Fishing on the Hawkesbury River

Hawkesbury River is a semi-mature tidal, drowned valley estuary to the north-west of Sydney. It is around 120km long in total, and flows into the sea at Broken Bay. A series of small islands (some of which are inhabited) sit in the river, but the river is navigable from Windsor all the way to the sea. Due to its scenic nature, tidal influence and its location just outside of Sydney, the Hawkesbury River is a popular spot for recreational anglers. If you do still fancy fishing in inclement weather, then the many arms, bays and headlands which you will be able to find will help to offer you shelter, allowing you to continue with your sport.

Photography by: Richard Taylor

Photography by: Richard Taylor

Despite its proximity to Sydney, much of the river is surrounded by forested hills and steep cliffs, which can make shoreline angling a difficult task at times, as many areas are inaccessible. However, boat anglers will find it easy to enjoy the river, as it is generally calm all the way up to Windsor. Check local information for the best places to enter the river by boat. Many ramps, including the George St ramp in Brooklyn will include fish cleaning facilities, making them very popular with anglers

The river plays host to a lot of different fish including sand whiting, yellowtail kingfish, mullet, flounder, squid, dusky flathead, pink snapper and yellowfin bream.  One of the main draws of the river for Sydney based anglers is the increased likelihood of being able to catch large mulloway (Jewfish) here. Anglers regularly report catching mulloway of 15kg +.

Whilst Mulloway do visit the river all year round, they can be a bit sparse in July and August. Bigger catches are usually landed from February to April, and during the period where the half moon is rising. These fish are most active at dusk and during the run out tide. If you are unable to visit the river during one of the peak mulloway times, then there is no need to despair, as you are highly likely to catch other fish and you may even find yourself getting lucky by catching an elusive mulloway.

For anglers who are wishing to land a mulloway, the best spots are upstream, near to the road and railway bridges. These bridges create eddies in the water which are favoured by smaller fish, and wherever smaller fish go, predators are sure to follow. Other popular spots for those hoping to land a mulloway include Juno Point, Gunyah Beach, Walker Point, and the bait reef close to West Head. Land-based anglers who are wishing to catch a mulloway should try positioning themselves near to the road bridge on the southern shore of Pelican point. Although it is harder to catch mulloway from the shore, it is not impossible.

If you are unable to make it onto the river under your own steam, plenty of companies offer charters and guided trips along the river.

Hawkesbury River Boating Map