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Windang to Stanwell Park
  |  First Published: March 2015



Working our way up from Warilla Beach to the north end of Stanwell Park Beach, there are literally hundreds of places that you can successfully chuck a line in for a fish. So with this beginner’s guide to fishing this stretch of coastline, the 15 spots I have put together are really only going to scratch the surface and you will need to do a lot of exploring yourself.

Despite its large and densely populated towns, I have found that even during the weekend I can sometimes get a spot to myself for a few hours, but most of the time weekends mean there will be someone else fishing beside you.

When fishing down this way, you will need to be aware of the places that you cannot fish, so I would suggest going online and check out where you can and can’t go:

Roads and Maritime http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime/ Boating closures

NSW Fisheries http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries Fishing closures

Port Kembla Port Authority http://www.portkembla.com.au/ Boating closures

Located on the east coast of NSW, Port Kembla is one of 3 major ports in the state. Port Kembla was established in the late 1890s to facilitate the export of coal from the mines of the Illawarra region. Since that time, it has rapidly grown to accommodate both the expansion of traditional industries along with the development of new ones.

The diverse commodity base of the port today reflects the growth of the region and its capability to service the growing south west Sydney market. Historically, the port has serviced the needs of regional industries, predominantly coal (export) and steel (import of raw materials and steel products). In more recent years, the port has diversified its trade base to include general and bulk cargoes, containers and motor vehicle imports. It is also the principal grain export port for producers in south and south western NSW.

WARILLA BEACH

Warilla Beach fishes extremely well when there has been a southerly blow for a couple of days and the water is running out the Lake Illawarra Channel. Try using a ball sinker down onto a swivel with a leader of about 1m long, or a paternoster rig with 2 hooks. Bream, whiting, tailor, salmon, flathead, mulloway, sharks and rays can be caught here.

If you find a bit of a rip forming up here, cast your rig into it and let the current take it out to the deeper water for you. Don’t forget to take a few metal slugs for that distance cast when you need to get out the back of the breakers.

LAKE ILLAWARRA CHANNEL

The luderick run in this channel during the cooler months of the year, and during the warmer months you will find whiting and bream feeding along this stretch. There has been a number of fishing and walking platforms installed here for people to fish off.

I have been present when the luderick are on the chew and it has been shoulder-to-shoulder anglers. The same happens when the whiting are on. During the dark of the moon you could also try catching a few prawns.

LAKE ILLAWARRA

Even though this is a very shallow lake, you can catch flathead, bream, whiting, flounder, tailor and blue swimmer crabs. In fact, I could do a whole article on fishing Lake Illawarra, but what I will do is list a number of places you can go to and fish from the shore. They are as follows: Hooker Park, Lacey Park, Purry Burry Point, Wegit Point, Boat Harbour, Hooka Park, Kanahooka Point and Mogurah Point, just to name a few. Try using Where Is to find out where these spots are.

PERKINS BEACH

This beach is situated on the northern side of the Lake Illawarra entrance, and it fishes the same as Warilla Beach. The main difference is that the southern end is a bit protected from Windang Island when the weather is coming from the south.

PORT KEMBLA BREAKWALL

There are a number of fishing restrictions in place here, and the southern breakwall can be closed at times. This is usually when they are repairing it, as it does get a hammering from the sea. When fishing the outside of the southern breakwall, you will need to watch your step and find a flat area to fish from. You will also need to take a rod of somewhere between 3-3.6m. This is not a place to take the kids.

The inside of the southern wall is a place you could take the kids to for a fish, but care still needs to be taken. Bream, luderick and squid can be targeted here. The boat ramp is a good place to fish at night.

Just a short walk further out from the southern breakwall is Battery Point. This is a good spot to target bream and drummer during the top of the tide. You will need to use a ball sinker down onto the bait, as it is very snaggy here.

WOLLONGONG CITY BEACH

There is plenty of car parking just up from the beach. If you are going to try fishing here, I would suggest you look for the deeper gutters and be mobile enough to move from gutter to gutter. This will give you a better chance of finding where the fish are. The corner of the beach can produce bream after a southerly blow.

Try fishing as light as possible and cast your bait in and around the boulders. This spot can be a bit snaggy at times though. Try off the rock platform nearby for tailor, salmon, bream, drummer, and the odd kingfish and mulloway. Also remember to take a few squid jigs along.

Parking can be a problem here at times, but if you park in the side streets you should be okay. Wollongong Harbour has a number of great options. You could try fishing off the harbour wall or the breakwall. Berley would be essential if fishing here. During the winter months I have caught luderick, drummer and bream off the small point near the boat ramp.

The northern wall will produce salmon, tailor, trevally and bream when there is a bit of a southerly blow. If you don’t happen to catch a few fish, you could always try the great fish and chip shop in the harbour. It’s a good place to bring the family, as there is a beach and a park area nearby.

TOWRADGI

This is a very popular beach with surfers and beachgoers. The best time to fish is early morning and late afternoon when it is less crowded. Days when it is just raining a bit of overcast would be a good time to expect fewer crowds. This is one of my go-to spots during winter when the swell is up a bit. Tailor, bream and whiting are worth a shot here.

Depending on where the wind and the swell are coming from, the north and south ends of this beach where it meets the rocks is a great place to target bream and trevally.

BELLAMBI POINT

This is another great spot to have a fish, as there are so many different options for the land-based angler. There is fishing to be had from the beach, or off the rocks and breakwall that are found here. You will need to check on where and what you can do here by going to the NSW Fisheries website: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries . Try fishing off the breakwall when the conditions are coming from the south. The small and protected bay where the boat ramp is situated is a great place to chuck out those squid jigs.

Where the rocks finish on the southern side of the beach is worth a shot for bream, trevally and tailor. Whole or half pilchards are the go. You could also try casting out a few metal slugs, and plastics are another option.

The front of the point produces drummer, bream, luderick, salmon, tailor and the odd kingfish. Make sure you don’t fish here when the seas are up though. A rod of about 3.6m in length will get you out over the rocks and boulders to the sandy patches.

WANIORA POINT

Bream, silver trevally, drummer and luderick can be berleyed up while fishing from the point. Suspend your bait either under a stemmed float or a bobby cork to keep it away from the snags. Leatherjackets are another option when fishing here. Use a long shank hook and either a small piece of prawn or squid for bait. The paternoster rig seems to work the best.

THIRROUL

Over the years I have found that the northern end of Thirroul has produced the better catches on the last 2 hours of the rising tide and the first 2 hours of the falling tide. Now as for the main beach, I would suggest that you position yourself at the edges of the main gutters and either use a paternoster rig or a ball sinker down onto a swivel with about a 50cm leader. Whole and half pilchards, pink nippers, beach and bloodworms are the bait options.

There is a set of rocks in the middle of the beach that are worth a shot for bream and whiting at the top of the tide. You can fish the southern rock platform after a big blow for bream, drummer, luderick, tailor and salmon. The depth of water can vary here, so you may have to move around a bit to find the fish.

Bulli Point is always an option for bream, trevally, drummer, groper, salmon, tailor and leatherjackets. This is usually a good spot when the wind is from the south.

AUSTINMER

This beach is overlooked by a lot of anglers, and yes it can be a bit unproductive at times, but when it’s on fire it’s on fire. Try using strips of mullet, half pilchards, pink nippers, beach and bloodworms for bait. Bream, luderick, silver trevally and drummer can be caught when fishing the rocky ends. Tailor and salmon school up here at times.

COLEDALE

Fish along the ledge towards the beach on a rising tide at night for bream, trevally and drummer. You will need to berley and I would suggest white bread. You could mix some squashed up pilchards with it as well.

The southern point at Coledale is a good place to fish on a rising tide. The first of the run-out will produce fish as well. Try suspending a bait under a small bobby cork or fish as light as the conditions will allow. Cunje can be found here, so try it for bream and drummer.

SCARBOROUGH

This small beach is best fished during the upper parts of the tide for bream, whiting and trevally. I have found that early morning and late afternoon sessions seem to produce the better results. It’s a great place to take the family, as there are picnic tables, toilets, and a car park. Try using half pilchards, strips of mullet or striped tuna. Pink nippers, beach and bloodworms will always get you a few fish.

Sometimes this beach can have a fair amount of kelp wash into the gutters after a big blow. This is when you can go and fish off the rocks and cast past the kelp onto the sandy patches out wider. Don’t forget the squid jigs either.

COALCLIFF

Even though the beach at Coalcliff is not all that long, you can fish for bream, whiting, salmon and tailor here. At the southern end lies an ocean pool. Fishing off the back of this into the sand gutter that has scattered boulders throughout is good for bream and drummer. As you walk further south around the point, you will be able to fish for bream and drummer, but care will need to be taken as the rocks are close to the water’s surface. Fish with a small ball sinker down onto the top of the bait.

The southern end of the rocky headland has quite deep water and I have caught bream, drummer, snapper, tailor, salmon, kingfish, bonito and silver trevally from here. You will need to wear footwear with non-slip soles though, as there is a fair amount of that slimy black moss on the rocks.

This part of the headland is also a good place to catch live yellowtail, slimy mackerel and squid. During peak fishing times, this area can get fairly crowded.

STANWELL PARK

This beach would have to be 1 of my favourites on the south coast, as there are so many options for the land-based angler. You could target, bream, trevally, dart, tailor, salmon and the odd mulloway around the boulders at the northern and southern ends of the beach. There are 3 main rigs that I use while fishing here. They are the paternoster, a ball sinker directly down onto the bait, and a ball sinker down onto the swivel with a leader about 50cm long.

This particular beach can fire one day and then be completely dead the next, so I would always have a Plan B up my sleeve and make sure that I am mobile. This is why all my tackle, bait and fish are carried in an Alvey shoulder bag. If the fishing is not happening, I can just walk back up the beach, hop in the car and go to another beach close by.

TACKLE SHOPS

Leisure Coast Bait and Tackle

297 Rothery Road Corrimal

PH: (02) 42842734

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LeisureCoastBaitandTackle

Fergo’s Tackle World Wollongong

4/135 Princes Highway Fairy Meadow

PH: (02) 4225 7233http://www.tackleworld.com.au/nsw/wollongong.html

Deans Tackle and Outdoors

312 Windang Road Windang

PH: (02) 4295 1615

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deans-Tackle-Outdoors/128694183841595

ACCOMMODATION

Windang Beach Tourist Parkhttp://visitshellharbour.com.au/accom_result1/windang-beach-tourist-park/?UseSession=True

Killalea State Parkhttp://visitshellharbour.com.au/accom_result1/killalea-state-park/?UseSession=True

Shellharbour Beachside Tourist Parkhttp://visitshellharbour.com.au/accom_result1/shellharbour-beachside-tourist-park/?UseSession=True

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Plenty of new walkways have been built for land-based anglers to use along the Lake Illawarra Channel.

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Plenty of new walkways have been built for land-based anglers to use along the Lake Illawarra Channel.

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The boat ramp in Port Kembla Harbour gives great access to spots within the harbour and offshore. You can also fish the breakwall when it is open.

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Wollongong City Beach is worth a shot for whiting, bream, salmon and tailor during the day or at night.

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Wollongong Harbour has a number of safe places to fish, and if you don’t catch anything you could always buy some at the brilliant fish and chip shop nearby.

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Try fishing the back of Towradgi Ocean Pool for a couple of hours either side of the high tide.

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The beach just adjacent to the Towradgi Pool is very popular. Some good gutters form on either side of the surf house.

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The four-lane boat ramp at Bellambi Point not only gives easy access to offshore fishing, it’s a great place to go squidding as well.

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Try flicking a few metals off the breakwall at Bellambi for tailor, bonito and salmon.

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Not a bad result after a couple of hours fishing the rocks at Waniora Point.

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Not a bad result after a couple of hours fishing the rocks at Waniora Point.

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Coalcliff Point can be a great place to live bait for kingfish.

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Stanwell Park Beach in the foreground, and the Sea Cliff Bridge and Coalcliff at the top of the photo.

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The southern end of Stanwell Park Beach is good for bream, drummer and trevally after a southerly blow.

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Mixed bags are a feature of this region.

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