The Mako Lap, East Eyre Peninsula, SA
After having spent much longer than expected on the Yorke Peninsula it was time to put in some serious hours driving to get over to the Eyre Peninsula and its amazing Snapper and Mulloway fisheries. We spent only a day driving up and over the top of the Spencer Gulf which separates the Yorke and Eyre peninsulas.
Unfortunately we had to drive past infamous fishing spots that we had only read about, Port Augusta, Whyalla and Apollo Bay were just a few. Most of these spots require a boat as far as we are aware and with no such option we continued down the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula looking for suitable land based options.
Slightly south of Cowell about half way down the eastern Eyre Peninsula we came across a free camping area called Iron Knob. A fantastic spot right on a small headland. Flanked by white beaches with broken reef extending out it looked perfect. An early morning fish yielded some really nice land based snapper, nothing huge but a milestone none the less. The mozzies here were so fierce that we couldn’t possibly stay and continued on south.
A full day of taking 4wd tracks around and around in circles led us to Louth Bay which was sure to be another great fishery for both line and free diving. A spectacular sunset was all we got to see of Louth Bay from our exposed headland campsite due to a raging early morning southerly which forced a pre-dawn pack up and quick drive to Eyre Peninsulas largest town of Port Lincoln.
Port Lincoln is on the southern tip of the peninsula and is famous for it great whites and bluefin tuna farms. It’s a surprising large place boasting the largest fishing fleet in the southern ocean. Its also home to Lincoln National Park which was high on our list and is a must if your in the area.
The national park is huge and offers coastal camping on both the southern ocean side and the more protected waters of the Port. For those that love to hunt and gather their own seafood there are few places as rich as this. Lobsters, scallops, abalone are all on offer for those that will brave the chilly waters. The line fishing is equally as spectacular.
This park had the perfect terrain to continue chasing our sought after first legal King George Whiting, which had eluded us thus far. After catching all other species for hours on end a quick change of angler and Emily caught the first good size KG of the trip after only several minutes of fishing. With a cheeky smile and a bit of ‘job done’ look she handed back the rod and left me with my frustrations.
The highlight of this national park is almost certainly Memory Cove. On the Ocean side of the park peninsula this small cove is virtually facing north making it protected from the dominant wind and swell. It’s a 1.5 hour 4wd track in and there are only 5 camping spots. It’s so popular that you are only allowed to stay 3 nights. You need to book ahead and get a key in Port Lincoln to open the gates to get there but its all well worth it.
From Lincoln National park its only an hours drive to the famous Oyster farming town of Coffin Bay. This is the start of the wild west coat of the Eyre Peninsula. The thought of catching day time Mulloway off the beach on the wild west coast was about the only thing that could drag us away from the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula and Lincoln National Park