Fishing in Merimbula and the Sapphire Coast

The sparkling Sapphire Coast is teeming with fish and scenic spots to throw a line in. Regarded as  one of Australia’s best fishing destinations, the region has a range of thrilling experiences on offer that include game, reef and deep sea fishing. Stand side by side with sun-kissed anglers on the beach or cast off from an historic wharf.

Fishing charters regularly depart from harbours in this beautiful region on the far NSW South Coast and you can hire everything from boats to fishing rods. You’ll find boat ramps and excellent bait shops, such as Bermagui Bait and Tackle, where you can get tips from the locals and discover their favourite fishing spots.

Local fishing boats docked at Bermagui Fishermens Wharf, Bermagui

The continental shelf is only 20km offshore from beautiful Bermagui and the town is famous for game fishing for black marlin in the inky blue-black waters. Fishing tours leave from lively Bermagui Harbour, home to Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf, where you’ll find a clutch of seafood restaurants, a wine bar and gift shops.

Just north of Bermagui is Wallaga Lake, a popular coastal waterway for fishing and boating. South of Bermagui is Mimosa Rocks National Park, another great fishing spot. At the southern end of Mimosa Rocks is the charming town of Tathra, where you can fish from the heritage-listed Tathra Wharf.

Couple enjoying a tour with Captain Sponge's Magical Oyster Tours on Pambula River, Pambula

More fishing charters depart from Merimbula, just south of Tathra. You can join Aussie Fish Estuary Adventures for guided fishing experiences in pristine estuaries, where you can catch flathead, bream, mulloway, whiting and other species. Nearby Pambula is enticing for estuary fishing, too.

The shimmering waters off Eden, a short drive south of Pambula, are perfect for game and reef fishing – Freedom Charters offers exciting tours. In the spectacular wilderness of Ben Boyd National Park, to the north and south of Eden, are wonderful bays, beaches and rock platforms.

For seafood sourcing of a different kind, join a tour of an oyster estuary to sample famous Sydney Rocks fresh from the water. Captain Sponge’s Magical Oyster Tour operates out of Pambula and takes visitors on a two-hour tour of an oyster farm on the pristine Pambula Lake. 

NSW Swimming safety

Swimming safety information 

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. 

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