Fishing in New South Wales has many different types of angling opportunities on offer. From chasing juvenile yellowtail kingfish and mulloway in the relatively calm waters of Sydney harbor to chasing massive tuna and marlin off the continental shelf in Port Stevens to the land base game fishery from the rocks at Jervis bay, New South Wales has some truly awesome fishing.
Despite having had one of the largest commercial fishing fleets in the country and also one of the biggest populations, New South Wales has experienced some heavy tightening of the regulations in the last 10 years and due to this, the fishery has somewhat improved. Buybacks by the government of licenses and tighter regulations on deepwater fish trapping have been partly responsible for a good increase in the numbers of tuna, yellowtail kingfish, pearl perch and taylor in New South Wales. Once again the yellowtail kings, taylor and mulloway can all be caught within the protected waters of Sydney harbor and in good numbers too. Offshore there are fewer and fewer fish traps being seen and as a result you can find snapper and pearlys also in good numbers.
The continental shelf also runs parallel with the New South Wales coast much closer than it does in Queensland. This opens up a whole new small boat game fishery for people with boats of up to 25 feet. The shelf of Sydney is only about 25 nautical miles, which is well within the reach of the average trailer boat. Infact there is quite a few locals that live and breath setting up their small craft as game fishing machines and go chasing blue marlin upwards of 250kg, large southern bluefin and yellowfin tuna and big kingys. They fit their boats out with outriggers and game chairs and troll areas like the canyons off Sydney in hope that they will raise a monster of the deep. One of the biggest game fishing competitions in the country is held off port Stevens on the mid to north New South Wales coast. Every year at the peak of the billfish season, hundreds of boats from 20 to 80 feet long congregate at port Stevens to try their luck at some of the best game fishing in New South Wales. In fact some of the hottest marlin sessions that I have heard of come from guys that were fishing in this competition.
New South Wales is also famous for its land based game fishery. As strange as it sounds, on any given day, the cliffs at Jervis bay on the south coast of New South Wales, are dotted with fishermen armed with heavy game tackle and harnesses. The reason for this is the continental shelf passes so close to the Jervis bay coastline that large marlin, tuna, kingfish, and cobia can be hooked and landed from the rocks. Fishermen use small flasher type lures to spin up small tuna and bonito to use for bait. The live bait is then pinned to a 10/0 hook, suspended under a balloon and floated out from the rocks. Because of the elevation of the cliffs, it is quite common to watch the marlin or tuna come up and attack the bait. Once a fish is hooked it is fought from the rocks and when it is finally subdued, the fish is landed by means of a grapple gaff on a rope. Who needs a million dollar game boat ay.
Fishing in New South Wales is one of Australia's premier fisheries so make sure you give it a go while you're here.