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History of Fishing:

Fishing has been an integral part of the Kangaroo Island economy since 1803. The sealers came here to reap the seal rich coasts and the whalers to plunder the rich ocean to the south of the island.

Matthew Flinders RN noted the number of seabirds here and the rich source of sea foods. French navigator Nicolas Baudin also noted that the fish were plentiful in the bays and coves of the eastern end of the island. He even caught a large shark and described it thusly:

"But of all the Ìle Decrès fish, the most amazing is a species of Shark attaining a length of 50 to 60 decimetres (15 to 20 feet) and which is very common in Bougainville Bay. Night and day we could see several of these monstrous creatures prowling around the ship in search of food and numbing with terror all those watching."

Going for the RecordFor so many and so large sharks to be in the area now known as Nepean Bay fish sources, including seals must have been plentiful.

Fish are still here, sadly seals have been hunted out of the Nepean Bay area and sharks have moved to deeper waters to get food. By virtue of its location centrally on the South Australian coast and its extensive and diverse coastline Kangaroo Island has a prolific number of fish species in various habitats. Many local fishermen still catch numerous fish from small boats and jetties around the Island.

Fishing on Kangaroo Island:

Freshwater fishing in inland waterways, is not overly popular. There are 3 species of trout and 1 species of lamprey (eel) that can be caught in rivers and estuaries around the Island.

Sub tidal or rock fishing on offshore reefs. There are a variety of fish to be caught including, Magpie perch, Spiny leatherjacket, Black-banded Sea Perch, Roughy, Red Mullet, Blue groper, weedy whiting.

Intertidal - over sand patches in bays and estuaries. The more commonly known fish in these areas are the King George Sound whiting, Tommy Ruff, Snook, Snapper and Red Mullet.

Open water, deep sea fishing. This occurs off all Island coasts by charter, and the fish caught are mainly Blue Fin Tuna, Snapper, Sea Perch, and Shark.

Other Fish:

There are numerous other fish with a variety of crabs, the rock lobster (crayfish), seahorses and fish not suited to eating.

The Cray-fishing industry started in American River. The fishing trawler the 'Stella' used pots like those in the United Kingdom and set them baited to catch the lobsters from the ledges of the reefs that surround the Island. Numerous trawlers still fish for "Cray's" around the Island in season.

Charter Information:

Charters operate from a variety of locations.

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