Whether you are looking for some action from a boat, shore or jetty...Yorke Peninsula has plenty of fishing locations to choose from.
Here are the fishing spots from Port Clinton to Port Julia to help plan your next fishing adventure...
125km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Beach ramp
Very similar in coastal geography to the opposite side of upper Gulf St Vincent, Port Clinton is a tiny settlement with a permanent population of 260 and is within a comfortable 90 minute drive of Adelaide. Surrounded by an 1850 hectare conservation park, Port Clinton is rich in birdlife and is the ideal location to explore from a car-topper aluminium dinghy. There is small boat launching available, but unless you have access to a tractor, it’s a bit tricky when the tide is well down, so it’s best to plan both launches and retrievals around high water.
Salmon trout and mullet are the two fish varieties that are easiest to locate and there are usually plenty of blue swimmer crabs about in the warmer months. Garfish can be prolific around the top of Gulf St Vincent at night and dabbing them with spotlight and long-handled net is a popular activity at Port Clinton.
Offshore there are plenty of snapper ‘drops’, many of which are man-made from derelict car bodies, old boats and building refuse. However, most of these are well kept secrets and are guarded closely by their creators. Some enormous snapper come from this region, a few topping 14 kilograms, and it is well worth exploring with an echo sounder if you have the time and patience.
King George whiting are taken regularly from Port Clinton, but many are undersize and must be thrown back. Those who persist can generally pick up a feed of bigger whiting, along with snook and plenty of small bronze whaler sharks in the summer months. Wading crabbers do pretty well between Christmas and Easter time, although the average size of the blueys can vary from season to season. Drop netting for crabs from small boats is also widely practised around Port Clinton.
133km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide
Price is a small settlement with substantial mangrove forests and two creek systems - Shag Creek and Wills Creek - both of which are very important fish nursery areas.
The Price creek system yields big mullet, crabs, garfish, salmon trout and the occasional flathead and is the ideal sheltered location for small boat fishing. Those with larger boats often venture outside on to the gulf to catch King George whiting, snapper and plenty of blue crabs in season. Price is a crabber’s delight, and if you are there at the right time (November through until May), pulling a boat limit isn’t difficult.
Boat launching can be tricky again at low tide, but a little thoughtful planning can overcome any associated problems. There is also a strong tidal run in the creek, so take care during periods of peak water movement.
149km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Dual lane, all tide, boarding pontoon
Ardrossan boasts excellent facilities for the visiting angler. The small, protected boat harbour, adjacent to the bulk loading jetty, provides safe and convenient launching. It features pontoon boarding, all tide access and a spacious, sealed car park. There are plenty of productive grounds within easy reach of the harbour, so you don’t have to own a big boat to catch a decent feed.
There are two jetties at Ardrossan, one of which is open to public access and is very popular with visiting anglers. The second, much longer jetty is off limits to land-based fishers, but can be visited in a small boat. An oversized replica of a blue crab greets you as you approach the town jetty, providing a definite clue as to what you can expect to catch.
Tommies, squid, snook, blue crabs, salmon trout and mullet are bagged regularly from the public jetty, as well as a few school mulloway for those who put in the time. It is probably at its best from late afternoon and into the evening, especially from October through until Easter.
For those with a decent-sized trailer boat, Ardrossan can be an exciting place to fish. There are usually nice salmon around the end of the bulk loading jetty and plenty of big snapper further out. The Ardrossan barge, which was deliberately sunk south- east of the town back in 1984 to replace access to the historic Zanoni shipwreck site, has been a reliable spot for big snapper for many years.
Reds to 15 kilograms are caught here each summer, along with slimy mackerel, whiting and the occasional large mulloway. Prime times to visit the barge are dusk and dawn, but big snapper can be caught throughout the night, particularly around tide changes.
There are plenty of good crab raking areas to the north and south of the town and it is possible to dab gar and spear flounder in the same locations when the tide is up and the water is calm.
169km from Adelaide
Boat launching - Beach launch
Pine Point is a favourite wading area for those raking blue swimmer crabs. Make sure you keep a crab measuring gauge handy, as some are either below or just on the legal minimum size of 11 centimetres.
The best location for raking blueys seems to be around Billy Goats Flat, which becomes totally exposed around low tide. There is a lot of rubble and rock on the flat, but it’s the broken ground fringed with sand and weed that produces the best crabbing. Optimum time to be out there with tub and rake is just after the tide turns to come in, when the crabs are mostly buried, but quite easy to detect. Simply follow the tide back in as it floods and look for those tell-tale grey mounds in the sand that often signal a crab in residence.
173km from Adelaide
Boat launching - Dual lane
A long, sandy and relatively protected north facing beach sweeps around at 90 degrees to the coastline, offering great shelter from the dominant summer south-easterly winds.
There are King George whiting, gar, tommies, salmon trout, blue crabs and snook in the bay and, for those with larger boats and a bit of local knowledge, some big snapper offshore. The Ardrossan barge is well within trailer boat range of Black Point, as are several other recognised snapper patches to the east.
Summer crabbers catch thousands of blue swimmers in drop nets around the Black Point sand spit and on calm, moonless evenings there are garfish in good numbers for dabbers. The boat ramp has been redeveloped with a dual lane boat ramp that extends further into the sea.
180km from Adelaide
Although rarely recognised as a productive land-based fishing venue, Port Julia offers plenty for those with small boats. The short jetty becomes almost high and dry around low tide, but can yield
surprising catches when the water is up. It is quite popular with visiting anglers in the warmer months, with reasonable catches of squid and tommies made after dark. Young anglers with the right equipment often tangle with big eagle rays and small bronze whaler sharks from the jetty and there are blue swimmer crabs available in season.
Yellowfin whiting action along the adjacent beaches can be rewarding in the warmer months and there are also some big mullet from Easter onward. Port Julia is totally exposed to the strong summer sea breezes, however, making small boats a little risky in the afternoons. There are whiting, gar, crabs and squid offshore from nearby Sheoak Flat.
Night time gar dabbers often do very well off Port Julia, particularly when the water is clear and calm and there is little moonlight. All you need for this fun activity is a small, manoeuvrable boat, a hand-held spotlight and a long-handled net. Gar can be dabbed at any time after the sun goes down and it’s often possible to bag several dozen in quick time.