Big salmon on the beaches and SBT offshore
  |  First Published: May 2013

It’s tuna and salmon time on the Limestone coast with no shortage of great fishing reports coming in from this region.

A lot of SBT are being caught at popular ports such as Robe, Cape Jaffa and Port MacDonnell with this season already shaping up to another great one. There has been huge schools of big salmon invading the beaches at Robe, Beachport and at Salt Creek with some very big salmon to around 4kg amongst them.


There are still some good catches of snapper, whiting and gummy shark being taken by boaties out in the bay but as we head toward winter they will start to slow. The tuna on the other hand are going well with tuna averaging around 15-20kg being taken in water anywhere from 150m out to the shelf. Trolling lures and skirts while looking for working birds is the way it is done out here and a few albacore are being caught as well.

The bream lakes in town fish well this time of year with some big bream to well over 40cm. Bait fishing with whitebait, pilchard pieces and prawn works well as does casting soft plastics and vibe lures. The occasional small mulloway is also caught in the bream lakes from time to time. I like Lake Battye as access is very good and the jetty produces some great bream for me in the mornings, evenings and after dark.

The surf fishing is great around Robe this time of year with a lot of salmon about as well as elephant fish, the occasional mulloway and gummy shark. The best salmon beaches lately have been the Back Beach, Domaschenz Beach and Bishops Pate. The aptly named salmon hole near Beachport has also been fishing very well for big salmon. Baits such as pilchard and squid have been working well, as has casting large slices and metal spoons. When fishing for the salmon I like a high tide and the use of little bit of berley such as chook pellets soaked in tuna oil will help keep the fish around for a lot longer as well.

Port MacDonnell

At the moment most anglers coming to Port MacDonnell are chasing the SBT and some great catches to around 80kg have been taken, with most tuna around 20kg. Trolling lures such as Rapala X raps, Killer Vibes or skirts has been the way to go with the tuna to be found anywhere from the 150m line to the shelf and beyond.

Deep water fishing with electric reels has been producing some great eating fish such as hapuku, gemfish and blue eye and can be a handy fall back on the days the tuna are finicky or hard to find. In a bit closer on the bay there has been good catches of whiting, a few snapper as well as gummy shark.

There has been a number of salmon up to 2kg about in the harbour and trolling lures and casting them off the jetty has been working well.

Cape Jaffa

The Wimmera Offshore Anglers Club had a very successful comp here last month with good catches of SBT to 18kg, hapuku to 12.9kg as well as shark, snapper and whiting being taken. Catches of shark snapper and whiting will slow down as we head toward winter but the tuna and deep water fish such as hapuku remain a good option when good sea conditions prevail. There have also been large schools of big salmon being caught out at the lighthouse and in the harbour and small metal lures and soft plastics are all that is needed for some fun on the salmon.

The harbour area has also been fishing well for flathead, trevally and some big bream mostly on soft plastics hopped along the bottom.

Coorong beaches

There are still some nice mulloway around the 80-90cm size range and a few big snapper getting caught between the 42 mile crossing and to well past Ti Tree but they will start to slow down as we head toward winter. Shark numbers of bronze whalers and schoolies will also slow right down now but gummies and seven-gill sharks will still be about.

Elephant fish are now present in large numbers and are easily caught on the rising tide using half pilchards or squid for bait. I’m not big on eating the elephant fish but they are fun to catch and great for introducing kids to the joys of surf fishing as they are pretty easy to get onto at this time of year. A lot of big salmon are also about now and are being commonly caught around 1.5-3kg.

A few very large salmon in excess of 4kg are caught every year so they are well worth chasing and provide excellent sport. The salmon fishing will get even better over the next month or so as we head into winter. I like to fish for the salmon here using a paternoster rig with a surf popper on the top dropper and a pilchard on the bottom dropper. Casting lures such as large slices and spoons also works well on the salmon.

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