One of the most popular recreational activities in this area is fishing. The choice is yours - jetty fishing; boat fishing; hire a charter boat to fish from; beach fishing; rock fishing, surf fishing. Whatever you decide, the opportunities to fish along the whole stretch of coastline that we call the Far West Coast, are innumerable. Jetties are situated at Ceduna, Thevenard and Denial Bay, Smoky Bay, Sinclair and Fowlers Bay.
Jetty and boat fishing can give a mixed bag of snapper, whiting, trevally garfish, salmon, mullet, tommies, snook, blue crabs and squid. Handlines or small fishing rods are suitable for use from a jetty or boat. As with beach fishing, you will need a reasonable selection of hooks, lures and sinkers. Bait, mainly pilchards and cockles is available at many outlets in the district. Local knowledge is always a help. Please check and observe SA fishing regulations and bag limits.
Because we all enjoy this sport, please take only what fish are legal and that you can use. Return the rest to the water.
Beach fishermen can be rewarded with catches of salmon and mulloway. Medium sized rod and reels are suitable for most beach fishing situations. You will need a reasonable selection of hooks, lures and sinkers. Care must be taken when fishing from any area along this rugged coastline. If entering the water while surf fishing, watch out for strong waves, currents, rips and sharks! Local knowledge is always a help.
Please check and observe SA fishing regulations and bag limits.
The King George Whiting Sillaginodes punctata is one of SA's most important food fishes, comprising approximately 27% of the total annual commercial catch of inshore fishers. The eating quality of whiting is renowned throughout Australia. One of its prime qualities is that it retains its flavour after being frozen. King George whiting has a silvery body which is dusky yellow above and has irregular oblique rows of small bronze or brown spots on the back and upper sides. Spawning takes place in April through June in offshore areas. The water currents then carry the fertilised eggs and larvae into sheltered bays of mangrove tidal creeks and seagrass areas. During the summer months, growth is rapid and most fish reach a size of about 28 cms when about two to three years old. By the time fish have reached 35 cms, 3 to 4 years old, most have swum out from the bays, progressively moving into deeper offshore waters as adult fish. They reach a maximum length of 70 cms, weigh up to 2.5 kgs and their maximum age is 14-15 years. They will readily accept baits such as cockles, razorfish, marine worms or strips of squid.
The commercial fishery is located from St Vincent Gulf to Ceduna. The fishery is regulated by limited entry licensing as well as gear restrictions, areas closures and a minimum size limit.
The recreational fishery is regulated through size limits, bag and boat limits. The legal minimum length of King George whiting is set so that most fish will have the chance to reach their most productive size.
Watch your limits! Please check bag limits locally as there may be changes. Because of current changes in regulations, contact Fishwatch on 1800 065 522 to obtain size and bag limits.
It is easy to tell if a crab is male or female. Females have small nippers and a wide abdomen, under which there is a series of feather-like structures to carry fertilised eggs. Eggs look like small brown or orange grapes. Male crabs have large nippers and a narrow abdomen.
It is an offence to take female blue crabs with eggs attached. There is a bag limit for recreational fishers of 40 crabs per person per day, and a boat limit of 120 crabs per boat per day. There is also a size limit of 11cms measured from side to side at the base of the spines. There are restrictions on the number and type of crab nets which may be used.
For further information on Fisheries Regulations, contact Fishwatch on 1800 065 522.