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Best fishing spots Sydney

12 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, our beloved city is a veritable fishing paradise, with a variety of waterways and species to show for it. Sure, you can roll into the hottest new seafood joint or you can pick up the pole and go exploring on your own.

So what are some good land fishing spots near you? Well, your search ends here with our list of Sydney’s best fishing spots. And yes, you’ll need a licence.

Best fishing spots sydney
Image: Aaiwa Australia

Best Fishing Spots in Sydney

At long last, the Sydney fishing spots you’ve been waiting for. On the following list, you’ll find land-based fishing, shore fishing, pier fishing, and a handful of Sydney’s secret fishing spots. Prepare for some good fishing in Sydney, presuming you actually know what you’re doing!

Brighton-Le-Sands (Cooks River) fishing spot
Brighton-Le-Sands (Cooks River) | Image: Anna Kucera

1. Brighton-Le-Sands (Cooks River)

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.

Type of fishing: Beach
Expect to find: Bream, Tarwhine, Flathead, Trevally, Snapper
Best time to go: Early evening
Rules: Bag size limits

Manly Dam (Manly Vale) Fishing Spot Sydney
Manly Dam (Manly Vale) | Image: Cheokolate Travel Blog

2. Manly Dam (Manly Vale)

Drive about 15 minutes outside of Manly to discover this Sydney fishing spot, which is 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 next line.

Type of fishing: Freshwater
Expect to find: Australian Bass, Silver Perch, Carp, Redfin
Best Time to go: Sunset
Rules: Only open during certain hours

Gordon's bay and clovelly beach clovelly fishing spot
Gordon’s Bay and Clovelly Beach (Clovelly) | Image:

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

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. 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.

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

Gunnamatta bay port hacking fishing
Gunnamatta Bay (Port Hacking) | Image: Sydney Excursions

4. Gunnamatta Bay (Port Hacking)

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.

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

Gladesville wharf parramatta river
Gladesville Wharf (Parramatta River) | Image: Sydney-City

5. Gladesville Wharf (Parramatta River)

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.

Type of fishing: Freshwater
Expect to find: Mulloway, Flathead, Yellowtail, Bream
Best Time to go: Late evening
Rules: Be willing to catch and release

Clifton gardens mosman
Clifton Gardens (Mosman) | Image: Lost Mosman

6. Clifton Gardens (Mosman)

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’s a lot of fish in these parts.

Type of fishing: Bank or jetty
Expect to find: Trevally, Bream, Yellowtail, Kingfish, Garfish
Best Time to go: Early morning
Rules: Closed to all nets except landing nets, which you can use from October to March

Tom Uglys Bridge (Georges River)
Tom Uglys Bridge (Georges River) | Image: Adam.J.W.C.

7. Tom Uglys Bridge (Georges River)

The Georges River is popular amongst commercial fishermen and recreational anglers alike. There’s certainly no shortage of places to fish from on the river, though Tom Uglys Bridge manages to stand out from the herd. Park on the northern side and cast your line just a few yards from your car. When all else fails, hit up the local seafood joint for lunch.

Type of fishing: Bank
Expect to find: Bream, Tailor
Best Time to go: Anytime during the week
Rules: Size, bag, and gear limits

Beulah street wharf sydney harbour
Beulah Street Wharf (Sydney Harbour) | Image: Twitter

8. Beulah Street Wharf (Sydney Harbour)

There are far worse places to fish than right there in Sydney Harbour. 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 literally staring at the Opera House so who cares?

Type of fishing: Wharf
Expect to find: Squid, Yellowtail, Trevally
Best Time to go: Night
Rules: Be willing to catch and release

Blues Point Reserve (Sydney Harbour)
Blues Point Reserve (Sydney Harbour) | Image: North Sydney Living

9. Blues Point Reserve (Sydney Harbour)

While we’re still in Sydney Harbour, consider this legendary locale, which features public amenities and delivers epic views of Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Again, your mileage may vary when it comes to the actual fishing, but the experience will be second to none.

Type of fishing: Bank
Expect to find: Trevally, Kingfish, Jewfish
Best Time to go: Afternoon
Rules: Be willing to catch and release

Barrenjoey Head Aquatic Reserve (Barrenjoey Head)
Barrenjoey Head Aquatic Reserve (Barrenjoey Head) | Image: Hiking the World

10. Barrenjoey Head Aquatic Reserve (Barrenjoey Head)

We promised some of Sydney’s secret fishing spots and this 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 a good 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.

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

Clarkes point reserve parramatta lane cove rivers
Clarkes Point Reserve (Parramatta & Lane Cove Rivers) | Image: David Molloy Photography

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

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.

Type of fishing: Bank
Expect to find: Leatherjackets, Bream, Snapper
Best Time to go: Night
Rules: Size, bag, and gear limits

John turnbull :marine explorer
Boat Harbour Aquatic Reserve (Kurnell) | Image: John Turnbull/Marine Explorer

12. Boat Harbour Aquatic Reserve (Kurnell)

For all the hardcore fishermen out there, we present this semi-secret Sydney fishing spot, which is coveted by both shore divers and spearfishers. Bring your old school pole spear or a mechanical spear gun and get hunting. Boat Harbour Aquatic Reserve recently became private so you’ll have to shell out some extra cash for the privilege of fishing here.

Type of fishing: Spear
Expect to find: Whitting, Bream, Flathead
Rules: Standard spear-fishing regulations apply (and there are many)

Common Types of Fish in Sydney

Between the nearby Pacific Ocean and our various rivers and bays, Sydney is home to a seemingly endless variety of choice fish and choice fishing spots alike. That’s not to mention other forms of sea life, including squid and lobster.

To list out every species would basically turn this article into a Wikipedia entry and a really long one at that. Instead, here’s a sample of what you can expect to reel in or scoop up when hitting some of Sydney’s best fishing spots:

  • Flathead
  • Trevally
  • Salmon
  • Snapper
  • Bream
  • Parrot Fish
  • Red Rock Cod
  • Australian Bass
  • Silver Perch
  • Carp
  • Redfin
  • Whiting
  • Leatherjacket
  • Yellowtail
  • Squid
  • Lobster
  • Prawn
  • Abalone

Fishing Licences in NSW

Before you hit up that good fishing spot, Sydney officials (and NSW at large) require you to obtain a recreational fishing licence. Thankfully, the process is both relatively effortless and quite affordable. Here’s the fee breakdown:

  • $7 for three days
  • $14 for one month
  • $35 for one year
  • $85 for three years

You can purchase the licence online, over the phone in the new digital Service NSW App, through a fishing fee agent, or at most Kmart stores in NSW.

Buy a Licence here

How Man Of Many Chose The Best Fishing Spots In Sydney

With an editorial team full of anglers, Man Of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample and experience fishing from the best spots in Sydney. It is also based on our own personal experience, in-depth research and customer reviews of fishing in Sydney. As expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, we have provided our independent opinion in formulating Man of Many’s selections. Our editors have taken into account, location, fish diversity and fishing conditions, while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few spots outside of the CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.

General FAQ

Where can I go fishing in Sydney?

There are numerous areas in and around Sydney where one can fish. Some examples include Gunnamatta Bay in Port Hacking, Gladesville Wharf on the Parramatta River, Manly Dam in Manly Vale, Brighton-Le-Sands on Cooks River, Beulah Street Wharf in Sydney Harbour, and Clifton Gardens in Mosman.

Where are the fish biting in Sydney?

Sydney's fish are most often biting at places like Gunnamatta Bay in Port Hacking, Gladesville Wharf on the Parramatta River, and Brighton-Le-Sands on Cooks River.

Is it legal to fish in Sydney Harbour?

While it is legal to fish in Sydney Harbour, you'll need a recreational licence. Furthermore, it's advised that you throw back anything you catch.

Where can I fish in NSW?

Port Hacking, Parramatta River, Sydney Harbour, Cooks River, and Georges River are just a handful of places to fish in NSW.

How much does a NSW fishing Licence cost?

The cost for a 3-day NSW fishing licence is as little as $7, while an annual licence will run you $35. A 3-year NSW fishing licence currently costs $85.

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