Schooling kingfish turning shorelines to froth as they smash jelly prawns and anchovies? It’s a special kind of fishing on Sydney’s doorstep and it requires some special techniques, as Justin Duggan explains in episode 623.
Best Sydney Harbour Fishing Spots: 21 Top Lure Fishing Locations
There are distinct fishing zones within The Harbour, each offering a slightly different experience, although many of the fish species are common to all:
- Sydney Harbour itself is also known as Port Jackson and is characterized by its iconic landmarks, bustling cityscape, and diverse marine life.
- Middle Harbour is a scenic and less congested section of Sydney Harbour, providing a quieter fishing experience compared to Port Jackson.
- The Parramatta River is a significant waterway flowing into Sydney Harbour, known for its estuarine environment and diverse fishing opportunities.
Sydney Harbour is rich in estuarine species like bream, dusky flathead, mulloway, silver trevally, and whiting. Anglers can also pursue pelagic sportfish such as kingfish, bonito, Australian salmon, and tailor, particularly during the warmer months. The harbor’s extensive foreshores provide accessible fishing spots, complemented by convenient boating facilities for those seeking a maritime adventure.
Well-known Year-round Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson) Fishing Spots
Quarantine Beach near Manly provides excellent lure fishing opportunities both from the shore and boat/kayak. Target a variety of species, including bream, flathead, and silver trevally, particularly near rocky areas. Optimal times are dawn or dusk.
Clifton Gardens is a popular spot for families, but it also offers great fishing opportunities. It has a pier and rock walls where you can target species like bream, snapper, and flathead. Early morning or late afternoon is the best time to fish here.
Sow and Pigs Reef:
Sow and Pigs Reef near Watsons Bay is a top location for lure fishing, especially targeting kingfish. Focus on the reef edges and drop-offs, especially around changing tides. Experimenting with different lures can yield effective results and best times often coincide with changing tides and the warmer months.
From land, target the rocky areas and structures around the island with versatile lures like soft plastics, surface poppers, or diving hard baits. Species such as bream, flathead, and trevally are commonly found. For boat anglers, navigating the waters surrounding Goat Island can also yield encounters with kingfish and tailor.
Positioned at the entrance of Sydney Harbour, Bradleys Head offers prime lure fishing opportunities. Target bream, flathead, mulloway, kingfish and tailor around the rocky points and submerged structures. Optimal times for successful lure fishing at Bradley’s Head include early mornings or late afternoons, especially during a rising tide.
Rose Bay Wharf:
Lure fishing around Rose Bay Wharf can be productive, targeting species like bream, flathead, and tailor. Work soft plastics or small hard-bodied lures along the structure, including the wharf pylons and nearby rocky areas. Early morning or late afternoon sessions are often more successful. Land-based anglers can cast from the shore near the wharf, while those with access to a boat or kayak can explore the surrounding waters for varied fishing opportunities. Consider adjusting lure colours and sizes based on the prevalent baitfish and prevailing conditions.
Camp Cove is a great place to target species such as bream, flathead, and silver trevally along the rocky edges with sandy patches. This picturesque location provides both land-based and boat fishing options. As for many Sydney Harbour Fishing spots dawn or dusk sessions are the most productive. A range of small and medium sized paddletail or curltail soft plastics, soft prawns or small will usually get results. This is also a fantastic place to chase a few squid
Balls Head Reserve:
Offering stunning views of the harbor, Balls Head Reserve is not only a picturesque location but also a hidden gem for fishing enthusiasts. The rocky points and jetties provide opportunities to catch bream, tailor, and even the occasional kingfish. As the sun sets, enjoy a tranquil fishing session with the iconic Sydney skyline as your backdrop.
Best Middle Harbour (North Arm) Fishing Spots
Spit Bridge And The Spit:
Lure enthusiasts at The Spit and Spit Bridge can zero in on bream, flathead, tailor, salmon and the occasional kingfish or jewfish. Target the bridge pylons and adjacent rocks with soft plastics, metal lures, jigs or hard-bodied lures. Poppers and stickbaits can also be effective if surface action is observed. There is plenty of access for shore-based anglers as well as those afloat in boats and kayaks. boaters and kayakers have the freedom to explore broader waters.
Lure fishers at Sailors Bay can anticipate kingfish and tailor opportunities around the upstream point and entrance. The pylons and shoreline are great for quality bream on small soft plastics, small hardbodies and even surface stickbaits at times.
Flat Rock Beach:
This rocky outcrop offers anglers access to deeper waters, particularly favoured during the warmer months. Anglers frequently target mulloway and snapper from this location, both shore-based and from a boat or kayak. Quality flathead are also taken here, especially on the runout tides.
The southern point and southern shore, as well as the mouth of Bantry Bay, are known for producing yellowtail kingfish. The south-eastern shoreline is excellent for luring bream, and the drop-off on the flat towards the end provides the best ground for big flatties caught on lures. This area is also well worth trying for a squid or two.
One of the great Sydney fishing spots with access to deeper water, Killarney Point fishes well on most tides. Mulloway and snapper are the trophy catches here, but the bream, flathead and tailor populations can be very accommodating too.
Roseville Bridge is an easy access with nice parklands, making it a great place to take the family fishing. The bridge pylons are a great place to sling some paddletail soft plastics for jewfish and flathead, or a small curltail grub or hardbody for quality bream.
The stretch from the Roseville Bridge to Moore Creek is a great place to target bream and flathead from the shore or kayak. The area can also be navigated by boat, but watch out for shoals and sandflats. Also watch for deeper holes that hold some prime jewfish.
Parramatta River Fishing Spots
Ryde Rail Bridge:
The Ryde Rail Bridge offer land and boat-based lure fishing for bream, flathead, whiting and, occassional jewfish. Soft plastics, blades, hard bodies and even surface lures (during the warmer months) are worth throwing. Working rocky shorelines and nbridge pylons is effective.
Fishing around Iron Cove offers anglers a chance to target bream, flathead, tailor, trevally and even the ocassional jewfish. There’s ample opportunity both for land-based and boat/kayal fishing. Soft plastics, blades, soft vibes, small hardbodies and occasionally surface lures will work. Rocky shorelines and bridge pylons offer plenty of structure to cast to.
Lure fishing enthusiasts will find Parramatta Wharf in New South Wales a great spot to chase bream, flathead, quality whiting and ocassionally other species too. Employing various soft plastics or small hard-bodied lures during dawn and dusk can yield decent results.
Clarkes Point is a well-known Sydney fishing hotspot for those chasing land-based bream, whiting, snapper, mulloway, and dusky flathead. Ocassional kingfish, tailor and Australian salmon are also on the cards. Optimal fishing times vary, with the eastern side more productive on the run-out tide and the southern face during the run-in tide. In terms of lures, poppers work for kingfish and soft plastics, blades and hardbodies are the favourites for bream, flathead, and mulloway.
Five Dock Bay:
This is a very shallow bay along the foreshores and is best fished with small soft plastics for bream, flathead and whiting. For those with a boat (or capable of making long casts) there are plenty of boats on swing moorings to attract and hold fish. The intricate network of mangroves and rocky outcrops also provides the perfect habitat for bream that can be targeted wioth soft plastics and hard-bodied lures. The sandy shallows are known to harbor flathead, which fall victim to blades and plastics, whilst tailor and squid also frequent the area.
Bayview Park Wharf:
This spot offers a diversity of fish species for the lure fishing enthusiast. Bream are the most commonly targeted and will take well presented soft plastics or hard bodies, especially around the wharf pylons and boat hulls. Rocky structures and mangroves also fish well for this species. Flathead, tailor, whiting, flounder and the odd jewfish also inhale a lure at Bayview Park from time to time.
Sydney Harbour Fishing By Season
As the water temperature rises, the lure fishing in Sydney Harbour heats too. Many of the bread-and-butter species like bream, whiting, flathead, and Australian salmon become more prevalent and active in spring. Using a combination of surface lures, shallow-diving minnows, and soft plastics can yield great results. Shallow flats, rocky shorelines sandy areas, and weed beds are great places to fish in spring. Later in the season the kingfish, bonito and jewfish start to become more consistent as they shake off the cold and get active.
Fishing spots around Sydney Harbour and the surrounding area really start to fire in the summer months. Topwater action can become crazy with Australian salmon, kingfish, tailor, and a range of other pelagic species. The demersals get in on the act too, with mulloway and flathead among the popular targets in summer. Surface poppers, metal slugs, and soft plastics are effective lure choices. Focus on areas with structure, such as rock walls, jetties, and drop-offs, where predatory fish gather in search of prey. Early mornings and late afternoons are ideal for topwater action, while deeper water can be explored during the hotter parts of the day.
For many Sydneysiders, Autumn is a favourite time to hit the harbour looking for bream, whiting, flathead, and trevally. Working shallow areas, sand flats, shorelines and weedbeds with small plastics, metals slugs, hard bodies or stickbaits can be extremely productive. As with Botany Bay, Sydney squid are a year-round options, but they definitely become larger and more prolific during Autumn.
Winter fishing in Sydney Harbour means you get to enjoy reduced boating traffic and a change of target species. Snapper become very willing around the reefs and drop-offs. Flathead continue to be abundant, and drift casting with soft plastics is a great option. Squid, bream and trevally continue to fish very well during winter.
ALF Episodes About Fishing In And Around Sydney Harbour
Tournament angler and tackle professional Tom Slater shares pro tips and advice for catching Sydney bream on lures.
“Joey The Jewy King” has a reputation throughout Sydney forhis ability to nail plenty of quality jewies on lures during the hours of darkness.
If you love your bream fishing then this is a must-listen! Deathy and Jamie Mckeown chat for an hour about strategies, tips and techniques that have brought Jamie massive success on the tournament bream scene. But it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a tournament fisher or just target bream for yourself, this is an incredibly informative and helpful interview.
You won’t find busier or more pressured fishing waters in Australia than Sydney Harbour or the Lane Cove River. Today’s guest Luke Kay is a fierce and successful kayak tournament competitor who lives close to and regularly fishes these waterways. During this interview he delivers a masterclass on bream fishing this system that shouldn’t be missed by any keen angler.
Sure, Sydney Harbour is a busy and highly pressured fishery. But fortunately there remains plenty of quality kingfish for those who know how to find them and what it takes to hook them. Sydney Harbour guide of over 2o years Stuart Reid shares his tips with Shroom!
The Parramatta River might disect Australia’s largest city, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of great bream fishing opportunities – even right through the winter months. In this interview John shares some awesome tips for finding and catching one of Australia’s more challenging species!
This is ALF EPISODE...
Targeting jewfish in Sydney Harbour can be productive, but requires knowledge and persistence. George Anasta shares his experience with ALF listeners in this interview.
Shroom is a Sydney fisho and influencer who has been targeting bream on lures for over a decade and spends plenty of time sharing his learnings via YouTube.
The Parramatta River is highly urbanised and highly pressured, but it still produces magnificent kingfish, as George Anasta explains in today’s interview.
This is ALF EPISODE...
Cam Cronin is an obsessed Sydney jewfish on lures enthusiast, sponsored angler and walking jewfish encyclopaedia.
Sydney is well known as a yellowtail kingfish haven and local fishing personality Ben O’Brien has figured out plenty of secrets for getting them to take a lure. In episode 189 shares some of those secrets with ALF listeners.
The greater Sydney area has no shortage of prime calamari squid fishing options, explains local fishing journalist and sponsored angler Ben O’Brien. Find out more in this episode.
The pelagic fishing gets hot in Sydney Harbour as he weather warms up. Local guide Craig McGill explains what to expect when targeting the speedsters in his back yard.
Catching quality jewfish during the day in the highly pressured waters around Australia’s largest population centre has become an art for respected jewie specialist Chris Cleaver. In this episode Chris shares his secrets and dispels the misconceptions around finding and catching jewfish on lures.
Sydney Harbour, Sydney Heads and the coastal areas around abound in big (sometimes unstoppable) yellowtail kingfish. In our 50th episode well known fishing personality Al McGlashan explains how he goes abpout targeting this species in his own back yard.