Roadtest: Gone fishing

Lucky for the Inner West, Parramatta River provides the opportunity for fishing without having to travel too far from home.

Since prawn trawlers were removed from the river almost ten years ago, local fish populations have flourished. The confluence of man-made and natural covers that exist in the Parramatta River – from the many marinas and wharves that line the river to the mangroves and rock walls which are scattered throughout – make it the perfect habitat for bream in particular.

As a result, there are plenty of Inner West locations that are great for an evening fish so you can make the most of warm evenings and late sunshine in summer.

We’ve scouted some favourite local spots but, it bears noting, make sure you release your catch! Fish caught west of the Harbour Bridge still should not be eaten for health reasons.

Abbotsford Wharf

The stretch of water between Woolwhich and Cabarita is a prime area for bream with steady numbers year-round, and Abbotsford Wharf’s social environment and ease of parking make it a great access point. Wharves are particularly useful for lighting and shelter on rainier evenings, and Abbotsford tends to fill up fast once the ferries become more sporadic later at night. Waste and litter is often a problem though, and the wharf is now closed for fishing between 5am and 10am to allow for cleaning. Make sure that you dispose of rubbish and smelly bait, and be cautious of weary commuters also using the wharf.

Iron Cove Bay / Birkenhead Point Ferry Wharf

Iron Cove Bay is a thriving fishery owing to its waters’ subtle changes in depth and its weed-fringed banks. The Iron Cove Bridge is worthy of particular attention because of how  the bream tend to congregate around its pylons. This makes Birkenhead Point a good spot to fish from, as it’s nestled right beneath the bridge. Look out for fishing signs indicating which areas are permitted fishing spots  – security have been known to spray unsuspecting fishers in unapproved areas with fire hoses. Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Ferry Street, Hunters Hill

If you’re feeling adventurous and are tempted to cross the Gladesville bridge, Ferry Street in Hunters Hill is a good option for a change of scenery. It’s a quiet spot guarded by railing and usually the crowds are quite small. There’s parking by the water so you can stay close to your car, while the location makes for a lovely view of the Gladesville Bridge. Fishers have reported catching a variety of fish here including jewfish, tailors and even leatherjackets.

Thanks to Chris and Kevin at Fishing World for the tips!

Words by Natassia Chrysanthos