Using bait and berley in South Australia

Before you go fishing, make sure you are familiar with the bait and berley guidelines below. By following these simple tips, you can help limit the spread of aquatic disease and pests in South Australia's coastal waters.

  • Do not use Pacific Oysters or Abalone, even when dead, as bait or berley.
  • Never use leftover or uncooked seafood sold for human consumption (including imported seafood) as bait or berley as it has the potential to spread aquatic diseases. This includes prawns, abalone, crabs and oysters.Note, these types of aquatic diseases have no impact on human health.
  • Do not discard or store live oysters or their shells in SA waters. Dispose of them in landfill.
  • Bivalves (Oysters, Mussels, Razorfish, Cockles) cannot be taken from the Port River and surrounding area, including West Lakes, for any purpose including bait or berley.
  • Blood, bone, meat, offal and skin of an animal (other than a fish, worm or insect) cannot be used for bait or berley in South Australian marine waters. This includes all waters within 2 nautical miles of the mainland or any island or reef that is part of South Australia and exposed at the low water mark.
  • Appropriate bait and berley can be purchased from your local tackle shop or fishing store (try local Sardines, Squid, Pipi, Cockles or Beach Worms). The fresher the bait, the more appealing it is to fish.
  • Alternatively, try using artificial bait such as soft plastics and lures, which can be purchased from tackle shops.
  • When purchasing bait, check its origin. Imported bait should be labelled appropriately and requires treatment to deactivate potential exotic disease. Prawns and worms from a particular area in Queensland are required to be irradiated to prevent the importation of White Spot Disease into South Australia.

Remember that under the Fisheries Management Act 2007, it is an offence to release or deposit exotic and / or aquaculture farmed species into the waters of South Australia. Fines may apply.

Keep up to date with helpful fishing tips, even when you are on the jetty or on the water, by downloading the free SA Recreational Fishing App.

Page Last Reviewed: 29 Nov 2018
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