NOTE: Special snapper rules apply in South Australia – more info here.
Elliston township is next to a bay of only about 2km width, on the west side of Eyre Peninsula.
This location is renowned for its 430m jetty, one of the state’s great fishing platforms.
Fishing is best from dusk into the evening, and early mornings, for mainly gar, tommy ruff and squid.
Boat launching can be done with care on the relatively hard sand beach.
A concrete ramp located north of nearby Cape Finniss gives access to Waldegrave Islands and the reefs beyond.
Offshore can only be fished in ideal weather, with nannygai, blue morwong, harlequin fish, samson, kingfish and tuna all a chance.
Elliston is a good base to visit nearby coastal fishing hotspots. These include:
Waterloo Bay/Wellington Point – a rocky ledge that gives access to shallow water.
Boords Beach – beach and reef with a variety of fish caught. Ease to access and usually sheltered.
Main Beach – the jetty produces mainly tommy ruffs, gar and squid. The beach from the jetty to Milligans is quite sheltered and produces mainly whiting.
Milligans – this small beach is sheltered from swell and northerly winds. As there is a reef in the area a variety of fish are caught.
Salmon Point – this is an exposed point that produces salmon and other fish.
Anxious Bay – cliffs in the southern section provide protection from southerly winds. Fish the channels between the reef for a variety of fish. The area near the boat ramp is also good.
Walkers Rocks Lagoon – the first lagoon going north along Lake Newland Beach has garfish, bream and whiting. Camping nearby.
Talia Beach – superb salmon fishing at times, but this is a high-energy location. Look for deep gutters close in. Mullet, salmon and occasional tailor and mulloway.
Mount Camel – this small beach usually has gutters in close, with reef at either end. Good salmon fishing.
Venus Bay – the jetty fishes and crabs well. The bay is shallow and good for whiting, flounder, flathead and gar.
Locks Well – one of the state’s famous salmon beaches. There are almost 300 steps to the beach, keep this mind if you plan to bring back fish. As well as salmon, big tommy ruffs, autumn mullet, and occasional mulloway and tailor.
Sheringa Beach – a calmer beach with whiting, mullet and flathead.
South Australian fishing seasons and baitsThe 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.
Fishing tackle recommendations for South AustraliaA 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
Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.
Some external videos filmed around Elliston are featured below.
Elliston boat fishing
Walkers Rocks campground
Locks Well salmon fishing
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