Helpful tips for buying a tent

Buying a tent can be a daunting process. It isn’t easy, and it’s ideal that you do some research on what tent would best suit you before you go the store or buy it online. To make things a bit easier, Campersway has come up with some quick tips when deciding what type of tent to you and your family should go with before you camp.

How many people will be sleeping in the tent?

First things first, you need to find out how many people will be sleeping in the tent. A tents size can be quite deceiving as well, when a tent says it is a ‘four-person tent’, It means it will fit four people at a maximum. Realistically, A four-person tent can comfortably fit 2 people with beds and bags, or maybe 3. If you’re after a tent to fit a family of four, a six-person is probably the best fit. If there are any more than 4 people, you might have to look further than a six-person tent.

You need to take into consideration what you will need space for, whether it’s storage or bedding. You might think that a four-person tent looks massive when it’s empty, but once you start filling it out, you run out of room very quickly.

What conditions will the tent be used in?

Not all tents can be used in every weather condition.

For hot, summer weather, a lightweight tent with heaps of ventilation that is not designed to withhold rain and wind would be perfect. A three-season tent is perfect if you are camping in both winter and summer. It will be more likely to survivor heavier rain and winds, as well as provide protection from the cold weather.

Winter tents are not too common in Australia, as our conditions are milder in winter. But if you are planning on camping in snowy conditions, you will definitely need a winter tent – not a three season tent. Shop carefully to get the right tent to suit the weather you will be camping in.

How much will the tent weigh?

Some tents can be extremely heavy, so if you need to carry it a long distance, make sure get a smaller one.

Some of the larger tents are extremely heavy to carry, even if it’s just from the car to the campsite. Some family tents are so large when packed up in their bags, you won’t even be able to fit them on the roof racks.

So check that out before you commit to purchase. Whilst weight for car camping is not as big as a consideration as weight when you are hiking, You really need to look at your own capabilities and whether or not you will be comfortable moving that tent around.

How easy is it to set up?

How many times have you walked into a camping store, see a big, massive tent, with lots of room and storage area, and it sleeps ten people! However good this tent looks, you need to think about how long it took the camping store staff to set up.

You don’t want to spend hours on end upon arriving at a campsite on setting up a complicated tent, so you need to consider ease of setting up when selecting a tent.

Remember as well, the bigger the tent, the bigger are you will need to set it up, so make sure the area you are going to can accommodate larger tents.

Hopefully, that helps If you are looking for what tent you should buy. I would also recommend going into your local camp store and asking the staff. They know best when it comes to tents, they are the experts for a reason, and they can help select a tent personally suited to your situation.

Family Camping Checklist

Family Camping Checklist

Make sure you never leave anything off the checklist when packing to go away camping with your family with Campersway handy family camping checklist.

It can sometimes be tough trying to remember what you need to take camping when you’ve got your hand full with the rest of the family, So Campersway has made a print out list to make sure you never forget anything again.

Click here for a print out PDF Version

However, if you can’t open that, the list is below.

Campsite Gear

  • Tent, Pole, Stakes
  • Mallet
  • Cover for under your tent
  • Extra Tarp
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat
  • Pillows
  • Repair Kit
  • Extra Blankets
  • Headlights and Flashlights
  • Lantern
  • Batteries
  • Shovel
  • Camp Chair


  • Stove
  • Fuel for Stove
  • Matches or lighter
  • Firewood
  • Frying Pan
  • Pot
  • Corkscrew
  • Tablecloth
  • Roasting Sticks
  • Food Storage
  • Esky
  • Ice
  • Water Bottles
  • Plates and Utensils
  • Cups and Mugs
  • Knife and Spatula
  • Cutting Board
  • Foil
  • Soap
  • Sponge
  • Dishtowel
  • Paper Towel


  • Clothes for Daytime
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimming Gear
  • Rainwear
  • Jacket
  • Extra layers for warmth (Thermals)
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Beanie
  • Socks
  • Shoes (hiking/walking shoes, easy-on shoes, water shoes)

Personal Items

  • Toothbrush
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • First-aid Kit
  • Medicine
  • Toliteres
  • Toilet Paper
  • Soap
  • Towel


  • Phone Charger
  • Maps
  • Garbags
  • Firestarters
  • Firewood
  • Beer and Wine

Everything you need to know about the Raptor Fishing Platform

What is the Raptor Boats’ Fishing Platform XL?

Raptor Boats’ ‘Fishing Platform XL’ merges your fishing boat and your tent, which allows you to wake up and fish from your bed, sheltered from the rain and wind. With a 150 square floating platform, there is plenty of room for you and your entire fishing crew.

Raptor Boats' 'Fishing Platform XL'

With all bases covered, Fishing platform XL lets anglers focus on their next catch, without being caught in the elements. It is put together using 5 pieces. Four air deck parts around the base, while the surrounding tube keeps keen fishermen from falling into the water.

It’s made of a high-strength five-layer PVC in 1100 decitex. It also features a special anti-slip material capable of supporting over 3500 lbs. And if the open waters prove too unpredictable, the ‘Fishing Platform XL’ comes with a free repair kit.

Raptor Boats' 'Fishing Platform XL'

There are also hand grips on each side of the boat, and sinking isn’t an issue as the vessel includes eight different air chambers as extra security measures, as well as an effective drainage system to stop capsizing.

With plenty of room on board, This vessel has room for all you and all your mates to kick back, relax, and catch some fish from the comfort of your own tent.

The Raptor Boats ‘Fishing Platform XL’ is available directly from Raptor boats‘ website as well as many other sites, however, make sure you save up, as it will set you back anywhere from up to $2,690 USD.

You’ll never have to return to the land ever again! All you have to focus is on is your next catch!

For more from Campersway, read some of our other blog posts below!

The best fishing spots along the South Coast


The Pyke Clan in a Caravan on Campersway

How much does it cost to go around Australia

How much does it cost to go around Australia

Ever wondered how much it cost to go around Australia? The Pyke Clan in a Van have narrowed down the exact amount of money you need to take a year off and travel our beautiful country.

To find more unique campsites you can search here


We’ve spent $35,919.20 in total. 
 Includes gas bottles, rego, phone bills, insurances etc.
= $690.75 per week

The total grocery bill is $7,205.77 
= $138.57 per week

We’ve visited 5 states so far. 
 Tom’s Favourite State – Tasmania
 Mikaela’s Favourite State- Northern Territory

Travelled 35,970 km’s.

Most we’ve paid for diesel – $2.50/L

Total fuel bill is $6,833.13
= $131.40 per week

We’ve had one baby 
 Welcome to the Clan Milla

Visited 124 playgrounds. 

Collected 61 stubby holders. 

We’ve gone through 8 pairs of thongs.
 (3) Kane , Lucas
 (2) Tom
 (0) Mikaela, Milla

Join our Facebook group. The Caravan, Camping and Glamping Group!

We’ve had 1 flat tyre. 

Car servicing costs – $1368

We’ve had our towing mirrors and our Caravan stone guard stolen. 

We’ve replaced one Caravan door handle, one TV antenna handle, one 12V TV, two solar panels, one toilet pump, one cracked water pipe and our awning. 

Caravan costs – $3,560

We’ve stayed at 206 free camps. 
 Favourite free camp – Cosy Corner North in Binalong Bay, Tasmania 

We’ve stayed in 159 Caravan Parks. 
 Favourite Caravan Park – BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort

Total accommodation bill is $5,602.35
=$107.73 per week

Most-played driving song – Ride With Me by Nelly (boys know it as “the money song”)

Total activities bill is $2,124.25
 Tom’s Highlights – Wineglass BayThe Daintree Rainforest
 Mikaela’s Highlights – West MacDonnell RangesGreat Barrier Reef Marine ParkUluru
 Kane’s Highlights – Gold Coast Theme Parks, all the water slides
 Lucas’ Highlights – Australia Zoo, all the playgrounds

Favourite Pub – Daly Waters Historic Pub

Total alcohol bill is $1602.43

A few essentials that make caravanning a lot easier –
 Our washing machine (saves us so much money!)
 12V fans (makes free camping a lot more comfortable!)
 Our Waeco (thank goodness for extra freezer space and cold beer) 

Families we have met along the way
 Mountain Sun Sea, The Blizzards’ Big Lap, Rogers Great Escape, Sunset Seekers, Aussie Wanderlust (plus a few more who don’t have FB pages) 

We’ve seen more then what we ever thought was possible. Australia truly is an amazingly diverse, beautiful country. 

There’s been campfires, red dirt, blue skies, waterfalls, sunsets and sand in our toes.

We’ve watched as our kids flourish becoming independent, knowledgeable, adventurous little boys. 

Our marriage has gone from strength to strength. 

We’ve shared a drink and a laugh with so many new friends. 


And there’s still so much left to see and do —No regrets

Follow the Pyke Clan in a Caravan on Facebook!

8 must do’s on the Eyre Peninsula

1.Talia Caves tourist drive South Australia
(just a short drive from Venus Bay)

We drove straight past this place initially as we weren’t sure if the road was suitable for us towing our 3 tonne van! In short- Definitely YES the road is suitable for those towing large vans and Definitely YES you need to stop in there! 😱 HOLY WOW. this place was incredible!

2.Murphy’s Haystacks- Eyre Peninsula SA

After a quick 2km detour off the highway. No hay anywhere to be found BUT we did find some amazing Granite boulders 😜

I think these were the highlight of Axls trip so far. We read the book ‘Are we there yet’ (about a family travelling around Australia) and these boulders are in it. So we planned to stop in and check them out. The kids ran around like crazy! So hyper and excited, climbing all over them and just loving every second! These Huge boulders are just beautiful 😍 cost $5/family to visit and the option of $10 extra if you’d like to park up for the night!

3. Pildappa Rock Camping Area (South Australia’s ‘#waverock’)

This was our first little venture inland as we’ve spent the rest of our time sticking to the coastal routes. I was worried about trekking us all inland 125kms from Port Kenny, South Australia just to see a rock that I hadn’t really heard that much about (Just seen some great reviews on WikiCamps). Well it didn’t disappoint. The kids had a ball playing on the rock with their #TonkaTrucks, walking and riding their bikes around the huge rock and climbing on top (that bit not so enjoyable for me.. freaking out having all 3 kids up there 😬😱 😰). A fantastic place to visit and a really peaceful night’s sleep there too👌#winning

4.Venus Bay – Eyre Peninsula SA

If you’re after a mix of stunning coast lines similar to GOR mixed with beautiful bays, a unique curved jetty and the most magnificent colourings in the water visit Venus Bay!

When driving into the town you get to Bay Road- if you turn left you’ll end up at a lookout overlooking stunning cliffs. If you turn right you’ll end up at a beautiful curving jetty. The jetty becomes even more magnificent when you take the time to walk along it. The colours in the water are absolutely magnificent. So many different shades of blues and greens 👌. A bonus for us was the great Playground at the start of the jetty. It’s always nice to find a fun playground to let the kids run around. There’s something for everyone in Venus Bay 😍👌

5.The #INTENSE Whistling rocks and the Blowholes (Cape Bauer Loop Drive  Streaky Bay, South Australia, Australia)

We went for a drive along the Cape Bauer Rd (loops around the coast and back to streaky) *the road is fine for those towing.

First we stopped at Cape Bauer a nice scenic lookout. Second stop was at whistling rocks and the Blowholes. We started walking along the boardwalk heading towards the sites. As soon as we climbed the brow of the hill we started hearing the intense sound of the whistling rocks. The waves force air and water through holes in the rocks, towards the cliff surface, giving us the sound of whistling rocks. I tried to capture a video of this happening but you really can’t get the same intense feeling from watching it on film. It was crazy, exciting and even a little bit frightening. This really is something you’ll have to go and experience first hand.

Unfortunately for us the tide was too far out to see the Blowholes blowing… Something to keep in mind if travelling out there to see it.

6.Coffin Bay National Park

An unexpected extended stay in the Port Lincoln area lead us to explore the National Park in Coffin Bay. For a National Park we never intended to look through. We ended up staying 4 nights and loved it! Cost $12/night to camp (plus National Park fees)

Fun filled days of driving around the coastline and through the rugged bush tracks. Playing on the sand dunes. Fishing and actually catching fish!!! Friendly roos coming to our door, emus and their babies wondering around the campgrounds. Great walking tracks and the highlight being were pretty much the only ones here except for another travelling family with kids the same age 😍.

Kids had the best of times playing together. I must admit we rather enjoyed our time spent with these guys too. Extra bonus as It’s always great having others to go 4WD exploring with.. just incase 👌

I would absolutely love to come back to this place when it’s warmer. The perfectly blue ocean water with stunning white sandy beaches was so worth the hour and half 4×4 drive! It almost made me want to dip my toes in… almost. The freezing icy winds made me think twice pretty quickly! Instead we lit a fire and watched the boys catch some fish. #onedayweshould come back! Would be amazing in summer 😍

7. Mikkira Station

Picture driving down the road and seeing stunning farmland and white sand dunes in the distance… A sheep or 2 a k-kangaroo. (Yep I went there). This very Aussie ‘Mikkira Station’ had nearly everything. Wild emus, tonnes of Kangaroos and a Koala 🐨 up nearly every tree in the campsite. After just a short walk you’ll find beautiful historic sites and buildings you can even enter . There’s a real toilet and a hot shower for those who need.

This place was well and truly worth the $25/night pricetag. A fantastic place for a true blue Aussie outback experience and only 25mins from Port Lincoln!

8. Point Lowly and Whyalla, South Australia, Australia

Point Lowly Camping Area $8/ night maximum stay 4 weeks.

We found a great little spot with stunning views to park up our van for a couple of nights and who else would pull up beside us? Another friendly Tasmanian! Small world! 🌏

We drove into Whyalla (my place of birth) to have a look around. Whyalla was much smaller and much more industrial than I had pictured but had some nice views and an interesting history.

Upon arriving back to our campsite we were surprised to find a dolphin 🐬 swimming in the water right near our campsite 😍

A couple of other quick stops on the Eyre Peninsula SA worth a mention-

*Camping at Perlubie Beach (near Streaky Bay)

*Sculptures on a cliff top tourist drive in Elliston  – (this drive is suitable for those towing)

*Seal colony at Point Labatt Conservation Park (very hard to see. They blend in with the rocks. take binoculars if you have them!)

*Streaky Bay Jetty (millions of small fish at the end of the jetty, a few jellyfish and a couple dolphins)

*Port Lincoln a fantastic place to chill out and the bonus for us being the 2 large supermarkets (to stock up ready for our journey across the Nullarbor)

Australia’s Whitest Beach – Esperance WA

Cape Le Grand National Park – Esperance WA


We arrived in Esperance at the same time as their apparent ‘first bit of bad weather’. That did not dampen our time spent in the Cape Le Grand National Park.

The park is most well known for Australia’s whitest beaches! In the summer time, the kangaroos can be found sunbaking on the beach.

Unfortunately for us, it was not bikini weather but we were ‘lucky’ enough to see one roo on the beach. We were also ‘lucky’ enough to see a massive Sea Eagle flying overhead and a lone seal bobbing about in the bay.


We enjoyed fishing and playing on the beach, climbing the rock hills, climbing the summit of Frenchman Peak, a walk to Thistle Cove and short drives to Hellfire Bay and Rossiter Bay.


Our favourite part hands down – The Frenchman Peak. An intriguing mountain with a large cave to ‘peek’ through. The best mountain we’ve ever climbed. It wasn’t even the view from the top it was the view inside and out of the cave. We could have spent all day up there! We were lost for words. A truly unique mountain to climb at least once in your lifetime!


#onedayweshould #travelaustraliawithkids #caravanningwithkids #australia #travel #explore #lapofaustralia #climbingmountains #summit #frenchmanspeak #luckybay #thistlecove #rossiterbay #hellfirebay #familytime #nationalpark #westernaustralia #capelegrand

How to hook a big fish this summer on the South Coast

All roads lead to the south coast this summer.

Cars will soon be bumper-to-bumper on the Clyde and Brown mountains as Canberrans pour out of the capital to feel the sun on their backs and the sand between their toes.

If you’re lucky enough to be among them, there’s a fair chance you’ll also have a fishing rod or two stowed somewhere in the boot in between the bogey boards, beach towels and camping chairs.

The south coast, after all, is blessed with some of the most pristine estuaries and beaches in the state.

Eurobodalla (the stretch of coast from just north of Batemans Bay to just south of Narooma) means “Land of Many Waters” in the local Aboriginal dialect.

It’s a haven for anyone who likes to wet a line, whether you’re an experienced angler or someone who fishes just once or twice a year.

Dedicated Recreational Fishing Havens – inlets, rivers and lakes completely off limits to commercial fishing – have helped boost fish numbers in a number of estuaries, resulting in enjoyable sport for anglers of all abilities.

But that doesn’t mean the fishing is always easy.

In fact, I know what a lot of you did last summer; many of you probably struggled on the fishing front, right?

Catching fish on the coast isn’t always straightforward, especially across the manic Christmas-New Year period.

That’s hardly surprising when you look at the population explosion that occurs on the coast over Christmas.

To give you an idea, Batemans Bay swells from about 16,000 people to more than 50,000 at the peak of summer.

Other popular towns, including Ulladulla, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui and Merimbula also burst at the seams.

You can imagine the impact this sudden influx of people has on the coastal waterways.

If I was a whiting or flathead, and my normally placid home was suddenly invaded by boats, outboards, kayaks, jet-skis and hundreds of fishing lines, I’d go into hiding.

And that’s exactly what happens in and around the popular coastal holiday spots, especially in late December and early January when hot spots like the Clyde River and Tuross Lake look more like Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve!

It makes fishing a challenge and, unfortunately, holidaying anglers can draw a complete blank during their coastal break.

Experienced south coast angler and Bermagui tackle shop owner Scott Bradley witnesses visiting fishers struggle every summer.

“The influx of Canberra anglers is certainly noticed by us all along the coast,” Bradley says.

“Whether they’re regular fishos or first timers, we want to make sure they have the best chance to catch a fish in these waters. Obviously, we want to see them again and enjoying the experience is a big part of that.”

Bradley says there are a few simple things holidaying anglers can do to stack the odds in their favour over the silly season.

You snooze, you lose

Summer holidays and sleep-ins go hand-in-hand, but if you’re serious about bagging some fish over the break, it’s time to rise and shine. If you can’t get away from other anglers, Bradley recommends getting on the water before them.

“That half-hour window at first light is peak feeding time for a lot of popular summer species, including bream, whiting and tailor,” he says.

Better still, boat traffic and other noise isn’t an issue at dawn as fellow anglers enjoy a sleep in while you reel-in breakfast.

If you can’t bear to drag yourself out of bed before sunrise, the hours around dusk and after dark can be just as fruitful. It’s amazing how many times you see fishers packing up their gear and heading home because it’s getting close to dinner time. Remember, sundown is dinner time for the fish as well!

Watch your weight

If Bradley could give holidaying anglers one piece of advice in the lead up to this summer it’s to lighten their approach.

“Simple things like fishing light enough line and weight to not discourage a bite is important,” he says.

If you’re bait fishing this summer, focus on using the smallest sinker possible for the conditions. Sinkers shouldn’t be thought of as ‘anchors’ to keep your rig on the ocean floor. Sinkers should be used to get your bait into the ‘strike zone’ and keep it there for as long as possible. Big sinkers are really only for very deep water or very strong currents.

The same applies to fishing line. If you’re fishing for popular estuary species like flathead, bream and whiting, don’t use thick 30kg breaking strain line. You won’t catch a thing. Heavy line spooks fish. Use light line matched to a nice, light, balanced rod and reel. You’ll enjoy better results and have, ultimately, a lot more fun.

Beat the crowds

During the peak holiday period, successful anglers make a point of getting off the beaten track in search of a fish or two.

“The beauty of this region is there are many parts of our estuaries and beaches where you will still find isolation, or at least fewer people,” Bradley says.

Take crowds out of the equation by walking, driving, kayaking or boating into more secluded locations. It’s amazing how rapidly your fishing fortunes can turn when you find a spot to yourself. Sure, it takes a little time and effort, but if you get an opportunity, try to get ‘off the grid’ this summer and see what a difference it makes.

The most important thing, of course, is to enjoy your fishing this summer, whether your results are mediocre or marvellous.

Bradley sums it up well with this final piece of advice.

“Just be sure to hit the coast prepared to fish for the variety of species on offer,” he says.

“Whether it be garfish, bream, flathead and whiting in the lakes and rivers, salmon and tailor off the rocks and beaches, a little thought in your approach, some adjustment to your tackle and a dose of expert advice will help.”

Tight lines everyone!

Top tips for summer holiday fishing

Fish light – use the lightest sinkers and lines possible.

Don’t sleep in – the best fishing occurs at first light. Dusk is also productive.

Avoid crowds – walk, paddle or motor to less crowded areas and you’ll be rewarded with more fish.

Get fresh – fresh and live bait gathered yourself will always out-fish frozen or day-old bait.

Seek advice – ask tackle shop staff (like Scott and his team), local anglers or fellow holidaymakers for tips.

Things to remember

Anglers 16 years and over fishing the south coast require a NSW Recreational Fishing License. These can be purchased from most tackle shops or via Licenses cost $7 for three days; $14 for one month; $35 for one year; or $85 for three years.

Sections of the NSW south coast are designated Marine Parks and include ‘Sanctuary Zones’ off limits to recreational fishing. Before you fish, check out for details on these ‘no go’ areas.

Size and bag limits apply to many popular south coast species, and fisheries inspectors are often out checking catches over the peak holiday period. So make sure you’re across the rules and regulations, which can also be found at


Written by: Ben Caddaye
This article was first published by Fairfax on December 18 2016

Time for a reel adventure

At first blush, Canberra isn’t the obvious city to base yourself if you’re a keen angler.

But this landlocked city has a lot to offer the fishing enthusiast. I’ve lived here for 38 years and can’t think of a better capital city to live in from a fishing perspective.

A lot of Canberrans fish. Some are diehard addicts who eat, sleep and breathe the sport.

Others are casual or weekend anglers, who dangle a line when they can – sometimes just once or twice a year.

One thing’s for certain, though, in the next six weeks or so, more Canberrans are likely to wet a line than at any other time of the year.

The vast majority will make the pilgrimage down the Kings Highway and Clyde Mountain, headed for Batemans Bay or holiday spots to the north and south.

The fishing in this part of the world in summer can be nothing short of sensational. Holidaying anglers are spoilt for choice, too.

There are estuarine rivers and lakes for those with kayaks or children, rocks and beaches for fishers with a sense of adventure, and bountiful offshore reefs for anglers with access to a boat.

Regardless of where you fish, there’s a variety of species on offer.

In the estuaries, bream, flathead and whiting will dominate anglers’ bags over Christmas. All three species can be caught quite easily on baits or lures and all are great on the barbecue.

On the beaches and rocks, hard-fighting tailor and salmon will provide plenty of thrills and spills in the white-water.

While not everyone’s cup of tea in the culinary stakes, both fish are spectacularly fun on the end of a fishing line and will hit a variety of baits and lures with gusto.

Out in the deeper water, those with boats will find lots of snapper, flathead, leatherjacket and other tasty reef fish.

At this time of the year, tongues of warm water also lick areas off the far south coast, bringing with them exciting game fish such as tuna, kingfish and even marlin.

It means a trip offshore on the south coast can be very much like a lucky dip – you often never know what’s going to eat your offering next … and that makes it all the more appealing.

While there are plenty of fish in the sea, if you are going to try your luck on the south coast these holidays, don’t always expect the fishing to be easy.

Crowded waterways, increased boat traffic and anglers lined shoulder-to-shoulder at popular locations, can all make summertime fishing on the coast a real challenge.

People, boats, outboard motors, noise and splashing scare fish – it’s as simple as that. So, this summer, try to make the effort to head off the beaten track a bit – where there are fewer people and more fish.

One of the best ways to avoid the crowds is to grab a kayak or canoe and invest some time and energy into exploring the many secluded south-coast creeks that are off limits to holiday-makers with bigger boats.

This can be a really enjoyable form of fishing – you’ll get some exercise, experience some picture-postcard scenery and, importantly, catch more fish. You will also have greater success if you can time your fishing trips for the very early morning or late evening. Not only will you have the waterways to yourself at this time of the day, it also coincides with the peak period of activity for most fish species.

To fish successfully, you need the right tools for the job.

Judging by what I see every holiday season, fishing with inappropriate tackle – usually in the form of thick lines and heavy sinkers – is where most ”weekend” anglers go wrong. For the most part, fishing with light tackle is the best way to guarantee success on the water this season.

Fish hate feeling anything untoward when they pick up a bait – and a big lump of lead on a heavy line creates resistance that is guaranteed to put fish off the bite.

When it comes to choosing your fishing gear this summer, select the lightest tackle you can get away with.

Don’t be afraid to seek a bit of local knowledge. If you don’t fish the south coast regularly, it can easily take days or weeks to find fish. By this time, the trip could be over.

Seek guidance from tackle shops or hire a charter or fishing guide to show you the ropes.

Alternatively, hook up with a local resident or someone extremely familiar with the area; they can show or teach you in minutes what would otherwise take you days to discover on your own.

Summer is the ideal time to introduce kids to the joys of fishing and the best way to make it a ”joy” is to catch fish – any fish.

Kids getting started in the world of fishing don’t care if it’s a tuna or a toadfish – as long as they catch something.

Bread-and-butter species that are easy to find, easy to hook and easy to wind in are ideal. Whiting, mullet, yellowtail and slimy mackerel spring to mind – but there are plenty more.

Even species we regard as pests, such as toadfish, can bring joy to the face of a junior angler.

Bait fishing is probably the best option for children, as it tends to result in more action, even if it is in the form of tiddlers.

As always, fresh is best. In fact, why not involve kids in the bait-gathering process. You will often find that youngsters enjoy pumping nippers, chasing crabs or trapping poddy mullet as much – if not more – than fishing.

If you’re fishing the NSW south coast you will need a NSW Recreational Fishing Licence. These can be purchased at most tackle shops, Kmart stores or online at

Fishing licences cost $6 for three days, $12 for a month, $30 for a year or $75 for three years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, pensioners and under-18s are exempt.

Bear in mind that the areas to the north and south of Batemans Bay are within the Batemans Marine Park, and there are sections within the park that are off limits to all forms of fishing. Maps of the marine park are available from tackle shops.

Tight lines!


The best fishing spots along the South Coast

The best south coast fishing spots

BEN CADDAYE looks at some of the best places to wet a line on the south coast this summer.

A lot of Canberrans will throw the rods, reels and tackle box into the car this summer. Some will genuinely fancy their chances of a regular fresh fish barbecue; others will be happy to simply dangle a line.

Regardless of which category you fall into, here is a guide to fishing some of the more popular south coast destinations.

Hopefully, this advice will help you land a few fish for the table and have some summer fun with family and friends.

Jervis Bay-St Georges Basin

Road upgrades between Canberra and Nowra mean the beautiful Jervis Bay region is a little more than two hours away from the nation’s capital. This area is a angler’s paradise: beach, rock and estuary fishing are within easy reach.

Because of its geography – the bay on one side of the peninsula and the basin on the other – anglers are spoilt for choice in any weather. St Georges Basin is the most popular fishery in the region and is a great place for holidaymakers to chase a feed. Flathead, bream, whiting, tailor, snapper and blackfish abound throughout the system.

Access to a boat is definitely an advantage when fishing this vast, open estuary. Concentrate on the ”edges”, where the water drops from less than a metre to about four metres. That is where you will find flathead, bream and whiting on lures and bait. The deeper water produces trophy tailor and pan-size snapper.

Shore-based fishos should head for one of the many jetties at places such as Erowal Bay, Sussex Inlet, Basin View and on the other side of the peninsula at Huskisson.

Lake Conjola

An estuary that boasts a town on its shores named Fisherman’s Paradise has to be a handy fishing spot, and Lake Conjola does not disappoint.

A few clicks north of Milton, the lake is a noted haunt for big flathead, large tailor, fat whiting and solid bream. It is also very popular with water-skiers, so your best bet is to get on the estuary nice and early in the morning, or try some of the bays and inlets away from the main basin. Conjola is a mostly shallow lake, so most of the fishing action is in the area known as ”the Steps”. This is the deepest part of the system and home to a good number of flathead and tailor.

And do not ignore the shallow margins and weed edges, which are very productive areas to stalk whiting and bream. Infestations of caulerpa weed have been a problem in past seasons. Let us hope they are not this summer.

Durras Lake

A small, shallow estuary north of Batemans Bay, Durras Lake punches well above its weight in the fishing stakes. Flathead and whiting are summer staples.

Anglers working the shallows with fresh nippers and worms will catch plenty of these fish. The holes and drop-offs are ideal for exploring with soft plastic lures for large flathead. Just because Durras is small does not mean the flathead do not grow big, and every season a handful of fish about 90 centimetres is taken.

Because of its size, Durras lends itself well to kayaks, canoes and small boats – it is certainly not the place to launch your seven-metre cabin cruiser. Parts of the system are marine park sanctuary zones, so consult the Batemans Marine Park map to avoid a hefty fine.

Batemans Bay-Clyde River

Batemans Bay will be the most popular port of call for holidaying Canberrans this summer. The population of this usually sleepy town swells to overflowing from Boxing Day, but despite the influx of visitors, the area boasts some great fishing.

The majestic Clyde River is the focus for most anglers. This huge estuary begins in the hills as a tiny, crystal-clear, freshwater stream and winds its way about 100 kilometres and spills into the Tasman Sea.

The upper reaches are great bass country, but it is between the two highway bridges – at Nelligen and Batemans Bay – that has most of the action for holidaymakers. Flathead, bream and tailor are abundant and can be caught from a drifting boat on soft plastic lures and fresh and live bait.

Deep water and a strong tidal flow can make the Clyde difficult to fish for newcomers. Try your luck towards the shoreline, and focus on where the shallows give way to deeper water – that is where most of the fish feed.

The Clyde is also renowned for its monster mulloway. These are taken by experienced anglers fishing the deep holes and ”bait balls” using big, soft plastic lures and fish-flesh baits. If you do not have a boat, several jetties and breakwalls on the river provide shore-based anglers with good access to fishy water.


It is often overlooked by holidaying anglers, but the Moruya River can compete as a fishery with some of the more glamorous waterways to the north and south. Unlike a lot of south coast estuaries, the Moruya River has lots of great shore-based options. Near the river mouth, breakwalls on the northern and southern sides provide a relatively safe and accessible place to chase tailor, salmon, bream and flathead. The wharf near the historic quarry has been upgraded and is a great fishing platform for bream, flathead and tailor. So is Preddys Wharf near Moruya Heads. Try a peeled prawn on a light rig – there is a good chance you will hook up.

Boat anglers can drift the flats in the lower reaches and expect to catch lots of flathead on soft plastic lures. Whiting abound throughout the river and can be caught on fresh nippers or worms. One of the best patches to fish is the stretch of river upstream of the highway bridge. The upper reaches produce estuary perch and bass.

Lake Tuross

Few places on the south coast have received as much hype in the fishing media as Lake Tuross. Since becoming a recreational fishing haven more than a decade ago, Lake Tuross has been the poster child for ”rec only” fisheries on the south coast.

Now netting is a distant memory, species such as flathead, bream, whiting and mulloway have thrived in the lake, and anglers have flocked from all corners of the country for a slice of the action.

Flathead are the main drawcard. Each year, Tuross produces a handful of huge fish over the magic metre mark. You do not have to go far for these fish, either. Many are caught within a stone’s throw of the popular waterfront cafes and eateries that swarm with tourists over the Christmas break.

Try casting and retrieving soft plastics around the drop-offs. Anglers employing this technique are also in with the chance of a prized mulloway. Big whiting are on offer towards the mouth of Tuross on fresh bait, vibe lures and surface poppers.

The oyster racks throughout the system are magnets for bream, and fishing small, soft plastic and minnow-style lures around the leases on a boat or kayak can often result in an action-packed session.

A number of well-known anglers from television and magazines fish Tuross regularly, and a day spent on the lake during the holidays can be a bit of a celebrity-spotting exercise.

Narooma-Wagonga Inlet

Narooma’s Wagonga Inlet has been described as the jewel in the south coast’s crown, and it is not hard to see why. Wagonga has been a rec-only fishery longer than any other estuary on the south coast, and it shows. Its reputation for monster flathead is legendary. These fish live around the drop-offs, where the sand flats give way to holes and channels up to 10 metres deep. Big, soft plastic lures on relatively heavy jig heads are often the go for the trophy flathead. Experienced anglers tend to follow the schools of bait and feeding tailor.

Mulloway are also on the cards in Wagonga and are often caught by anglers fishing for flatties. The front of the system, between the lake and the entrance, is a great spot for big whiting. Target these fish with fresh nippers. The oyster racks up the back of the inlet are a noted haunt for big bream.

Shore-based anglers can walk the Boardwalk, which boasts purpose-built fishing platforms. Expect to catch bream, flathead and leatherjacket in this area.

Note the sanctuary zones within the system.

Bermagui-Wallaga Lake

Adjacent to the famous fishing town of Bermagui, Wallaga Lake has long been a popular location for visiting Canberrans. Boat anglers can drift a live nipper or prawn in the middle of the lake for a feed of flathead or whiting. Soft plastic lures, naturally, are also worth a shot.

Wallaga is also a really productive estuary for tailor. You can troll a small metal lure from a boat or have a flick around from the shore near the road bridge, near the mouth of the system. The bridge area is also a great land-based location for bream, flathead and flounder.

Visiting anglers will have to share the lake with plenty of water-skiers over summer, but finding a quiet location to wet a line is simply a matter of veering a bit off the beaten track. The nearby Bermagui River is a small but relatively productive estuary that fishes well for the usual bread-and-butter species.

If you do not have access to a boat, try the training wall towards the mouth of the estuary for luderick, flathead, trevally and bream. The luderick are especially plentiful around here and can be caught on weed baits fished under a float.

Written by: Ben Caddaye
This article was first published by Fairfax on January 12 2014.

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