Along the east coast of southern Sydney you will find around 24 different beaches that you can quite comfortably cast a line for bream, whiting, dart, the odd dusky and sand flathead, mulloway, salmon and tailor.
They are in order from north to south: Bondi, Mackenzies, Tamarama, Bronte, Coogee, Maroubra, Little Bay, Greenhills, Wanda, Elouera, North and South Cronulla, Jibbon, Marley, Little Marley, Wattamolla, Garie, North Era, Main Era, Burning Palms, Werrong, Stanwell Park and Coalcliff Beaches.
Whether you fish with a threadline reel or a side cast I would suggest that you have a rod length somewhere between 3-3.6m in length and 6-8kg line. This type of outfit allows you to cast out bait like whole pilchards, garfish, strips of mullet and tuna, prawns, pink nippers and beach or blood worms. You can either use a running sinker down onto a swivel and a leader of around a metre in length, or the paternoster ring with two hooks and the sinker at the bottom.
I have found that over the years most of the beaches will fish slightly different to each other. For instance Bondi, Tamarama and Werrong beaches will fish very well in the early morning and late afternoon for bream and whiting, while Bondi at times will have a few salmon and tailor join in the fun.
Coogee, Maroubra, Garie, Stanwell Park and Main Era will not only fish well for whiting and bream, but, on a rising and falling tide you will be in with a good chance to tangle with a mulloway or two. The best time seems to be after there has been a bit of a southerly blow and whole or half pilchards and strips of tuna would be worth a shot as bait.
Wattamolla, North Era and Burning Palms beaches seem to produce more fish at either the southern or northern ends when there have been deep gutters formed. All of the species of fish that are listed above will hang out for a feed in these gutters. You could try fishing off the rocks and casting back into these gutters. Fishing to about an hour and a half before high tide and to about three hours of the run-out tide is best.
As with Little Bay, you will need to fish right up in the back of the bay – not far from the boat ramp. This small beach needs to have a lot of white water around for it to give bream something to hide under. This will only occur when the seas are too big to fish any of the other beaches. You can also get silver trevally and tarwhine mixed in with the bream.
Mackenzies and Bronte beaches are a good place to get out of those northeast winds and fish for bream, whiting and the odd trevally while using nippers and worms. There is a 45-60 minute walk to get into Little Marley and Marley, but it sure can be worth it. At various times of the day and night you are in with a great chance of catching any of the common fish species. You will need to take all your bait in. I would suggest a block of pilchards, a couple of fillets of tuna, pink nippers and either a few blood or beach worms. You could also take in a few metal slicers as well for the salmon and tailor. I would also take in at least a couple of outfits – one about 6kg and one with 8kg. This should cover everything.
To get to Werrong Beach you will need to check with the Royal National Park as to the closing and opening times of the gates as you don’t want to get stuck in there. A great spot for tailor, salmon and bream. But remember there is a fair walk to get in there.
Greenhills, Wanda, Elouera, North and South Cronulla will all fish well at different times. What you need to do is fish with the wind at your back. Sure you can fish Greenhills in a northeast wind, but a southerly will blow straight into your face. An easterly wind will wipe out all of them and a westerly wind will flatten the seas out to a billiard table. So I would suggest that you pick your moment when the wind is not in your face. Jibbon Beach is very good for bream and whiting when the wind is coming from the south.
Last, but by no means least, Coalcliff can fish extremely well one day and terribly the next. I have found that about an hour either side of the top of the tide seems to produce bream, tarwhine and dart. Worms and pink nippers are the go.
There you have it, a bit of a rundown on the beaches that I have fished on the southern side of Sydney. Why don’t you have a go? Nothing is better than getting a bit of sand between your toes.
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