Surf beaches firing
  |  First Published: September 2012

Despite the cold, wet and windy weather the fishing over in the southeast of SA has been excellent. Winter species such as salmon are still providing great sport on the beaches, and as we head into spring the summer species such as shark, snapper and mulloway will become more active.

It is still another month or so until it is cray season so there still won’t be large numbers of boating parties heading out. Nevertheless, it is still worth a fish with good snapper and shark, among others, to be found off Robe, Cape Jaffa, Beachport and Port Macdonnel.

The bluefin tuna run is now over for another year but what a good season it was.


The good run of fishing continues in the Glenelg River around the Nelson area with mulloway to 8kg, as well as some very nice bream and estuary perch.

The mulloway are being caught at lots of different locations but the more consistent spots have been at the poles, Simpsons Landing and at Taylors Strait. Being a schooling fish they can show up anywhere; a good quality sounder can be really helpful when looking for the mulloway schools.

Many methods are taking mulloway but trolling with jointed lures, such as Rebel Fast Tracs and live mullet trolled or fished while at anchor is probably the most consistent. I would probably start my mulloway search just below Nelson.

The bream and estuary perch fishing has been excellent from Nelson right up to Sapling Creek. The caves area has probably been the most consistent bream spot lately.

Baitfishing with whitebait, podworm, small freshwater yabbies and crab is working well. Most anglers are taking the better fish on soft plastics and vibes cast around the structure-lined banks.

Local gun angler Shane Lowery has been absolutely braining the big bream and estuary perch upstream of Nelson casting soft plastics and vibes. He has also caught some very decent mulloway as well. It is amazing just how many big mulloway get taken here on tiny vibe lures by anglers chasing bream.

Nearby the Discovery Bay beaches at Swan Lake and Lake Monnbeiong have been producing a few big salmon and some very nice gummy sharks in the evenings and after dark. Mulloway are always a chance on these beaches as well.


Boat anglers fishing the reef areas in Guichen Bay are now starting to come across good catches of snapper averaging around the 40-60cm size range along with a few gummy and school sharks. Anchoring up and starting a good berley trail a couple hours either side of a tide change is the way to go.

The whiting and flathead will also start to become easier to catch as we head into spring. They are best targeted while drifting the sandy areas just offshore of Long Beach with cockles and squid strips.

Long Beach has been fishing well with a few mulloway being caught up to 80cm, along with a few gummy and elephant sharks. The evenings and after dark have been best with the better areas starting a kilometre to the right of the last ramp.

I fished Lake Battye just out of Robe recently on my way to the Coorong on a surf fishing trip. I managed to catch a few decent bream around the 36cm mark. I was fishing after dark with unweighted blue bait and prawn tails and there was no shortage of action with bream of all sizes biting well. I also got a few small salmon.

Nearby at Cape Banks, Canunda and the salmon hole at Beachport, the salmon fishing has been excellent, particularly in the late afternoons and evenings. These salmon have been averaging around the 2kg mark along with a few thumpers up to 4kg.

Most anglers have been casting metal lures, such as Halco Twisty and Laser lures, at the schools and at times have been taking a fish a cast. Baitfishing with pilchard and squid will also work.

As we head further into spring the salmon will most likely start to slow down a bit in this area.

Coorong beaches

The fishing has been excellent along the Coorong beaches over the last few months with great reports coming from the 32 mile and wreck crossings right up to ti tree crossing and beyond. Mulloway to 10kg, salmon to 4kg and sharks such as gummy, school and seven-gill have been taken. Most anglers have been taking the salmon during the day and the sharks and mulloway in the evenings and after dark.

I fished the 42 mile crossing recently with my son Curtis. We found the fishing a bit challenging with a lot of weed and strong winds but we worked hard and got a few nice fish. We started fishing in the afternoon on the high tide and caught a number of salmon to 1.5kg on pilchards and red surf poppers. These salmon are great fun and make excellent cut baits for mulloway.

About an hour before dark we started concentrating on fishing for mulloway and were rewarded right on sunset with a nice 85cm specimen, which weighed 8kg. About half an hour later we landed another mulloway that was 80cm. Both these fish were caught on fresh fillets of salmon on the falling tide.

Once the tide had completely dropped we caught a few large skates but the fishing slowed considerably. It was a great night’s fishing and I am already planning my next trip back.


Curtis with a salmon he caught at the Coorong.


A mulloway from the 42 mile crossing taken on a fresh salmon fillet.


A winter mulloway from the Coorong taken on the falling tide.



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