Sydney, largest city in Australia. Home of the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the 2000 Olympics. And the home of one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. But the treasures of the harbour are more than just the spectacular scenery and magical beaches, it includes abundant fishing opportunities and species within it's boundaries.
Sydney Harbour has a shoreline of over 244Kms and includes Middle and North Harbours.
The best time to fish Sydney Harbour is the early morning. If this coincides with the turn of the tide be prepared for some good fishing.A lot of boating activity can unsettle the fish, so avoid the busy times and areas if you can.
The most exciting aspect of fishing the Harbour is the diversity of fish available in the Harbour and it's surrounds. AUSTRALIAN BASS,
BREAM, FLATHEAD, LEATHERJACKET, KINGFISH,WHITING, TAILOR, SALMON, TROUT, TREVALLY, BONITO, SNAPPER, TUNA, SEA PERCH, MARLIN, SHARKS, and more.
There are thriving populations of Australian Bass. Many Sydneysidres are surprised to find quality Bass right on their doorstep. Among the better known Bass spots is the Hawkesbury/Nepean/Colo river system which raps itself around Sydney. The more accessible reaches are heavily fished but if you go to the trouble of accessing the more remote reaches some first class Bass fishing is available.
Trout fishing in the numerous streams and impoundments is considered to be up there with the best in the country. Both browns and
rainbows are well represented, with a 5.6kg brown taken at Wyangala Dam being an example of the type of fish available. To the north of Sydney is the magnificent Barrington Tops with good supplies of trout.
Bream are readily caught throughout the system from January to June. Trolling, casting and bait fishing around the mangrove, weed beds,
reefs, mudflats and headlands are the best methods. The upper reaches of the Parramatta River is excellent trolling for bream. Sydney Heads produces consistent catches as does Middle Harbour.
Flathead are distributed throughout the system with the lower beaches such as Clifton Gardens, Lady Jane and Balmoral providing good
fishing along with the Lane Cove River and the Spit Bridge area of Middle Harbour.
Snapper are the best from November to May. The majority of Snapper caught off Sydney are taken in depths of between 15 & 20 metres.
Leatherjackets are one of the best eating fish in the world and can be caught on light tackle from the jetties and piers of the Harbour all year round. If you have a boat , drop a line in close to the Opera House, but keep your eyes open for the ferries.
Trevally turn up on the off-shore reefs in plague proportions from August to the start of December. Some migrate to the inshore reefs and
stay until January.
The humble Whiting melts in your mouth and access to whiting grounds is as simple as tossing in a line at any Sydney beach. They are readily caught from November to March. The beaches of Middle Harbour, Manly and Clifton Gardes are good all year round.
In the more open areas such as Broken Bay, each summer sees a huge influx of baitfish which in turn attracts large numbers of pelagics.
Kingfish are regarded as one of Australia's great sports fish to say nothing of their excellent eating qualities. Kingfish are found within the Harbour in large quantities from November through May. They arrive in large schools which then break up within the Harbour system. Some of the fish stay on throughout the year but the majority move off-shore
Salmon and Tailor arrive in large numbers chasing the baitfish in November. They are easy to catch all through summer until early May.
Mack and Bonito Tuna also follow the baitfish and are plentiful at this time of year. The Bonito usually don't come in any further than the entrance to Middle Harbour. They are beast caught spinning from the rocks, trolling with bright surface running lures, or with lightly
weighted pilchards in a berley trail.
Bait gathering is a bit of a problem. Most of the Harbour is off limits for crab and cunje gathering you need to get it elsewhere and
bring it with you.
Sydney's generally moderate weather means that numerous off-shore options are available to anyone with a boat. The off-shore areas are the
domain of the big game fish including, Blue,Black and Striped Marlin, and huge Tiger, Mako and Whaler Sharks, with the occasional Great White.
Bottom fishing is also good especially on bright days with a high barometer or just before a major front. The warmer months are the best.
Species encountered include Blue Eye Travally, Hapuka, Grouper, Gemfish and Deep Sea Perch.
One of the best areas for the above fish is Browns Mountain. You need a large seaworthy craft to fish here, if you don't have one go to a
charter operator who does. Browns Mountain can be found by traveling along a compass bearing of 110 degrees east , 37km from Sydney Heads. It rises beyond the continental shelf from a depth of 400-500 fathoms to a peak of 240 fathoms. Such a structure is a natural congregation point, and here you will find many species of game fish and pelagics. Keep in regular radio contact, a full range of safety gear and a large boat with an experienced skipper and crew is a must.
So there is a thumbnail sketch of Sydney Harbour.
If you are coming over for the 2000 Olympics book you fishing trips now before they are all booked out.