Category Archives: Fishing Tips & News

Outer Harbour mulloway fishing

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, a waterway that has produced a great many large mulloway over the years.

The Outer Harbour rock walls are great place to target mulloway, and big fish can be expected.

The harbour entrance is dredged and lined by giant walls, locally called breakwaters, with the southern wall being accessible on foot and the northern wall only fishable 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 fish the end to catch mulloway, as good fishing can be had the full length of the wall.

Mulloway were also caught from the nearby wharves before they were closed to access.

Mulloway patrol along the rock wall, and divers say schools will also rest in one location until they decide to feed.

Unfortunately, without a boat and sounder to locate schools, landbased fishos must target fish that are on the move along the wall.

Mulloway usually feed on the turn of the tide.

Night fishing is best for mulloway, but some good fish are caught from Outer Harbour breakwater in daylight.

Use livebait for mulloway.

Catching livebait can be problematic – small salmon trout, tommies, gar and squid are ideal but not always available from the rocks.

Alternatively, try a small zebra fish, which can be caught on small hooks along the rocks, or fish the shallow (south) side of the wall for sand whiting.

If you catch a large salmon trout the fillets can be good bait, but rays will be a nuisance.

Be sure to have fresh whole pilchards or gar as backup bait.

Mulloway will pick up a bait and run, presumably to get away from other competing fish in the school with their prize, so you may need to give them line before striking.

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

Be sure to have suitable tackle for big fish and a gaff to land your fish.

Large snapper are also caught while fishing for mulloway, as are various sharks and rays.

Tidal flow along the walls is not always strong enough to prevent fishing, but on the biggest tides fishing is easier on the turn.

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

Nearby, North Haven marina has smaller rock walls that produce a few fish 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. They move further up waterways in summer. 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. 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, usually in summer.

Garfish - Best in summer/autumn but bigger fish often caught in winter. 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 caught all year. Use live baits or fresh fish fillets or freshly caught squid. Fish dusk into the night at turn of tide.

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

Snapper - All year 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. Restrictions currently apply.

Bluefin tuna - these appear off western SA before Christmas, reaching Port Lincoln about late February, and the eastern SA coast around March, depending on currents. Early season brings the biggest fish, along with albacore.

Snook - Bite all year but best in summer. 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 - All year but often better quality fish 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 in spots well away from swimmers. Use fresh or live worms or peeled prawns. Some fishos do OK on tiny lures.

Kingfish - summer.

Silver trevally - summer.

Chow (yakkas) - summer.

Red mullet - all year.

Leatherjackets - all year.

Sweep and zebra fish - all year.

Sharks - all year but better in summer.

Fishing gear for South Australian waters

A 3kg spin outfit is ideal for gar, whiting, mullet and bream. See eBay listing here.

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.

A heavier surf rod is needed for surf mulloway, snapper and gummy shark fishing. See eBay listing here.

This surf rod can be matched with this spinning reel ... 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

****

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

Some external videos filmed around Outer Harbour are featured below.

Outer Harbour squid

Outer Harbour salmon

Outer Harbour spearfishing

Diving at North Haven

North Haven mulloway fishing

North Haven tides
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks

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

North Haven marina rock walls are located south of the more popular Outer Harbor breakwaters.

Outer Harbour is the better spot to target mulloway, but some good mulloway are caught from North Haven’s rock walls.

Mulloway are usually caught here in summer and autumn.

Livebait such as mullet, salmon trout or squid is a must, and you should fish at night.

For mulloway, don’t cast too far from the rocks, as they patrol the edge.

Also, the last of the runout tide can fish well for mulloway at this location.

Week nights are best when there is less boat traffic.

For landbased fishos, North Haven rock walls also produce salmon trout, squid, garfish, black bream, yelloweye mullet, flathead and blue swimmer crabs are also caught.

Flathead are mostly an incidental catch in South Australia, but there are enough flathead on North Haven’s sandy sea floor to be worth targeting – just slowly retrieve a bait or lure to catch them.

North Haven also has good boat fishing nearby, with king george whiting, red mullet, squid, garfish, flathead and snapper found over patch ground and near the seagrass beds.

Gummy sharks and large rays are caught from the North Haven rock walls at night.

Note that there are special rules for fishing for sharks and rays in South Australia.

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. They move further up waterways in summer. 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. 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, usually in summer.

Garfish - Best in summer/autumn but bigger fish often caught in winter. 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 caught all year. Use live baits or fresh fish fillets or freshly caught squid. Fish dusk into the night at turn of tide.

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

Snapper - All year 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. Restrictions currently apply.

Bluefin tuna - these appear off western SA before Christmas, reaching Port Lincoln about late February, and the eastern SA coast around March, depending on currents. Early season brings the biggest fish, along with albacore.

Snook - Bite all year but best in summer. 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 - All year but often better quality fish 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 in spots well away from swimmers. Use fresh or live worms or peeled prawns. Some fishos do OK on tiny lures.

Kingfish - summer.

Silver trevally - summer.

Chow (yakkas) - summer.

Red mullet - all year.

Leatherjackets - all year.

Sweep and zebra fish - all year.

Sharks - all year but better in summer.

Fishing gear for South Australian waters

A 3kg spin outfit is ideal for gar, whiting, mullet and bream. See eBay listing here.

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.

A heavier surf rod is needed for surf mulloway, snapper and gummy shark fishing. See eBay listing here.

This surf rod can be matched with this spinning reel ... 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

****

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

Some external videos filmed around North Haven are featured below.

North Haven aerial views

North Haven diving

North Haven flathead fishing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB13fiKSFik

How to catch fish for beginners

Learn how to catch fish and you'll never go hungry
Learn how to catch fish and you’ll never go hungry

The methods used to catch fish have changed throughout history.

Amateur fishing today is limited mostly to fishing with rods and lines, as indiscriminate netting takes more fish than the resource can provide.

Some types of low impact amateur netting or trapping are permitted in some areas, especially for crabs, prawns, squid and lobsters.

But for the purposes of this article, we will discuss fishing with rod and line.

How to catch fish

First, determine the most common species locally available. The more abundant fish will likely be the easiest to find.

Secondly, determine what seasons these fish are available, as some fish are about all year while others come and go with seasons.

Legal closed seasons and fishing gear restrictions may apply, and bag limits. Check your local fisheries department website for legal requirements before fishing.

Thirdly, obtain appropriate fishing gear and bait for the species you target.

A handline with hook and sinker is the cheapest fishing gear, but also the most limited in application.

A rod and basic spinning reel makes fishing easier. Nylon line is cheap, works well and the clear nylon material helps fools the fish.

Braided or gelpsun lines are popular but are more expensive.

If you are fishing off a beach or rocks you will need a longer, stronger fishing rod and heavier line than you will need when fishing a lake or stream.

You will need a selection of hooks and sinkers, and perhaps also some floats which are used to suspend baits under water.

You only need to learn two knots to fish effectively, and most fishing can be done with one. For nylon lines, learn a loop knot and the locked half blood knot.

Look up how to make a fishing rig using these knots, both with sinker and hook, or float and hook. There are many sinker rigs, but the two simplest are the running sinker rig, and the paternoster rig. Sometimes you do not even need a sinker, just cast out the baited hook.

Fourthly, determine the best fishing location in your area, and the best fishing time for that location – most fish in tidal waters feed as the tide comes in and approaches the day’s peak level.

Some fish are caught mostly at night, while others are caught in daylight. Do the research and find out. Though fishing at night can be very effective, it is not easy when you are a beginner.

Fifthly, obtain fresh bait. Fish respond best to fresh or live bait. Tackle shops can help with supplies of frozen bait.

Bait must only be harvested where it is legally permitted to do so.

With the above points covered, your fishing trips will soon be successful.

Fishing is a learning game. Learning to cast a rig is an important skill, try practising at home before fishing.

Avoiding line tangles is another skill, this can be frustrating at first.

Expect to get your rig occasionally stuck on rocks and timber and to lose tackle this way.

YouTube is a great source of information on how to catch fish, and prepare fish for eating.

Keep in mind that sharks and rays make a fine meal if appropriately prepared.

Also keep in mind that in some metro waters fish can be tainted by pollution. Do your research before eating local fish.

When to catch fish around Adelaide – the seasonal calendar

Adelaide (Outer Harbour) tides
West Beach webcam
SA fishing regulations
SA marine parks
SA stocked dams
SA dam water levels
Murray River fishing spots

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

The following advice applies to the Adelaide metro coast and gulf waters.

Black bream – All year, best in winter/spring, day or night. They move further up waterways in summer.

Crabs, blue swimmer – Best in summer, day or night.

Crabs, sand (two-spot) – May to June. Their presence is usually noted when they start stealing fishing baits.

Flathead – All year, they bite all day.

Flounder – All year, but the usual method is spearing in the shallows at night in summer.

Garfish – Best in summer/autumn but bigger fish often caught in winter. Dab netting is usually done at night with light at night in summer.

Mullet – Strong run of fish in autumn/winter. They bite in daylight, coming in very close along beaches at high tide.

Mulloway – Best in summer but caught all year. Fish dusk into the night at turn of tide. Also under bridge lights.

Salmon – Big fish best in autumn/winter but small fish show up all year. Best at high tide at dusk and dawn.

Snapper – All year best in spring/summer. Best at dusk and dawn and they come in close after stormy weather. Severe restrictions currently apply.

Bluefin tuna – these appear off western SA before Christmas, reaching Port Lincoln about late February, and the eastern SA coast around March, depending on currents. Early season brings the biggest fish, along with albacore.

Snook – Bite all year but best in summer. They often bite well at night under jetty lights.

Squid – Available all year but best when the water is clear, dawn, dusk and night.

Tommy ruffs – All year, bigger fish in winter. Best at night.

Whiting, king george – All year but often better quality fish in winter, they bite all day but often tide dependent.

Whiting, silver – All year.

Whiting, yellowfin – All year but best in summer in spots well away from swimmers.

Kingfish – summer.

Silver trevally – summer.

Chow (yakkas) – summer.

Red mullet – all year.

Leatherjackets – all year.

Sweep and zebra fish – all year.

Sharks – all year but better in summer.

Native freshwater fish – summer.

How to fish the Murray River

The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map
The mighty Murray River spans three states. Image adapted from SA WATER online map

Murray River National Park SA
Murray River flows in SA
Murray River and other SA boat ramps
SA fishing regulations
Back to the SA fishing map
River Murray SA maps
River Murray conditions SA reports
Upper Murray River (NSW/Vic) fishing spots

By former Murray River fisheries officer TREVOR SIMMONDS

Tying up a houseboat to the bank on a secluded part of the Murray River is one of the state’s most enjoyable fishing experiences.

However, visiting fishermen often go to the back of the boat and cast to the other side of the river.

Unless you are fishing a midstream snag, rock patch or drop-off, the middle of the river is basically a desert.

You may catch a fish, but will have more chance if you place shrimp pots and baits in water near the bank.

Take your rod to the front of the houseboat, which should be moored bow in to the shore and stern out.

Drop the rig into the water and slowly walk to the back of the houseboat, bouncing the sinker off the river bed until the sinker drops and you must let out 1-3 metres of line.

What you have found is the drop-off used by fish, a fish highway.

A dinghy or canoe provides a great way to explore the creek and river systems.

Bait fishing is the preferred method for me but lures are popular.

Echo sounders help when trolling deep lures along drop-offs in search of murray cod and callop.

Look for snags or fallen rocks.

Fish snags in deep water with deep-diving lures or bait.

Fishing in the various lakes that follow the river can be productive.

Shrimp are an ideal bait for most Murray fish and are readily available throughout the river and can be caught from shore in shrimp traps.

Earthworms are another good bait.

Small yabbies are a great bait for yellowbelly and cod.

Carp will take a range of baits, including bread dough, cheese and luncheon meats.

Murray River species

The Murray cod (Maccullochella peeli) is the river’s largest fish.

This was once the dominant species in the river, but was soon fished down after white settlement.

Fishermen started expressing concern about the quantity of cod in South Australia when there was a marked decrease in the number of small cod between the 1kg to 10kg range, although cod from 10kg to 30kg were still relatively plentiful, along with some magnificent specimens of 40kg to 50kg.

Fortunately, due to a fisheries management plan, the number of smaller cod has now increased.

Cod like large snags and they readily take lures. They should be released.

Callop, also known as yellowbelly or golden perch (Macquaria ambigua), are the most prolific native freshwater fish for the SA angler.

These and cod were historically the main target of the commercial fishing industry, with annual callop captures ranging from about 40 tonnes to 150 tonnes, depending on river conditions.

Silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus) are found throughout the river system, although there has long been a concern that their numbers are falling.

They are usually caught as an incidental catch for the angler when fishing for callop.

Silver perch are fully protected and must be returned to the water.

The eel-tail catfish (Tandanus tandanus) is unfortunately struggling.

This great table fish is one of the casualties of the carp introduction.

The catfish builds nests to breed and rear their young, but faced the ground-disturbing feeding habits of carp.

Although some catfish are caught while fishing for callop they are no longer a target species, and are fully protected.

Bony bream (Nematalosa erebi) are very common throughout the river system. It does not take a baited hook readily. They are able to live in brackish water and stay alive for a long time on a hook, making them useful as bait for murray cod, and in the saltwater Coorong area for mulloway.

Large numbers of bony bream are seen by tourists floating dead in the river with a cotton-like substance or red mark on their side. This is a natural occurrence.

Trout (brown and rainbow) are a rare catch in the Murray but one of the only introduced fish in the river not to be regarded as noxious.

The Murray River crayfish (Euastacus armatus) was once plentiful throughout the system (mainly in the upper reaches of South Australia), but has suffered a massive decline in numbers.

It was thought the crayfish was extinct in South Australia.

However many local fishermen have illegally transferred crayfish from interstate and deposited them in the river.

The locations are a well kept secret, but to my knowledge the crayfish are thriving and reproducing in some areas. The crayfish is only active during the cold months. They are fully protected.

The yabbie (Cherax destructor), unlike the crayfish, is a summer catch.

Yabbies are very common throughout the river system, providing a food source for people and fish.

Fortunately for the angler, they are very easily caught using baited drop nets and yabbie traps.

The best time to catch yabbies is just after a flood in summer as the water level starts to fall. Most are caught on inundated floodplains, billabongs and creeks.

Carp (Cyprinus carpio) are a noxious feral fish that have taken over much of the river.

Many fishermen believe European carp are not worth catching, but it must be said that a 5kg carp hooked in shallow water on 6kg line puts up a struggle worthy of any sportfish.

They take most baits, but only rarely take lures.

Carp must be killed when caught.

Redfin perch (Perca fluviatilis) were introduced by English fishermen and though officially a feral pest they are well-regarded as a sport and table fish.

It is illegal to return redfin to the water.

Another introduced species is the tench (Tinca tinca), a revered fish in Europe, but not much regarded in Australia.

The lives mostly in quiet backwater areas. It fights quite well.

The tiny mosquito fish is usually caught in shrimp traps.

It is illegal to return mosquito fish to the water alive.

Murray River fishing spots, South Australia

1. Renmark to the NSW border, including lock six. The Murray River National Park exists in this region. Boat ramps at Headings cliff and Renmark. A myriad of creeks and numerous lakes and billabongs exists throughout this area. Whilst Chowilla Creek is the most popular it branches into the Monoman Creek that, although not navigable all year, produces callop and yabbies. The best spot is in the area around the second bridge that enters lock six on Chowilla Creek and the upstream and downstream ends of Monoman Creek where it enters Chowilla Creek. A bank launch is possible. Also downstream is the Headings Cliff boat ramp. Most houseboats moor at the entrance of Chowilla Creek and travel upstream by tinnie. Lake Littra and Lake Limbra are in this area and access is only by the old Wentworth Road. Hunchie Creek is located on the northern area of Headings Cliff. Tinnie access for callop and yabbies. Lake Merriti is in this area and on a falling river it is very productive for yabbies. It contains the largest ibis rookery in the Southern Hemisphere. Contact National Parks before entering this area. The most productive area is the southern end of the lake and the creek that enters the Hunchie creek. Ral Ral creek that enters the main river at Renmark will produce callop, cod and yabbies. It is also worth travelling above lock six and fish the creeks that enter the river, particularly on the northern side. Remember if you travel beyond the border into NSW then their laws apply.

2. Paringa – including lock five. Good boat ramp. Good fishing below the lock on the western side of the main river. Numerous small creeks flow off the main river and are very popular for callop and yabbies. A tinnie launch site is located below Salora off the Loxton to Paringa road. Bank fishing on the northern side upstream from Lyrup is popular.

3. Lyrup – good boat ramp. Gurra Gurra Lakes are productive for big carp particularly in the shallow water and some callop in the area of the Bookpurnong Bridge on the Loxton to Berri road. About 2k downstream from Lyrup is a large sweeping bend and some cliffs in an just above Wilabalangaloo. This area is renowned for large cod and callop.

4. Berri – well situated on the river with a good boat ramp. The other side of Berri has a ramp at Bookpurnong Cliffs. Lock four is located between Berri and Loxton. It seems best to travel downstream from Berri to the Bookpurnong cliff area and further to lock four. A camping area and bank launch exists below the cliffs on the Loxton side of the river. The road to Kataraptko Creek is located near Berri. This will enter a national park so please ring NPWS for any regulations. This is a great spot for family camping and bank launching is possible. A track will also take you to the western bank at lock four. Depending on the road conditions a 4WD may be essential.

5. Loxton – a historical town with great launching facilities. It is also close to the famous Kataraptko creek. The river immediately below Loxton near the caravan park produces some big callop and this area is used for the Loxton Apex Club Fisherama each year in January. Numerous sandbars exist above Loxton and are very popular with locals and the house boaters. Look for a deep channel for your callop. Fishing below lock four is very productive with the best areas immediately below the lock outside the restricted boundary and an area within 200m upstream from the upstream entrance of Kataraptko Creek. Within 5km downstream from Loxton is the famous Kataraptko Creek. On a falling river the “Kat” is very productive for yabbies. All year callop are taken from either bank (via Berri) or by boat (via Loxton) Boats can also be launched at the ramp area situated about 8km between Loxton and Morook.

6. Moorook and New Residence – good launching facilities. Launching at Moorook will give boat access to the main river and the shallow lagoons upstream. Although large carp exist in the lagoon it appears that the main stream in this area is the most productive for callop. Access to the Black Fella Creek area is achieved by boat at high flood or by vehicle from Barmera and Cobdogla. This would have to be one of the most popular yabbie areas during falling river conditions. Fishing the bank immediately in front of Moorook is definitely worth a try.

7. Barmera – a lake off the main river good fishing and great launching facilities. The area of Lake Bonney can at times produce very good catches of callop and some redfin. Bank fishing is productive however using a tinnie among the dead gum trees is more productive. Although depth sounders are not readily used in this area I would suggest they should be as most callop are among the snags. Chambers Creek bridge is worth fishing for callop and is easily accessible at both ends at Lake Bonney and Kingston. Cobdogla area is a good camping area with many callop caught from the bank.

8. Kingston on Murray – a ramp exists and is located just above lock 3. Kingston on Murray produces good callop upstream and from the bank, however most fishing is done below lock three situated just downstream. Access to bank fishing is via the lock three road between Barmera and Waikerie on the northern side of the river. Good yabbies are taken in the area between Overland Corner and Lock 3 on a falling river. Bank launching and cod and callop fishing is at Overland Corner.

9. Waikerie – good launching facilities. Lock two is located downstream. The main river between lock two (below Waikerie ) and Overland Corner upstream is very productive for callop, carp, cod and yabbies. Access is available for bank fishing along many tracks that branch from the main road between Kingston on Murray to Waikerie. Good fishing can be had from the bank in the township although within 2km upstream is preferred, fishing close to the bank. Telegraph Cliffs further upstream is definitely worth a try for cod and callop, although a boat is necessary.
Downstream from Waikerie on the floodplain there is a bank launch on the first big bend and this will be one of the closest approaches to fish an area called Broken Cliff which is a popular spot for callop. For the bank fishermen there is also an opportunity to fish Broken Cliff as it is accessible by crossing the ferry and following the road on the northern side of the river. Boat launch is also possible in this area during the summer months. Further downstream is lock 2, and the angler should fish for about 1km downstream as this area is definitely one of the most popular and productive areas on the river.

10. Hogwash Bend – bank launching. Hogwash Bend is accessible by road along the Waikerie-Cadell road. A very popular spot for camping and an easy spot to bank launch your boat. The many creeks upstream and downstream are productive for yabbies in the summer months particularly during a falling river. Callop are also in good numbers in this area.

11. Morgan – historic town with good launching facilities. Now we are getting closer to Adelaide and you will find it more difficult to have a piece of river to yourself. The historical township of Morgan including the Cadell area are productive for the angler as callop are in good numbers both upstream and downstream and yabbies are in numbers during the summer months, particularly in the small creeks that enter the main stream. Downstream from Morgan as you approach Blanchetown there are numerous lagoons and billabongs these are definitely worth a fish especially if you can locate some submerged snags.

12. Blanchetown – lock one and good launching facilities. Great place for the day tripper. This area features lock one and good fishing for callop and carp can be had from the bank immediately below the lock boundary. The river downstream from Blanchetown is very attractive with spectacular cliffs and good callop fishing. Further downstream is a good spot for callop in the area of Stockwell Pump. Vehicle access, bank launching and camping is achieved along the Blanchetown Swan Reach road to an area immediately opposite the pumping station.

13. Swan Reach – great launching facilities. Swan Reach is within an easy drive from Adelaide for a day trip or extended holiday. Fishing at Swan Reach can be productive for callop and carp, but upstream fishing is preferred.

14. Walkers Flat – good launching facilities. Nildotte is a small town that should not be overlooked. It has good launching facilities and this area can produce callop. The lagoons across the river produce bag limit yabbies, especially during summer after a flood on a falling river.

15. Mannum – great launching facilities. The historic town of Mannum is a tourist mecca, however for the angler callop catches are not as plentiful as upstream. Although this area can produce callop, and occasional redfin perch and yabbies, it is unfortunate that the river banks from Walkers Flat downstream are plagued by the introduced willow tree. There is some good fishing for the boat owner among the willows, mainly when these trees have full foliage in summer. Unfortunately, bank access is restricted.

16. Murray Bridge – great launching facilities. The lagoons in the area are a good place for catching carp. This area is a great area for a day fishing trip from Adelaide. Carp are plentiful, with the occasional callop and redfin. Willow trees are again a problem. Almost all fish from Murray Bridge downstream to the lakes have a yellow tinge and the red on a redfin perch can at times appear almost non existent. As carp are so readily caught, there is always a chance for the family to have fun.

17. Tailem Bend and Wellington – both have good launching facilities. Wellington is the gateway to Lake Alexandrina. Both towns are carp central.

18. Meningie – the heart of the Coorong on Lake Albert. Good launching facilities. Also carp central, with occasional redfin.

19. Murray River mouth – the entrance and nearby beaches put on some of the best beach-based mulloway fishing in the state, usually after the river has flowed floodwater.

Booking.com

Fishing gear for the Murray River

By Wiki Fishing Spots staff

Firstly, a lure desnagger/retriever will quickly pay for itself. If you are fishing properly you WILL get snagged. The simplest type is simply dropped down on a cord ... eBay link here.

If you want a fair dinkum true blue Aussie lure desnagger, try this one ... eBay link here.

For rods and reels, a 3-6kg spin outfit is ideal for most Murray River bait and lure fishing. See eBay listing here. If you are chasing big murray cod, you'll need something heavier.

Many types of soft plastics work on Murray fish, but these grubs are a good all-rounder ... eBay listing here.

Jig heads in various sizes are needed for most soft plastic lures, use the lightest heads that you can cast. 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. Always use the smallest size for the conditions and bait you are using. See eBay listing here. Clear bubble floats are preferable for Murray fishing when the water is clear.

Ball sinkers are ideal for river bait fishing, using a running sinker rig. See eBay listing here.

Hooks up to around 1/0 are ideal for the Murray bait fishing, with fine-gauge hooks best for livebait fishing. See eBay listing here.

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Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed on the Murray River are featured below.

Murray River cod fishing

Murray River cod fishing

Murray River yellowbelly (callop) fishing

Murray River yabbies and carp

Murray River callop fishing

iFish Murray cod electrofishing (research)

Murray River carp fishing

Murray River bait fishing

Murray cod kayak fishing

Lure fishing for Murray River callop (yellowbelly)

Murray River mouth drone footage

How to catch squid off the beach

Both tropical longfin squid (often called tiger squid) and southern calamari squid often hunt near shore where they can be caught from beaches, jetties and rocks.

Tiger squid will hunt in a few inches of water in the tropics, and the author has caught them in these situations on a fly rod – the proof can be seen here.

Southern calamari squid are found almost anywhere there is a weedbed or broken sandy bottom.

Dusk and dawn are usually the best times for catching southern calamari, but tiger squid will hunt night and day.

Both species prefer clear water.

Arrow squid are more likely to be seen further offshore.

Squid can be taken from shore using standard artificial jigs or baited jigs.

A casting rod with 6kg line is ideal, you might want to use heavier line if fishing from a jetty where you must pull large squid up – the squid will never weigh 6kg but some reserve in the line helps, and you never know when a giant cuttlefish might show.

In southern waters squid are often targeted by using a baited ‘spike jig’ under a float. A small fish is impaled on the jig and cast out under a float.

When using jigs with no barbs on the hooks always keep the line tight after hookup or the jig might detach from the squid.

Squid can be sight-fished in many locations.

To find your squid, patrol likely spots at dawn and dusk, with most locations fishing best at high tide.

Squid are great fun for kids to catch.

Squid are delicious, and being abundant you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them.

Please email any updates or corrections to fishfindermaps2@gmail.com

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Squid fishing gear

A 6kg spinning outfit is suitable for squidding. See eBay listing here.

Standard squid jigs such as these work well ... see eBay listing here.

Baited 'spike jigs' are popular in South Australia but will work well on large calamari squid in all southern states - these are cast under a float and left out until a squid takes the bait. Bait these jigs with a small tommy ruff or mullet. The large baited jigs with a set of underlying barbed hooks are very effective even though they look clumsy compared with smaller jigs more commonly seen ... see the eBay listing here.

Squid can be targeted with baited jigs such as these as well ... see eBay listing here.

Don't forget to take a sharp knife and a bucket because squid squirt ink and are a messy catch. Some freezer bags are always handy so you can part-process your squid on location.

Good luck!

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Some external videos featuring landbased squid fishing are featured below.

Squid from the beach

Squid from the beach

Jetty squid

How to clean squid

How to catch fingermark bream (golden snapper)

Fingermark (Lutjanus johnii) distribution map

Fingermark bream (Lutjanus johnii), called golden snapper or “goldies” in the Northern Territory, are a fish of coastal rocky reefs and rockbars.

They are truly desirable fish, having excellent eating and fighting qualities.

Big fish are heavy shouldered, with a golden sheen.

This species should perhaps be called only golden snapper because the name “fingermark” is often used for moses perch, a species with a more obvious dark spot on its flank.

Goldies have been recorded from roughly WA’s Pilbara across the north to the central Queensland coast around Gladstone, but are most common in the far north.

They are essentially an estuary and coastal fish, nonetheless they grow to 10kg on Australia’s East Coast.

Small fish are found in tidal creeks, especially creeks with a lot of rock, and as they grow they move out onto coastal reefs and headlands.

The biggest fish often loiter near the edges of sloping rock shelfs where the rock joins a mud bottom in 25m to 35m of water.

Big fish can be caught in shallower and deeper water. The tops of sloping rocky reefs, about 5m to 15m deep, tend to have a lot of coral growth on them and hold parrot fish, spanish flag, coral trout and the like, but goldies will show up in these places.

Rocky reefs are the go-to spots. Look for rock patches around deep channels.

In creeks, fish the rockbars.

Goldies are also caught over flat rubble grounds and around wrecks and artificial reefs.

These fish will show up around wharves and headlands, and big ones are caught off beaches at Cape York Peninsula as they patrol at night at high tide.

Smaller fish will move over mudflats with a rising tide.

Goldies have good eyesight and can be a tricky fish – in clear water the big ones are best fished at night.

Always use fresh bait for these fish. Live squid will fool the biggest ones in clear water areas.

Dead baits should be as fresh as possible. Thawed packet squid can work when the fish are biting well.

Big tides tend to produce a better bite. They often feed fast and furiously at the turn of the tide.

Goldies will take lures, but bait usually works best.

These are a tasty species but also very slow growing and it is therefore important to stick to bag limits to ensure their fishing future.

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Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

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

Catching big fingermark

Catching fingermark on soft plastics

When to catch mackerel in Moreton Bay

Spanish mackerel are usually most abundant in south-east Queensland waters and Brisbane’s Moreton Bay between January and May.

Spotted mackerel are usually best in Moreton Bay from December to June, but are often caught in the bay all year.

Doggie (school) mackerel are caught all year in Moreton Bay.

The key to finding mackerel is to find bait schools.

Mackerel will also be found around verticle structure such as shipping pylons.

Spotted mackerel often feed near the surface and seabirds can give away their presence.

Unlike spotted mackerel, doggie mackerel aren’t usually found at the surface.

Instead, they can be found using a sounder, and are often found over the best winter (diver) whiting grounds.

Most of Moreton Bay will produce mackerel, and deep water is not required.

In more northern waters spanish mackerel are caught all year on the wider reefs.

The central and northern Queensland coast sees good spanish mackerel fishing between July and November.

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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Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

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

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