Part of Adelaide’s Torrens River wetlands was turned into a large tidal lake estate in the 1970s.
This waterbody, called West Lakes, was formed by diverting the lower Torrens River to sea at West Beach and “reclaiming” the remaining mangrove and reed marshland.
Work began in September 1970.
Delfin Island was opened in 1978.
A pipe carries sea water to West Lakes, and the lake also receives storm water.
The sea pipes are at the southern end, with a causeway into the Port River located at the north end.
We can only guess how important the Torrens wetlands were from an ecological point of view, but today West Lakes holds a variety of fish and is a great family fishing location.
Black bream are arguably the main species of interest, and there are stonkers to be caught. However, it can be hard to get past the small fish.
The biggest bream can be a challenge to tempt in the often clear and usually still waters.
Light line and live or fresh bait is essential, and fishing at night greatly improves the chances of catching a trophy fish.
Small artificial reefs have been installed in West Lakes.
There are 12 such reefs on the inlet side of West Lakes.
The reefs were placed to increase fishing opportunities from Inlet Reserve, and would also hopefully increase fish stocks.
The largest reef unit is a fish tower 1.3m high by 0.7m by 1.6m wide.
Fishing is only permitted in West Lakes from man-powered dinghies/canoes or on foot.
You must fish at least 10m or more from residential properties and 20m away from any bridge.
West Lakes fishing spots
Bartley Bridge has bream mostly in spring, summer and autumn and salmon trout in autumn, winter and spring.
Tiranna Reserve has bream mostly in summer and mullet in autumn.
Deep Bend has mulloway in summer.
Martin Court has bream mostly in spring, summer and autumn
Scullers Reserve has bream mostly in summer and autumn, mullet in autumn and winter and garfish in summer.
There are fishable rock walls at North Haven.
The Port River estuary has many good fishing spots for a variety of species, and the Port River’s sea entrance, called Outer Harbour, has a long rock wall that is a landbased fisho’s best chance for big fish around Adelaide.
For a more detailed summary of Adelaide fishing opportunities, go here.
Here is a list of recommended tackle for SA waters.
Here is the SA seasonal fishing calendar for various fish species.
NOTE: Special snapper rules apply in South Australia – more info here.
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