Lake Illawarra - Top Fishing Spot

Illawarra Mercury

Tuesday April 20, 1999


Lake Illawarra is not only the most productive fish nursery in NSW, but one of the most popular fishing hot-spots in the Illawarra.

Whiting, bream, flathead, tailor, leather jackets, blackfish and mullet can be caught in the lake proper, while bass inhabit the upper reaches of the Macquarie Rivulet, one of the lake's feeder streams.

Thanks to the Lake Illawarra Authority, the lake is now attracting more holiday-makers than ever from all over NSW who spend their annual holidays in the nearby caravan parks.

Not only is the lake a much cleaner place than a decade ago, but the authority has also constructed boat launching ramps, retaining walls, boardwalks, landscaping and walking tracks along the foreshores of the lake to attract people.

However, the main recreational activities are fishing and prawning, which lure thousands of visitors to the lake during the summer months.

The prawning season lasts from October to March - scoop nets are used with the aid of underwater lights at night to catch prawns.

Peak prawning times during summer are from one week after a full moon to one week before a full moon.

Last summer the lake prawns were on the small side, but lake experts tell me they expect a bonanza of large prawns next summer when the prawns grow up into big blokes.

Nevertheless, fishing is the main activity in the lake and when you do fish the lake there are a few safety rules to follow.

When boating always wear a life jacket and remember the middle of the lake in some parts is only 3m deep.

It can become quite dangerous when the winds turn nasty forcing waves to spring up that could swamp a small boat.

It also pays to fish close to the banks. This is where most fish feed anyway and most lake fish can be caught on live bait such as squirt worms, which can be pumped out of the lake sand flats on a low tide.

Some fishing hot-spots in Lake Illawarra include:

1 Lake entrance - whiting, flathead, bream, blackfish, tailor;

2 Griffiths Bay - bream, blackfish, whiting, flathead;

3 Yacht Club - flathead, bream, whiting;

4 Berkeley Harbour to Hooka Creek - bream, flathead;

5 Berkeley Tank Trap to Mullet Creek - bream, flathead;

6 Kanahooka Bay - flathead, bream;

7 Koonawarra Bay - flathead, bream;

8 Macquarie Rivulet - bream, flathead, bass;

9 Karoo Bay - bream, blackfish;

10 Warilla Beach - whiting, flathead, bream;

11 Windang Island - tailor, salmon, snapper; and

12 Windang Beach - whiting, flathead, bream.

© 1999 Illawarra Mercury

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