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Cover: This image of Simon Penn with a shallow water trevally encapsulates everything that makes the Pilbara flats a special place — a big fish from shallow water with no one else in sight. A just result for anglers who are prepared to explore and put in the hard yards. Photograph Mark Davis


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64 78 90 102 Main photo: Al Simson www.kettafly.com

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Often forming dense schools around shallow bommies, in gutters and beneath overhangs, black drummer are a prime angling target along the ocean rocks.


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The author with a striking example of a diamond scale mullet. This one is around the 2kg mark.

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Painted sweetlip, or blue bastards, are a challenging target on the Pilbara flats. This fish charged through the tangled roots and branches of a mangrove stand, which then required a mix of tree climbing and swimming to counter. Fortunately, the light leader held and the fish was landed after a tense fight.

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Situated in the easternmost point of Kangaroo Island, Cape Willoughby Lighthouse was the first lighthouse to be built in South Australia in 1852. The isolation, ruggedness and beauty of this part of Kangaroo Island, is striking. 78

Copyright Š SATC/ Adam Bruzzone


Captain Matthew Flinders was the first white man to fish around the place he named Kangaroo Island back in 1802. In the two centuries since that time, KI has developed an enviable reputation as a cool water fishing Mecca. Shane Mensforth reports.

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t’s a rather amazing fact that most South Aussies never get to Kangaroo Island in their lifetime. In fact, on average only about a quarter of those who visit KI annually are from South Australia — a statistic I find hard to fathom, given the pristine beauty of the place, its rich cultural history and fabulous fishing. If you don’t count Tasmania, KI is the second largest island in the country. Only Melville Island in the Northern Territory is bigger. Surrounded by over 500km of rugged cliffs and superb beaches, KI is situated at the southern end of St Vincent’s Gulf. It is separated from the mainland by a narrow corridor of water called Backstairs Passage, and is readily accessible via larger trailer boats

from Cape Jervis. There are regular flights from Adelaide and a terrific ferry service to cope with 30,000-plus visitors each year, so getting to KI and back is no problem at all. I first visited the place as a teenager on a family holiday, and immediately fell in love with the place. I’ve been back dozens of times since, nearly always with fishing driving the agenda and itinerary. Apart from fresh water, KI offers a good cross section of most angling alternatives available in SA. You don’t need a boat to catch a good feed, but the offshore action is definitely the big-ticket item, and what draws thousands of fishos there annually. Due to its location, KI’s coastal topography varies markedly. As it faces an incessant pounding from the Southern Ocean, the south

coast is comprised of endless weather-worn cliffs and headlands, punctuated intermittently by turbulent surf beaches and the odd sheltered bay. It’s a difficult stretch of coast to fish from a trailer boat, but the rewards are great for those who make the effort. The same applies to the Island’s western end, which is quite remote and over 100km from the nearest decent launching facility. KI’s north coast, separated from Yorke Peninsula by Investigator Strait, is largely protected from the wrath of the Southern Ocean. Its beaches aren’t as turbulent and swell doesn’t play the same role as it does to the south. There are a few launching sites in this area, which provide access to some of the best trailer boat fishing SA has to offer.

Blue groper are everywhere around KI. This one fits in the 60-100cm slot limit nicely.

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Pimping your lures can produce a bite when other, plainer presentations miss the mark. Here it’s a Jackall Mask Vibe (for pulse in the water) retro-fitted with 1/0 single jigging hooks and the addition of half a Squidgy wriggler for a unique action. 57


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Shallow rocky flats and reef are idea places to prospect for roaming trout. Use medium weighted spin gear to fling soft plastics and even walk-thedog style stick baits well away from the boat to avoid spooking wary fish.

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FishLife Issue #3  

The Australian Anglers' Journal

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