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Posted 23th December 2022

Landbased Series: Sydney Region

Landbased Series: Sydney Region
Landbased Series: Sydney Region

By Robert Thornton

It’s easy to think that not owning a boat in Sydney severely limits your fishing options, but this mindset couldn’t be more wrong.

Granted, there are some areas landbased anglers simply can’t get to, but at the same time there are some fantastic fisheries that are best fished on foot, and some that can’t even be accessed with a vessel of any sort!

Greater Sydney is the largest city in Australia by population, and even with all these people around and the development that supports them, there are still plenty of landbased fishing spots where boatless anglers can scratch their itch. Success doesn’t always come easily though, and landbased anglers who consistently catch trophy fish from the land have a few things in common.

Firstly, they make sure they set themselves up with the appropriate gear, and luckily for you, Daiwa Australia has a range of gear designed to service the landbased community. Secondly, they know the spots they fish like the back of their hand. They know what happens at different stages of the tide, day, and the year.

Let’s take a look at what makes for successful landbased fishing in the Sydney area, and highlight few landbased Sydney fishing spots as well!

Landbased Kit

As with landbased fishing anywhere, it’s important to think carefully about what you bring, as you’ll need to carry it with you as you fish. Car owners can use their vehicle as a bit of extra tackle storage, however in many areas it’s not practical to be venturing back to the car every time you want to change lures.

Daiwa’s Guide Waist Bag and Sling Bag are affordable options for anyone wanting to keep it simple and compact, especially if you’ve got a particular target species in mind and don’t need to carry too much gear.

The Soft Plastic Wallet and Egi Wallet are designed to store soft plastics and squid jigs respectively, and in Sydney where soft plastic munching predators and squid abound, these wallets can be stored inside your carry bag to keep your plastics and squid jigs from tangling and catching on things. Not having to untangle your lures and other accessories every time you open your bag will make your landbased experience a lot less frustrating, trust me!

If you want to keep your options open and carry a bit of extra gear, the Guide Backpack is a gamechanger. Anyone looking to go into places that require a bit more walking will love this pack, and what’s more, the Guide Backpack, Guide Waist Bag and Guide Phone Pouch can be combined in a bag-on-bag system!

Of course, Daiwa have a range of storage and luggage options perfect for landbased fishing, so make sure you check them out!

Landbased Tackle

Sydney is a highly diverse fishery, even for landbased fishers. Those without a boat can easily access bread-and-butter species like bream, whiting and flathead, but with a bit of planning can also see action on squid, kingfish, Australian salmon, jewfish, tailor, and other pelagics. Freshwater enthusiasts can also tangle with bass without leaving the city! So you can see why picking an all-round outfit to fit all landbased luring in Sydney is hard.  

Daiwa’s own Mitch Taylor has fished landbased from many locations in the Greater Sydney area, and reckons a spin outfit between 2-6kg is the way to go.

“With this outfit you can cover a lot of bases,” he explains, “from kingies, all the way down to bream, flatties, salmon and other estuary species.”

Spin rod series such as the TD Zero, Emeraldas X, or 20 Infeet are high quality but affordable ranges from Daiwa, and have models in the 2-6kg range. Rods over 7ft long are preferable from land, as you’ll want to be able to throw long casts in some areas. You also want to be able to fish comfortably while standing back from the water’s edge, which is necessary at times.

Spinning reels between 1000-3000 sizes are suitable for this style of fishing, with affordable models such as the BG, 22 Infeet X, and 20 Emereldas X LT great ranges to choose from, and the latter being ideal for squid in particular.

Mainlines will depend on your target species. For chasing small estuarine species such as bream, whiting and flathead, 6-10lb braided lines are all you’ll need, however if you want to target kings, salmon, tailor and any other inshore pelagics, 12-15lb braid might be a better option.

Fluorocarbon leaders are often needed to tempt city-slicker fish that have seen a few lures in their time, and it’s always a good idea to go as light as you possibly can. For the smaller species, staying under 10lb will allow you to present your lures naturally, but if you’re after pelagics and fishing your lures quickly, you might be able to go up to 20lb for a bit of extra insurance.


Staying compact is the key to successful landbased fishing, and this means not overloading on lures, and making sure you cover as many bases as you can with the lures you bring.

For landbased luring in Sydney, there are a few lures that you shouldn’t leave home without, according to Mitch.

“A 7 inch Bait Junkie Jerkshad is great for chasing kings, especially in pearl white, which will imitate the white bait in the harbour,” he explains, “And a 97 Slippery Dog is good to have for the same reason, although I’d probably have a few different sizes with me.”

The Slippery Dogs are suitable for anything from kingfish, salmon and tailor, right down to whiting and bream. Even the smaller species will attack the 97 model, so don’t be afraid to throw this across the sandflats!

“The 2.5 Bait Junkie Minnow is good all-rounder,” Mitch says, “I use them for everything from bream and flathead to kingies and jewies because they’re the perfect size for the smaller whitebait that fish feed on in summer.”

“The 3.2 Minnow is great as well, especially for imitating larger whitebait to get hungrier flatties, jewies and kingies as well,” he continues, “They’re also good for bass when rigged weedless.”

“The new Steez Soft Shells have been good for jewfish, and you can get a good cast on them,” he explains, “They’re good in winter for larger estuary species like big flatties and jewies.”

Additionally, Mitch likes to bring a few metal slugs, which are handy for sending out a long cast to feeding pelagics, where a soft plastic or hardbody might not make the distance.

“If you’re chasing squid you need to have a few Emeraldas jigs in the kit too,” Mitch says, “The squid fishing around the harbour is always pretty good.”

Sydney Fishing Spots

Sydney has a stack of options for the landbased angler, and even if you don’t have a car, the city’s public transport network is a viable way to get amongst the action. Whether you’re craving some high-speed, heart-in-mouth fishing for pelagics, a bit of bread-and-butter relaxation, or crawling through the scrub for bass, Sydney has it all.


Sydney has no shortage of spots to target favourite estuary species like bream, whiting and flathead.

“One really good spot is around Gore Cove,” Mitch says, “The walking track around Wollstonecraft/North Shore area – there’s a lot of options there.”

“There’s two sets of flats you can fish, then there’s a headland that comes around the front of the bay, which is all accessible on foot,” he continues. “A lot of bream, flatties and some truly monster whiting get around in this area, and for some reason this spot doesn’t get fished a lot.”

The sandy coves in the Eastern Suburbs also offer good landbased fishing for the same estuary species.


Squidders are well catered for in Sydney, and theoretically they can show up anywhere, but tend to favour areas with good structure such as weed and rock.

“Spots with weed are always worth a go for squid [southern calamari],” Mitch says, “spots in the Eastern Suburbs and around Rose Bay have good weed and regularly produce decent squid.”

“Manly is another good spot for calamari, with Little Manly Beach being a hotspot.”

Sydney anglers can also reliably chase arrow squid, a smaller squid species that tends to show up in deeper water.

“Arrows can be caught off most wharves around the harbour bridge,” Mitch explains, “and basically any piers that have lights on at night are worth trying for arrows, as these lights attract baitfish.”


The nice thing about Sydney is that is offers anglers the chance to tangle with arm-wrenching speedsters without the need for a boat, and without needing to walk out onto a dangerous headland. Sydney does offer some excellent rock fishing, however we won’t cover that in this bog. Anyone wanting to learn more about rock fishing from a Sydney local can do so here.

“The sandflats in Powder Hulk Bay near the public wharf are very accessible and offer probably the best spot for landbased kings in summer,” Mitch says, “All the white bait gets pushed onto this flat, and the salmon and kingies are never far behind.”

“The sandflats around North Shore and even in the Eastern Suburbs also offer good fishing for kingies at times.”

Fish like kingfish, salmon and tailor generally only come into really shallow water to feed, so it’s important that you present lures to them that are similar to what they are chasing.

“It’s important to match the hatch,” Mitch explains, “and it couldn’t be any more important to get it right sometimes, so you may have to scale up your soft plastics size or cut it down with scissors to suit.”

Freshwater Action

Even freshwater fiends aren’t forgotten about in this city. Bass are a prize for Sydney-based freshwater anglers, however European carp have also taken up residence in a lot of the metropolitan waterways, and they provide top sport for those willing to chase them.

“The Parramatta River and Lake Parramatta hold good populations of bass,” Mitch says, “The river runs straight through Parramatta and is very easily accessible.”

“There’s also plenty of carp in there too, and if the bass fishing is a bit slow, you can easily catch a few carp by switching over to a bait rig and bread or corn for bait.”

Of course, Sydney has many other bass spots both in and outside of Greater Sydney, and finding your own little freshwater oasis shouldn’t be too hard – it’s just a matter of jumping on Google Maps and then heading out there to see for yourself!

Wrap Up

Despite what people may tell you, Sydney is a good base for a boatless angler. The diversity of species and the sheer amount of access points really makes this city a landbased fishers’ paradise. This blog only scratches the surface of what’s on offer, and in reality there are countless vantages to bag trophy fish from the land.

Don’t let metropolitan pessimism turn you away from the amazing angling opportunities Sydney has to offer. Get out there and experience it for yourself!






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