New South Wales Council of Freshwater Anglers
Fostering a sustainable freshwater fishery

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NSW CFA Region 3 and Region 4
Fishing Guide to Sydney and Central

There's a surprising amount of quality freshwater fishing within an hour or so of Sydney, mainly in the upper reaches of the coastal rivers, but also in the upland streams of the Southern Highlands, Barrington Tops and Upper Hunter.

Types of fishing
Bait fishing, lure fishing and fly fishing are all popular and successful. Fishing is possible from boats, canoes and from the bank in most areas.

Fish to catch
Australian bass, estuary perch, rainbow and brown trout, carp, freshwater herring, eel, mullet, catfish, golden perch and silver perch are all available. But the major native recreational angling species in this region is the iconic Australian bass.

They are found in the freshwater and brackish water sections of the region’s eastern flowing streams and their associated impoundments.
and provide some of the best freshwater angling experiences available. They are a rewarding species to fish for and will take bait lures and flies and are fun to catch for both the novice and experienced angler.

Places to fish
Australian bass are the main species targeted in the fresh and brackish sections of all the coastal rivers, but there are also trout to be caught in the Southern Highlands, Barrington Tops and Upper Hunter River area.

Sydney's urban sprawl and development can make it hard to know where to fish or launch a boat or canoe, but consult your road map or street directory, or get a local area map from one of the tourism centres listed below. You'll soon find that there are numerous public parks and reserves and boat ramps that will give you access to many kilometres of river.

The major rivers where bass are readily available and where reasonably priced accommodation or camping facilities are also available are:
- Williams River
- Patterson River
- Hunter River
- Hawkesbury River
- Georges River
- Shoalhaven River

In fact any river on the east coast with a permanent freshwater headwaters and is without permanent barriers to migration holds bass.

Impoundments close to Sydney include Manly Dam, Tallowa Dam, Grahamstown Dam, Brooklyn Dam, Lake Parramatta, Lake St Clair (Glennies Creek Dam), Glenbawn Dam, Lostock Dam, Fitzroy Falls Dam, Thirlmere Lakes and Wentworth Falls Lake. Accommodation and camping facilities are available at most of these locations.

Fishing is banned in some water supply dams near Sydney. See the Sydney Catchment Authority website for details of restricted areas and activities. If you are not sure, check with a local tackle shop or fishing club.

Bass fishing, near Sydney.

Always ask permission to enter private property. Most streams and impoundments are public waters but the land around them is often private property. If in doubt, politely ask permission.
. Highly specialised gear is great fun but not absolutely necessary...if you have some light estuary fishing gear, such as you might use for bream, flathead and whiting, you will be able to enjoy good fishing, especially in the lakes.
3. Join a club. There are numerous fishing clubs in the Sydney region. They organise fishing trips, family days, flytying nights and other social events...a great way to learn and share your experiences. Try some of the clubs listed below.
4. Check the regulations. During some parts of the year there are regulations in force to protect spawning bass. See details below.

Our local expert John Coles says...
Close to Sydney and west of the Divide we have a wealth of rivers and streams and some impressive dams. Most of these are stocked with rainbow and brown trout and some have native Australian bass.

The popular dams are Lake Oberon, Ben Chifley, Lake Wallace, Wentworth Falls Dam, Thompson"s Creek Dam and Lake Lyell and to the South Fitzroy Falls and Pejar Dam. There's plenty of public access points on most dams.

In summer as things heat up better fishing can be had early morning and evening. The fishing in winter is usually mid morning to mid afternoon as water conditions warm a little.

Two of the bigger rivers of the region are the Wollondilly River to the South and the Coxs River that flows through the Blue Mountains. Plus there are kilometers of smaller streams in the region.

John Coles is a fly-fishing guide and tutor. Visit his website at

Weather information
Click here for a direct link to Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for this region.

Safe fishing guide
Click here to link to, from the Recreational Fishing Alliance of NSW



Useful info and links

Industry & Investment NSW (Fisheries)

Freshwater fishing guide
Click here for Industry & Investment NSW's guide to freshwater fishing in NSW

An angling licence is required for all these waters
Click here for recreational angling licence information from Industry & Investment NSW

Fishing regulations apply
Click here for information from Industry & Investment NSW on fishing seasons, closures, gear regulations and species size and catch regulations.

Tackle shops, charters, boating

Amazon Outdoor Superstore
Unit 2/ 1273 The Horsley Drv
Wetherill Park NSW 2164
ph: (02) 9757 4466

Australian Bass Angler
103-107 Batt St
NSW 2750
(02) 4721 0455

Bass2bait Freshwater Fishing
PO Box 612 Emu Plains NSW
ph: (02) 4735 8008

Tenancy 7B, 356-374 Manns Rd
Gosford West NSW 2250
ph (02) 4322 5833

Tenancy 4, 150-158A Pacific Hwy
Tuggerah NSW 2259
(02) 4351 7655

Compleat Angler
1 Lawndale Ave
North Rocks NSW 2151
ph: (02) 9873 3322

Compleat Angler
3rd Floor Dymock's Building
428 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9241 2080

Compleat Angler
36 The Boulevarde Toronto NSW 2283
ph: (02) 4959 1146

Compleat Angler
938 Woodville Rd Villawood NSW 2163
ph: (02) 9724 7474

Deans Tackle Outdoors
312 Windang Rd Windang NSW 2528
ph: (02) 4295 1615

Fish Outta Water
263 Condamine St
Manly Vale NSW 2093
ph: (02) 9949 9488

Freddy’s Fishing World
Shp904/ 7 Bannister Drv
Lake Haven NSW 2263
ph (02) 4393 5577

Freddy’s Fishing World
Broadmeadow Rd (cnr Griffiths Rd)
Broadmeadow NSW 2292
ph (02) 4927 6627

Freddy’s Fishing World
Shp1/ 9 Mitchell Drv
Green Hills NSW 2323

Otto's Tackle World
74- 76 Victoria Rd
Drummoyne NSW 2047
ph: (02) 9890 2884

111 Victoria Rd
Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9980 1111

Tackle Power
U1/ 87 Pacific Hwy
Charlestown NSW 2290
ph (02) 4943 8780

Tackle Power
U2/ 53 Maitland Rd
Sandgate NSW 2304
(02) 4960 1294

Tackle Power
91 Hannell St
Wickham NSW 2293
ph (02) 4962 4266

The World Of Tackle
1081 Victoria Rd
West Ryde NSW 2114
(02) 9874 4299

West Gosford Bait and Tackle
2/ 182 Manns Rd
Gosford West NSW 2250
ph (02) 4324 6522

Got any info that should be added here? Click here to email us and let us know.

Accommodation and other visitor information

Bowral Visitor Centre
St Jude Street, Bowral, New South Wales 2576
Ph: (02) 4862 1247

Campbelltown Visitor Information Centre
15 Old Menangle Road, Campbelltown, New South Wales 2560
Ph: (02) 4645 4921

Emu Plains Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Bathurst Road & Russell Street, Emu Plains, New South Wales 2750
Ph: (02) 4735 7406

Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre
Glenbrook Park, Great Western Highway, Glenbrook, New South Wales 2773
Ph: 1300 653 408

Gloucester Visitor Information Centre
27 Denison Street, Gloucester, New South Wales 2422
Ph: (02) 6558 1408

Gosford Visitor Information Centre
200 Mann Street, Gosford, New South Wales 2250
Ph: (02) 4343 4444 / 1300 132 975

Hawkesbury Visitor and Business Information Centre
Ham Common, Windsor Road, Clarendon, New South Wales 2756
Ph: (02) 4578 0233

Maitland Visitor Information Centre
Cnr New England Highway and High Street, Maitland, New South Wales 2320
Ph: (02) 4931 2800
Ph: 1300 652 320

Newcastle Visitor Information Centre
361 Hunter Street, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300
Ph: (02) 4974 2999
Ph: 1800 654 558

Parramatta Heritage Centre and Visitors Information Centre
346A Church Street, Parramatta, New South Wales 2150
Ph: (02) 8839 3311

Penrith Valley Visitor Information Centre
Carpark of Panthers World of Entertainment, Mulgoa Road, Penrith, New South Wales 2750
Ph: (02) 4732 7671
Ph: 1300 736 836

Robertson Visitor Centre
45 Hoddle Street, Robertson, New South Wales 2577
Ph: (02) 4885 1040

Scone Tourist Information Centre
Cnr Kelly and Susan Street, Scone, New South Wales 2337
Ph: (02) 6545 1526

Singleton Visitor Information Centre
39 George Street, Singleton, New South Wales 2330
Ph: (02) 6571 5888
Ph: 1800 449 888

Wollondilly Visitor Information Centre
Cnr Argyle & Menangle Streets, Picton, New South Wales 2571
Ph: (02) 4677 3962

Google map

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You can join a NSW CFA affiliated fishing club in this region

Anglers Action Group (Sydney Northside)
Contact Phil Ingram

The Barrington Club
Contact Brian Quinn

Bass Sydney
Contact Alan Izzard

Central Coast Flyrodders
Contact David Witham

Hawkesbury Nepean Bass Anglers' Association
Contact Pam Owen

Hunter Native Fish
Contact Dave Mudd

Illawarra Fly Fishers
Contact Chris Harding

Lakeside Fly Fishing Club
Contact Don Salter

New South Wales Coarse Angling Research Club
Contact Mark York

New South Wales Rod Fishers' Society
Contact Andrew Harris

Professional Fishing Instructors & Guides Association
Contact Steve Williamson

Singleton Fly Fishing Club
Contact Ron Butler

Southern Bass Fishing Club
Contact Ron Croker

Sydney Fly Rodders
Contact Radge Diakiw

Sydney Coarse Anglers
Contact Steve Scott

We appreciate all feedback and any extra information. Click here to send your comments.

The NSW will soon provide a complete guide to freshwater fishing in NSW...the first sections are already available:

CFA Region 1: North Coast and Ranges

CFA Region 2: Sydney and Central

CFA Region 3 and 4:Southern Highlands and South Coast, ACT, Monaro and Snowy Mountains

CFA Region 5: Central West

CFA Region 6: South West



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