Southern rocks and beaches
  |  First Published: October 2007

Let’s look at some places where you can go rock and beach fishing just south of Sydney.

Stanwell Park is just south of the Royal National Park. Rock and beach spots from here and down to Coalcliff Point are renowned for great fishing and most of the spots are easily accessed by car and then on foot. I suggest you have a pair of rubber-soled joggers and a pair of shoes with cleats on them. A backpack is also essential to give you the freedom to move from spot to spot.

Even though many of the spots will have bait on site, it’s advisable to take prawns, nippers, fillets of fish, pilchards and garfish. Live bait can be caught at most of the spots and the beaches are always worth a try for beach worms on a falling tide.

Where the sand meets the rocks at the northern end of Stanwell Park Beach there are a few big boulders out in the surf where bream silver trevally, dart and small drummer live. Shorten your leader to about 50cm or have the ball sinker right down on the bait to avoid snagging. You could also try a paternoster rig with a couple of hooks. There are salmon and tailor here as well.

North Stanwell Park Beach is exposed to southerly swell and wind so it can change formation in a blink of an eye but you can catch mulloway and whiting from November to April. Salmon, tailor, bream and the odd dart can be caught from May to the beginning of Spring. The area is best fished around dawn and dusk but can produce well at other times, especially after a rough sea.

Try whole pilchards and garfish for the tailor and salmon and fillets of mullet or whole squid for the mulloway. Pink nippers, beach and bloodworms, pilchard tails and pieces of mullet and tuna will work for bream, whiting and dart.


North Coal Cliff rocks aren’t fished a lot but can produce some great catches. Walk around the rocks to the first prominent rocky finger, where you can catch tailor, salmon, snapper and mulloway at first and last light.

Bream and silver trevally can be berleyed up here during the Winter. Cast out onto the gravel and sandy bottom for the best results. Use one rod with a paternoster rig and another with a running ball sinker and a leader of about 50cm.

Directly in front of the Coalcliff Surf Life Saving Club there is a small but very productive reef. There will usually be a deeper channel on either side of the reef and this is where you should direct your long cast.

I have fished here during the Winter for snapper and bream on a falling tide. To help me get out to the good ground I have tied a small party balloon to the line and let the offshore wind take the bait out the required distance.

During the Summer you can target, bream, whiting, dart, flathead and the odd silver trevally here. Best baits have been beach and blood worms, pink nippers, peeled prawns and pillie tails.

The southern end of the beach is great after a southerly swell when there is plenty of whitewater foaming up in the corner. Bream, salmon, tailor and drummer will school up under the suds. Try a paternoster rig and pink nippers, peeled prawns, cunje, abalone or chicken gut. In Summer you might even get a mulloway.

If you are after bream and luderick, try off the back of the rock pool at the southern end of the beach, but not when there is a big sea running. Berley with bread and fish with a bobby cork or a stem float to keep your bait away from the snags that are found here.

On the northern side of Coalcliff Point is a gutter best fished a couple of hours either side of the top of the tide for bream, drummer, luderick and silver trevally. Be careful here because the waves break over the front of the rocks. Cast near the boulders, where the drummer and bream will seek out your bait.

At the front of the Coalcliff rocks there is a ledge where you can catch blue morwong, snapper, kingfish, leatherjackets, bream, salmon, tailor, drummer and even striped tuna. Keep an eye on the seas because a number of anglers have been washed in here and others dragged across the rocks. It is a great place to get live bait, luderick and drummer.

The southern tip of this very flat platform can be very dangerous in heavy seas. A long cast will put your bait onto a bottom that is a mixture of shale, broken reef and sand for bream, snapper, morwong, kingfish and the odd silver trevally. The best rig is a paternoster baited with strips of tuna, mullet, mackerel or whole or strips of squid.

Close to the ledge you will be able to berley up garfish, yellowtail, sweep, leatherjackets and luderick. You could also try casting metal lures for salmon, tailor and bonito. Live bait should be suspended under a bobby cork or balloon.

For more information call me on 0422 994207 or visit www.garybrownfishing.com.au.

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