The Ultimate Guide to Deep Sea Lure Fishing Spots around Sydney

Sydney offshore and deep sea fishing spots

Sydney’s deep sea fishing waters are an angler’s playground, teeming with game fish that challenge both skill and tackle. This guide delves into the top offshore fishing spots, detailing their unique features and the bounty they hold. Designed for the seasoned lure fisherman, these locales promise thrilling encounters with some of the most sought-after species in the ocean.

Premier Offshore Fishing Spots

1. Brown’s Mountain

  • Location: A well known Sydney offshore fishing spot and a magnet for marlin and tuna. This seamount lies southeast of Sydney, marking a meeting point for currents that bring nutrient-rich waters.
  • Best Seasons: Summer heats up with marlin activity, while cooler months see schools of tuna circling its base.
  • Target Species: Black and striped marlin are the main targets, although yellowfin and bluefin tuna frequent this area, drawn by the abundance of baitfish.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Trolling skirted lures across the current lines for black marlin and striped marlin; deep-diving plugs and heavy jigs work wonders for tuna lurking below.

2. The Peak

  • Location: Closer to shore, this inshore reef is a haven for a variety of species, providing structure and shelter for baitfish and predators alike.
  • Best Seasons: From spring through autumn, the reef is alive with activity, offering consistent action.
  • Target Species: Kingfish patrol the edges, while mahi mahi and occasional yellowfin and bluefin tunas add to the mix.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Casting metal jigs around the reef’s structure proves irresistible to kingfish trolling minnow lures mimics fleeing baitfish for mahi mahi and tuna.

3. 12-Mile Reef

  • Location: A deep sea fishing spot of some repute, situated off Terrigal. It’s a diverse system that features everything from sandy bottoms to rocky outcrops, appealing to a broad range of species.
  • Best Seasons: Spring and autumn are prime, with a year-round presence of bottom dwellers like snapper.
  • Target Species: A hotspot for snapper, kingfish and occasional yellowfin and bluefin tuna passes.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Bottom bouncing with soft plastics entices snapper; kingfish can be targeted on the surface with poppers and stickbaits or down deeper with jigs and sinking stickbaits.

4. The Banks

  • Location: One of the best known offshore fishing spots south of Sydney, these deepwater reefs and drop-offs are the battleground for anglers targeting marlin and tuna.
  • Best Seasons: Pelagics like marlin prefer the warmer months, while snapper, kingfish  and other bottom species are present year-round.
  • Target Species: A black marlin and striped marlin hotspot, with tunas, mahi mahi, snapperkingfish and other deepwater species also in abundance.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Marlin and tuna fall for large, skirted lures trolled along the temperature gradients; jigs are the go-to for snapper in the depths.

5. FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices)

  • Location: Scattered along the coast to enhance Sydney’s deep sea fishing spots, these devices draw and hold a wide range of species.
  • Best Seasons: Summer is the peak season, with mahi mahi particularly abundant.
  • Target Species: Schools of mahi mahi congregate here, along with yellowtail kingfish and smaller tunas.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Small skirted lures trolled close to the FADs are effective; casting soft plastics and small jigs can yield explosive strikes from mahi mahi.

6. Wollongong FAD

  • Location: Positioned off Wollongong, this FAD attracts a wide array of species looking for shelter and food.
  • Best Seasons: Summer brings mahi mahi to the surface, creating a spectacle of aerial acrobatics.
  • Target Species: The vibrant mahi mahi dominate, with tunas adding to the action. Kingfish are often also present in the vicinity of FADs.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Feathered jigs and small skirted lures trolled at varying speeds entice bites; casting towards the FAD with soft plastics can surprise anglers with aggressive takes.

7. Texas Reef

  • Location: Near the Hawkesbury River’s mouth, Texas Reef offers complex structure that appeals to a variety of predatory fish.
  • Best Seasons: Winter months are prime for snapper, while warmer waters bring kingfish closer to the reef.
  • Target Species: The reef is a battleground for large snapper and kingfish, with each species providing a unique challenge.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Vibrating lures and soft plastics are snapper favourites. For kingfish, nothing beats the thrill of working large stickbaits across the surface, although jigging can be equally effective and exciting.

8. The Dollies

  • Location: Deep sea fishing spot north of Sydney, this series of offshore pinnacles and drop-offs is a lesser-known gem that rewards those willing to explore.
  • Best Seasons: The summer months are best for pelagic species, while the cooler months offer consistent bottom fishing.
  • Target Species: Kingfish, black marlin, striped marlin, plus yellowfin and bluefin tunas patrol the area, with a variety of bottom dwellers including snapper providing year-round action.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Targeting marlin with skirted lures trolled along the contour lines; deep jigging and bait fishing yield impressive catches of bottom species.

9. Broken Bay Wide

  • Location: The offshore waters around Broken Bay feature steep drop-offs and underwater canyons, perfect for big game species.
  • Best Seasons: The area comes alive in late summer with marlin, while winter attracts those seeking deep-sea challenges.
  • Target Species: Home to majestic blue and striped marlin , with gemfish, snapper, kingfish and other deep-sea species available in the colder months.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Skirted lures for trolling the deep blue in search of marlin; for gemfish and others, deep-sea jigs worked along the bottom contours are key.

10. Sydney Harbour FAD

  • Location: Just a stone’s throw from the iconic Sydney Harbour, this FAD is accessible and productive, offering quick trips with rewarding catches.
  • Best Seasons: Target the summer months for the best surface action.
  • Target Species: The area is frequented by mahi mahi and yellowtail kingfish, eager to strike at presented lures.
  • Fishing Techniques and Lures: Experiment with trolling small skirted lures or casting topwater lures and watch for the aggressive strikes that follow.

Each of these spots offers its own unique fishing experience, promising both challenge and reward to the offshore angler. With this guide in hand, you’re well-equipped to tackle Sydney’s offshore bounty. Remember, the key to success in these waters is a combination of the right technique, the perfect lure, and an understanding of the seasonal patterns that dictate the behavior of these game fish. Happy fishing!


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ALF Episodes About Offshore Fishing Around Sydney

Sydney Mahi Mahi Madness With Al McGlashan

Sydney Mahi Mahi Madness With Al McGlashan

Mahi Mahi are one of those fish that are great sport great eating and extremely photogenic. Fortunately there’s plenty of them off Sydney, and local fishing gun Al McGlashan is more than happy to share a few tips.

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