Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Sporty with SA'S winter salmon

by Shane Murton on 18 Sep 2013
Hooked-up and leading another big salmon in. Lighter graphite rods like this 9ft Shimano Jewel are ideal for surf salmon work. Shane Murton
If you're an SA fisho, the winter months are the time to get excited as one of our great sportfishing opportunities comes online; namely the arrival of large schools of hungry Australian salmon. It's that time of year already when big daytime tides and pumping surf combine to offer the perfect playground for this much loved species.

All of SA's top salmon location start to fire over the next few months. The wild west coast will undoubtedly produce the biggest and best salmon in the state at locations such as Locks Well and Scotts Beach, as well as all those beach in between. This said, you can't write off locations such as lower Yorke Peninsula, the SE around Kingston, Robe and Salt Creek, Kangaroo Island's Hanson Bay and Snelling Beach and even more metro areas such as Waitpinga and Parsons to produce the moments of lure fishing brilliance.

Salmon fishing is all about enjoying the sport they offer, more so than filling up an esky of fillets. In recent years there's been a clear shift away from using heavy tackle on sambos. Once a 12ft plus rod and large threadline or overhead loaded with 10 to 15kg mono was the norm for these fish. Thankfully a more sporting approach seems to be dominating the salmon scene now, which has been infiltrated by braided lines, graphite rods and small yet powerful threadlines. All this means more fun, and more efficient fishing for this high-flying fish - even more so when a few modern lure types are thrown into the mix.

A 9ft graphite rod fitted with a 4000 sized reel loaded with 15lb braid can cast a country mile and will offer sufficient distance to fish poppers, stickbaits and metals etc. Not forgetting pilchards and surf poppers if you prefer to setup in front of a deep gulch of water and wait for the fish to come to you. A lighter outfit also enables long sessions of casting and won't wear you out. Try heaving a 12 foot glass rod and snapper-sized reel all day long and see how your shoulders feel at the end of it. Ouch!



To complement this sporty gear is a range of lures to throw at these fish. Metals will always have their place for surf sambos, as they enable long, accurate casts which can sometime be essential if you have a school of fish holding a long way out from the shore. Metals can also be punched into strong winds which are so prominent in such a high energy environment as a surf beach. Lures such as Raiders, Halco Twisties and the newly released Halco Outcast are a few more popular selections in this lure genre.

Metal slices are a great fallback, although for more visual action it's hard to beat surface lures like poppers and stickbaits. Such options offer the ultimate salmon rush, and they're capable of being used in many commonly fished SA sambo areas. Poppers such as the Halco Roosta, Sebile Splasher, Strike Pro Lazerlite and models from Yo-Zuri in the 12-18cm range are ideal. Be sure to pick a lure with enough weight to it to enable decent casts into an onshore wind.


Surface lures are undoubtedly more deadly when you can see a visible school of salmon and work the lure over them. Watching a pack of these green-backed scuds peel off from the pack and chase your lure sometimes to your feet, is southern lure fishing at its adrenaline charged best.

If you're after a lure encounter with a big sambo, those of several kilos of more which SA is renowned for, then you need to pack light and be mobile with your approach. Waders, a backpack and a single outfit is the ideal amount of gear to enable you to walk a beach and target all the likely zones these fish could be holding in, or swimming through.


If visible schools can't be spotted then concentrate casts on any deeper patches of water. Don't think you need to fish overly deep gutters when luring salmon, as they'll often move through white, churning water as it provides plenty of cover. Poppers and stickbaits are ideally suited to milder surf conditions and semi-protected beaches, while metal lures are the all-rounder that can fish any sambo water you care to mention.

With a perfectly matched rod and reel outfit and a sporty lure hanging from its tip, you have what I believe is the most enjoyable way to catch this southern icon this winter. Best of luck in your quest for that 10lb plus monster we all want!

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearSouthern Spars - 100T Clewring Cruising