New South Wales is no slouch when it comes to finding great places to fish, whether you prefer inland or coast, ocean or freshwater bounty. There are some hidden gems, as well as some well-known local spots that you might want to consider giving a shot. Regardless of whether you are a determined pro, or a casual angler more in it for the great outdoors (and maybe a few drinks) there is a spot to perfectly suit your fishing mode of operation.
Grab your rod, grab your tackle and landing net and head out! Here’s our list of the top 5 to put on your bucket list.
- Trout Fishing in the Snowy Mountains. The jewels in the crown of the Snowy Mountains, Lake Jindabyne and Lake Eucumbene, are both famed for their trout fishing. They’re ideal angling hot-spots all year round but – if you like your solitude – you might want to stay away during the winter spawning season when the tourists descend in droves. Along the Snowy River, you'll find Brown Trout heading towards the former or Giant Trout in the latter (but you'll only be allowed one to take home per day, so it's catch and release all the way after your first haul). There's also Rainbow Trout for fly-fishing or Atlantic Salmon to bag. Don't forget your Ego S2 Slider landing net!
- Bermagui Big Game Fishing. If you’re looking for some of the best game fishing in Australia, head to the secluded Bermagui River on the Sapphire Coast. There you'll find plenty of Marlin, several species of shark and tuna biting at the bait most of the year. Bait fish like mackerel and pilchards are at their height during summer. The best area to cast a line is in the first two to three kilometres from the river’s mouth, where Sand Flathead, Bream, Whiting and Tailor are common. From dusk to late, head under the bridge for Blackfish, Yellowtail, Trevally and rare Mulloway, while where the river deepens past River Street, you can also find Leatherjackets and Octopus.
- A Holiday Destination. Drive down the Pacific Highway six hours north of Sydney, and you'll reach the idyllic fishing town, Coffs Harbour. In Autumn the weather is still warm and the fish and raring to go. From the beach, you can hook Trevally and Whiting and trawl for crabs and Rock Lobster. There are Bream and Tuna not too far away at Corambirra Point, and to the northeast use your live bait to catch Spanish Mackerel. Go north to Macauley's Headland for schools of Tailor, but make sure your lines are strong enough to withstand their merciless teeth.
- Yamba Prawns, anyone? Seven hours drive north of Sydney, and 90 minutes from Coffs Harbour, this sleepy seaside town is New South Wales fishing's best-kept secret. Perfect for novices and serious anglers alike, you can cast off from the rocks, beach, estuary or charter a boat for a miraculous catch. There’s a long list of what you can hook, but we can confidently say you’ll be swimming in Flathead, Rock Blackhead, crabs, Bream, Snapper and more. And then, of course, there’s their world-famous prawns. Bliss!
- Twin Beauties. Closer to Sydney on the Mid-North Coast you’ll find the twin towns of Forster-Tuncurry, with long stretches of pristine beaches plus plenty of rock ledges from which to spin a line. Wallis Lake is stacked to the gills with Flathead, some of the biggest Bream on the coast and is the biggest supplier of Sydney rock oysters in the state. On the rocks are bonito, Black Drummers and Black Kingfish, Bluefin Tuna, Tailor, Groper and the occasional Yellowfin. The breakwalls in town deliver even more rock fishing, with Jewfish the big prize here.
- Gunnamatta Bay. A comfortable place to fish just outside of Cronulla that has a reputation for being the ‘go to’ place for catching baitfish like yellowtail and pilchards. Plenty of bream to catch, snapper and even the occasional bonus flounder have been known to appear on the end of the lucky fisherperson’s line, ready to be bundled up in a quality landing net (we recommend the Ego 2 slider landing net – but then again we would!).
As always, check your gear, the local weather, fishing laws and conditions, and be safe while you head off on the ultimate NSW fishing safari!