The Wollongong region has surf beaches, headlands, the Port Kembla harbour rock walls, inshore reefs and islands, the Lake Illawarra estuary, and deep reef fishing from just 13km out.
The harbour rock walls produce quality tailor, salmon, bonito and kingfish.
Luderick are caught inside the walls, along with bream, silver trevally and school mulloway.
Windang Beach is one of the better beaches and has tailor, salmon, flathead, whiting and mulloway.
Red Point off Hill 60 is one of the better rock fishing spots and has salmon, tailor, bonito, kingfish and snapper.
People have lost their lives fishing from rocks around the ‘Gong, so take care.
The northern beaches have mostly salmon, tailor, bream and mulloway.
The best local whiting beaches are Thirroul, Bulli, Port Kembla, Windang and Warilla, but others can fish well.
There is an annual cuttlefish spawning run between Stanwell Park and Kiama at the start of winter, which attracts predatory fish.
Birds give away the location of dead cuttlefish. Cast a bait into the action for snapper, trevally, kingfish and more.
Salmon are caught on Wollongong beaches in winter, with usually smaller fish in summer.
Tailor are a regular catch in the surf and off the rocks.
Summer offshore gamefish include striped and black marlin and dolphin fish, with bonito off the rocks from late January.
Popular reef fishing grounds are Bandit, Wollongong Reef, Five Islands and The Trap Reef, with bigger boats fishing out to the shelf for hapuku and morwong.
To the south, Minamurra Creek has flathead, bream and whiting but Shoalhaven River to the south is a better river.
Lake Illawarra is a large shallow system with mainly bream, flathead, whiting and luderick. There are also blue swimmer crabs, prawns, squid, flounder and garfish.
The lake’s entrance fishes well for mulloway and big bream at times.
For boaters, the islands off Port Kembla produce kingfish and yellowfin tuna.
Boaters can catch snapper all year, with a good run in winter. There are also tiger and bluespot flathead on offshore grounds, leatherjackets and morwong.
A steel tower artificial reef is another local feature, along with an offshore FAD.
Wollongong Artificial Reef
This reef was installed in 2019 just 2.4km off Perkins Beach, 2.5km south of Five Islands Nature Reserve.
It is a steel pinnacle reef in 32m of water, with a profile of 12m.
Common species include yellowtail kingfish, snapper, trevally, mulloway, tailor, yakkas and blue mackerel.
Wollongong Artificial Reef GPS marks
34 31.081S 150.54.883E
34 31.182S 150 54.795E
Wollongong regional fishing GPS marks
Stanwell Park region … 30km north of the ‘Gong
Garie Beach wide ground 34.10.594S 151.06.875E
Burning Palms 34.12.530S 151.04.660E
The Hump 34.13.851S 151.04.369E
Tunnel 34.13.851S 151.04.459E
The Reef 34.13.852S 151.04.401E
Wollongong fishing seasons
Bream, yellowfin – summer, autumn and winter.
Bream, black – summer, autumn and winter.
Bonito – summer.
Crabs, blue – summer.
Flathead, dusky – spring, summer and autumn.
Flathead, tiger and bluespot – autumn.
Flounder – spring, summer and autumn.
Garfish – summer.
Luderick – winter inside estuaries, all year along coast.
Marlin, black, blue and striped – summer and autumn with the blue and striped marlin also in spring.
Mulloway – all year, arguably more fish about in spring and summer.
Prawns – summer
Tailor – summer, autumn and winter.
Trevally, silver – summer and spring. Offshore in autumn.
Tuna, yellowfin, mackerel and striped – autumn, summer and spring.
Salmon – spring, summer and autumn.
Snapper – all year.
Whiting – spring, summer and autumn.
Yellowtail kingfish – spring, summer and autumn.
Find local fishing holiday accommodation here.
Fishing gear for NSW
A 3-6kg spin outfit is the ideal all-rounder for most New South Wales estuary and freshwater fishing. See eBay listing here.
For wary fish in clear water, a 1-3kg spin outfit is ideal for estuary whiting, bream and bass. See eBay listing here.
An affordable heavy duty surf rod can be seen at the eBay listing here.
For a higher grade 4.6m surf rod, view this eBay listing here.
These heavier surf rods can be matched with this spinning reel ... eBay listing here.
Surf rod-reel combos are available, see eBay listing here.
Metal slice lures are ideal for tailor, kingfish and salmon in the surf and off the rocks. See eBay listing here.
Soft plastic grubs are good all-round lures for a range of New South Wales saltwater and freshwater species. Listing on eBay here.
Jig heads are needed for unrigged soft plastic lures. Listing on eBay here.
Squid jigs are useful in New South Wales, especially in Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay. Listing on eBay here.
Star sinkers or snapper leads are generally used on a paternoster rig for surf and boat fishing. For most other fishing, ball sinkers are used, as part of a running sinker rig. See eBay listing for ball sinkers here and for snapper leads here
Hooks in mixed sizes (suggest 1# or #2 for whiting, 6# or #8 for garfish, 4/0 for tailor, salmon and flathead, 11/0 for large mulloway). Listing on eBay here.
Ganged hooks (joined chains of hooks) are used when fishing pilchard baits for tailor. Listing on eBay here.
Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.
Some external videos filmed around Wollongong are featured below.