When it comes to fishing in Adelaide, the world is your oyster. Whether you’re a seasoned angler aiming for rare catches or a noob who wants to get into angling, you’ll be treated to fishing escapades in spots like Henley Beach and the Glenelg Jetty.
We have the ultimate scoop on the best fishing locations, angling pro tips, and more!
Travel time from the CBD: 22 minutes via Port Road and West Lakes Boulevard
West Lakes is a saltwater fishing spot known for its estuaries, serene surroundings, and waters serving as a habitat for various fish. Most of what you’ll catch here are attracted to prawns, bloodworms, and squid, so you better pack some.
Speaking of catches, you’ll typically reel in bream in spring, summer, and autumn, while winter’s low tides bring the prized salmon trout. Come summer, it’s prime time for the elusive mulloway and garfish.
For those looking for a challenge, swing by the eastern side during winter. The spot where the intertidal zone meets the chill recreational and picnic areas is where you can snag some sand whiting, King George whiting, or yellowfin whiting.
Address: 134B Esplanade, Brighton, SA 5048
Travel Time From the CBD: 23 minutes via Brighton Road/A15 and Anzac Highway
If you can handle the chilly air, Brighton Jetty is a top-tier spot for early morning and evening fishing. It’s a year-round hotspot for angling enthusiasts, so you’re almost guaranteed a catch no matter the season.
Blue swimmer crabs, southern calamari, snapper, King George whiting, garfish, tommies, snook, and yellowfin whiting are what you’ll be hauling here.
If you’re aiming for a loaded ice box post-fishing, pop by after a storm and cast your line at the jetty’s end.
Don’t forget to bring fish-colored or shaped squid jigs, prawns, and baitfish. Oh, and a word to the wise: always stick to the fishing rules and regulations conveniently posted at the jetty’s entrance.
Address: 2 Colley Terrace, Glenelg, SA 5045
Travel Time From the CBD: 20 minutes via Anzac Highway
Glenelg Jetty’s waters and crystal-clear views make it an ideal playground for newbie anglers. Moreover, the jetty’s seabed is a mix of rocks, weeds, and sand, attracting more fish than the common sandy seabeds of other Adelaide jetties.
Squid and snook are the easiest to catch here, plus they’re available all year round. Darker hours will bring in species like garfish and herring, while mullet and blue swimmer crabs flock to the waters from March to April.
Beyond the fishing bonanza, Glenelg Jetty is also home to marine wonders like seals and dolphins. There are also plenty of fishing shops nearby, like Real N Deal Tackle, so you don’t have to worry about scoring new hooks or replacing an old line.
Port Adelaide River
Travel Time From the CBD: 33 minutes via M2
The Port Adelaide River, lined with cafes, pubs, and museums, is best for anglers looking for a bustling fishing hub.
For a great haul, the rising AM tide is the optimal fishing hour here, with bream as the most common catch (use worms and small fish as bait).
Some of the top spots along the river are Bower Road and Birkenhead Bridge, offering salmon trout, bream, and mulloway. Those who want to hook kingfish should beeline to the Torrens Island Bridge during spring.
If you’re looking for squid, tummies, blue swimmer crab, and snook, the Outer Harbor is your best bet. Just watch your steps as the rocks here are slippery.
Travel Time From the CBD: 28 minutes via M2
At St. Kilda, newbies typically fish on the rocks. Experienced anglers, though, prefer to sail out not far from the beach to hook some top-tier yellowfin whiting, mullet, and blue swimmer crabs alongside the familiar bream and salmon trout.
The breakwater also holds fishy secrets, sheltering yellowfin and salmon trout at its far end, while the rocky edges boast a scaly lineup of mullet, bream, and whiting.
Effective baits for the species found here include peeled prawns, bloodworms, sandworms, and soft crab lures. You can try to catch them, but purchasing packs sold by bait shops like Tackle and Tucker is more convenient.
Travel Time From the CBD: 26 minutes via Port Road
With over 585 meters in length, the bustling Semaphore Jetty is a favorite among local and tourist anglers, particularly during summer months. Fishers here usually aim for yellowfin whiting, herring, mullet, and garfish.
If you prefer crabs and squid, mark your calendars from spring through February. And for thrill-seeking anglers, keep your eyes peeled between October and March for the daring whaler sharks making their seasonal cameo.
When it comes to bait, scout for decaying beach weeds along the shore; they’re a goldmine for collecting weed worms. However, bring prawns or shrimp if your target is bream, as they don’t usually fall for the said weed-dwelling worms.
Address: 495 Esplanade, Grange, SA 5022
Travel Time From the CBD: 22 minutes via Henley Beach Road
Grange Jetty is a huge fishing hit because of its diverse catches that even angling novices can reel in. The waters here are home to garfish, mullet, herring, yellowfin whiting, sand crabs, and blue swimmer crabs.
In addition, sizable snappers sometimes swim to the jetty, adding an unexpected thrill to the fishing game.
Those with kayaks can head a bit further off the jetty for a better chance of scoring some squid. Watch out for Port Jackson sharks, though, as they often prowl the water near the jetty.
Henley Beach Jetty
Address: Seaview Rd, Henley Beach, SA 5022
Travel Time From the CBD: 19 minutes via Henley Beach Road
Henley Beach Jetty, a picturesque paradise that shines like a postcard during the golden hours, offers more than just magical views. Beneath the surface lies an angler’s haven, full of mullet, garfish, and yellowfin whiting.
Those seeking crustacean delights can lure blue swimmer crabs, abundant from October through April. These months are also when you can land a school mulloway and salmon.
The prized catch here is bronze whaler sharks, typically prowling the waters during summer nights. If you’re planning net one or two, ensure you comply with local shark fishing regulations.
Travel Time From the CBD: 11 minutes via A11
If you’re looking to lessen the invasive European carp’s number, the River Torrens is the go-to spot for taking on these pesky intruders.
You should also prep for a mishmash of brown trout, redfin perch, rainbow trout, and catfish. To hunt down these fishy fellas, make your move upstream to where the river’s narrower and the water’s flow is faster.
There’s also a chance you might stumble upon rare native species like pouched lamprey and short-finned eel. However, you have to return them to the river, so just take a few snaps for bragging rights and return them to the water to preserve the ecosystem.
Travel Time From the CBD: 36 minutes via M2
The Onkaparinga River offers a fun and newbie-friendly fishing experience, with spring showcasing multiple swarms of black bream in the great river’s upper reaches, except for the South Road Bridge area.
Also thriving in this river are other species, including mullet, mulloway, and salmon trout, which, according to local anglers, have a penchant for live bait like whitebait, bloodworms, and pilchards.
For fishing hotspots, the river mouth proves fruitful for salmon during winter’s incoming tides while also hosting salmon trout and mullet throughout the year.
Port Noarlunga Beach
Travel Time From the CBD: 34 minutes via M2
When it comes to stunning shoreline sights and marine life, Port Noarlunga Beach is hard to top. Anglers often drive here for the beach’s herring, snapper, King George whiting, bream, mullet, salmon, and southern calamari.
And when winter comes, you can still expect a good haul with the abundant Australian salmon that enjoy swimming in the chilly waters.
The prime location to cast your line is the intersecting point of the Onkaparinga River and Port Noarlunga Beach. In this spot, anglers reel in smaller salmon, flathead, bream, and tiny mulloway.
– From Alby’s Kayak stuff AUSTRALIA
Travel Time From the CBD: 27 minutes via M2
Clean and tranquil, Snowden’s Beach in Largs North is a top-notch beach and fishing destination. It has a convenient car park, a marina, an accessible boat ramp, picnic essentials, and shady trees.
In terms of fishing, autumn and winter bring in mullet and bream, especially during the incoming tide. You’ll also catch salmon in autumn, winter, and spring.
And hey, the beach is pretty chill about dogs. Just keep them under control or on a leash.
– From SouthAuzzieFish
Travel Time From the CBD: 55 minutes via National Highway A1 and M2
Nestled north of Adelaide, Thompson Beach is a hidden gem where you can hunt for crabs.
If you want more reasons to go here, the breathtaking vistas and serenity will surely make the trip worthwhile, trumping the chaos of crowded suburban jetties any day!
As for the haul, we caught several blue swimmer crabs by wading into the esplanade’s shallow waters. Our team even bought a crabbing rake, a specialized tool with wider gaps and larger hooks than regular garden rakes, to secure the burrowing bounties.
Just note that there’s a daily bag limit of 20 crabs, and females with external eggs must be sent back into the water. Don’t worry, though, you can still catch salmon trout, whiting, flathead, and mullet once you reach the crabbing limit.
Oh, and be mindful of the tides as extensive sand and mud flats emerge during low tides. If you walk too far, your trek back will surely be wet and tricky!
Travel Time From the CBD: 39 minutes via M2
If you’re looking for a spot where no one would bat an eye to your fishing adventures (and misadventures), Maslin Beach, Oz’s first-ever nude beach, is where it’s at.
Bring a gear combo of circle hooks with salted pilchards, an unbeatable choice for nabbing salmon that often linger near the shoreline. You can also use this gear and bait setup to hook squid and mullet, but be patient, as they’re harder to catch here.
And don’t forget there aren’t any nearby shops, so be a hundred percent sure you have everything packed before driving to the beach.
Happy Valley Reservoir
Travel Time From the CBD: 31 minutes via South Road/A2
Perched against the picturesque backdrop of the Adelaide Hills, Happy Valley Reservoir isn’t just a pretty face; it’s also a fishing hotspot with a walking trail and a lush picnic area equipped with BBQs and shelters ideal for lazy afternoons.
For the avid fisher, this reservoir plays host to a variety of catches, but you must follow multiple rules, starting with holding a fishing permit before casting your line. Additionally, if you catch Murray cod, you’re required to set them free.
Those who can land carp or redfin pack and take them home for a delicious meal, as returning them to the water can result in contamination. Anglers should also note that burley and fish attractants are a no-go here.
Travel Time From the CBD: 48 minutes via M2
Serene and scenic, Aldinga Beach is a remarkable pit stop before swinging by McLaren Vale’s world-class wineries.
The beach’s shallow and crystal-clear waters make twilight hours the prime time for casting lines, especially if you’re looking for tommies, King George whiting, snook, squid, and sand crabs.
Don’t forget your kiddos too. Your little ones will have a blast building sandcastles with the beach’s fine sand or relish swimming in the refreshing shallows.