Fishing report for Kangaroo Island – December 2018


JETTY – The Kingscote jetty has been a hive of activity. With seemingly reduced seal numbers in the area it has seen a resurgence in squid numbers, and other species such as snook, trevally and tommies. There's a lot of smaller squid on the jetty so consider dropping your jig size back to a 2.5 if you want to tempt these sometimes fussy smaller specimens, but mostly you should be able to rustle a few for a meal.

Snook will only thicken up as the water gets warmer, with soft plastics, hard bodied diving lures or metal slices great presentations. A small pilchard cast and retrieved on ganged hooks at night also works a treat.

Vivonne Bay jetty can give up sharks over this period, with school and bronze whalers sharks most prolific. Also with tuna starting to show up never, write off hooking a land based bluefin in the area, with the nearby point and even the jetty being raided by these fish from time to time. Large salmon also remain possible off the jetty, with tommies and squid at night under the lights.

BEACH – Surf anglers can expect to encounter the odd larger salmon over this period from many of the south coast beaches, with the deeper gutters of Pennington and Hanson Bays always most reliable. Try fishing prime times of dawn and dusk, or around high tide for best results. School sharks, bronzies, and gummies are also likely after dark from nearly any surf beach on the Island, and it's well worth tying on a short length of wire and soaking a bait for a few hours

BAY – General bay fishing is at its best over this period. KG whiting are now widespread in the Bay of Shoals and out around The Spit. Keep on the move until you find a decent patch of legal fish. Expect plenty of bycatch on the whiting grounds, with trevally being prevalent along with good sized tommies and salmon trout.

Squid have equally been thick in the bays, and by working any broken bottom or lush weed beds you should rustle up these. Try fishing during the slower tides or over the tide change if you want greatest success, as squid seem most active during slower water movement.

A bit of a concern for fishos in Kingscote has been the pelicans that are following boats around Shoal Bay and eating any fish released. These birds seem to be learning where to position themselves to grab your fish sometimes before you've even take it off the hooks! Such behaviour shouldn't be encouraged, and any under legal size whiting etc should be promptly released well away from these ever-hungry birds.

OFFSHORE - Tuna will be the word over the upcoming weeks and are already here! The western end of the Island will again be the scene of tuna chaos as more and more schools of these blue bullets migrate around the coast of KI. Crews launching on both the south and north coasts will have chances, and call into Ingram’s Home Hardware for the latest news and gear if you want to catch the species. Now that the closure is over, snapper will also be on the cards on both the inshore and offshore reefs from areas like Emu Bay and further towards the reefs of the western end of the Island. Nannygai, morwong, thumper KG whiting and many other species are also likely on deeper reefs over these months. The recent snapper regulations announced by the State Government won’t have too much impact on KI as the closest aggregation area governed by the closure is Tapley Shoals. 

Special report for The Islander courtesy Fishing SA magazine. Send us your KI fishing news and photos to