A Great Place for Fishing
If you are dreaming of the perfect fishing holiday or short break to rehabilitate or rejuvenate, Port Macquarie may hold the solution. If you are seeking a family destination with something for everyone, there’s plenty of inviting activities with numerous pristine beaches to explore, rain-forest reserves to wander through, children’s entertainment, fine dining, cultural delights, and shopping available to occupy your group whilst you head off to spend some quality time fishing, or take them with you for a family bonding activity. Relax and enjoy the amazing Hastings waterways or venture out to the reefs and bask in the natural beauty of this sub-tropical paradise. With a mild climate suitable for year-round outdoors recreation, you’ll experience the fishing therapy you’ve been dreaming of.
Whether you choose to bring your own tackle or boat, hire equipment or take an offshore fishing charter trip, Port Macquarie has opportunities for all types of fishing and budgets.
Grab the Tackle & Explore the River (from the banks, ‘tinny’ or kayak)
HASTINGS RIVER: Wauchope to Port Macquarie
As the Hastings River flows down from the Great Dividing Range towards the Pacific Ocean there are many excellent locations for freshwater fishing and for both river and estuarine fishing in the river’s lower reaches at Port Macquarie. The Hasting’s River is a recognised Recreational Fishing Haven.
- There is excellent fishing at Wauchope and downstream particularly around Rawdon Islands, Dennis Bridge,Green Point and at the entrances to King Creek & Sarah’s Creek.
Fish: in upper reaches – Freshwater Bass; further down – Flathead, Whiting, Herring, Bream
Marie River Area
- Before entering the Pacific Ocean at Port Macquarie several tributaries join the Hastings River including the Marie River with popular fishing spots around its entrance at Blackman’s Point and upstream towards Boomerang Island. These areas are strewn with old oyster leases, jetties and other fish attracting structures.
Fish: Whiting, Flathead, Garfish, Bream
Note: Road access to Marie River is from Pacific Highway onto Blackman’s Point Road or via vehicular ferry crossings at either Boundary Street or Settlement Point Road.
Limeburner’s Creek Area
- Further downstream in the Hasting’s from the Marie River entrance towards Big Bay and the Limeburner’s Creek, fishers can access an area known as the Drift Ground at the Hibbard Ferry Crossing area, the Settlement City Canal, Settler’s Cove & North Cove entrances, Tolhurst Bank and King’s Point all of which provide great opportunities for river fishing before reaching the Limeburner’s Creek entrance.
The Big Bay area and entrance to Limeburner’s Creek has several good spots for creek fishing such The Corner, Blackfish Spot and further upstream Tom Dick’s Hole.
Fish: Bream, Garfish, Mullet, Flathead, Whiting, Blue Swimmer Crabs
Note: Road access to east side Maria River by vehicular ferry crossing at end of Settlement Point Road & the Marie River Road from Crescent Head.
Hasting’s Estuary to the CBD
- Once in the Hastings RiverEstuary Area heading downstream towards the CBD there several fishing areas known as The Bend, Coal Wall, Pelican Island and the North & South Sides of the Breakwall at the river mouth. From the CBD itself, fishers can access a number of popular fishing spots directly along the Town Wharf heading towards Town Beach and also on the Settlement City side of the estuary at the Port Macquarie Marina wharf accessed via Park Street.
- Settlement Point Picnic Area accessed along Settlement Point Road is also a great spot to take the family and kids fishing. The park also has wheelchair access, covered picnic tables and electric BBQ’s.
Fish: Bream, Garfish, Tailor, Flathead. Whiting, Luderick, Trevally, Mulloway (Jew Fish)
Boat ramps: For easy access to river fishing boat ramps are located at River Park, Fernbank Creek, Blackman’s Point Road and at Westport Park.
Jump in the Car & Head to the Shore Line
Port Macquarie has several good beach fishing locations to target Sand Whiting, Bream, Tailor, Flathead, Grouper and other species.
South side fishing spots include Lighthouse, Town & Flynn’s beaches; whilst on the North side try Little Beach; North Beach and further north Neverfail & Goolawah Beaches
A short drive south from Port Macquarie, fishing is good at Lake Cathie entrance, beach areas, lake side and from the bridges.
Rock fishing areas include Breakwall; Town Beach; Tacking Point; Big Hill; Point Plommer and Racecourse Headland or head south for Middlerock Point near Lake Cathie
Catch a variety of fish such as Bream, Tailor, Mulloway, Drummer, Luderick, Tuna
For safety, always wear your life jacket when rock fishing.
Hitch on the Trailer Boat or Hire a Charter Boat
Access to offshore fishing is via the boat ramp at Westport Park near the Port Marina on Park Street. There is ample parking available and fish cleaning tables.
Check the weather & sea conditions see http://swell.willyweather.com.au/nsw/mid-north-coast/port-macquarie.html
Put on your lifejackets, sign in with Port Macquarie Marine Rescue, and within minutes you’ll be navigating the bar crossing heading through the break walls and out onto the reefs.
The Port Macquarie reef system provides a good variety of reef fish, invertebrates and pelagic species whether heading north or south of the Hastings River entrance. Although species availability is seasonal you’ll always catch something worth taking home for your dinner plate.
- The reefs to the south off Lighthouse Beach provides a mix of bottom dwelling and game fish including Bream, Mulloway, Flathead, Sweep, Snapper and Kingfish.
- Around the North & South Canyons you will often find Yellow Fin Tuna, Marlin, Dolphin Fish, Cobia, Spanish Mackerel, as well as Scad, Snapper, Sweep and Pearl Perch.
- Head North off Plomer’s Point to find some sports fish such as Mahi Mahi, small Marlin, Yellow Fin Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin Fish, as well as reef species such as Eastern Pomfret, Yellow Tail Scad and Sweep.
- North of Port Macquarie and east off Point Plommer is a FAD (Fishing Attracting Device) where the water depth ranges from about 96.2 to 89.6 metres so you’ll get plenty of larger fish species. The FAD is approximately 7.5 nautical miles off shore. For the exact location see http://www.bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&p=280392&cmd=sp
- You will also find a good variety of sports fish as you head out towards the continental shelf which is only 15 nautical miles due east of the Port Macquarie sandbar. Here you can expect to find Blue Eye Cod, Tuna, Marlin, Bonito and Spanish Mackerel.
- For GPS coordinates for plotting fishing spots see http://www.fishnet.com.au/information/gps/macqu.txt
If unfamiliar with Port Macquarie’s off shore fishing areas you can sometimes be successful with markers but nothing surpasses hands-on local fishing knowledge. Hire a charter and let the local fishermen save you time and disappointment by letting them guide you to the best fishing spots.
Remember the Fisherman’s Code
Please use responsible and sustainable fishing practices. Be sure to purchase a fishing licence and abide by NSW endangered fish species and fish bag size limits. Use circle hooks and catch and release techniques to help preserve our local fish stocks. Only take home what you can eat fresh. Handle fish carefully photographing your trophy sized fish and return them unharmed – these are the breeders. Protect our marine environment so that recreational fishing doesn’t become a thing of the past.
Recreational Fishing Licences: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/licence-fee
Regulations & Bag Size Limits: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/recreational/regulations
Regulations & Restrictions: Species – http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/info/nsw-fish-species
Port Macquarie Info
Port Macquarie is a coastal city renowned for its beautiful beaches, pristine waterways, and luxurious rainforest environment. Located on the east coast of NSW midway between Sydney (420km) and Brisbane (510km), it can be easily reached by road, rail, or air. With a humid sub-tropical climate you can fish, swim, surf and enjoy the great outdoors all year round.
A significant historical town on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales, Australia, it originated as a penal colony in 1821 and has many remaining convict-built structures. The early settlement was followed by farm and forest industry development, and from the 1960s onwards, the town became popular as a tourist destination.
With a growing population of 72k+, Port Macquarie has managed to maintain its fresh rural-like character with an air of sophistication. It has many ‘green belts’ with sub-tropical vegetation, marsh-lands, sand dunes and waterways. In addition to its natural beauty you will find boutique breweries & wineries, fine hotels, classy cafes and restaurants, unique retail outlets, an amazing art gallery and entertainment centre resources that one would usually only expect to find in major cities.
The town centres on the main wharf situated just inside the mouth of the Hastings River Estuary with easy access to on-the-water activities. Opposite the CBD is Settlement City where the Port Macquarie Marina is located along with a number of hotels, retail outlets, and entertainment venues. There are plenty of interesting activities for all age groups and lifestyles, and is a top location to relax and enjoy some well-deserved river, reef or deep sea fishing.
For more information on Port Macquarie visit: