If you like mixing big city life with awesome angling, Sydney is the place for you. The “Harbour City” is literally surrounded by great fishing spots, from sheltered bays to twisting rivers – not to mention the ocean. With so much going on, it’s tough to know where to start. That’s why we’re highlighting six of the best fishing spots Sydney has to offer.
There are hundreds of places to wet a line around Sydney, so choosing just six was tough, to say the least. To make the list, each spot needed to offer something special while balancing the many species and habitats you can find around the city. But enough talk. You’re keen to hit the water, so let’s get cracking!
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.
And of course, there’s great fishing! This is a popular place to teach the kids the ropes or to 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.
There are a few things to bear in mind about Manly Dam. Parking is pay and display, so consider biking or walking in if you want to save a little money. The dam is only open from 7:00 A.M. until 8:30 P.M., or until 5:30 P.M. in the winter. Lastly, there are lots of weeds around the edge of the dam, so sinking lures are likely to get caught up.
Beulah Street Wharf
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. If you want to take in the city in all her glory while you fish, this is definitely the spot for you.
So, what will you catch? Truth be told, probably nothing special. The main hauls are Yellowtail and Trevally, with some Squid, Snapper, Flathead and Jewfish thrown 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. Wherever you go, it’s best to release your catch due to the high dioxin levels in Sydney Harbour.
Gordon’s Bay is a hidden gem nestled into the cliffs of Sydney’s ocean coast. It’s only a short cycle from the crowds of Bondi Beach, but it feels a million miles away. The gin-clear waters and racks of small fishing boats give the bay an almost Mediterranean vibe. Add in a mix of soft sand and rocky outcrops and you have an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling and, of course, fishing.
Gordon’s Bay seems custom-built for good old-fashioned rock fishing. Get there early and fish the rocks on the south side of the bay for an 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.
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.
Gordon’s Bay is lovely, but it’s a little small. If you’re after wide-open beaches, plenty of swimming space, and the full bounty of Botany Bay, head down to Brighton-Le-Sands. Take in the view along the beachfront walkway, stopping for a break at one of the many cafes along the grand parade. After that, just relax on the golden sands. It’s an ideal place to unwind.
Looking for a little more action? Just grab your rod – the fish are waiting for a fight! There are plenty of rocks around the mouth of the Cooks River, or further south around Ramsgate. And of course, you can fish from the beach if that’s more your thing. Depending on the season, you’ll find Bream, Flathead, Trevally, Snapper, Tailor, Blackfish and even Australian Salmon.
One thing to bear in mind about Brighton-Le-Sands is that it can be very difficult to park – especially near the beach. Either park down towards Ramsgate and walk, or bring your bike on the train. There’s a cycleway running along the beach which is worth a visit in its own right.
Tom Uglys Bridge
We’re not sure who Tom was, or whether he really was that ugly. What we do know is that he gave his name to a pair of road bridges over the Georges River, between the suburbs of Blakehurst and Sylvania. That’s about all there is to say about the bridge, other than the obvious: the fishing here is really good.
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, there’s a boat ramp and a small jetty running under the bridge. Both sides get busy at weekends, but you should find space during the week.
This isn’t exactly the most scenic fishing spot Sydney has to offer. So, what brings people here? The fish, obviously! 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.
Right on the southern edge of Sydney, almost into Royal National Park, you would expect Gunnamatta Bay to be completely 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 important things in life. And by that, of course, we mean fishing.
You can actually 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 decent 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.
Gunnamatta Bay is a long way from downtown Sydney. Don’t worry, though, it’s super easy to get here. Cronulla Train Station is a stone’s throw from the baths. There’s also plenty of parking nearby if you’re arriving by car. All in all, it’s a hassle-free spot that feels a thousand miles from Sydney’s CBD, without actually leaving the city.
Sydney’s Fishing Spots: All Worth a Visit
We’ve tried to give you a sampling board of Sydney’s fishing scene, but there’s way more to explore. From Gladesville to Bald Island, Gymea Bay to Barrenjoey Head, the amount of fishing spots Sydney has access to is almost unfair. And that’s without even mentioning the local charter fishing scene. Which one’s best? That’s for you to decide. Get out there and let us know!
Know any good fishing spots in Sydney? Fished any of the ones on our list? Drop us a message in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!