40km 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 just before Christmas through until March. The idea is to get here about an hour before low tide, then follow the water back in after the tide turns. Be mindful, of course, that blue swimmer crabs must measure at least 11 centimetres across the carapace from the base of the largest spine and that any females carrying external eggs are protected and can’t be taken.