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Fishing Breakwall Environments

Fishing Australian Breakwalls

Fishing from breakwalls or jetties can be an exciting and rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. Breakwalls and breakwaters are man-made or natural structures that provide protection from the wind and waves and can attract a variety of fish species that feed on small baitfish and other organisms that congregate around the structure.

One of the advantages of fishing from breakwalls is that they provide a stable platform for fishing, even in rough conditions. They also offer the opportunity to fish in deeper water that may be inaccessible from shore or a pier. Additionally, breakwalls can provide structure for baitfish and other marine organisms, which can attract larger predatory fish.

However, fishing from breakwalls can also present some challenges. The strong currents near the structure can require specialised equipment and techniques, and anglers must be aware of any potential hazards, such as slippery rocks or strong waves. It’s important to observe local fishing regulations and to take necessary safety precautions to ensure a safe and successful fishing experience. Overall, fishing from breakwalls and jetties  can be a fun and productive way to target a variety of fish species and to enjoy the outdoors.

Quick Facts

  • Breakwalls or jetties are man-made structures built to protect harbors, marinas, or shorelines from waves and erosion, creating unique fishing opportunities.
  • Fishing around breakwalls is productive because these structures provide shelter, food sources, and ideal habitats for various fish species.
  • Breakwall fishing can yield a wide range of fish, including snapper, bream, tailor, mulloway, and kingfish, depending on the location and season.
  • Safety is crucial when fishing breakwalls, as slippery surfaces, rogue waves, and strong currents can pose risks to anglers.
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Common fish caught from breakwalls

When fishing for tailor from breakwalls, anglers often use spinning rods and reels with heavy lines and lures, such as metal slugs or soft plastics, to imitate small baitfish that tailor feed on.

When targeting luderick from breakwalls anglers often fish close to the structure and use a technique called “float and drift,” which involves floating the bait along the current and allowing it to drift naturally.

Where and how to fish breakwalls

Fishing breakwalls in Australia can be a great day out due to the diverse range of fish species that often inhabit these structures. To maximise your chances of success, it’s essential to fish during the early morning or late afternoon when fish are most active, focusing on high tide or the first few hours of the outgoing tide. Target areas where the rock structure meets the sand, deeper water sections, and any visible eddies or current breaks, as these locations tend to hold fish.

When fishing breakwalls or jetties, it’s crucial to be patient and persistent, as it may take time to locate the fish. Pay attention to other anglers in the area, as their success or the species they are targeting may provide valuable clues. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for baitfish and feeding seabirds. Be adaptable and willing to change your approach or location if you’re not having success. Prioritise safety by wearing appropriate footwear with a good grip and staying aware of your surroundings. Fishing with a buddy is recommended for added safety, ensuring an enjoyable and fun experience on any Australian breakwall.

The best bait and tackle for fishing breakwalls 

Selecting the right bait and tackle is crucial for successful fishing at breakwalls. Depending on the species you’re targeting, different baits and lures can increase your chances of success. Live bait is often the best option, as it is the natural food source of fish. Popular live bait choices include prawns, worms, herring, mullet, pilchards, and squid. When using live bait, ensure that it is fresh and lively, as this will attract more fish.

Artificial lures can also be highly effective when fishing breakwalls. Soft plastics, such as jerk shads, paddle-tail minnows, or curl-tail grubs, are versatile and can be used to target a range of species. Experiment with different colors, sizes, and retrieval speeds to imitate injured or fleeing prey. Metal slices and hard-body lures, such as diving minnows or poppers, can also be successful, particularly when targeting predatory species like tailor, salmon, or kingfish.

In terms of tackle, opt for a medium to heavy spinning rod and reel setup. A 7-9 ft (2.1-2.7 m) rod with a fast action is suitable for casting lures and handling the potential larger fish species found around breakwalls. Pair this with a 4000-6000 size spinning reel that has a smooth drag system. Braided line in the 10-20 lb (4.5-9 kg) range provides sensitivity and casting distance, while a 20-40 lb (9-18 kg) fluorocarbon leader offers abrasion resistance against the rocks and increased stealth.

Using the appropriate bait and tackle when fishing breakwalls or jetties in Australia will enhance your chances of hooking into a variety of fish species and having a great day fishing. Speaking with the local tackle shop will go a great way in ensuring you have the right gear for the area.

Top Target Species

Mulloway, also known as jewfish, are a popular game fish that can be found along the coastlines of Australia and are known for their strong fight and impressive size. Anglers often use heavy fishing rods and reels with strong lines to handle the strong currents and deep water near the structure.

Mulloway are often active at night and prefer areas with structure, such as deep holes or channels near the breakwall.

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The best time and season to fish breakwalls

The best time and season to fish breakwalls or jetties can vary depending on the location and the fish species you’re targeting. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you plan your fishing trip for optimum success.

Time of Day:

Early mornings and late afternoons or evenings are typically the best times of the day to fish breakwalls, as fish are more active and feeding during these periods. Fish often move closer to the shore during low-light conditions to hunt for prey, making them more accessible to anglers.

Tides:

Tidal movement plays a significant role in fishing success at breakwalls. The changing tides, especially during high tide or the first few hours of the outgoing tide, often see increased fish activity. Fish are drawn to breakwalls to feed on the baitfish and other marine organisms that gather around these structures during tidal shifts.

Seasons:

While breakwalls can be fished year-round, some seasons are more productive for certain fish species. Here are some general guidelines for popular species:

Snapper: Spring and early summer (October to December) are prime times for snapper fishing along breakwalls, as they move closer to shore to spawn.

Bream: Bream can be caught year-round, but they’re more abundant during the cooler months of autumn and winter (April to August) when they move closer to shore to feed.

Mulloway (Jewfish): Mulloway can also be caught throughout the year, but they tend to be more active during the cooler months (April to August), often coinciding with the mullet run.

Tailor: Tailor fishing is best during the cooler months of autumn and winter (April to August), when they are more likely to be found close to shore chasing baitfish.

Kingfish: Kingfish are more prevalent during the warmer months of summer and early autumn (December to March), when water temperatures are higher.

It’s important to research the specific location and fish species you’re targeting, as the best time and season can vary across different regions in Australia. By understanding the local conditions and fish patterns, you’ll increase your chances of a successful breakwall fishing experience.

Breakwall fishing safety and regulations

Fishing breakwalls in Australia can be a fun and exciting, but it’s important to prioritise safety and adhere to local regulations. Here are some key points to consider when fishing breakwalls:

Safety:

Breakwall fishing can be a dangerous activity. Being aware of your surroundings is important, below is information to help stay safe.

Footwear: Wear sturdy, non-slip footwear that provides good grip on wet and slippery rocks.
Weather and sea conditions: Check the local weather and sea conditions before heading out. Avoid fishing in rough conditions, as waves can quickly sweep you off the breakwall.
Lifejacket: Wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD), especially when fishing in areas with strong currents or large waves.
Buddy system: Fish with a friend or family member to ensure someone can provide assistance in case of an emergency.
Stay aware: Be aware of your surroundings and watch for rogue waves or any changes in weather conditions.

Regulations:

Fishing regulations in Australia vary by state and territory, so it’s important to consult local government websites for the most up-to-date information. Some general regulations to be aware of include:

Fishing licenses: Most states and territories in Australia require recreational fishers to hold a valid fishing license. Ensure you have the appropriate license for the area in which you’re fishing.
Size and bag limits: There are size and bag limits for various fish species to promote sustainable fishing practices. Familiarize yourself with the relevant limits for the species you’re targeting.
Closed seasons: Some fish species have closed seasons to protect them during their breeding periods. Ensure you’re aware of any closed seasons for the species you’re targeting.
Gear restrictions: There may be restrictions on the type of gear you can use in certain areas or for specific species. Check local regulations to ensure your fishing gear complies.

For up to date information on breakwall fishing safety and regulations in Australia, visit the relevant state or territory government websites.

Tips and Tricks for Fishing Breakwalls

Get the fish to come to you with berley (chum).

Attract fish to your location by using berley, a mix of fish scraps, pellets, or other bait material. Disperse the berley slowly and consistently in the water to create a scent trail that draws fish towards your fishing spot. Be sure to check local regulations, as chumming is prohibited in some areas.

Have multiple setups ready for fishing both bottom and pelagic species.

There are numerous species of fish that call breakwalls home. Covering both the bottom and top of the water will increase your chances of a fish. Having a casting rod with a lure on standby is an excellent way to take advantage of opportunistic times such as a bait ball swimming by with predator fish feeding on it.

Study the structure and look for cues for areas that may hold fish.

Being observant is a great way to improving your success of landing fish. Look out for where boats may be fishing. They generally have fish finders which can scan for underwater structure, ledges, drop-offs, and sand patches that hold fish.

In addition, look for signs of fish activity, such as surface disturbances, jumping baitfish, or the presence of other marine life like dolphins, seabirds or seals. These observations can help you identify potentially productive fishing spots.

Time your fishing to ensure a great spot.

Breakwalls are a very popular destination for anglers across Australia.  Many breakwalls can have limited space and specific areas that are more productive than others. Arriving early increases your chances of securing a prime fishing spot before it gets occupied by other anglers.

Here is a list of popular breakwalls or jetties to fish across each state or territory.

With Australia’s endless shorelines full of beaches, bays and harbours, there are no shortages of breakwalls or jetties to fish from. Below are some of the more popular breakwalls to fish across each state or territory.

Breakwall or jetty fishing in New South Wales (NSW)
Port Macquarie Breakwall, Richmond River Breakwall, Stockton Breakwall, Coffs Harbour Breakwall, Tweed River Breakwall, Nambucca Heads Breakwall, Forster Tuncurry Breakwall, Shoalhaven River Breakwall, Clarence River Breakwall, Bellinger River Breakwall, Lake Macquarie Breakwall, Brunswick River Breakwall, Wooli Breakwall, Camden Haven River Breakwall, South West Rocks Breakwall, Narooma Breakwall, Evans Head Breakwall, Wallis Lake Entrance Breakwall, Hastings River Breakwall, Manning River Breakwall, Lake Illawarra Entrance Breakwall, Nelson Bay Breakwall.

Breakwall or jetty fishing in Queensland (QLD)
Gold Coast Seaway (The Spit) Breakwall, Mooloolaba Harbor Breakwall, Manly Boat Harbor Breakwall, Noosa River Mouth, Caloundra Bar, Jumpinpin Bar, South Stradbroke Island, Scarborough Harbour Northern Breakwall, Gladstone Marina East Breakwall, Urangan Harbour Breakwall, Port Bundaberg Breakwall, Cairns Marina Breakwall, Mackay Marina Northern Breakwall, Townsville Marina Breakwall, Weipa Harbor Breakwall, Rosslyn Bay Harbor, Mission Beach Clump Point Jetty,Burdekin River Mouth (Hell’s Gates).

Breakwall or jetty fishing in Victoria (VIC)
Williamstown Breakwall, St Kilda Marina Breakwall, Sandringham Breakwall, Mornington Breakwall, Warrnambool Breakwall, Portland Harbour Breakwall, Queenscliff Harbour Breakwall, Altona Breakwall, Apollo Bay Harbour Breakwall, Geelong Eastern Beach Breakwall, Lakes Entrance Eastern Breakwall, Safety Beach Breakwall, Hastings Breakwall, Anderson Inlet Breakwall, Cowes Jetty Breakwall, Newhaven Breakwall, San Remo Breakwall, Port Welshpool Long Jetty Breakwall, Port Albert Breakwall, Mallacoota Entrance Breakwall.

Breakwall or jetty fishing in South Australia (SA)
Port Adelaide Breakwall, Outer Harbour Breakwall, North Haven Marina Breakwall, West Beach Harbor Breakwall, Glenelg Breakwall, Port Noarlunga Reef Breakwall, Port Vincent Breakwall, Port Hughes Breakwall, Wallaroo Breakwall, Port Victoria Breakwall, Ardrossan Breakwall, Whyalla Breakwall, Port Lincoln Breakwall, Port MacDonnell Breakwall, Kingston SE Breakwall, Robe Breakwall, Port Broughton Breakwall.

Breakwall or jetty fishing in Tasmania (TAS)
Bridport Breakwall, Devonport Breakwall, Burnie Breakwall, Stanley Wharf Breakwall, George Town Breakwall, Triabunna Breakwall, St Helens Breakwall, Coles Bay Breakwall, Hobart Breakwall, Port Arthur Breakwall.

Breakwall or jetty fishing in Western Australia (WA)
Fremantle South Mole, Fremantle North Mole, Hillarys Boat Harbour Northern or Southern Breakwall, Mindarie Marina Breakwall, Ocean Reef Boat Harbour Breakwall, Two Rocks Marina Breakwall, Jurien Bay Marina Breakwall, Bunbury Breakwater, Albany Breakwater, Esperance Tanker Jetty Breakwall, Carnarvon Fascine Breakwall.

Breakwall or jetty fishing in Northern Territory (NT)
Darwin Wharf Precinct, Nightcliff Foreshore, East Point Reserve, Rapid Creek Estuary, Frances Bay Mooring Basin, Fannie Bay Rock Wall, Buffalo Creek Mouth, Cullen Bay Marina Rock Wall, Mindil Beach Rocks, Channel Island Jetty, Dundee Beach Jetty, Groote Eylandt Jetties, Nhulunbuy Jetty, Cullen Bay Marina Jetty.

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