No matter what area of Australia you plan on visiting, chances are excellent that you will find yourself in Sydney. Located in a coastal basin between the Pacific Ocean and the Blue Mountains, there are more than 70 beaches in Sydney alone, with Bondi Beach being the most famous by far. And then there are the world-famous landmarks — the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, both located in the Sydney Harbor (thus, its nickname: ‘The Harbor City’), where you can enjoy boating, rowing, yachting, boat racing, sailing, and of course — recreational fishing! Aside from the water and outdoor activities, the city has musical, theatrical, and various artistic movements, not to mention world-class dining, shopping, sun-bathing, and more that make this a top destination spot for travelers around the world.
Sydney, not surprisingly, is the most populated city in all of Australia, with the metropolitan area being home to over 4. 28 million residents. Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and is the first European colony to be established in Australia, way back in 1788. Sydney is situated in a coastal basin, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Blue Mountains to the west, the Hawkesbury River to the north, and the Royal National Park to the south. The ocean levels here have risen high enough to submerge deep river valleys. One of these valleys, Port Jackson, is more popularly known as Sydney Harbor — the most significant natural harbor in the entire world!
Port Stephens is Sydney’s most popular fishing destination and is fished all year round, and is one of the most prominent Marlin fishing spots on Earth. Considering that Australia’s summer months are the same as North American winters, the summer here is one of the best times for offshore angling. From November through to June, the warm currents flowing from the north bring a host of great sport fishes right down the New South Wales coastline, as far as the Victorian border.
For the big game sports fisherman, several species of Marlin are available: Blue, Striped & Black Marlins. The majority of the Black Marlin is on the smaller side, ranging from approximately 80 pounds to 150 pounds. The Striped Marlin varies in size depending on where you are fishing, averaging over 120 pounds, while further offshore, you are sure to find monsters upwards of 250 pounds. The Blue Marlin, in general, are large fish from around 250 pounds and upwards.
Each year several Blue Marlin over 500 pounds are tagged off Sydney. While the elusive 1000 pounder has never been landed, dozens of reports cite giant bites, suggesting that these considerable fighting fish exist under the deep, blue offshore waters. Throughout the last ten years, Marlin fishing in Sydney has been on par with anywhere else on Earth! Depending on what type of fishing you prefer, there are much other great fish available. Kingfish and Tuna are plentiful, as well as Mackerel and Striped Tuna (aka Skipjack) — these species are great fighters & reasonably easy to find. The Mackerel Tuna is expected in early summer & averages about 15 pounds, while the Striped Tuna are fished in early summer and are around the 10 to 12-pound mark, with that weight dropping as the summer months wind down.
Trolling light tackle around the headlands from Broken Bay to Sydney Harbor always produces a boatload of action. Many types of predatory fish hang around these areas, and many species are expected, including Bonito, Kingfish, Frigate Mackerel, Tailor & Australian Salmon. Casting lures & flies around fish trap marker buoys are a great way to score large Dorado. Also known as Dolphin Fish, these tough fish fight very hard and are excellent to eat, particularly the larger ones.
Back to game fishing: even though there are still plenty of large Tiger Sharks on the continental shelf, the preferred species of choice are still Sailfish and Billfish. The most common method in use these days is switch baiting — teasers are trolled, and when a Marlin attacks, they are slowly wound to the boat. Most fish hooked here are typically taken with 20 or 30-pound tackle, but the intelligent angler will have an 80-pound outfit ready with larger bait if a massive Blue Marlin shows up. It’s seemingly only a matter of time before the elusive 1000 pound Marlin is bagged; there are currently two world record claims in for both Blue and Striped Marlin that were captured on fly tackle way back in February 2002.
No matter what type of fishing you prefer, it would appear that the quality of angling and, thus, the quality of fish being caught gets better and better with every passing year. If you are looking to fish offshore with incredible views of a sprawling, metropolitan setting, look no further than Sydney!