Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park
Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park is 2972km2 in size, and encompasses a substantial portion of the foot of Yorke Peninsula, extending down to include the central north coast area of Kangaroo Island. In covering such a large area, quite diverse coastal habitats can be found in the park.
The northern part of the "foot" of Yorke Peninsula (Hardwicke Bay) is quite protected from the open ocean and is characterised by shallowish low-energy coasts. The relative lack of heavy swell conditions and sheltering reef systems allow seagrass meadows to flourish.
Conversely, the southern edge of Yorke Peninsula and the northern coast of Kangaroo Island are medium to high-energy environments, with sandy beaches backed by steep rocky cliffs and outlying reef systems. The combination of strong winds from the Southern Ocean and funnelling of water movement through Investigator Strait make this part of our coastline quite treacherous at times, and care should be taken ensure you have adequate weather/tide information before venturing out boating. It is well worth it however, as the fishing is excellent!
- The north western point of the marine park is at
136°46’52.75”E, 34°48’31.99”S,which is north west of Corny Point.
- It extends eastwards to intersect with the coast just north of Port Minlacowie at median high water mark, approximately
- Following the coast southwards (at median high water mark) around the bottom of Yorke Peninsula near to Point Yorke, at
- Heading due south to the coast of Kangaroo Island to
- Following the coast of Kangaroo Island westwards at median high water mark to
136°46’52.75”E, 35°42’6.8”S,near Cape Forbin.
There are plenty of commercial fishing activities that take place in this area including southern rock lobster, abalone, prawns, King George whiting, shark and pilchards. There is still plenty on offer for the recreational fisherman though, with the Hardwicke Bay area being well known for catches of salmon trout, garfish and squid. With a bit of luck (or good GPS marks!) you'll also find flathead, whiting, bream and tommy ruff.
As we move around to the southern coast of Yorke Peninsula, the same fish are readily available but (courtesy of the rocky bottom and higher energy environment) we also start to see big leatherjackets, snapper, snook, mullet and even the odd mackerel and mulloway. The jetties of Stenhouse and Marion Bays are always good spots if you lack a boat or the weather is too rough, with squid, tommy ruff and pan-sized snapper often caught.
The north coast of Kangaroo Island offers some exceptional fishing, with the benefit that it is consistently good due to it's isolation and the low local population. The other bonus is that the north coast is relatively protected against the swells of the Southern Ocean, so the casual angler shouldn't have any trouble catching their dinner! There are boat ramps available at Emu Bay and Stokes Bay, whilst shorebound fishing is easily achieved on the rocks and beaches along the coast. Commonly caught fish include King George whiting, bream, flathead, snapper, sweep, garfish and even some trevally.