13 May 2022
Fishing has always been a favourite pastime for Aussies and a popular holiday activity for travellers flocking to our coastal towns, rivers and estuaries. Pambula Beach on the NSW Sapphire Coast provides endless opportunities for those seeking the ultimate catch.
Anglers love to seek out fishing destinations and caravan parks alike to try for the elusive ‘big one’ or to swap a few campsite stories about ‘the one that got away’.
With so many popular fishing spots along New South Wales’s Sapphire Coast, we made Discovery Parks – Pambula Beach our ‘fishing base camp’: well-located and the ideal place to park up our caravan. A great spot for fishing enthusiasts, they even have a boat wash – jeez Louise, we were in boat cleaning heaven!
Guided to our campsite by the Groundskeeper in his buggy, we set up the van and explored the park. There’s heaps to do including jumping pillow, mini golf and plenty of local kangaroos hopping about. We couldn't wait to get stuck in.
WHERE TO GO: Fishing hot spots along the Sapphire Coast
Discovery Parks – Pambula Beach
There are heaps of fishing hot spots on this stretch of coast! If you’re camped like we were, at Discovery Parks – Pambula Beach, take your fishing rod to the beach (which was just 30 steps from our caravan door!). Here you can cast out for salmon, bream and whiting from the surf.
A short drive away is Pambula Lakes, a popular spot for land-based and boat fishing. Try your luck for salmon, flathead, trevally, whiting, mulloway and kingfish. We had a really hot bite here, surrounded by thousands of Australian salmon while casting soft plastics from our tinny. I’m surprised you couldn’t hear my excited squealing from wherever you are in Aus!
10 kilometers up the road you’ll find Merimbula, a haven for fishing junkies like us! Head to the Aquarium Wharf for a bit of bait bobbing from the wharf itself, or cast out on soft plastic/lures to attract pelagic species like bonito or salmon.
Eden boasts a range of great fishing spots, including piers, rock walls and amazing surf beaches. Try your luck on squid at dawn or dusk. If you’re walking along a pier and see black ink, you know they’ve been catching in that location recently. Squid jigs in various colours such as pink, yellow, clear and green work really well when casting over weedy beds.
READ ALSO: Road Trip NSW's Sapphire Coast
TOP TIPS: Tiffany's best advice for fishing the Sapphire Coast
Hook up with a local
Head into the local tackle store for advice on the area. They always know what’s catching, what bait to use, local hot spots and advice for all levels of angler. We caught up with local legend Stuart Hindson from Tackle World Merimbula who has been fishing these waters for years. Stuart grew up in Narooma and has fished all along the coast. He was the best man to point us in the right direction to snag that fish or at least dinner for the night.
Best bait to buy or catch
Tackle stores, service stations and general stores stock a range of bait options including prawns, pippies (baby clams), sandworm, pilchard and squid. It’s a popular choice for anglers to use bait right along the coast.
If you’re up for the challenge, try catching your own pippies right outside of Discovery Parks – Pambula Beach. It’s the perfect location to squish your feet into the sand and dig in with your hands to find those little shellfish. Low tide will yield the best results. Feeling even more adventurous? Why not try your luck at trying to catch a local sandworm? It’s a little trickier but well worth the effort with some pliers and persistence.
Use lures that 'match the hatch'
Bait not your thing? No worries! Give fishing with lures and soft plastic a go. Your best bet is using something that resembles bait species – which anglers call ‘matching the hatch’. 3-inch and 4-inch minnow or wriggler tail plastic in colours for this area include pilchard, chartreuse, baby bass and new penny. For hard body lures, use bent minnows and shallow diving hard bodies for rivers, and metal slugs for fishing off the surf.
Cook up the day's catch
So you’ve caught your feed of whiting or a big kingfish; now it’s time to cook up a feast! Discovery Parks – Pambula Beach has a great camp kitchen where you’ll find BBQ cooking facilities and picnic tables to sit and share a story with fellow campers.
Haven’t caught a fish but hungry for some? There are plenty of amazing places to eat fresh local seafood along the coast. We recommend oysters from one of the local oyster farms’ direct door suppliers. You can’t get any fresher than that!
Get aboard a fishing charter
If you don’t have a boat, let a local charter operator put you on the fish. You are absolutely spoiled for choice in charter selections, and if you’re chasing some species and don’t have the right boat or gear, they can steer you right. Swordfish is one example. Holy mackerel, it’s the fight of a lifetime with these fish and boy will your arms be sore the next day!
With warmer Eastern Australian currents, abundance of bait fish and the continental shelf at your doorstep, the pelagic fish come out to play when the conditions are right. Calm water fishing in estuaries is also a great charter option for those less eager to head out to see. Look for fishing guides that can showcase what those areas are known for.
All in all, we had an absolute whale of a time along the Sapphire Coast. Oh, and whale season is just around the corner as they migrate down the coast - keep an eye out!
No fishy tales here, just a dam good time!
Ready to discover Pambula Beach and the Sapphire Coast?