Great Boating and the best Fishing Spots, Kangaroo Island
A beautiful coastline with abundant wildlife, marine life, and amazing food and beverages. Welcome to Kangaroo Island.
Located 14 kilometres off the coastline of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, Kangaroo Island is a favourite fishing location and has been for generations. Rivers, beaches, bays and boat fishing—there are angling opportunities at every turn for groups, families and couples. Discover its great fishing spots, some of which are right on the shoreline. For a fun Kangaroo Island fishing experience, check out the Kangaroo Island fishing report, then take your boat out to where the fish are. No boat? No problem! Just outsource the hard work and hire a fishing charter. Jetties are peppered all around the coast from which you can cast a fishing line, then sit back and relax with the gentle lull of lapping waves.
Several Kangaroo Island Marine Parks protect the marine life, habitat and breeding grounds on the island. However recreational fishing is welcome in many locations except where marked as sanctuary zones or areas with restricted access. Keep a lookout for signs posted at launch points across the island.
Fishing Spots on Kangaroo Island
The island is favoured by a moderate climate, which means that fishing is one activity that can be enjoyed all year round. Take advantage of the free access to numerous fishing sites. There’s beach, jetty and boat fishing available, as well as kayak fishing as an alternative in areas that are not easily accessible by charter or on foot. Kangaroo Island is famous for its King George whiting, and while they are available throughout the year, they’re especially fat and plump in the winter. Whiting aside, there are plenty of other fish in the sea, quite literally. From squid fishing at Kangaroo Island to catching sand crabs, let’s explore which spots offer the best bites and what fish each season brings.
Diversity and abundance best describe the fishing options on Kangaroo Island. There are many great fishing spots, and our top picks are below.
Kingscote to American River
Bay of Shoals:
Kingscote offers boat, jetty and shore fishing. A long sand spit stretches five kilometres to the east from the Bay of Shoals. On the southern side of the spit, you can catch garfish, whiting, salmon, trout and big sand crabs. At high tide on the eastern end, you’ll find whiting, garfish, tommies and flathead. There are boat launching facilities at Bay of Shoals.
Known as one of the best recreational fishing jetties in South Australia, the Kingscote jetty yields whiting, garfish, trevally, snook, squid, and the occasional big kingfish. The best time to cast your line is in the late afternoon and evening.
The tides at Cygnet River determine the feeding patterns of local bream, with the last hour of the rising tide being the best time to fish—especially when it’s in the early morning or late afternoon. Most rivers on the island have undersized bream, except for this location. Here you’ll often find fish weighing over two kilograms.
Nepean bay can be great for whiting, squid, snook, tommies and garfish. In the warmer months, you can find blue swimmer crabs. The two-kilometre-long reef is where you’ll catch the best whiting.
American River fishing can yield whiting, salmon trout, tommies, garfish, snook, flathead, and sand crabs. For whiting in particular, the best place is between the American River township and Kangaroo Head, during the last two hours of the run-in tide. This location is also popular with small boat operators and there is a boat launching facility present.
Penneshaw has a beach, jetty and boat fishing. There you can catch squid, snook, the occasional whiting, and tommies from the late afternoon into the evening. The breakwater nearby has salmon, while the beach is well known for mullet in autumn. There are boat launching facilities at Christmas Cove in Penneshaw, and also at Baudin Beach, about 10 kilometres south-west of Penneshaw.
Antechamber Bay fishing is excellent due to the expansive and relatively protected location which is one of the best spots for King George whiting. It’s also a favourite spot for huge snook in summer, as well as garfish, flathead, tommies, mullet and sand crabs.
Cape St Albans to Cape Willoughby:
You can expect to bring in large salmon (weighing between one and five kilograms) and even larger yellowtail kingfish (weighing up to 25 kilograms). This stretch is big boat territory that is open to south-easterly winds and huge tides.
The bay is good for mullet, salmon trout, tommies and flathead, and is easily accessible off the main road between Penneshaw and Kingscote. Fish for salmon from the beach during the day and sharks by night. In favourable weather conditions when the swell and wind is down, sweep can be caught from the rocky outcrops at either end of the bay.
The bay is fantastic for shore fishing. Large trailer boats are welcome and are usually brought in by tractors or 4WD. Catch some big whiting, trevally, tommies, garfish, squid and flathead. Between April and September there’s an abundance of large snook.
You can fish from the beach, river, jetty or rocks for salmon, mullet, flathead and school sharks. The jetty is often good for big tommies, trevally, whiting, squid and garfish, while Harriet and Eleanor Rivers yield bream between 10 and 45 centimetres in length. Located nearby is Point Ellen where sweep, salmon, trevally and tommies can be caught from the rocks. Extreme caution is advised for this area.
The small, sheltered first beach can be fished for whiting, mullet, tommies, salmon trout and bream in most weather conditions. A short distance to the east is the main surf beach, which regularly produces big salmon and school sharks. A lengthy walk west of the river mouth there is unlimited rock fishing potential with huge sweep, salmon and kingfish caught from the rocky platforms. This area should only be fished when the ocean swell is down and winds are offshore.
Western River Cove:
This is the best place for deep-water specialists—here you’ll find snapper, trevally, sharks, Samson fish, nannygai and big King George whiting. It’s quite a distance from the nearest boat ramp, which is why this area is an excellent producer of quality fish. Reel in an abundance of bream from August to November.
Snellings Beach, Middle River:
Snellings beach is where you can catch mullet, salmon, tommies and whiting, while the rocks adjacent to the beach offer sweep, trevally and whiting. Boats can be launched via 4WD, with access to top-class offshore fishing.
Emu bay offers accessible and productive fishing from the jetty, beach and boat. There is a launching ramp for boats with larger trailers, but it’s open to strong northerly winds. The jetty often yields calamari, tommies, garfish and sometimes flathead. Across the bay, you can expect a lot of mullet between March and June.