Hawkesbury River Fishing Guide

21 January, 2020

Hawkesbury Valley is full of fun things to do with the family. The beautiful Hawkesbury River is also a great location to go fishing. Whether you’re an experienced angler or an aspiring novice, here you’ll find many ideal fishing spots. Put your fishing skills to the test, with mulloway aka jewfish, kingfish, bream, bass, tailor, and salmon present in the Hawkesbury river.

Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is conveniently located in the heart of Hawkesbury Valley, very close to the Hawkesbury River and its many great fishing locations.

Although fishing can be a fun and exciting activity for the whole family, you need to make sure you know the rules of the game. Read our guide to find out everything you need to know before you begin your fishing adventures!

 

Recreational Fishing Fee

 

Like most things in life, fishing is not free. If you didn’t already know, you are required by law to pay a fee when fishing in NSW waters. The fees are as follows:

  • $7 for three days
  • $14 for one month
  • $35 for one year
  • $85 for three years

Once you pay the fee, you’ll need to carry the receipt with you at all times. Recreational licenses can be purchased online, from hundreds of standard and gold fishing agents and from most Kmart stores in NSW. 

You are not required to pay the recreational fishing free if you are under the age of 18. You also don’t have to pay if you’re fishing in a private dam area of two hectares or less. Aboriginal Australians are exempt from paying along with most pensioners and veterans. Fishing is free for holders of a Pensioner Concession Card issued by Centrelink or by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you may not have to pay if you are fishing on a charter/ hire boat or if you are under the supervision of a licensed fishing guide (they must hold a Recreational Fishing Fee Exemption Certificate).

Having to pay a fee just to go fishing for a few hours on a Sunday morning may sound strange, but earnings are put to good use. The NSW government makes use of the money raised to launch new projects and to ensure that the area’s aquatic life is protected and thriving. The government:

  • Builds artificial reeds to create new fishing locations. 
  • Creates new recreational fishing havens.
  • Stocks freshwater fish in dams and rivers when needed.
  • Restores important fish habitat.
  • Funds fishing education and advisory programs.

The truth is that no one wants to pay to go fishing, especially if you’re an amateur and don’t even know if you’ll be able to catch anything. But when considering the effort and work that goes into protecting and preserving NSW’s aquatic environment, it’s easy to see why the small fee is more than worth it.

 

Fishing Enclosures and Rules

 

You don’t have to worry about prohibited fishing areas if you are just fishing for fun and are using a conventional fishing rod. However, bare in mind that fishing is prohibited in some NSW areas from May to August each year. Closures exist for a variety of reasons, ranging from public health and safety to preserving unique aquatic environments. 

Recreational netting and trapping are prohibited in the upper Hawkesbury River, from the road bridge at Windsor all the way to the Yarramundi Bridge. Landing nets can still be used, even in those areas. Netting and trapping are also prohibited in the water of Brisbane and a portion of Broken Bay. Same applies to fishing areas in Cowan Creek, Mooney Mooney Creek, and Patonga Creek. 

Spearfishing is permitted in most saltwater areas, provided that you don’t use a light with a spear-gun when diving. Powerheads and other explosive devices are strictly forbidden. However, spearfishing is prohibited in most areas of the Hawkesbury River (spearfishing is prohibited in freshwater areas). Oyster hunting in the Hawkesbury River is also out of the question, although there are many Oyster farms in the area.

 

Responsible Fishing

 

Contribute to a better environment for all by practising responsible fishing. Don’t fish more than necessary for your immediate needs and make sure you release fish you’re not planning to consume using the right techniques. All fish are important to the ecosystem and you should do whatever possible to ensure minimal impact to it.

It’s always a good practice to use environmentally-friendly sinkers and non-stainless hooks whenever possible. To maximise fish survival when returning fish to the water make sure you use methods and rigs that reduce deep hooking. 

Return fish that you won’t be needing for consumption back to the water as soon as possible. Be careful with your movements by slowly holding fish on the water surface until there’s a good flow of water over their gills. Ideally, you should try to unhook fish while they’re still in the water and use barbless hooks when possible. 

When handling your catch, remember that metal surfaces can get extremely hot during the warmer months, easily killing off fish lying on the bottom of boats. Never hold fish by their gills or eyes and if you’re planning on taking photos with your catch (and plan on releasing it afterwards), ensure that the fish is properly supported.

 

Safe Fishing

 

If you’re planning to go fishing in the Hawkesbury River, then you’ll have to plan ahead. Let friends and family know where you’ll be in case of an emergency. It’s always a good idea to have someone with you. Take plenty of food and water with you.

Always wear a life jacket, especially if you’re fishing in potentially hazardous locations located near fast-moving waters. Don’t ever enter the water to retrieve fish as the current could carry you downstream.

Always keep a communication device with you. You won’t always have a strong signal, which is why you should regularly check to see whether you are within range. Fish close to the river banks and avoid strong currents. No matter your service provider, 000 will connect you with emergency services from a mobile phone.

Before fishing, you should always observe the weather. Check weather and water conditions before your trip to avoid any unnecessary surprises. The Hawkesbury River is usually calm but can be agitated by heavy wind during the winter season. A torch, a whistle and good equipment are things that you should always have with you. 

When preparing for a fishing trip, don’t just leave everything to chance. Ask for advice from locals to find out exactly where the best fishing spots are or to learn more about the spot that you’ve picked. Local fishermen will be able to tell whether an area is dangerous or not.

Keep your body dry and warm. If you’re fishing in shallow water, make sure that the water is nice and warm. Exit immediately if you start feeling too cold or numb to avoid hypothermia. Remember to wear sunscreen during the warm months. Hats also work wonders: They keep your head cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

If you’re operating a boat then make sure you’re practising safe boating. Ensure that your vessel is in perfect condition and that its fuel tanks are full. Check batteries beforehand and ensure that everything is working properly.

Emergency equipment, such as a first-aid box, is essential. Don’t overload your boat and make sure you know exactly how much weight you can safely carry. Don’t drink alcohol when fishing on a boat and remember to travel slowly in shallow areas or areas with heavy vegetation.

If possible, remain seated while in a boat. Don’t panic if you fall into the water. Assume a tuck position and try to use your arms to find your balance. Instead of panicking and trying to swim to shore, you could face downstream with your feet first while looking for a safe shore position.

 

Hawkesbury River Fishing

 

Your fishing adventure begins here in Hawkesbury Valley. This area is populated by numerous fish species and amazing scenic riverside locations are waiting for you to explore them! 

Book with us for easy access to the best fishing spots in the region! Hawkesbury River’s most beautiful fishing locations are only a stone’s throw from Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley. That’s right! Your next big catch could be just a booking away. What are you waiting for?