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Beginner’s guide: Seven Mile Beach to Gerroa
  |  First Published: January 2015



GERROA

Gerroa is a small coastal town close to pristine and majestic beaches. It’s set on a headland overlooking the Crooked River estuary. Gerroa is the closest town to Seven Mile Beach National Park on the south coast , a grand and inspiring sweep of sand with an extensive dune system and a wealth of bird and mammal life. Gerroa offers easy access to several national parks and fine beaches, as well as many of the prime attractions of the Illawarra such as wineries, quaint country towns and historic attractions.

Gerringong is a hilltop village that overlooks a great swathe of blue ocean that promises long days of sport and sunshine. Stay around town awhile and you'll discover this atmospheric place also has a taste for the finer things in life, including wines, great fishing and golf.

Werri is distinguished by having point breaks at both ends of the beach, so there's often a wave peeling nicely off either the north or south headlands. Smooth even when the summer nor' easter is blowing, the northern point starts to break across the rocky reef that extends from the headland, then generates a fatter wave closer to shore that's beloved of long-boarders. Beach breaks to the south are dependent on variable sandbanks, but there's often a decent wave right in front of the famous Werri Beach Fish Shop three-quarters of the way down the beach. The southern headland is the spot in a southerly swell and wind.

The Kiama experience starts with pristine, uncrowded beaches, rolling green pastures, hand-made dry stone walls, heritage architecture and spectacular natural scenery. There are also plenty cafes and restaurants. Maybe you could go for a drive and experience nature at the Minnamurra Rainforest or the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk, and who could forget the two famous blowholes.

The Minnamurra River meets the Pacific Ocean at this small coastal village, and the river estuary creates the perfect spot for sea kayaking or snorkelling. Row or kayak across the river to Mystics, a secluded beach named by surfing magazines as one of the best in the world. Or paddle upstream, winding through the picturesque Jamberoo Valley towards Minnamurra Falls. Minnamurra Headland is scenic and has great walking track access south to Jones Beach, past Cathedral Rocks, the Bombo Headland, then onto the dog-friendly Bombo Beach before you head up the hill and into Kiama for a well-deserved coffee.

SEVEN MILE BEACH

Seven Mile Beach stretches from Gerroa in the north down past Shoalhaven Heads and beyond. From this beach you can target bream, flathead, whiting, tailor, salmon, mulloway and the occasional dart. This is also a great beach to gather a few pipis and beach worms.

At the northern end you will come across Crooked River. Now even though it looks like there’s not much there, at times it will produce flathead, whiting, mullet and the occasional bream. Try using a poddy mullet trap, and nippers can be pumped here at low tide.

There are a number of dirt roads that will lead to the beach from the main road that runs down to Shoalhaven Heads.

BLACK HEAD POINT

This is where I first learnt to fish off the rocks. Drummer, bream, trevally, snapper, salmon, tailor, kingfish, luderick, groper and mulloway can be targeted off the point. Care will need to be taken, as you will have to traverse a set of boulders that will be covered during the top of the tide. I have caught a number of bream while fishing very light in this area late in the afternoon.

WALKERS BEACH

To get to this beach you will either need to park your car up on the main road and walk in through the golf course (check with golf club before doing so), walk in from the Werri Beach end at the north, or from the Gerroa end.

This particular beach drops off very steeply throughout most of its length and fishes well for salmon, tailor and mulloway. Try fishing off the rocks also.

BOAT HARBOUR

There is an ocean boat ramp located at the eastern end of Jupiter Street, which has a fair amount of parking, toilets, a park, swimming pool and cleaning table. Care will need to be taken when launching from here, as it can get very rough. For the land-based angler you can either walk to the left and fish the rocks around to Werri Point, or go right and work your way out to the point.

Bream, drummer, salmon, tailor, luderick, silver trevally, groper and snapper can be caught here.

WERRI POINT

This point is fairly low to the water, so it is best fished during calm seas. Off the front there are bream, trevally and squid. As you work your way back towards the beach, you can try for bream, drummer and luderick over the boulders at high tide.

WERRI BEACH

Like all beaches, this one will change its character with the coming and going of the tides. Most of the time it drops off to fairly deep water. My suggestion would be to make yourself as mobile as you can, and walk the beach in search of the perfect gutter.

Beach and bloodworms, plus nippers for bream and whiting, and whole pilchards for salmon and tailor are good baits.

EAST BEACH

A small, quiet beach that is protected in most seas by two big headlands. Whiting and bream are the mainstay of target species here. At times you can target luderick and drummer in gutters at the north and south ends.

LITTLE BLOW HOLE

This is a great place to target bream, drummer, trevally, tailor and salmon. As it is fairly snaggy, I would suggest you use a bobby cork. For those of you that can manage a good distance cast, a paternoster rig would be the go.

KIAMA MAIN BEACH

The main surf beach at Kiama can get very busy at times with lifesavers, board riders and swimmers. Try working this beach in the early morning or late afternoon. You can also try casting from the rocks onto the sandy bottom for bream, trevally and whiting.

KIAMA POINT

Extreme care needs to be taken when fishing from here, as there have been a number of people washed in. Not only can bream, drummer, trevally and groper be targeted, you can also chase marlin, tuna and kingfish with live baits and lures.

As you work your way back towards the harbour entrance, you will come across a breakwall that a decent cast will reach the sandy bottom offshore.

MINNAMURRA BEACH

This beach doesn’t seem to get much angler pressure. Maybe this is because you need to put in a fair effort to get there. Bream, whiting, flathead, tailor, salmon and mulloway are target here by the locals who fish it.

MINNAMURRA RIVER

There may not seem to be much here in this river, but during the summer months you can try catching a feed of whiting and bream, while during the cooler months of the year you can target luderick, bream and mullet.

THE FARM

Popular Killalea Beach , also known as The Farm, is famous with surfers throughout the region. The beach is quite unique as it faces south east and has a point break with fairly consistent surf. The beach is located within Killalea State Park and was declared a national surfing reserve in June 2009.

When there is a big southerly swell and a northerly wind, this is the place to come for a surf if you are a board rider. Now if you are an angler this beach will produce bream, salmon, tailor, whiting and the odd mulloway and ray. You could try fishing at either end of the beach.

BASS POINT

Bass Point is one of the most prolific fishing spots on the south coast and there is plenty of easy parking and picnic grounds. The passing currents here will attract bream, salmon, tailor, silver trevally, luderick, drummer, groper, kingfish and tuna.

There is a small bay called Bushranger Bay that looks very inviting, but you cannot fish here at all. You will need to check where it is on the NSW Fisheries website.

SHELLHARBOUR

There are a number of beaches, rock walls and rock platforms that will produce bream, whiting, salmon, tailor, drummer, luderick, kingfish, tuna and groper at various times of the year. You also have a protected harbour here from where you can launch to go offshore and fish for snapper.

ACCOMMODATION

Discovery Holiday Parks Gerroahttp://www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au/nsw/south_coast/gerroa

Seven Mile Beach Holiday Parkhttp://www.kiamacoast.com.au/Sevenmile_Beach/index.html

Werri Beach Holiday Parkhttp://www.kiamacoast.com.au/Werri_Beach/index.html

EATING OUT

Gerroa Boat Fisherman’s Clubhttp://www.gerroafishos.com.au/

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