311km from Adelaide
Few other surf beaches in South Australia have received as much publicity over the years as Browns. As it is situated within the Innes National Park, you’ll have to pay an entry fee to fish at Browns and get a camping permit to stay overnight. Both can be paid for at the office near Stenhouse Bay. Browns is legendary for its salmon fishing, but it is one of those ‘feast or famine’ locations that runs hot one day, then goes cold the next.
Walking from the Browns Beach car park to the far end of the beach requires a reasonable degree of fitness. The sand can be quite soft in places and those who aren’t in the best physical condition will definitely have raised a puff by the time they are ready to begin fishing. The beach is fronted by a substantial reef system that forms a type of lagoon and it is into this lagoon the salmon schools venture in search of baitfish. Catching them can be as easy as flicking out a metal lure one day or near impossible when they are in a fussy mood. It definitely pays to carry both lures and some fresh pilchards to cover all bases.
With salmon netting now curtailed around Yorke Peninsula, stocks of big fish seem to be steadily rebuilding – and that’s great news for those who love to fish the surf. This trend is expected to continue, so we may get to experience salmon action at Browns similar to that of the ‘good old days’.
Big mullet are caught in the surf at Browns as well, particularly during their annual autumn migration around lower Yorke Peninsula. These will take a wide variety of baits and are sometimes caught on salmon gear. It is pretty much an all year fishery, but be prepared to keep coming back if you don’t strike salmon there on your first visit.
It is imperative that those anglers who visit Browns Beach leave the place as tidy as they found it. Litter has been a constant problem over the years, with the Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources seriously considering a general closure at one stage. Plastic bait bags, paper, fish carcasses, drink cans and sundry other refuse left on the beach can only be detrimental to future access, so please take your rubbish out with you.