Neptune Islands

Fishing at the Neptune Islands, Steve Cooper

Ever wondered where the filming was done for one of those documentaries where divers film great white sharks from the safety of underwater cages? One of the most popular areas for that sort of adventure is around South and North Neptune Islands, about 25 nautical miles north-west of Kangaroo Island.

Fishing the offshore reefs, bays and headlands around these island is extraordinarily productive. It’s hard to drop a bait or lure down without coming up with something Anglers who fish these waters will tell you, tongue in cheek, that: ‘Swimming around the Neptunes  is optional’.

A reef a couple of kilometres south-east of South Neptune is a great spot for jigging. It is deep water and the reef rises from 100 m to within 60 m of the surface.

Anglers use knife jigs in the 200–300 g range and my experience is that the fishing is constant – so long as you have the stamina to keep going.

Nannygai to 3 kg are in plague proportions and not at all fussy. They willingly strike lures, as the lures drop or when they are being retrieved. The reef systems also produce blue groper, snapper, barracouta, samson fish, yellowtail kingfish and blue morwong (queen snapper).

Expect to be nailed at least once by some unstoppable fish that feels like a Volkswagon. Chances are it will be a big Samson or an overgrown groper.

About 15 nautical miles west of the Neptunes is a famous fishing ground known as the Cabbage Patch, where Samson fish and yellowtail kingfish are in good numbers. During season you can expect to run across large schools of southern bluefin tuna.

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