fishing spots in sydney

Best Fishing Spots In Sydney

If you’re looking for a new hobby, look no further! Fishing is an excellent way to relieve stress and get some fresh air. Sydney has many great fishing spots that are perfect for beginners or experienced fishers alike.

Fishing in Sydney can be done from the shore or by boat – just make sure you have a good idea of what type of fish are typically found where.

Australia also has a long history of commercial fishing, but it was primarily localised throughout the 1800s because fresh fish quickly spoil without being cured or dried. 

Once fishing boats began to improve, with proper engines and refrigeration, the emerging commercial industry surrounding fishing began to expand truly, and the demand for a wider variety of fish starting shooting through.

Now Australian waters are brimming with all kinds of fish, and nowhere is this more apparent than Sydney. So if you’re doing a little self-guided tour of the best fishing spots in Sydney, you can expect to find a great variety of marine lives, including flathead, trevally, snapper, salmon, parrotfish, red rock cod, Australian bass, carp, silver perch, whiting, leatherjacket, yellowtail, prawn, abalone, lobster, and squid.

The endless waterways and beaches throughout Sydney mean there’s no shortage of places to throw in a line and pull out a fish. These are some of the best fishing spots in Sydney.

From pier fishing to shore fishing to secret fishing locales, Sydney’s best fishing spots won’t leave your line in the lurch. As any resident can tell you, this beloved city is a veritable fishing paradise, with various waterways and species to show for it. 

Sydney’s blessed to have a selection of the best waterways in the world. And the blessing of daylight savings allows a cheeky after-work fishing session to catch dinner and get home (or to the campground) by sunset.

If you’re looking for a new fishing spot, come to Sydney and explore the best spots on our coast! We have some of the most amazing beaches in Australia. They offer so many great locations to fish from – head out by boat or just go wading into the water with your rod. 

Many scenic parks around town make great places to start exploring what Sydney has to offer.

1. Brighton-Le-Sands (Cooks River)

Location: Brighton-Le-Sands

Type of fish: Bream, Tarwhine, Snapper, Trevally, Flathead, Salmon, Whiting

Best time to go: Early evening

Head to the northern point of Brighton-Le-Sands beach, where the Cooks River spills into Botany Bay for an epic spot to set up for a flick of the rod.

As this is where freshwater and saltwater meet, there’s a wide variety of fish you could wrangle here. From salmon and snapper to whiting and flathead, it’s a bit of a lucky dip!

Located on Cooks River, this blissful hotspot offers ambience, variety, and occasional views of planes as they depart from the airport. 

Roll up in the early evening, bring a 10-foot rod (or something similar), and cast out from the beach. In these parts, you just never know what will bite your bait.

Even if the fishing is slow, you’ll be entertained by the planes landing and taking off just across the river.

Word on the street is early evening is the best time to chuck in a line.

Sydney manly dam wall
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2. Manly Dam (Manly Vale)

Location: Manly Vale

Type of fish: Australian Bass, Redfin, Silver Perch, Carp

Starting in the north of Sydney, Manly Dam is the perfect place for a family day out, with plenty to keep everyone busy. 

Explore extensive bush trails and discover Aboriginal relics. Splash in the water or get out onto it on a kayak or jet ski. There are also picnic areas, public toilets, and some beautiful views from the dam wall.

Manly Dam is the perfect spot for both fishing first-timers and avid fly-fishers and is just a 15-minute drive from Manly.

This is a popular place to teach the kids the ropes or learn your way around a rod. The dam is stocked with lots of Australian bass, and you can also find Carp, Silver Perch, and Redfin. Throw out some worms or corn in the dam’s northern wetlands, or break out the spinnerbaits nearer the wall. Either way, you’re in for a lot of fun.

You can put the kayak in and fish from there or cast in from the banks. The wetlands just by the dam wall are the best fishing spot for reeling in some dinner.

The whole area is a delightful place to spend the day, so pack a picnic and your hiking boots and stay awhile.

Drive about 15 minutes outside Manly to discover this Sydney fishing spot, also a heritage-listed dam. 

Favourited by everyone from curious beginners to seasoned fly-fishers, it’s packed full of Australian bass and other species. It’s also packed full of water sports like kayaking, swimming, and water skiing—keep that in mind before casting out your following line.

3. Gladesville Wharf (Parramatta River)

Location: Henley

Type of fish: Flathead, Bream, Mulloway, Jewfish, Lether Jacket

Best time to go: Late afternoon once the ferries stop running

Gladesville Wharf (AKA Huntleys Point Wharf) on the Parramatta River is the best spot for those who are keen to fish for the fun of it, not for dinner.

The NSW Government has warned against consuming any fish caught west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge due to an increased level of dioxins found in the fish. Yikes. The government recommends catch and release only at this fishing spot – aye-aye, captain!

It’s best to wait until the ferries have finished up for the day, so the water’s a bit calmer (and there are fewer people around).

Despite not reeling in dinner, these fishies aren’t child’s play. So pack a strong rod, line and reel.

After the ferry service has called it a night, head to this Sydney fishing spot and cast out from the northern bank. 

If your line is firm and you know what you’re doing, you might end up reeling in a trophy catch. Snap a pic and throw it back because these waters are known to be polluted. Your Instagram feed awaits.

sydney clifton gardens (mosman)

4. Clifton Gardens (Mosman)

Location: Clifton Gardens

Type of fish: Bream, Yellowtail, Kingfish, Garfish

Best time to go: Arrive early to get the best spot

This idyllic spot is perfect for those looking to make a full day out of their fishing trip.

If you prefer Sydney fishing spots of the gorgeous variety, then veer from Chowder Bay in Port Jackson to discover nearby Clifton Gardens

Here, you’ll find deep waters, picturesque surroundings, local barbecues, a popular public pool, and either a bank or jetty from where you can cast your line. Arrive early to beat the crowd and expect to catch at least a few bites, as there are many fish in these parts.

Picture-perfect jetty fishing over glassy waters is the deal over at Mosman’s breezy Clifton Gardens, where various species populate the deep waters. It gets busy here, with enthusiastic fishers regularly crowded the jetty. We suggest showing up early so you don’t have to nudge your way to prime position.

Situated right by Chowder Bay, Clifton Gardens offers an enormous wharf to sink some bait off, a gorgeous beach to relax on, a sprawling parkland with barbeques and even a public pool.

Everyone wants a piece of this beauty, so get in early to avoid a huge crowd.

You’re sure to reel in something here, whether it be bream, yellowtail or maybe even garfish!

5. Gordon’s Bay and Clovelly Beach (Clovelly)

Type of fishing: Rock

Expect to find: Bream, Parrot Fish, Red Rock Cod, Trevally

Best time to go: Early morning

Rules: You’re required by law to wear a lifejacket when you fish on the rocks, and the following things are banned: spear-fishing, fishing for Blue Groper, and harvesting protected species such as urchins or cockles

Located just moments away from Clovelly and Coogee beach, Gordons Bay is a small piece of paradise along the coastal walk between Bondi and Coogee.

Protected by a reef, the bay is a popular spot for fishing, swimming, diving and snorkelling, away from the crowds at the large beaches close by.

Gordon’s bay does have a small strip of sand, but it can hardly be called a beach. Instead, racks of boats from the local fishing club cover most of it, which kind of makes Gordons Bay feel and look like a quiet fisherman’s village on a remote Greece island.

Good fishing meets good foraging at Gordon’s Bay and Clovelly Beach. It’s all about finding the right spot, so choose wisely with this Sydney fishing spot. 

Gordon’s bay seems custom-built for good old-fashioned rock fishing. So get there early and fish the rocks on the bay’s south side for incredible sunrise and plenty of Trevally, Bream, Rock Cod, Parrotfish, and more. 

The area is also known for its friendly Blue Groper, although they’re strictly protected and must be released immediately if you hook one. 

Should you put down the rod and pick up a bucket, make sure it’s during low tide, which is when all the clinging critters are at their most visible. This is one of the best rock fishing spots in Sydney.

A beautiful boardwalk swings around the bay as part of the coastal walking track and offers you great views of the area’s natural surroundings. The gallery also protects against damage to the native flora and fauna in and around the bay.

A word of caution: fishing the rocks is great fun, but it can be tricky or even dangerous if you’re not careful. Keep one eye on the sea at all times, never fish on your own or in bad weather, and ask locals where it’s safe to fish if you’re new. 

It’s also a legal requirement to wear a lifejacket while fishing.

sydney gunnamatta bay (port hacking)

6. Gunnamatta Bay (Port Hacking)

Type of fishing: Jetty

Expect to find: Flathead, Whiting, Bream

Best time to go: Early morning

Rules: You’re prohibited from taking any worms, nippers, or shellfish from the area

On the southern edge of Sydney, almost into Royal National Park, you would expect Gunnamatta Bay to be entirely overlooked by most people in Sydney. 

However, the area’s swimming baths, calm waters and shady parks make it a popular spot to get out of the bustle of the city and back to the essential things in life. And by that, of course, we mean fishing.

This epic jetty in The Shire easily ranks among the best fishing spots in Sydney. Coastline waves and currents send massive quantities of fish in your direction. Keep west of the baths during low tide to increase the odds in your favour.

Fishing in Port Hacking and along the Cronulla Coast is a popular pastime for locals and visitors alike. It can produce a variety of tasty catches from flathead to whiting and bream.

You can find decent catches of Bream and Dusky Flathead right around Gunnamatta Bay Baths. This means that you don’t have to choose between a group day out and some proper fishing time. 

You can also find Flounder, Tailor and even Salmon down at the mouth of the bay, around the appropriately-named Salmon Haul Reserve.

Port Hacking offers great boat fishing, while surf-casting is most famous from Bundeena and Maianbar.

Located on the Hacking River, you can safely fish off the river’s edge with kids or, for the more adventurous, head to the rocks to the left of the boat ramp, where there is an excellent deep channel. Bream & flathead are the most prevalent fish in the area.

Great day out for the family with toilets, BBQs, natural reserve and carpark.

On Gunnamatta Bay off the Port Hacking, fishing is best around/off the bath (outside the nets). Locals say it’s because the fish are attracted to the nets of the baths and the boats moored in the area – provides plenty of fish food. If the variety of fish around is any indication, this is a hot spot for the casual fishing family – loads of taylor, whiting, flathead and bream.

Easy to get to, you can come by train or by car with a carpark on site. Gunnamatta Park is a favourite on weekends for family picnics, so it’s recommended you get there early to fish before the lunchtime rush. 

The Park features on-site toilets, picnic shelters & a children’s playground. It’s also walking distance to Bundeena Ferry – you can hop the ferry to Bundeena if the fish aren’t biting.

7. Tom Uglys Bridge (Georges River)

Type of fishing: Bank

Expect to find: Bream, Tailor

Best time to go: Anytime during the week

Rules: Size, bag, and gear limits

The Georges River is famous amongst commercial fishers and recreational anglers alike. So there’s certainly no shortage of places to fish from on the river, though Tom Uglys Bridge manages to stand out from the herd.

You can fish from shore on either side of the bridge. However, most people head to Tom Uglys Point on the northern end. 

You’ll find ample parking here, as well as a concrete fishing platform facing the river. On the south, a boat ramp and a small jetty is running under the bridge. Both sides get busy at weekends, but you should find space during the week. 

Park on the northern side and cast your line just a few yards from your car. Then, when all else fails, hit up the local seafood joint for lunch.

Tom Uglys Bridge crosses the Georges River between the southern suburbs of Blakehurst and Sylvania. 

The area holds good catches of Bream, Mulloway, Dusky Flathead, Tailor and Whiting. The best time to fish here is on the run-out tide. You can fish the incoming tide, but you’ll need to be able to cast a long way to reach the fish.

This view at dusk is from the southern end at Sylvania between the truss bridge on the left, which opened in 1929 and the box girder bridge on the right, which opened in 1987. 

The bridge’s name comes from Tom Uglys Point, on the northern end at Blakehurst, believed to be named after resident Tom Huxley and transformed by the mispronunciation by local Aborigines.

sydney beulah street wharf (sydney harbour)

8. Beulah Street Wharf (Sydney Harbour)

Type of fishing: Wharf

Expect to find: Squid, Yellowtail, Trevally

Best time to go: Night

Rules: Be willing to catch and release

We’re not going to lie; this one’s as much about the view as the fishing – but what a view it is! Beulah Street Wharf is smack bang in the middle of Sydney Harbour, directly across from the opera house and almost in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge. So if you want to take in the city in all her glory while you fish, this is definitely the spot for you.

There are far worse places to fish than right there in Sydney Harbour. So while Beulah Street Wharf is indeed considered one of Sydney’s best fishing spots for squid, you might very well come up empty-handed, given those rapid currents. But you’re staring at the Opera House, so who cares?

So, what will you catch? Probably nothing special. Yellowtail and trevally’s main hauls, with some Squid, Snapper, Flathead, and Jewfish, threw in for variety. 

It’s more about the experience here. And if you’re after world-class sportfishing, there are plenty of charter boats nearby, waiting to speed you offshore.

Beulah Street is best at night when the crowds and ferries have moved on. Only free during the day? Hop over to Blues Point Reserve, just the other side of the Harbour Bridge. 

Fishing is better on the sheltered western side, so no view of the opera house, sadly, but it’s a lovely spot to take in the city. However, wherever you go, it’s best to release your catch due to the high dioxin levels in Sydney Harbour.

9. Barrenjoey Head Aquatic Reserve (Barrenjoey Head)

Type of fishing: Diving or pot fishing

Expect to find: Lobster

Rules: Strict regulations regarding season, catch size, gear, and number of lobsters you can take home

We promised some of Sydney’s secret fishing spots, which is one of them, especially if you’re game for lobstering. 

While we can’t give too much away without angering the lobster diving community, we can say that the rocky inlets where the Hawkesbury River meets the sea are an excellent place to start. 

This also happens to be one of the best spots for rock fishing in Sydney. So make no mistake, rocky ledges are your friend if you’re seeking the delicious marine crustacean.

Barrenjoey Head is situated at the northernmost peninsula of the Northern Beaches at the junction of the Hawkesbury River and the ocean.

The aquatic reserve covers approximately 30 hectares, including the rocky shore around Barrenjoey Head, extending from the northern end of Palm Beach around Barrenjoey Head to the northern end of Station Beach and out to 100m offshore.

The reserve is focused on conserving the marine biodiversity of the rocky shore fringing Barrenjoey Headland. The rocky shore has various habitats and associated marine life, including four of the five types of habitats described for NSW rocky shores (platform, crevice, rock-pool and boulder habitats).

You can enjoy all sorts of marine activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. You can line fish, spearfish and collect blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra Rubra), rock lobster (eastern rock lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi and southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii), sea lettuce (Ulva Lactuca) and bait weed (Enteromorpha intestinalis), subject to other NSW fishing rules and regulations.

It is prohibited to collect cunjevoi or any marine invertebrates except abalone and rock lobster in this reserve. For example, you cannot collect anemones, barnacles, chitons, cockles, crabs, mussels, octopus, oysters, pipis, sea urchins, starfish, snails and worms, whether they are dead or alive. 

Empty shells cannot be collected in the reserve because they provide homes for living organisms. Likewise, marine vegetation cannot be collected except for sea lettuce and bait weed.

clarkes point reserve (parramatta & lane cove rivers)

10. Clarkes Point Reserve (Parramatta & Lane Cove Rivers)

Type of fishing: Bank

Expect to find: Leatherjackets, Bream, Snapper

Best time to go: Night

Rules: Size, bag, and gear limits

Sitting right at the meeting point of the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers is Clarkes Point Reserve, where you will find the best of both worlds. For the run-out tide, cast off the eastern side of the peninsula, and for the run-in tide, set yourself up over on the southern facing side. The reserve has excellent BBQ facilities, so why not bring the fam along for a picnic?

Everything flows at this Sydney fishing spot, and we mean that quite literally, given its location at the junction between the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers. 

That’s not to mention the stretches of beautiful grassland behind you or the on-site BBQ facilities. Indeed, this place has it all.

This spot provides a sublime blend of access to water and a stretch of grassland to laze out. Bonus – the BBQ facilities means you can practically dine out right there and then if you feel so inclined. It doesn’t get much fresher than that. 

Clarke’s point is nestled perfectly between Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers on the Woolwich Peninsula, meaning you have access to a natural abundance of fish. It’s also a prime BBQ and picnic location (and you’re allowed to keep what you catch), so it is worth making a full day of it with the family. 

However, the change in tides will mean you’ll need to change the point from where you cast for the best possible chances of catching something.

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