Temporal variation in production of the Chrysophrys auratus (Forster) fishery of Northern Spencer Gulf, South Australia, between 1984 and 2009 was investigated using commercial fishery statistics and estimates of age and size structures from market sampling. Fishery production was divisible into two periods, i.e. from 1984 to early 2000s and the middle to late 2000s. During the former, cycles in production were relatable to variable fishable biomass. Age structures that displayed considerable differences in age class strength reflected interannual variation in juvenile recruitment, which resulted in high variability in the strength of year classes entering the fishery. Periodic strong year classes were the major influence on fishable biomass as they passed through the population over numerous years. For the latter period, fishery statistics were conflicting as catches and effort were relatively low, whilst the estimates of catch per unit effort (CPUE) were consistently high. These statistics reflect a considerable change to the structure of the fishery that involved a reduction in number of fishers and fishing effort. The fishery statistics may indicate hyperstability, with CPUE estimates remaining high despite declining biomass because of the aggregative behaviour of the fish and the efficiency of remaining fishers.