South Australia Eyre Coast fishing gives ring of truth to anglers tall tales

February 16, 2010
South Australia Eyre Coast fishing gives ring of truth to anglers tall tales

The West Coast Of South Australia's Eyre Peninsula has some of the most ruggedly beautiful coastal scenery to be found anywhere in Australia and some of the best fishing.

Its bays and inlets face the Southern Ocean and resort towns like Elliston, Venus Bay, Smoky Bay and Ceduna are good bases for superb fishing and water-related activities.

From June  1 to August 31 Elliston, 641km west of Adelaide via the Princes and Eyre Hwys and 169km northwest of Port Lincoln is Australian Salmon crazy.

Uncle Dave shows apprentice Eyre anglers how to clean fish
Uncle Dave shows apprentice Eyre anglers how to clean fish

All prizes for 2015 will be announced at the Elliston Hotel at 8pm on the following dates:

Mystery Weights - 1st August, 15th August, 29th August

Heaviest of the month+ Runner up, Photo competition winner- 31st July, 31st August

Heaviest Overall, Winners of the winter Raffle, Lucky Ticket Prize - Friday 4th of September

Prizes Include:

Mystery weight each fortnight - $200

The Monthly prizes - Heaviest Salmon $1000, Runner up $300

The Heaviest Salmon Overall - Rod & Reel.

Lucky Ticket Prize- Rod and Reel.  

Locks Well beach is only 15km south of Elliston and is one of the most consistent locations for catches of Australian Salmon in South Australia.

Locks Well beach consistently produces big Australian Salmon. The kind of fish which surf fishermen base their "tall" stories on. Anne Scammell of Elliston Progress and Tourism Association  says  www.elliston.com.au or the Visitor Information Centre on 1800 088 589 provide details.

Locks Well has become so popular the Elliston community built a 120m wooden staircase (282 steps!) to provide easy, safe access to the beach.

A lookout has also been constructed which takes in the magnificent view of the coastline.

The road to Locks Well from the Flinders Highway has also been bitumised, which takes the shakes out of what was corrugated secondary roads.

Sheringa Beach tougher road travel but abundant fish
Sheringa Beach tougher road travel but abundant fish

Sheringa Beach, 41 kms south of Elliston, is also famed as one of the many beaches that produce good quantities of Australian Salmon.

Sheringa Beach, just 8km off the Flinders Highway turn off, does not offer road travel comforts, but it has the same calibre in abundance of fish. It also has a magnificent backdrop of big white dunes and provides excellent beach fishing for whiting in many green holes.

To the west good catches of sweep can be taken from the rocks. Well-worn tracks lead to these locations. A little further west the second Sheringa Beach offers surf fishing for salmon at its best.

Among Australia's surf beaches Blackfellows has a break which is regarded as one of the best surfing spots on the Australian coast.

Surfers take the cliff top scenic drive to Anxious Bay. It's not uncommon to share the waves with a school of dolphins which also ride the surf.

Anxious Bay Boat Ramp
Anxious Bay Boat Ramp

Anxious Bay has a white sandy beach broken only by Walkers Rocks and one other small rocky outcrop. It stretches north some 38kms towards Talia Caves. Access to the section of beach from Walkers Rocks to Talia Caves is limited to four wheel drive vehicles only.

This beach offers excellent beach fishing for Salmon and the occasional Tailor or Mulloway.

Go via the direct route or take the alternate scenic drive to Anxious Bay.

There is magnificent coastal scenery, top beach fishing for Whiting and a concrete ramp for boat fishermen. This provides access to these waters and those of nearby Waldegrave Island.

Catches at Waldegrave Island include Garfish, King George Whiting and other species of Whiting.

Elliston Caravan Park is popular a base camp for fishing enthusiasts. The park is well placed in relation to a multitude of fishing spots. These include jetty or beach. Boats can be launched from

Anxious or Venus Bay. Catches include many varieties of fish - Australia Salmon, Mulloway, King George Whiting and Garfish, Trevally and Tommy Ruff.

The Spencer Gulf and Bight waters teem with fish including snapper and King George whiting and there are plenty of opportunities to hire a charter boat.

Eyre Peninsula beach fishing
Eyre Peninsula beach fishing

The Eyre Peninsula is a vast, ruggedly beautiful region which stretches from Whyalla in the east to the Western Australian border over more than 1000 kilometres. The Coffin Bay area is a Mecca for anglers fishing from boats, off the beach, on the rocks or from a jetty.

The sheltered waters of Coffin Bay are famous fishing grounds for whiting, trevally, salmon, garfish, tommy ruff, flathead and snapper. In Coffin Bay National Park good whiting catches are taken at Pt Avoid and surf fishermen delight at the salmon fishing to be enjoyed on beautiful Almonta Beach.

From Ceduna to west of the head of the Great Australian Bight, there are many superb surf-fishing beaches that reward anglers with catches of salmon and mulloway, many up to 35kg. Point Sinclair, Fowlers Bay and Scotts Bay are also popular fishing destinations.

The coastline of Yalata lands requires an entry permit from the Yalata Roadhouse. This is an area in which a 4WD will improve the chances of getting to the better locations. Visitors must be totally self sufficient with water and spares as this area is remote.

Be careful of sudden large waves when fishing from rocks and be sure to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

4.2m Quintrex 420 dory bring the fish in on the Eyre Peninsula
4.2m Quintrex 420 dory bring the fish in on the Eyre Peninsula

Get a copy of South Australian fishing regulations, available at most bait or tackle shops.

The Eyre Peninsula has one of the biggest commercial fisheries in Australia.

Bluefin tuna, striped tuna, Southern rock lobster, Western king prawn; whiting, shark, garfish, snapper and salmon are amongst the most popular commercial types of fish to be caught.

The Eyre Peninsula’s famous oysters, sought after abalone and succulent scallops are harvested commercially from several sites.

Tourists visiting the Eyre Peninsula can now discover the secrets of the local $430 million aquaculture industry, thanks to a Seafood and Aquaculture Trail.

The trail is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia and features 12 guided tours along a self-drive trail stretching from Whyalla to Ceduna.

Visitors learn about several species of fish and crustaceans including southern blue fin tuna worth thousands of dollars a fish. They can also see the big commercial fishing fleet.

Hundreds of whale watchers from around the world migrate to the Bunda Cliffs at the Head of Bight between June and October every year to see Southern Right Whales frolic in the waters off the coast.

More than 60 Southern Right Whales give birth to and nurture their young in the region each year and they are visible from the viewing platforms on the high cliffs.

Cliff Top Drive from Waterloo Bay to Anxious Bay
Cliff Top Drive from Waterloo Bay to Anxious Bay

At Baird Bay, accompanied by tour guides, visitors can also experience the thrill of swimming with curious dolphins and sea lions.

The coastline of the Eyre Peninsula is home to white-bellied Sea Eagles and Ospreys, which can often be observed fishing and feeding along the shore.

Pied and Sooty Oyster Catchers, Silver and Pacific Gulls are also common along west coast beaches.

Other seabirds such as Red Capped Dotterels and even the endangered Hooded Plover are often seen as well. Five species of Cormorant inhabit rocky outcrops and islands. Rock Parrots are also common on many islands and in dunes.

Australia's only known mainland colony of breeding Sea Lions can be viewed from spectacular Point Labatt, near Streaky Bay.

In the northern part of the region, the Gawler Ranges and Gawler Ranges National Park abound with flora and fauna. Countless red kangaroos, western grey kangaroos and emus make this unique wilderness area their home. Over 140 species of birds have also been recorded here.

Road conditions can vary greatly. Signposting and amenities are limited.

Enquire at Minnipa, Wudinna, Kimba or Iron Knob for up to date information on local conditions, directions and facilities.

The climate of the Eyre Peninsula ranges from arid in the far west to cool and temperate in the south. The waters of the Southern Ocean and Spencer Gulf have a moderating effect on the climate of the coastal areas.

Elliston Jetty. Good fishing from beach and boats too
Elliston Jetty. Good fishing from beach and boats too

The average maximum temperatures range from 25°C to 29°C in the summer months near the coast, to 34°C inland. 

During winter the average maximum temperatures range from 15°C to 18°C.

The warm balmy days of autumn offer superb touring weather. 

The region enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate - a couple of degrees cooler than Adelaide in the summer, and a degree or two warmer in the winter.

Must see and do

As suggested by Tourism Eyre Peninsula

Journey along Eyre Peninsula’s Seafood & Aquaculture Trail.

Dive or snorkel with the cuttlefish at Whyalla.

Enjoy succulent fresh oysters at Cowell.

Visit a seahorse farm at Port Lincoln.

Enjoy Coffin Bay’s spectacular National Park.

Take a breathtaking coastal cliff top drive along the Great Ocean View Drive near Elliston.

Swim with the sea lions and dolphins at Baird Bay (near Streaky Bay).

Adventure is at its best on Googs Track (4WD only) near Ceduna.

Go whale watching at Head of Bight (June to October).

Experience the Gawler Ranges National Park, accessible from Minnipa, Wudinna, Kimba, and Iron Knob.

Here are some “ favourites ”

More than 200km of superb wilderness coastline and castaway islands.

Fabulous fishing from beach, rock, jetty or boat.

Pristine beaches.

Superb national parks abounding with flora and fauna.

A hinterland of golden grain in season, interesting rock formations and rugged ranges.

A proud display of heritage including broad-acre farming, tall ships, coastal ketches, mining, shipbuilding and early pioneering history.

Wilderness camping.

Relaxed and tranquil lifestyle away from city stresses.

A fascinating commercial fishing industry.

Magnificent blue water sailing and offshore boating.

Unique festivals and events.

A chance to sample an amazing variety of succulent seafood.

Editor's Note: Also See -

GoSeeAustralia tours South Australia's Limestone Coast and finds world class attractions

Murray locks and weirs keep attractions afloat for touring in South Australia, NSW and Victoria

Caravan and Camping Industries Association of South Australia scores Tourism Awards bullseye first shot

Eyre Hwy adventure stop, think and do it!

SA Caravan Parks conference told AAA Tourism star rating consistency in question

Blanchetown kicks back with relaxed river days

GoSeeAustralias Great Drives of Australia 'Once around The Block please'

Pets welcome where you see this sign

Elliston Caravan Park has room for rigs
Elliston Caravan Park has room for rigs

Fish freezer facility Elliston Caravan Park
Fish freezer facility Elliston Caravan Park