Cray season open but snapper off limits this month
  |  First Published: November 2012

The eagerly awaited southern rock lobster season is now open again and amateur anglers with cray pot licenses will be looking forward to another great season off of Robe, Port MacDonnell, Beachport and Cape Jaffa.

At this time of year the better crayfishing is still out in the deeper water but they will come closer to shore as we head toward summer. There is a monthly closure to the taking of snapper in South Australian waters over November as this is their spawning season but there is no shortage of other quality species on offer this time of year to keep anglers very busy.


The offshore fishing here has been good with some nice gummy and school sharks being caught out wide with some very solid sharks to 25kg being taken. There was also some nice snapper to 4kg being caught just prior to the November snapper season closure. In the bay there has been some nice whiting and flathead catches being taken along with the odd seven-gill shark as well. Over the next few weeks crayfishing will be very popular off of Robe but most of the better catches will be out on the deeper reefs to begin with.

The surf fishing has been good around Robe with a few school mulloway, salmon and gummy shark being taken at Long Beach in the evenings with pilchards and fish fillets working well. I fished the beaches in the Little Dip Park recently and had a ball catching numerous salmon to 2.5kg on pilchards and garfish on the high tide along with a small mulloway. As we get some warmer weather mulloway catches will become more common along Robe’s back beaches along with sharks such as gummy, school and bronze whalers.


Despite a lot of dirty water in the system after all the spring rains, some good bream have been getting caught in the estuary mostly on baits such as podworm, yabbies and cut crab. When the tide has been pushing cleaner saltwater into the system excellent bream fishing has been had to those casting soft plastics and vibes. The mulloway have been a bit hard to find recently but the stretch below Nelson is probably the most consistent area to start the search for these silver ghosts of the river. I would be bait fishing with live mullet or pilchards for the mulloway here at the moment. The river should start to clear up this month, which will make the fishing a lot easier.

The surf fishing nearby at Swan Lake on Discovery Bay and at Piccaninie Ponds has been good for some solid salmon to 3kg along with some nice gummy sharks and the occasional school mulloway. The high tide after dark has been producing the best fishing for the gummies but the salmon can be caught at any time of the day when they are about.

Cape Jaffa

The fishing is starting to fire up here with some nice school and gummy shark to 15kg being taken at King Rock on fish fillet baits. Anchoring up and berleying before a tide change has been the way to go here. A lot of snapper have also been about as well as the odd thresher shark to really spice things up here.

Some nice whiting are now also starting to show up in Wrights Bay and at the pinnacles and are best taken on baits of cockle and pilchard fillets. Crayfishing will be very popular now the season has opened again and I plan on doing a trip here during November to try my luck on the sharks and crays, I can hardly wait either.

In the marina some nice salmon are getting caught on soft plastics along with a few good size flathead. Squid are also getting caught here and off the jetty as well. Plenty of garfish and tommy ruff are getting caught on gents fished under floats early in the morning and in the evenings off the jetty as well.

Coorong beaches

The surf fishing here has been excellent along here for some time now, but is actually at its best this time of year in my opinion. Most areas from the 28 Mile north have been fishing well but the best stretch has been from the 42 Mile crossing to Ti Tree crossing. The 42 Mile has the easiest 4WD access to the beach as well. A number of good size salmon to 3kg are still being caught along with many gummy sharks.

A number of mulloway have been caught mostly around the 80-90cm size range but this is the month the bigger mulloway are often caught along here. As we head closer to summer, bronze whaler sharks and big snapper will also start to show up along here.

The high tide has been the most productive, I often find a lot of weed often comes through on the low tide. Evenings to after dark tends to produce the better mulloway and sharks as well. Popular baits have been fresh salmon and mullet fillets, squid, garfish and pilchards and I have found it often pays to run a surf popper on the top dropper of your paternoster rig so if you lose your bait without knowing you are still a chance at a fish.

At the Coorong we have caught a wide variety of fish on the surf poppers including salmon, elephant fish, mulloway and flathead.

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