni was identified as a separate species in 2013 – it is caught in Australia’s western and northern tropical waters.
*The northwest black bream Acanthopagrus palmaris inhabits coastal waters from Shark Bay to the Kimberley.
*The pikey bream Acanthopagrus pacificus is the main bream of the Top End and Cape York Peninsula.
*The tarwhine Rhabdosargus sarba is a bream-like species often caught alongside yellowfin bream.
*The pink snapper Chrysophrys auratus of Australia’s southern waters is also a bream, but no Aussie calls it a “pink bream”.

Let’s take a look at how to catch each species.

Black bream

The black bream is found from Shark Bay in Western Australia across the south to Mallacoota, Victoria, including South Australia and Tasmania.

It is common throughout most tidal waterways, and makes its way far up rivers.

Black bream are also found around coastal foreshores, and occasionally on inshore reefs.

Black bream tolerate fresh water, but are mostly a marine or brackish water fish.

They loiter around manmade structure such as pylons and oyster racks, but the real go-to fishing spots are rubbly ground where there are small crabs and shellfish, and mudflats rich with worms and nippers.

Black bream eat almost anything but definitely prefer live or fresh bait.

Prawns and worms are the best baits, but chicken gut, mullet gut, fish fillet, squid, octopus, baitfish and even cheese catches fish.

Berley can be used to bring them around but most bream fishermen go to the fish.

A light spinning rod and reel loaded with 2kg to 4kg line is ideal. Bream may shy away from heavier line, especially when the water is clear.

A 1/0 fine gauge hook is ideal. Use the lightest possible sinker, or no sinker at all.

Lure fishing for bream is a good way to get past the small fish.

Use small soft plastic lures on light nylon leaders and with the lightest possible jig heads.

Tiny hardbody minnows also work.

In hard-fished areas the biggest black bream are taken at night on the freshest unweighted baits.

Tides can have a major affect on fishing.

The change of tide can bring fish on the bite, while a rising tide will see fish moving over flats to feed.

It is not uncommon for bream to not feed until the tide changes.

Black bream reach 4kg but a 2kg fish today is a monster. The big fish are dubbed bluenoses.

The timing of spawning varies across the continent, with Western Australian bream spawning from July to November, South Australian fish spawning between November and January and Victorian fish spawning in October to November. Victorian fish also become sexually mature later, at around five years of age, compare with two or three years in Western Australia.

Black bream generally go upstream to spawn, which means big fish won’t usually be abundant in the lower reaches in summer.

Black bream are found in the smallest creeks and tidal lakes, but some fisheries are renowned.

In Victoria, Mallacoota inlet and Lake Tyers are important bream fisheries.

In South Australia, the Coorong and Port River are major fisheries, and the Onkaparinga River.

In Western Australia, Culham and Stokes Inlet produce a great many bream, and excellent fishing is had in the Swan River and Peel and Canning systems.

Black bream are tasty, but a warning – they often live around manmade structure in polluted waters and are likely to accrue whatever toxins are present in local sediment. The safest bream to eat is one taken from clean waters.

Eastern yellowfin bream

This fish is the second most important Aussie bream species.

It is found along the east coast from around Townsville in Queensland south to Gippsland in Victoria.

It inhabit estuaries in salt or brackish water up to the fresh water limit, but is also commonly found on inshore rocky reef and along ocean beaches and around headlands.

Eastern yellowfin bream are sometimes called surf bream, as they are often caught inside the wave breaks.

The ventral and anal fins of this bream are yellow, while the black bream’s are brown.

Black bream are also darker overall.

Eastern yellowfin bream take most baits, and are often caught from beaches by fishermen targeting tailor.

Otherwise, much the same fishing rules apply as to black bream.

Fish caught from the surf are very silver and clean, and a good size, making a superb meal.

Western yellowfin bream

This fish was only identified as a separate species in 2013.

It is caught in Australia’s western and northern tropical waters in much the same type of habitat as preferred by the eastern yellowfin bream.

Northwest black bream and pikey bream

These two similar species are fish of the tropics, with the northwest black bream caught from Shark Bay to the Kimberley, and the pikey bream from the Top End and Cape York Peninsula east down to the central Queensland coast.

Both fish inhabit coastal foreshores and tidal creeks.

The pikey bream forms large schools at times. It is usually targeted in the winter months.

The pikey bream does not have a huge following up north, as barramundi and the like are the greater attraction.

Nonetheless, some people do target pikey bream each dry season as the fish can be caught in numbers and they are good to eat.

Tarwhine

Tarwhine look a bream, but they have faint yellow horizontal stripes and a more rounded nose.

They are most commonly caught off South-East Queensland and New South Wales in the lower parts of estuaries, and off surf beaches and on inshore reefs, but may be found through to eastern Victoria and also on in Western Australia.

They take a range of baits but are usually quite small and therefore rarely targeted.

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Some external videos about how to catch bream are featured below.

How to catch bream

How to catch bream on lures

How to catch bream

Point Sinclair, South Australia

Point Sinclair tides
Cactus Beach on Beachsafe
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks

NOTE: Special snapper rules apply in South Australia – more info here.

South Australia’s Point Sinclair is a great fishing spot, with a small granite headland protecting a sandy bay with a public jetty, with beaches on either side of the headland.

Point Sinclair is about 845km by road from Adelaide, 20km from Penong.

The jetty and bay form Port Le Hunte, with the “port” protected from westerly winds by the headland.

The former wheat-loading jetty is now used solely by recreational fishermen and other recreational visitors.

There is good fishing from the jetty for squid, gar, tommies and passing salmon.

Seaweed grows close to the beaches along much of this coast, with king george whiting a chance for landbased fishos.

Port Le Hunte beach and other beaches in the area have tidal rocky reef which makes for interesting fishing.

The unsealed road from Penong ends at bluffs overlooking Port Le Hunte, with a track leading to the jetty, and a camping area between the bluffs and a seawall.

This area features coastal cliffs, blowholes and sand dunes with some stunning beaches.

There is a toilet block at the jetty, and a shark net at the jetty for swimmers.

Boaters launch from the relatively sheltered beach near the jetty and can moor just off the beach in calm conditions.

There is plenty of rough ground to fish 4km south of the point, and 6km out lies Sinclair Island.

Beware breaking waves over and around reefs at all times.

Nearby Cactus Beach is a popular surfing beach with a lot of inshore reef that produces good salmon fishing, with a chance of mulloway and snapper, but being one of the most popular surf beaches in Australia perhaps makes it less of a fishing destination.

A marine park sanctuary exists to the north of Cactus Beach.

This is white shark territory, something to keep in mind if berleying from a small boat or going for a swim. There is a protective shark net at the jetty.

Booking.com

South Australian fishing seasons and baits

The following advice applies mainly to the two gulfs.

Black bream - All year, best in winter/spring. Use live tube or blood worms, peeled prawn or tiny lures, best dawn and dusk, often at turn of the tide.

Crabs, blue swimmer - Best in summer/autumn. Rake them or use nets baited with fish frames, fish day or night.

Crabs, sand (two-spot) - May to June. Use drop nets baited with fish frames, tide dependent, their presence is usually noted when they start stealing fishing baits.

Flathead - All year. Use baits of bluebait, whitebait, small pilchards, squid, fish strips or lures, they bite all day.

Flounder - All year. Will take tiny baits of peeled prawn, worms or squid at night tide, but the usual method is spearing in the shallows at night.

Garfish - Best in summer/autumn. Use tiny baits of maggots, prawn, cockles presented on a float or just drifted back from boat, or dab at night with a net and light, they bite all day.

Mullet - Strong run of fish in autumn/winter. Use tiny baits of mince meat, seaweed worms or cockles. They bite in daylight, usually in very close along beaches at high tide.

Mulloway - Best in summer but can be caught all year. Use live baits or fresh fish fillets or freshly caught squid. Fish dusk into the night at turn of tide.

Salmon - Best in autumn/winter but they show up all year. Use baits of peeled prawn, bluebait, whitebait, cockles, pilchards or lures. Best at high tide at dusk and dawn.

Snapper - Best in spring/summer. Use baits of squid, pilchards, fish fillets or jigs. Best at dusk and dawn and they come in close after stormy weather.

Snook - Bite all year. Use lures, pilchards or fish strips. They bite well at night under jetty lights.

Squid - Available all year but best in summer. Use artificial jig lures or baited wire jigs. Best at dawn when the water is clear, but also at dusk and night.

Tommy ruffs - All year. Use maggots, peeled prawn, cockles. Best at night.

Whiting, king george - These bite all year but often better in winter, use baits of cockles, peeled prawn or squid on the edge of seagrass beds, they bite all day, often tide dependent.

Whiting, silver - All year. Use tiny baits of cockles, worms or peeled prawns.

Whiting, yellowfin - All year but best in summer. Use fresh or live worms or peeled prawns. Some fishos do OK on tiny lures.

FISH FINDER TM

Fishing tackle recommendations for South Australia

A 3-6kg spinning outfit is suitable for general estuary and light boat fishing in South Australia. See this eBay listing for a suggested spinning combo here.

The above light outfit can be used on shallow, low-energy beaches to catch SA's yellowfin whiting and yelloweye mullet, but a dedicated light surf rod would be better for this purpose.

An 8-12kg spin outfit suits fishing for large salmon and mulloway on South Australia's high-energy ocean surf beaches. See eBay listing here.

Small metal slice lures work well on South Australia's salmon trout, silver trevally, flathead, barracoutta, tommies and snook. See eBay listing here.

Use larger metal slice lures on high-energy beaches where big salmon are expected.

Soft plastic grubs work well on bream, salmon trout and tommies, and freshwater fish such as yellowbelly, redfin, cod and trout. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Squid jigs are an essential item in South Australia as large squid are usually abundant in gulf waters and are readily available on jetties. Baited jigs are popular in South Australia - these can be cast and left out until a squid arrives. Bait these jigs with a tommy ruff or mullet and set this under a float. If you don't want to use baited jigs, standard lure jigs such as these work well ... see eBay listing here.

The secret for successful squid fishing is to fish dusk, darkness and dawn, when the water is clear. Summer is usually best.

Floats are useful for suspending a bait, and work well when fishing for South Australia's sweep, tommy ruffs, salmon trout and trevally. The polystyrene floats in the following listing are slid onto the line and a stopper is placed above the float to set the depth fished. See eBay listing here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks in mixed sizes are needed. Suggest 4# to #8 for whiting, mullet and tommy ruffs, 10# to #12 for garfish, 1/0 for bream, 4/0 for salmon and flathead and 11/0 for large mulloway. See eBay listing here.

Flounder spearing is popular in South Australia. A submerged light is generally used to find the fish, see eBay listing here.

Crabbing is popular in the South Australian shallows, using a crab rake. See eBay listing here.

Check out Parsun outboard motors on eBay

FISH FINDER TM

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Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed around Point Sinclair are featured below.

Driving into Point Sinclair

Cactus Beach drone footage

How to catch yellowtail kingfish

Yellowtail kingfish at the Australian Museum website

The yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) is generally just called “kingie” in Australia.

In other places it is called yellowtail amberjack.

This large pelagic predatory fish is found in Australia’s southern waters from North Reef in Queensland to Trigg Island, Western Australia, including around Tasmania.

Its presence in Tasmania appears to be increasing with global warming.

Some headlands and islands are noted for their kingfish, for example, Bells Pyramid off New South Wales. At nearby Lord Howe Island large kingfish are fed by hand at high tide at a beach location.

Kingfish stocks in South Australia have been boosted by aquaculture escapes, and fish trapping restrictions in New South Wales in the 1990s saw the species make a huge rebound.

They are now common in Sydney Harbour.

Kingies are popular with fishermen because they are powerful and easily accessible, as they tend to live around coastal rocky reefs to a depth of 50m, more rarely being found to 300m depth.

They are often found in tidal rips and areas where there are large amounts of baitfish.

Kingfish are generally caught during the warmer months in the more temperate parts of their range.

They grow to an impressive 180cm but the usual catch is much smaller.

Small fish form large schools while big fish travel alone or in small groups.

It is said that big fish are more often found around islands but this may simply be a result of coastal fishing pressure.

Small kingfish take a variety of lures, with simple chrome slices being as good as anything.

The small shoaling fish will compete for lures at times, making them an easy catch.

Big fish tend to be more wary and a livebait might be needed to tempt them, especially in hard-fished areas.

A wire trace is not generally used for kingfish, and hook and line size depend on the size of the fish being targeted.

Kingies often run for structure when hooked so it pays to fish with adequate strength line, with 10kg braid being a good all-round line for medium-sized fish.

Rock fishermen must be suitably equipped with gear to safely land big fish.

As with most fish, dawn and dusk can produce the best bite results, but kingies will bite during the day, and especially around the turn of the tide.

Kingfish are good to eat and have become an important aquaculture species.

In 2010, the Stehr Group in South Australia became the largest producer of kingfish in the world.

Trials elsewhere in Australia have been undertaken, including around Geraldton and the Abrolhos Islands in Western Australia.

New Zealand and Chile are trialling sea cage and landbased farming.

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Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos about kingfish are featured below.

Kingfish livebaiting

Kingfish off the rocks

Big South Aussie kingfish

Kingfish off the rocks

How to catch kingfish

Sydney Harbour kingfish

Outer Harbour, South Australia

Port River, South Australia
Outer Harbour, South Australia
Outer Harbour rock walls, near Adelaide
Outer Harbour rock walls, near Adelaide

Outer Harbour tides
Outer Harbour webcam
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks

NOTE: Special snapper rules apply in South Australia – more info here.

Outer Harbour is the entrance to Adelaide’s Port River, which is perhaps better described as a large tidal inlet.

The harbour entrance is dredged and lined by giant rock walls, locally called breakwaters, with the southern wall being accessible on foot and the northern wall fishable only by boat.

There is no footpath on the wall, so it is a long and dangerous hop, skip and jump along the rocks, and a very long way to the end, especially if you are carrying a lot of gear.

However there is no need to walk to the end, as good fishing can be had the full length of the wall.

Anything is possible along this wall – mulloway, snapper, kingfish, salmon, leatherjackets, flathead, bream, tommies, zebra fish, squid, sharks and rays all show up.

Night fishing is best for mulloway, but some fish are caught in daylight. Use livebait for the mulloway.

The schools tend to come and go, making mulloway fishing hot or cold.

The turn of the tide is usually the best bite time.

Drifting baits along the rocks under a float is a good way to pick up bread and butter fish.

On the shallow sandy side of the wall mainly flathead are caught, with a few squid, leatherjackets and zebra fish.

Big sharks and rays can be hooked off the wall and can be a nuisance when fishing with large baits.

While the various species of fish are seasonal in abundance, there is usually something to be caught at Outer Harbour at any time of year.

The large wharf at the base of the rock wall can no longer be fished, but was formerly a known mulloway spot, with occasional large snapper caught.

On the seaward side of the outer rock wall is a shallow area that holds swags of gar and blue crabs for boaters.

Nearby, North Haven marina provides safe boat launching, along with smaller rock walls for landbased fishos.

North of Outer Harbour the shallow coastline is a mecca for crab-rakers and gar-dabbers.

Booking.com

South Australian fishing seasons and baits

The following advice applies mainly to the two gulfs.

Black bream - All year, best in winter/spring. Use live tube or blood worms, peeled prawn or tiny lures, best dawn and dusk, often at turn of the tide.

Crabs, blue swimmer - Best in summer/autumn. Rake them or use nets baited with fish frames, fish day or night.

Crabs, sand (two-spot) - May to June. Use drop nets baited with fish frames, tide dependent, their presence is usually noted when they start stealing fishing baits.

Flathead - All year. Use baits of bluebait, whitebait, small pilchards, squid, fish strips or lures, they bite all day.

Flounder - All year. Will take tiny baits of peeled prawn, worms or squid at night tide, but the usual method is spearing in the shallows at night.

Garfish - Best in summer/autumn. Use tiny baits of maggots, prawn, cockles presented on a float or just drifted back from boat, or dab at night with a net and light, they bite all day.

Mullet - Strong run of fish in autumn/winter. Use tiny baits of mince meat, seaweed worms or cockles. They bite in daylight, usually in very close along beaches at high tide.

Mulloway - Best in summer but can be caught all year. Use live baits or fresh fish fillets or freshly caught squid. Fish dusk into the night at turn of tide.

Salmon - Best in autumn/winter but they show up all year. Use baits of peeled prawn, bluebait, whitebait, cockles, pilchards or lures. Best at high tide at dusk and dawn.

Snapper - Best in spring/summer. Use baits of squid, pilchards, fish fillets or jigs. Best at dusk and dawn and they come in close after stormy weather.

Snook - Bite all year. Use lures, pilchards or fish strips. They bite well at night under jetty lights.

Squid - Available all year but best in summer. Use artificial jig lures or baited wire jigs. Best at dawn when the water is clear, but also at dusk and night.

Tommy ruffs - All year. Use maggots, peeled prawn, cockles. Best at night.

Whiting, king george - These bite all year but often better in winter, use baits of cockles, peeled prawn or squid on the edge of seagrass beds, they bite all day, often tide dependent.

Whiting, silver - All year. Use tiny baits of cockles, worms or peeled prawns.

Whiting, yellowfin - All year but best in summer. Use fresh or live worms or peeled prawns. Some fishos do OK on tiny lures.

FISH FINDER TM

Fishing tackle recommendations for South Australia

A 3-6kg spinning outfit is suitable for general estuary and light boat fishing in South Australia. See this eBay listing for a suggested spinning combo here.

The above light outfit can be used on shallow, low-energy beaches to catch SA's yellowfin whiting and yelloweye mullet, but a dedicated light surf rod would be better for this purpose.

An 8-12kg spin outfit suits fishing for large salmon and mulloway on South Australia's high-energy ocean surf beaches. See eBay listing here.

Small metal slice lures work well on South Australia's salmon trout, silver trevally, flathead, barracoutta, tommies and snook. See eBay listing here.

Use larger metal slice lures on high-energy beaches where big salmon are expected.

Soft plastic grubs work well on bream, salmon trout and tommies, and freshwater fish such as yellowbelly, redfin, cod and trout. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Squid jigs are an essential item in South Australia as large squid are usually abundant in gulf waters and are readily available on jetties. Baited jigs are popular in South Australia - these can be cast and left out until a squid arrives. Bait these jigs with a tommy ruff or mullet and set this under a float. If you don't want to use baited jigs, standard lure jigs such as these work well ... see eBay listing here.

The secret for successful squid fishing is to fish dusk, darkness and dawn, when the water is clear. Summer is usually best.

Floats are useful for suspending a bait, and work well when fishing for South Australia's sweep, tommy ruffs, salmon trout and trevally. The polystyrene floats in the following listing are slid onto the line and a stopper is placed above the float to set the depth fished. See eBay listing here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks in mixed sizes are needed. Suggest 4# to #8 for whiting, mullet and tommy ruffs, 10# to #12 for garfish, 1/0 for bream, 4/0 for salmon and flathead and 11/0 for large mulloway. See eBay listing here.

Flounder spearing is popular in South Australia. A submerged light is generally used to find the fish, see eBay listing here.

Crabbing is popular in the South Australian shallows, using a crab rake. See eBay listing here.

Check out Parsun outboard motors on eBay

FISH FINDER TM

****

Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed around Outer Harbour are featured below.

Outer Harour squid

Outer Harbour salmon

Outer Harbour spearfishing

Diving at North Haven

Fowlers Bay, South Australia

Fowlers Bay tides
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks
Fowlers Bay coastline

Fowlers Bay is a tiny coastal community in the far west of South Australia.

It has a 340m jetty that is illuminated at night and fishes well for squid, along with garfish, tommy ruff and snook.

Boat launching is from the beach.

There is reef close in off Point Fowler but conditions must be calm to fish it, with unexpected wave breaks a possibility.

Scott’s Bay (Scott’s Beach) is on the west side of the peninsula and has good surf fishing for big mulloway in summer, with salmon in winter.

Lathe salmon schools are commonly at Scott’s Beach, with fish to a stunning 8kg+, along with attending whaler sharks and sometimes white pointers.

King george whiting and mulloway are also caught from this beach.

Offshore fishing produces king george whiting in close, with samson, kingfish, groper, nannygai, tuna, harlequin, morwong and snapper out wide.

East of Fowlers Bay is Tuckamore Beach, which usually has good gutters with mulloway, salmon, gummy and whaler sharks and even samson fish.

South of Fowlers Bay, the rocky point has ledges and beaches along a productive saection of coastline. Expect salmon, kingfish, snapper and even tailor.

September to March is the best fishing time here, but occasional mulloway will show up in winter.

There are usually plenty of crayfish on the reefs.

A 4WD is needed to reach spots on soft sand tracks at various beaches, and tyre deflation may be required, so carry a compressor.

A with anywhere, never drive on beached seaweed rafts, as bogging is inevitable.

Because of its remote location, Fowlers Bay is trophy fish country.

The bay is 900km from Adelaide, just 23km off the Eyre Highway.

The recommended road in is the signposted Fowlers Bay Road, off the Eyre Highway 45km West of Penong and 35km East of Nundroo.

This road is half sealed and half gravel.

From the west Fowlers Bay can be accessed via Coorabie on a rough road. Tallala Well Road is an unmaintained road best avoided.

Further west is Mexican Hat, Wandilla, Cabot’s Beach, The Lagoons, Snook Ground and the Yalata Indigenous Protected Area (IPA).

The Yalata IPA has natural dune camping areas adjacent to 40km of arguably the best remote surf fishing beaches in Australia.

There is also public access at the eastern end of this coastline outside the Yalata IPA.

The months either side of Christmas are best for mulloway, with the best results had fishing big tides of the full and new moons.

Salmon are caught in winter, and snapper and tailor visit the area.

The public access area outside Yalata IPA is at Dog Fence Beach and further east towards Fowlers Bay.

Yalata Beach is off limits.

Access to Dog Fence Beach is via Nallanippi Road.

Entering via Dog Fence crossing is deemed trespassing.

****

Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed around Fowlers Bay are featured below.

Fowlers Bay drone footage

Fowlers Bay 4WD exploring

Fowlers Bay tuna

Fowlers Bay landbased fishing

Smoky Bay, South Australia

Laura Bay Conservation Park ... click on the image for more info about the park
An SA Government map of Laura Bay Conservation Park … click on the image for more info about the park

Smoky Bay tides
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks

NOTE: Special snapper rules apply in South Australia – more info here.

Smoky Bay is a coastal holiday community on a relatively protected bay in western South Australia.

The bay has a long jetty that produces quality snook, gar, squid, whiting and tommy ruffs.

There are razorfish beds in the bay, providing great bait for king george whiting.

Garfish dabbing and flounder spearing are locally popular.

A 4WD vehicle gives access to coastal fishing spots on soft sand tracks.

For boaters who fish outside the protection of Eyre Island, there are numerous reefs with the usual run of SA’s offshore species, including tuna.

Franklin Island lies 30km out.

Smoky Bay has an all-tide sealed boat ramp, but note that a boat ramp permit is required from the general store or caravan park.

Camping within the town is only allowed at the two caravan parks.

Those with cartoppers or kayaks should try Acraman Creek, an inlet 15km south of Smoky Bay, with sheltered water and good fishing.

There is an artificial reef made from tyres at the southern end of the bay, 8km north of the township.

White sharks show up along this coast, something to keep in mind if you are contemplating berleying from a cartopper or yak.

To the north of Smoky Bay is Laura Bay, all part of Laura Bay Conservation Park.

The local oysters are a highlight of this region.

Booking.com

South Australian fishing seasons and baits

The following advice applies mainly to the two gulfs.

Black bream - All year, best in winter/spring. Use live tube or blood worms, peeled prawn or tiny lures, best dawn and dusk, often at turn of the tide.

Crabs, blue swimmer - Best in summer/autumn. Rake them or use nets baited with fish frames, fish day or night.

Crabs, sand (two-spot) - May to June. Use drop nets baited with fish frames, tide dependent, their presence is usually noted when they start stealing fishing baits.

Flathead - All year. Use baits of bluebait, whitebait, small pilchards, squid, fish strips or lures, they bite all day.

Flounder - All year. Will take tiny baits of peeled prawn, worms or squid at night tide, but the usual method is spearing in the shallows at night.

Garfish - Best in summer/autumn. Use tiny baits of maggots, prawn, cockles presented on a float or just drifted back from boat, or dab at night with a net and light, they bite all day.

Mullet - Strong run of fish in autumn/winter. Use tiny baits of mince meat, seaweed worms or cockles. They bite in daylight, usually in very close along beaches at high tide.

Mulloway - Best in summer but can be caught all year. Use live baits or fresh fish fillets or freshly caught squid. Fish dusk into the night at turn of tide.

Salmon - Best in autumn/winter but they show up all year. Use baits of peeled prawn, bluebait, whitebait, cockles, pilchards or lures. Best at high tide at dusk and dawn.

Snapper - Best in spring/summer. Use baits of squid, pilchards, fish fillets or jigs. Best at dusk and dawn and they come in close after stormy weather.

Snook - Bite all year. Use lures, pilchards or fish strips. They bite well at night under jetty lights.

Squid - Available all year but best in summer. Use artificial jig lures or baited wire jigs. Best at dawn when the water is clear, but also at dusk and night.

Tommy ruffs - All year. Use maggots, peeled prawn, cockles. Best at night.

Whiting, king george - These bite all year but often better in winter, use baits of cockles, peeled prawn or squid on the edge of seagrass beds, they bite all day, often tide dependent.

Whiting, silver - All year. Use tiny baits of cockles, worms or peeled prawns.

Whiting, yellowfin - All year but best in summer. Use fresh or live worms or peeled prawns. Some fishos do OK on tiny lures.

FISH FINDER TM

Fishing tackle recommendations for South Australia

A 3-6kg spinning outfit is suitable for general estuary and light boat fishing in South Australia. See this eBay listing for a suggested spinning combo here.

The above light outfit can be used on shallow, low-energy beaches to catch SA's yellowfin whiting and yelloweye mullet, but a dedicated light surf rod would be better for this purpose.

An 8-12kg spin outfit suits fishing for large salmon and mulloway on South Australia's high-energy ocean surf beaches. See eBay listing here.

Small metal slice lures work well on South Australia's salmon trout, silver trevally, flathead, barracoutta, tommies and snook. See eBay listing here.

Use larger metal slice lures on high-energy beaches where big salmon are expected.

Soft plastic grubs work well on bream, salmon trout and tommies, and freshwater fish such as yellowbelly, redfin, cod and trout. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Squid jigs are an essential item in South Australia as large squid are usually abundant in gulf waters and are readily available on jetties. Baited jigs are popular in South Australia - these can be cast and left out until a squid arrives. Bait these jigs with a tommy ruff or mullet and set this under a float. If you don't want to use baited jigs, standard lure jigs such as these work well ... see eBay listing here.

The secret for successful squid fishing is to fish dusk, darkness and dawn, when the water is clear. Summer is usually best.

Floats are useful for suspending a bait, and work well when fishing for South Australia's sweep, tommy ruffs, salmon trout and trevally. The polystyrene floats in the following listing are slid onto the line and a stopper is placed above the float to set the depth fished. See eBay listing here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks in mixed sizes are needed. Suggest 4# to #8 for whiting, mullet and tommy ruffs, 10# to #12 for garfish, 1/0 for bream, 4/0 for salmon and flathead and 11/0 for large mulloway. See eBay listing here.

Flounder spearing is popular in South Australia. A submerged light is generally used to find the fish, see eBay listing here.

Crabbing is popular in the South Australian shallows, using a crab rake. See eBay listing here.

Check out Parsun outboard motors on eBay

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Some external videos filmed around Smoky Bay are featured below.

Smoky Bay fishing holiday

Smoky Bay drone footage

Processing Smoky Bay razorfish

Smoky Bay jetty

Lake Monduran, Queensland

Lake Monduran facilities
Queensland dam water levels
Queensland stocked impoundment permits
Queensland fishing regulations

If you want a world record barramundi, Lake Monduran (Fred Haigh Dam) might be where you find it.

A 44.6kg barramundi, measuring 135cm long and 107cm around, was caught in 2010, topping the previous record from Lake Tinaroo.

Monduran is one of very few impoundments where you have an excellent chance of catching both big barramundi and big bass.

This is a superb fishing lake, but it suffers from both low water levels and floods.

During floods the big adult barramundi migrate over the dam wall.

Fortunately, barramundi fishing recovers quickly with restocking as barramundi grow fast.

Monduran is the third biggest dam in Queensland, at 5300ha when full, and it is the largest Queensland dam stocked with barramundi.

The dam is on the Kolan River, 20km from Gin Gin, about a 4.5 hour drive from Brisbane,.

Monduran normally has an average depth of 11m, but this fluctuates.

There are a variety of fishable areas, with valleys, forests of submerged timber and rocky cliffs.

Timber is thick in places and care is required when boating, but the timbered areas are often the best fishing spots.

Fish stocking began in 1998. As well as barra and bass, yellowbelly, silver perch, sooty grunter and saratoga have been released, but barra and bass are now by far the main catch.

There is a resident population of fork-tailed catfish, eels, eel-tailed catfish, gar and spangled perch.

Redclaw crayfish exist in the lake but for some reason are not common. It may be that the abundance of large barra and bass keeps their numbers down.

Summer is the best time to target Monduran barramundi, as barra are far more active in warm conditions.

The action is usually best in the morning and evening, with good fishing at night.

In winter, look for barra and bass in the warmest shallows.

When bass fishing it pays to use heavy gear, as a barramundi hookup can happen at any time.

That said, bass usually respond better to small lures presented on light tackle.

The dam is home to the popular annual Monduran Family Fishing Classic.

There is camping, caravan sites and cabins near the lake, and a motel at Gin Gin.

A stocked impoundment permit (SIP) is required to fish Monduran and can be purchased online.

There are no major boating restrictions and the waters are open 24 hours.

A concrete ramp is in the public access area, with an unsealed ramp below the lookout and campground near the dam wall.

Booking.com

Gear tips for stocked dams

A 1-3kg spin outfit is ideal for trout, redfin and bass. See eBay listing here.

A 3-6kg spin outfit is ideal for yellowbelly, bass and cod. See eBay listing here.

Soft plastic grubs are good all-round lures for bass, redfin and yellowbelly. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads in various sizes are needed for most soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Where bait fishing is permitted, ball sinkers are ideal for bait fishing. See eBay listing here.

Floats are useful for suspending a bait. The polystyrene floats in the following listing are slid onto the line and a stopper is placed above the float to set the depth fished. For most impoundment fishing, use the smallest size. See eBay listing here.

Alternatively, especially where the water is clear and shallow, use clear bubble floats.

Hooks up to around 1/0 are suitable for bait fishing with shrimps, use smaller hooks for earthworm baits. See eBay listing here.

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Some external videos filmed on Lake Monduran are featured below.

Winter barramundi at Monduran

Winter barramundi at Monduran

Lake Monduran fishing

iFish at Lake Monduran

Apollo Bay, Victoria

Apollo Bay tides
Apollo Bay coastline
VIC fishing regulations
VIC marine parks
Return to the VIC fishing map

Apollo Bay is a popular seaside holiday village 200km west of Melbourne, featuring a boat harbour with a relatively sheltered ramp.

The harbour provides one of the few safe boat launching sites along the rugged Great Ocean Road.

The town is located next to Barham River, a small but reasonably productive river with trout in the upper reaches and good surf and rock spots nearby.

Good boating grounds lie just south-east of Apollo Bay, within 2km of the boat ramp.

Flathead, snapper and gummy sharks are the main offshore target, but there are also leatherjackets, morwong, gurnard, salmon, trevally, kingfish, barracoutta, nannygai and king george Whiting.

Bluefin tuna are caught from April to September.

Blue and mako sharks are caught out wide, with a chance of thresher sharks showing up.

Southern right whales swim through the area in winter/spring.

Skippers should keep in mind the risk of waves breaking over local reefs, particularly Henty and Bumbry Reefs.

Landbased fishos should try the beach at the Barham River mouth, with mullet in winter and salmon reliable most of the year.

Fishing can be good within the boat harbour for mullet, slimy mackerel, yakkas, squid and trevally, and the outer rock wall is a good spot in suitable weather, with salmon and large silver trevally, and a chance of snapper and gummy sharks.

Keen surf fishermen should try Marengo Beach, which has salmon and big whiting.

Local creeks in this region have brown trout but seasonal rainfall plays a big part in how many fish are about.

The Barham River is the best local trout waterway, with some fish caught at times in Wild Dog Creek and nearby Wye River.

The Barham’s tidal section has black bream and estuary perch. The river mouth is open only intermittently.

Mulloway can be expected around the river mouth during flood events.

Crayfish are caught around Apollo Bay in season.

Keep in mind that this town is very popular during holiday periods.

Nearby fishing spots

Wye River – the estuary has mullet, bream and small salmon.

Kennett and Grey Rivers – mullet, bream and small salmon in the estuaries, with the rocks around Grey River producing trevally,
snapper, salmon and whiting when it is suitably calm.

Cape Patton and Smythes Creek – rock fishing, with some flathead and sand whiting over sand areas.

Pettitcoat Creek – the beach produces king george whiting. The south side of the beach fishes well just before low tide in suitably calm weather for snapper.

Skenes Creek – king george whiting.

Wild Dog Beach – surf fishing for salmon, trevally.

Booking.com

Gear tips for Victoria A 1-3kg spin outfit is ideal for gar, whiting, mullet, trout, redfin and bream. See eBay listing here.

A 3-6kg spin outfit is ideal for general Victorian saltwater and freshwater fishing. See eBay listing here.

A heavy rod-reel combo is needed for surf mulloway, snapper and gummy shark fishing. See eBay listing here.

Metal slice lures are ideal for Victorian salmon, tailor and trevally. See eBay listing here.

Soft plastic grubs are good all-round lures for a range of Victorian species. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Squid jigs are essential gear in Victoria. See eBay listing here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). See eBay listing here.

BOATS FOR SALE in Victoria - see current eBay listings here.

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Some external videos filmed around the Apollo Bay are featured below.

Apollo Bay harbour drone footage

Apollo Bay kingfish

Apollo Bay fishing

Apollo Bay trout fishing

Geelong jetties, Victoria

Geelong tides
Geelong coastline
VIC fishing regulations
VIC marine parks
Return to the VIC fishing map

Geelong fishos are well served with jetties to fish from.

These are listed public jetties. Check access arrangements and local regulations before fishing.

Eastern Pier
Yarra Pier
Lascelles Wharf
Point Henry Pier
Rippleside Pier
Cunningham Pier
Refinery Pier
Point Wilson Pier
Former Rippleside Shipyard
Corio Quay
Western Beach Boat Club
Griffins Gully Jetty
Rippleside Jetty
St Helens Jetty
Geelong Trailable Yacht Club
Portarlington Jetty
Point Richards Jetty
Ozone Jetty
Barwon Heads Jetty
Point Lonsdale Pier
Indented Head Jetty
St Leonards Pier
Clifton Springs Jetty
Limeburners Point Jetty
Alexander Thompson Jetty
Bellerine St Jetty
Swan Bay Jetty
Corio Quay
Bulk Grain Jetty

Booking.com

Gear tips for Victoria A 1-3kg spin outfit is ideal for gar, whiting, mullet, trout, redfin and bream. See eBay listing here.

A 3-6kg spin outfit is ideal for general Victorian saltwater and freshwater fishing. See eBay listing here.

A heavy rod-reel combo is needed for surf mulloway, snapper and gummy shark fishing. See eBay listing here.

Metal slice lures are ideal for Victorian salmon, tailor and trevally. See eBay listing here.

Soft plastic grubs are good all-round lures for a range of Victorian species. See eBay listing here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. See eBay listing here.

Squid jigs are essential gear in Victoria. See eBay listing here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). See eBay listing here.

BOATS FOR SALE in Victoria - see current eBay listings here.

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Some external videos filmed around the Geelong are featured below.

Geelong jetty fishing

Geelong jetty fishing

Geelong jetty fishing

Geelong jetty fishing

Bega River, New South Wales

Tathra tides
Tathra coastline
NSW fishing regulations
NSW marine parks

Bega River enters the sea through Mogareka Inlet down from Hancock Bridge, the bridge being just 500m from the river’s intermittent sea entrance.

The river’s tidal limit is 11km upstream, about half way to Bega township, and it is navigable to the tidal limit, with depths up to 15m.

The river drops around 116m over its 48km length.

The Bega becomes the Bemboka River upstream, and the Brogo River is a major tributary that features stocked bass fishery Brogo Dam.

Tantawangalo Creek, Sandy Creek and Wolumla Creek are Bega tributaries.

A highly regarded fishing area in the lower tidal section of the Bega River is Blackfellows Lagoon off the Bega River at Kalaru, on Blackfellows Lake Road, where you can expect to catch quality bream and flathead.

Fishing is also usually good around Jellat Jellat, half way between Bega and Tathra.

Bega River sandflats usually hold plenty of flathead, including some trophy fish, with easy access and good spots to be found on the ocean side of the main road bridge.

The area around the bridge has deep water and most species.

The rocks on the north side of the sea entrance fish well for drummer, bream and other rock species.

There are usually bream around most Bega snags, but these fish will feed anywhere there is food.

Estuary perch and mulloway are always a chance in the Bega, with luderick in winter.

Pay attention to rainfall, which will push marine fish down the river.

The Bega is known for a good run of summer prawns, especially after a wet winter.

There are bass in the freshwater reaches.

Tathra Wharf is a great fishing spot that produces yakkas, slimy mackerel, flathead, tailor, salmon, luderick, trevally, squid and barracoutta.

For boaters, the coastal reefs to the north and south have blue morwong, flathead, snapper, kingfish and mulloway.

White Rocks to the south is a known snapper spot, and also Goalen Head to the north.

Offshore, flathead fish well from October, with the 50m to 70m depth range north of Wapengo and south of Bournda producing tiger flathead, gummy sharks and gurnard.

Sand flathead are usually found in shallower around the 30m zone, with Tathra Bay as good as anywhere for them.

Booking.com

Gear tips for New South Wales

A 3-6kg spin outfit is the ideal all-rounder for most New South Wales estuary and freshwater fishing. See eBay listing here.

For wary fish in clear water, a 1-3kg spin outfit is ideal for estuary whiting, bream and bass. See eBay listing here.

A medium surf rod-reel combo is ideal for New South Wales beach fishing for tailor, bream and small mulloway. See eBay listing here.

A heavy surf rod-reel combo is needed for larger mulloway. See eBay listing here.

Metal slice lures are ideal for tailor, kingfish and salmon in the surf and off the rocks. See eBay listing here.

Soft plastic grubs are good all-round lures for a range of New South Wales saltwater and freshwater species. Listing on eBay here.

Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. Listing on eBay here.

Squid jigs are useful in New South Wales, especially in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay. Listing on eBay here.

Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. Listing on eBay here.

Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for tailor, salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). Listing on eBay here.

Ganged hooks (joined chains of hooks) are used when fishing pilchard baits for tailor. Listing on eBay here.

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Some external videos filmed around Bega River are featured below.

Bega River drone footage

Bega River fishing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFIMjxInplEo

Tathra fishing