The coastal village of Sussex Inlet in Shoalhaven on the NSW South Coast is famous amongst keen anglers for its superb fishing, with catches that have been luring fishing enthusiasts back year after year.
It is hard to go wrong wherever you want to throw your line, whether it be off the jetty at Ellmoos Reserve, or in a boat in the inlet or St Georges Basin, as the waterways surrounding Sussex Inlet are teaming with a great selection of good-sized fish ripe for the taking.
Sussex Inlet, NSW
We have put together a guide for those new to Sussex and surrounds to help you snag some of the area's most popular catches, including flathead, whiting, bream, snapper and salmon, along with legal catch sizes and much more.
Best spots to fish in Sussex Inlet
Off the Bank - The best Waterfront reserves
1. Badgee Bridge Park
2. Nielson Lane
3. Jacobs Drive
4. Chris Creek Bridge Park
5. Marine Rescue Park
6. Lions Park
7. Berrara Creek Reserve
8. The sandy beach entrance to the inlet
Fishing the banks of Sussex Inlet, NSW
Off the Beach
1. Sussex Inlet/Cudmirrah Beach - We recommend sticking south of the Surf Club
2. Bherwerre Beach - Located in Jervis Bay Territory just over the other side of the inlet opening from Sussex Inlet Beach
3. Southern end of Cudmirrah Beach - Near to the opening for the Swan Lake Inlet
4. Kirby's Beach - Located to the south of the Swan Lake Inlet opening
5. Berrara Beach - Located to the north of Berrara Creek
Fishing Berrara Beach Sussex Inlet, NSW
Off the Rocks
1. Sussex Inlet/Cudmirrah Beach - Rock shelf north of the Sussex Inlet Surf Life Saving Club
2. Cudmirrah Beach - The rocks of the southern end at the opening for Swan Lake Inlet
3. South Berrara Beach - The Mermaid Pools
Please ensure you check the local tide information as conditions can get hazardous on the rocks in high tide.
Rock shelf at the northern end of Sussex Inlet/Cudmirrah Beach,
In a Boat
1. Sussex Inlet
2. Swan Lake
3. Berrara Creek
4. St Georges Basin - The Poles, Jewfish Bay. One Tree Bay, Artificial Reef
Boating in Swan Lake Sussex Inlet, NSW
1. Cudmirrah Reef - Check with a local expert before heading out for the best way to cross the bar
Boat in Sussex Inlet headed out to the ocean, NSW
Baits and Legal Size Limits on the more Popular Catches
The best place to catch flathead is the main river of Sussex Inlet, the Keys canals and St Georges Basin. Look for drop-offs.
Bait: Live baitfish (Poddy mullet), but will take almost anything whilst drifting.
Legal length: 36cm.
Bag limit: Total of 10. Only one over 70cm.
Bream can be caught in the main river of Sussex Inlet, St Georges Basin, reefs and beaches.
Bait: Live prawns, marine worms and small baitfish.
Legal length: 25cm.
Bag limit: Maximum of 10.
Whiting are caught in the main river of Sussex Inlet, St Georges Basin amongst the sand flats.
Bait: Saltwater nippers, marine worms and peeled prawns.
Legal length (Sand whiting only); 27cm.
Bag limit: Maximum of 20.
The best place to score a Snapper is St Georges Basin, off beach rocks and offshore.
Bait: Squid, prawns, fresh strips of fish.
Legal length: No legal lengths for Snapper.
Bag limit: Maximum of 10.
Best place for Salmon is dawn or dusk fishing on the beach.
Bait: Pilchards with gang hook and lures.
Legal length: No legal length requirements for Australian Salmon.
Bag limit: Maximum of five.
Fishing Sussex Inlet, NSW
Bait, Tackle and everything else
Located in town at 168 Jacobs Drive, this is the best spot to grab your bait and tackle and is open seven days a week and they also sell fishing rods if you are fishing on a whim!
For boat hire, bait and tackle, Pelican Shores Marina will have you covered. It is also a great morning spot for a coffee or some fish and chips and a cold drink in the afternoon as you can sit on the outdoor deck right over the water whilst overlooking the bush of Jervis Bay Territory across the inlet. We recommending booking a boat in advance during the tourist season so that you don't miss out.
If you are unable to hire a boat from Pelican Shires, then the Sussex Inlet Marine Centre has some. They also have all the gear you will need and bait.
Sussex Inlet Marine Centre, NSW
1. Neilson Lane
The ramp located at the end of Nielson Lane near the main street and shops has a single slipway suitable for medium-sized boats and is the closest ramp to St Georges Basin.
Single jetty plus fish cleaning facilities.
2. Chris Creek/Jacob Ellmoos Reserve
Located off River Road opposite Harbord Street, the ramp here is a single slipway suitable for smaller boats and is the best located ramp to explore the Keys canals and waterways.
No jetty and has basic fish cleaning facilities with no running water.
3. Lions Park
Located at the end of Lakehaven Drive in South Sussex, this is the largest boat ramp in the area and has a double slipway suitable for larger boats and is the closest ramp to the ocean from Sussex Inlet.
Two jetties and undercover fish cleaning facilities with running water.
Located in South Sussex at the end of Sussex Road suitable for medium-sized boats.
No jetty or fish cleaning facilities.
5. Swan Lake
There are two ramps at Swan Lake, the larger one is located at Ski Beach, Cudmirrah off Springs Road, whilst the smaller one suitable for light crafts such as canoes is located at the end of Yarroma Avenue in Swanhaven.
If you enjoy competition, or simply need an excuse to get the whole family involved, make sure you don't miss the Sussex Inlet Annual Family Fishing Carnival, normally held every July.