Fishing Rules, Tips & Tricks

When fishing the South Coast NSW always abide by the rules.

Fishing rules to remember

When you're fishing in NSW waters - both freshwater and saltwater - you are required by law to pay the NSW Recreational Fishing Fee and carry a receipt showing the payment of the fee. This applies when spear fishing, hand lining, hand gathering, trapping, bait collecting and prawn netting or when in possession of fishing gear in, on or adjacent to waters.

Local knowledge

Local tackle shops are invaluable when it comes to pointing out where and when the fish are biting and on what technique. If you are not sure about something drop in and say hello before heading out for a fish.

Catch and release with care

To allow easy release of unwanted fish, please de-barb your hooks by squashing the barb with pliers. When bait fishing for table species use circle hooks to achieve mouth hook-ups and hence easy release. If you do hook a fish deep, cut the line close to the fish's mouth. If you plan to release a fish, wet your hands before handling it, minimise the time it is out of the water, use knotless landing nets and support a big fish under the belly rather than lifting it by the jaw alone.

Numerous studies have shown that most fish are generally very tough and handle catch and release very well but looking after them as described above will help avoid unnecessary fish casualties.

Last but not least follow this rule: If in doubt don't handle the fish - cut the line as close as is safely possible and let it back out.

Pack a copy of the NSW Recreational Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing Guides in your tackle box or backpack. They have information about legal lengths and bag limits and lots of other useful information. Copies are available at tackle stores and Eurobodalla Visitor Centres or at NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Fishing is fun... but, remember to take care and exercise caution. For information on general fishing safety, rock fishing safety, freshwater fishing safety, boating safety and the angel ring program or to view video on rock fishing safety, please visit

Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy vest: when boat fishing or when fishing in hazardous locations such as rock platforms or those located near areas of fast moving water always wear a lifejacket. It may also be appropriate to wear non-slip shoes.

Observe first, fish later: always check weather and water conditions before you start fishing. View the coastal waters forecast for New South Wales at Inform others of your fishing plans: always let friends or family know where you are going and when you will be back.