Local recreational fisherman Brett Shultz has been fishing the region’s beaches and waterways for well over 50 years.
With so many top spots to cast a line, Brett said the secret to reeling in a big haul is patience, fresh bait and local knowledge.
“Tea Gardens has a wonderful estuary for just about every single species you want to name,” he said.
“The beaches stretching from Hawks Nest to Seal Rocks are great coastal spots especially for whiting, bream and tailor.”
The Big Gibber is well worth visiting for a decent haul, The Boulders is another top spot for bream and Corrie Island and Mungo have also fished well this year.
Further north, mullet is plentiful in the Myall River around Bulahdelah, but good catches of blackfish, bream and bass are also common.
Once you get to the salt water towards Tea Gardens, there is a wider variety of species including jewfish, flathead, and drummer.
Brett said although there are many “wonderful fishing places” the key is to success is to think like a fish.
“You can’t just roll up anywhere and expect to catch a fish, you need to think if you were a fish, where would you be,” he said.
“If there is a gutter, they like sitting on the edges and you also need to look for formation or structures like rock walls or drop-offs off sand spits, that’s where the fish will be.”
When it comes to bait, Brett said you can’t go past local beach worms and pippies while pilchards and garfish are good for targeting tailor.
With a “million places to fish,” a bit of local advice can always be helpful for visitors to the area.
“Talk to a local and they’ll put you right,” Brett said.
“The local fishermen are good blokes, pretty friendly and eager to help a fellow fisherman.”
To protect the waterways, Brett urges everyone to be conscious of the environment by throwing back the little fish and taking your rubbish with you.
“The only thing that you should leave are your footprints and tyre tracks,” he said.
By Daniel SAHYOUN