Here are five great places to fish with young kids around Adelaide (with out a boat).
1. Westlakes Outlet
Westlakes outlet is a great spot to fish with kids. There is close car parking, easy to access areas to fish and plenty of fish to catch for the kids. Expect to catch mullet, salmon trout and bream, but in this water body you will always get surprises with multiple species living in the area. You can fish this area year round and the best bait to use would be cockles, beach worms and small white bait. Use of a Paternoster rig (link here) is the way to go. Side note, there are even a few playgrounds along here in the event that it turns out fishing isn’t for your kids after all.
2. Onkaparinga River
From Old Noarlunga all the way through to the river mouth at Port Noarlunga there are multiple spaces you can fish and park your car for easy access for you and the kids. Bream, mullet , salmon trout and mulloway are the usual suspects in this stretch. Bait to use would be cockles, beach worms and small white bait . Paternoster rig is the way to go here too.
3. Sturt Reserve Murray Bridge
This is a great spot to catch the kids a carp! There is plenty of space for the kids to run around, the whole reserve is grassed and at the northern end there is decking if you feel that is more comfortable. In most places you can park your car in close proximity to where you are fishing. Using sweet corn out of a can is the best bait here and easy for the kids to help put on the hooks. We recommend putting a life vest on the kids for peace of mind.
4. Moana Beach
This is surely one of Adelaide’s best beaches given its dual access for people by foot and you can drive your car on to the south end. North of the surf club it is access by foot only but there are great car parks and it’s easy access right along this stretch. When selecting where to set up and cast, look for the deeper parts of the water where the waves aren’t breaking as much on the beach, this is where the fish hang out and these are called ‘gutters’. Now you have some lingo you are sure to catch a fish right? You can expect to catch tommie ruff (Australian Hearing), salmon trout , whiting and mullet on this beach. Best bait to use would be cockles, beach worms and small white bait. Paternoster rig is the way to go.
5. Semaphore Beach
Semaphore is another one of Adelaide’s great beaches for fishing with excellent access for the family to get a line in. Again look for the deeper parts of the beach and you should have best luck finding the fish. Expect to catch mullet, salmon trout , whiting, tommies and you might even snag a blue swimmer or sand crab on this beach as well.
Five things to consider when fishing with young kids.
1. Know the tides for the day and always use burley.
Follow the tide time which can be found on line with apps like Willy Weather for your exact location. Fishing 2hrs before the low tide and 2 hrs before the high tide are the best fishing periods to fish, this will maximise the chances of you and the kids catching fish. Using Burley will increase your chances of catching a fish 1000% (ok that seems like a reasonable percentage, but fishermen are know to stretch a story). Burley is used to attract fish to your area and can be found at pretty much any locally owned fishing shops. These places will direct you to what burley you will want for the area you are fishing. They are also great resources for fishing gear, where to fish and what bait you’d be best advised using, so ask the questions when you’re in the store, or pay a visit in the days leading up to your fishing adventure.
2. Make sure the kids have the right clothing and cover for the conditions.
Keeping kids warm and sun protected is key when land based fishing, foot wear is important also. When kids get cold they will want to go home. You might even want to bring along a folding chair and a blanket to make sure if it gets a bit cold they have a place to get warm again. A flask of hot chocolate might do the trick too.
3. Always have additional water (not just drinking water) in the car.
This is very important for cleaning up dirty hands and sandy feet if you are not close to the amenities the council provide in some of these locations.
4. Involved the kids in as much of the planning and hands on action as possible, and keep it simple.
The act of catching a fish is the ultimate bit of fun for the kids but make sure you include them in purchasing the burley, making the rigs, getting the bait ready, talking to them about size and bag limits. Talk about the tides and always initiate some conversation around identifying the dangers where ever you are. It is all great knowledge for them and learning life skills like this will help them grow into well round responsible fisher people as they get older.
5. Kids need a bit of comfort.
Taking a chair for kids to have a rest if they start to get tired is critical, but so are snacks. Snacks and a drink are king when fishing and teaching little people the art of patience, you’ll be surprised how much longer they will stay interested for with a seat and some fuel.
…..and some places a bit further from Adelaide
- SA has many regional jetties that are fantastic for catching squid, tommies and maybe some garfish, among other species.
- Any of the beaches along the beautiful Coorong.
- Drag a rake through the sand for some blue swimmer crabs at places like Ardrossan, Port Parham or St Kilda (try on the out going tide in the months that have an ‘R’ in them – so they say)
Find out exactly where you can and can’t fish and be sure you’re not in a sanctuary zone. Finally, remember to leave nothing but footprints and happy fishing with kids!
Thanks to our long time angler mate Leigh Bobridge for the tips.