Want to know a hot tip? Jetty fishing is balls. Often all you’re catching are ‘shitties’. Yet not all of us have access to a boat. Or someone with a boat. So Fritz has found seven of the best jetties in South Australia for actually catching fish.
Edithburgh is a pretty little town, with all your amenities (caravan park and pub), that has a brilliant fishing jetty. You can expect whiting, squid and tommy ruffs. Remember though, it’s all about your burley. If you’re feeling ruff (we ask for no forgiveness when it comes to puns) a good cleansing hurl will sort your head out and get the fishies interested. Or if you are feeling more adventurous, there is a secret spot by the tidal swimming pool – a rock ledge juts out that whiting and tommies frequent if you don’t mind an occasional soaking by intermittent sea sprays.
“Artificial reef + sheltered bay = loads o’ fish.”
It is also a good spot for diving, although a thoughtless jetty reconstruction in 2013 saw established marine ecosystems that existed on the old jetty pylons literally ripped out of the water. It has slowly been re-establishing itself over the years.
Edithburgh is a small town in South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, about two to three hours drive from Adelaide.
You can tell a good squidding jetty by the number of black ink spurts dotted along its length. Trust us, this is a good sign. Ardrossan jetty regularly produces decent catches of squid, reportedly of a big size too. Again, this can be all dependent on the time of year, but this jetty is pretty reliable year round. More specifically, Ardrossan is known as the home of the blue swimmer crab, but you’ll have to get in quick as the season is coming to an end.
Ardrossan is located on the Yorke Peninsula, about 2 hours drive from Adelaide.
Rapid Bay Jetty
Ahh, Rapid Bay. A Dickensian tale of two jetties, the old bringing a nostalgic tear to the eyes, the new, rather large and with lots of space for fishing, snorkelling and swimming. The old jetty, closed to the public, is now falling into a state of disrepair on top, whereas underwater, it’s a bit of a circus. This area is so rich in sea life and underwater diversity, it is one of the best diving spots in the world for spotting leafy sea dragons and weedy sea dragons. This is complemented by an artificial reef, the scuttled missile destroyer HMAS Hobart. Artificial reef + sheltered bay = loads o’ fish.
St Kilda Rocks
So there aren’t any jetties here, but the rocks that form the causeway are well established and go quite a ways out, with the boat channel on one side and open bay on the other. If you can bear the smell of layer upon layer of rotting seaweed, Bolivar wafts and the faint screams of children from the Adventure Playground, then this is a good location. Just be mindful the causeway you’ll be fishing off abuts a busy boat ramp, so casting your line out too far on the channel side means you’ll lose your line and a very pissed off boat owner will have to stop and untangle it from their outboard. Lots of tommy ruff and salmon trout to be found, as well as the odd squid.
“Jetty fishing is balls.”
It’s also a renowned bird watching area. The mudflats, mangroves and aforementioned layers of seaweed providing the ideal smorgasbord for a wide range of feathery friends mean that you can fish and bird watch at the same time. Indulgent.
Either settling yourself into the lee of the Screwpile Jetty or fishing directly off the rocks are good spots to set up shop. The windswept bluffs, fairy penguins and the large array of sea life will surely make you feel good. Just be careful on the rocks, all it takes for potential disaster is one freak wave and a slip of the foot.
Depending on the time of year, you can expect to catch tommy ruff and salmon trout. There are lots of rays to be found skirting around the area too, but they are too spectacular to eat. Rex Hunt them if you do catch any (mind the tail) and wave them off into the sunset.
You can find Granite Island just off Victor Harbour, about a 1.5-hour drive from Adelaide and a short skip or horse trot across the jetty.
Stenhouse Jetty is well worth the trek to the Innes National Park. The area has a rugged beauty, with high stone cliffs tumbling down to the jetty site. One of the many disused jetties from South Australia’s early history that litter the Yorke Peninsula, it provides handy land-based deep-depth fishing opportunities. Think all your usual suspects (squid, garfish, whiting) as well as some larger specimens like snapper or shark.
This is also a brilliant dive site, as reportedly there is a submerged car that usually houses some monster crays.
Depending on the time of year, Semaphore Jetty is a a good bet for dropping the crab nets to get some blue swimmers. Metro jetties can be quite hit and miss but Semaphore usually rates highly for walking away with at least something for dinner, even if you have to bulk it out with carbs. Expect garfish, squid and the odd good-sized whiting if they’re biting.
Do you have any special jetty spots? Let us know your secret success spots in the comments, below.