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 Gawler to Port Wakefield to help plan your next fishing adventure...
45km from Adelaide
Although not one of SA’s most well known locations for scale fish, Port Gawler is definitely a hit with land-based crabbers. It’s just a half hour drive north of Adelaide and all you need to grab a feed of plump blue swimmers is a crab rake, plastic tub and a pair of old sneakers.
It is here that the Gawler River enters Gulf St Vincent via a small delta. Mullet, salmon trout, yellowfin whiting, flathead and bream can be caught near the river mouth, particularly around the last couple of hours of the flood tide. This is a reliable light tackle area, with either small lures or natural baits worth trying. Spring and summer are probably the best seasons to fish, although bream can be caught year-round.
The best time of year for crabbing is from just before Christmas through until March. The idea is to get there about an hour before low tide, then follow the water back in after the tide turns. Be mindful, of course, that blue swimmers must measure at least 11 centimetres across the carapace and that any females carrying external eggs can’t be taken.
47km from Adelaide
Accessible from Port Wakefield Road, Middle Beach consists of expansive tidal flats and a dense mangrove fringe. These mangroves make up an integral part of the inshore ecosystem of eastern Gulf St Vincent and are a significant nursery area for juvenile fish of many varieties.
Yellowfin whiting are caught at Middle Beach in summer by those fishing the rising tide late in the afternoon. Live tube worms or nippers (marine yabbies) are the preferred baits. Nippers can be pumped from the sand flats when the tide is low and they are best fished on very light line with tiny sinkers.
It is possible to launch a small boat here, but only around high tide. There are plenty of gar to be dabbed at night and King George whiting offshore over areas of broken bottom. Blue swimmer crabs are available to those prepared to wade the flats on the rising tide, particularly through the summer months.
73km from Adelaide
This is easily the most famous and most regularly visited crab raking location in South Australia. When the blueys are at their peak after Christmas, it’s not unusual to see more than a hundred rakers walking the Port Parham sand flats, most of who bring home a good feed of succulent crabs. Crabbing along the northern beaches is very much a social outing for most families. A barbecue and an esky full of drinks are nearly always standard equipment, along with sun block, hats and plenty of ice to keep the catch cold.
Port Parham has a free camping ground for those wishing to stay overnight, but as they say, don’t forget the Aeroguard! This is a mosquito breeding area and there are few things more likely to spoil an otherwise enjoyable day on the water than a swarm of hungry mozzies.
99km from Adelaide
Boat launching - Dual lane, boarding pontoon
Port Wakefield is one of SA’s most historic maritime settlements and also a very productive area for recreational anglers. Port Wakefield used to be one of the busiest cargo ports in the state and was, in fact, the first settlement in the state north of Adelaide. It has a permanent population of around 540 and offers plenty of facilities and services for those planning a trip.
The boat ramp offers dual lane launching with floating pontoon for boarding. Getting out through the channel to open water depends upon the size and draft of your boat and tide variations. At low tide it can be an issue as the depth varies considerably. We recommend you plan your launch and retrieval around higher tides to avoid any issues.
There are nice yellowfin whiting available during the warmer months at Bald Hill, plenty of garfish for dabbers on still, moonless evenings and King George whiting over broken bottom to the south and east of the Port Wakefield channel. Size can be an issue when whiting fishing, but it is possible to pick up a feed of keepers from among the smaller ones. Snook are prolific during the warmer months, most of which are caught by trolling lures from small boats.
Blue crabs are available for both rakers and drop netters out of Port Wakefield and you’ll find some thumper snapper swimming around the top of the gulf from late October onward. These are spawning fish that migrate up the gulf in vast aggregations before settling on recognised grounds to reproduce. There are a lot of artificial reefs between Port Wakefield and Ardrossan, most of which were made by either commercial or recreational anglers, and many hold big snapper during late spring and summer. Fish of more than ten kilograms are common, with dawn and dusk the prime feeding times.
Most travelling anglers only ever get to see Port Wakefield’s service stations and bakeries, but it’s a fact that the location’s fishing potential is brilliant.