278km from Adelaide
Boat launching – Single lane, not recommended at low tide
There are few locations on Yorke Peninsula that can match the reputation of Marion Bay for its deep water fishing. It is the largest coastal settlement along the bottom of Yorke Peninsula with a permanent population of 120. Marion Bay is situated just before the entrance to Innes National Park and is popular as a base for both anglers and surfers.
The long jetty at Marion Bay is legendary for its big squid and there are thousands of mullet caught along the beaches from Easter onwards. Seaweed worms are the ‘gun’ bait for these tasty little fish and these are quite easy to come by in piles of decaying ribbon weed found lying on the beach. Keep the tackle really light for the best results on mullet and have a good supply of bread-based berley on hand to maintain their interest.
Despite the convenience of the jetty and beaches, however, it is the offshore fishing that draws most anglers to this area. Those with large trailer boats can venture well out into Investigator Strait and beyond to fish the deep water grounds. Launching a decent boat at Marion Bay can be a problem, particularly for those without a four wheel drive tow vehicle. It’s dicey when the swell is up and also when dead seaweed piles up after strong onshore winds. Some locals employ old farm tractors as launch vehicles, eliminating most of the problems associated with what is essentially a sub-standard ramp.
These hassles aside, the offshore waters can be bountiful for such species as snapper, nannygai, big whiting, sharks, squid and even samson fish. Those anglers who are keen to fish offshore from Marion Bay, but either haven’t got a big enough boat or lack the confidence required, can take advantage of a local fishing charter.
King George whiting to well over one kilogram are taken regularly in the waters east of Marion Bay or outside in Investigator Strait. There are also plenty of snapper in the warmer months, varying from just-legal ruggers up to 10 kilo thumpers, as well as silver trevally, blue groper (which must be returned if caught) and a variety of small sharks. Southern Bluefin tuna occasionally venture close enough to Marion Bay for the big boat brigade to chase, but only when prevailing weather conditions are perfect.