Boating & Fishing – the lure of the Sapphire Coast

Fishing on the Sapphire Coast

The Sapphire Coast is known as one of the most significant recreational fishing regions in the southern hemisphere and our coastline encompasses enormous variety and fishing opportunities.

If you’re bringing your boat or your fishing gear to town this summer, read on for more information about where to go, what to do and what’s new.

Bermagui in the north is a fishing mecca within Australia. Only 11 nautical miles (that’s about 20 kms) off the continental shelf it’s home to a huge number of fish species including all the big predators.  Whether you’re looking for game fishing, deep sea, reef rock, beach or estuary fishing, Bermagui offers plenty of variety and plenty of exotic fish.  To help you get out amongst the wild things, charter boats operate year round, offering fishing packages that can be tailored to suit your needs with both share and private charters on offer.    Take some time to visit the Fisherman’s Wharf  at the famous Bermagui Harbour and grab a bite to eat before or after your big day on the water.

Eden has just had a shout out as one of Australia’s top 5 boating holiday spots by one of our most prestigious boating magazines.  And no wonder.  Eden is a well-known fishing port, with direct ocean access and shelter from prevailing winds – perfect for all kinds of fishing.  With a massive boat ramp, floating jetty and breakwall at Quarantine bay, you can be out to sea and amongst all the reef action in no time at all.   Or try fishing one of the many lakes or river systems – Wonboyn, Curalo, Broadwater and Yowaka just to name a few.   Then end the day in a more relaxing way with a twilight cruise around spectacular Twofold Bay with Cat Balou.  Take in the evening skies with drinks and nibbles in hand as you watch the coastline glide by.

Merimbula’s newly created artificial reef has been in place since September 2018 and is already proving an excellent habitat for a wide range of fish species common to the region.  (The DPI notes that artificial reefs generally increase the number of fish stock as they support a safe habit for marine life to thrive).  The reef is located 2.5km southeast of the Merimbula estuary entrance in approximately 32 metres of water and is already proving a hit with local clubs.  Follow the link here for GPS co-ordinates to the Artificial Reef.  The flat, clear waters of Merimbula Lake are bordered by beaches, walks and boardwalks and home to famous oysters and vibrant sea life.  Here you can hire a tinny from Top Lake Boat Hire, plus rods and bait.  Easy!

But it doesn’t all have to be about getting in a boat.  There’s plenty of beaches to cast your line, like the spectacular Pambula River mouth or Kianniny Bay and the northern end of Tathra Beach at Tathra.  These are great beachfront bases for your fishing expeditions, as well as walking, swimming, snorkelling and diving.   Or drop in a line from Merimbula or Tathra wharf.  Historic Tathra Wharf is not only one of the most significant structures on the Sapphire Coast, it’s renowned as one of the best fishing wharves in all of Australia.  Plenty of fish abound with flathead, snapper, leatherjacket, salmon and red rock being the most popular.

Our fishing folk are a social bunch and there’s no shortage of friendly locals happy to lend a hand or pass on some insider tips.   If you want to know what’s being caught where this Summer, Merimbula Big Game & Lake Fishing Club is open every Friday night from 6pm for drinks and nibbles.  Visitors are most welcome and you can expect to hear the local fishing report plus enjoy the magnificent view from their jetty at Spencer Park, right on Merimbula Lake.   Or just drop into one of the local clubs or tackle shops for a chat and some solid advice.

But if you’re the more experienced fisherman and seeking a bit of a challenge, we’ve got a long list of competitions coming up in 2019 to test your mettle.

The annual Bermagui Blue Water Classic game fishing tournament, will be held 26th to 28th January 2019, as well as the annual Tathra Fishing Competition, the inaugural Merimbula Billfish Tournament will be held in early March and the Eden Amateur Fishing Competition, now in it’s 41st year is also held during March, just to name a few.

Whatever way you choose to spend your days on the water, if you’re heading out on the boat or planning on going rock fishing, make sure to check the BOM for weather and surf conditions before you go.   And if you catch the big one, don’t forget to tag us too #sapphirecoastnsw

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