A walk on the south side
  |  First Published: July 2003

We can look forward to chasing those cold-weather critters that inhabit our waters around this time of the year. In my reports I tend to write a fair bit about the northern shores of Swansea Channel, because I live a few hundred metres from the north breakwall.

This month I will outline a few of the interesting features of the southern side of the channel, from Moon Island to the end of Salts Bay. Moon Island is one kilometre off Swansea Heads and offers excellent fishing for boat anglers. Small boats can reach the island on calm days without any problems, but check the bar and weather before venturing out.

The Swansea Coast Guard control station is on the hill above the heads and commands an excellent view from Swansea bridge to far out to sea. The station is operated 12 hours a day and is only a radio or phone call away if you need information or help. There are emergency stations available outside these hours.

Drifting around the seaward side of Moon Island and along the rocky reef is popular with many boat anglers. Bream, flathead, morwong, snapper, drummer and teraglin are the most likely species to tighten lines in this area. Trolling for tailor can also produce some good bags when the greenbacks are on the prowl.

From Moon Island a rocky reef runs south for a fair distance, forming a channel between the sea and the rocky shoreline. This protected channel can produce quality drummer, bream and flathead when the conditions are right.

Moving into the channel, the next real point of interest is Lucy’s Wall. This protective wall, built almost at right-angles to the shore, is one of the most popular luderick spots in our area. When the fish are on the bite there is usually standing room only.

From Lucy’s Wall towards the entrance to Black Neds Bay is the ever-popular Salts Bay. A heap of rocks from an old retaining wall marks the northern border of Salts from the main channel, and the southern side is a sandy beach with easy access. Salts Bay is a top spot for quality bream and good bags of these silver beauties are the norm with the dedicated bream anglers.

The bay has extensive seagrass meadows with patches of sand clearly showing in the shallow water. If boat-fishing this area, try to drop anchor on the sandy patches to protect the seagrass, for there is no doubt the seagrass makes this one of the top fishing spots in the Swansea Channel area.

For land-based anglers, the sandy beach on the southern side of the bay offers good fishing. I know a few anglers who target this area and they seldom go home without a feed of fish.

The best time to fish the bay is at night or very early morning combined with an incoming tide. I won’t go into detail about baits and how to put them on the hook, there are manuals written on this aspect of angling. But I will pass on a tip given to me by a dedicated old bream man. Try chicken breasts cut into bait-sized pieces and marinated over night in a liberal dose of parmesan cheese. It works for him and it has worked for me.


No 1.

Moon Island, off Swansea Heads, is a popular location for boat anglers targeting most ocean and estuary species. Always check weather and bar conditions before venturing out around the island.

No 2

The Swansea bar in a foul mood. An outgoing tide and a north-easterly wind are bad news for crossing the bar.

No 3

Lucy’s Wall is popular with luderick anglers. The wall has excellent access and could be wheelchair-friendly with minor assistance.

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