Destinations: Beyond Eden

BELOW Eden on the NSW Far South Coast lies the Ben Boyd National Park, an area virtually untouched by mankind and with some of the most diverse fishing options this coastline has to offer.

It’s called the Wilderness Coast and for good reason. This stretch of coast is an adventurous angler’s playground. Access to many locations require careful four-wheel driving or long treks into the wilderness, but the potential rewards are more than worth the effort.

The waters around Green Cape support a wide variety of marine species and different fishing options. There is something for everybody here, with some of the best fishing to be had, based from the sand or stones. For serious land based game fishermen, the famous rock ledges at Pulpit and City rocks produce some of the most consistent game fish captures in the area.

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There are some great fishing options available along Eden’s “Wilderness Coast”.

From December to late April, big game fish pass well within casting distance of the rocks. Yellowfin, northern and southern bluefin tuna as well as tailor, salmon, yellowtail kingfish and even the odd marlin all feed here within sight of the lighthouse as they ride the warmer currents from the north. For those with more modest ambitions, black drummer, luderick, morwong, sweep and groper are common captures from the stones.

During a two week long trip to Green Cape, much of our fishing was done either off the rocks or beaches, where we encountered large salmon, tailor, and on one rare occasion, a juvenile kingfish taken on a bait aimed at a drummer. The humble pilchard fished on a ganged hook rig produced several pelagic fish, but the real fun was had by casting small soft plastics and hard bodied lures which often produced fish when traditional bait methods where struggling to perform. The standout lures when fishing from the rocks and beaches were small metal slices, Berkley Gulp! 4 inch minnows and Shimano Waxwing lures all fished on 7 foot graphite rods rated between 3-5kg and 10lb braid.

This area also boasts some of the best bluewater game fishing in NSW. This, however, does require a serious craft to travel many miles offshore. During our trip, we spent many hours fishing from kayaks, which proved to be the perfect tools for exploring the inshore reefs and small estuaries.


Trolling lures close to shore is a proven technique for catching tailor, salmon, flatties and even kingfish.

When weather permitted, we were able to launch the kayaks straight off the beach and a short paddle later saw us fishing the many inshore reefs that this area is famous for. Species encountered here included several varieties of morwong, snapper, drummer, sweep, tailor and trevally, just to name a few.

The tiny estuaries between Twofold Bay and Wonboyn are small but intriguing systems to fish. These small creeks and rivers require finesse fishing with ultra light tackle to connect with these wary fish. This is where a well set up, purpose built fishing kayak is one of the most versatile fishing weapons one can have. The quiet, stealthy nature of kayaks allows you to sneak up on fish without spooking them and permits access to areas that even a small tinny wouldn’t be able to reach. In these parts, kayaks are also far easier to transport when travelling.

Flathead and both black and yellowfin bream are the most commonly encountered species when fishing these systems. There are also small populations of estuary perch in some stretches of water and when the river mouth is open to the sea, both juvenile salmon and tailor can be thick at times.


The region’s estuaries can provide good lure fishing for the likes of yellowfin and black bream, estuary perch and flathead.

Our best results when fishing the estuaries came around the periods of dawn and dusk, when the fish were most actively feeding. The first technique we employed was to maintain a safe distance from a likely looking snag to avoid spooking fish and cast small hard bodies and lightly weighted soft plastics tight against the structure and work them back to the kayak with plenty of pauses.

Small surface stick-baits like the Berkley Scum Dog as well as surface plastics including the Squidgy Bug provided some spectacular surface strike when used at the right times.

Another technique that was better suited to larger systems with more tidal flow, involved concentrating our efforts around drop offs, sand banks and structure such as bridge pylons and rock bars. Using larger soft plastics and live poddy mullet, allowed us to connect with some quality flathead and bream whilst also holding the potential of a school mulloway.

The fragility of these miniature estuaries means they are easily over fished and don’t handle pressure well. Measures must be taken to ensure our presence doesn’t affect these estuaries with catch and release fishing practices strongly advised. Many of these fish, in particular bream and perch, are very slow growing and only a very hungry camper would consider taking such a slow growing, resident fish from their confined waters. Luckily, there’s no need to, with so much more on offer from the nearby rock ledges, inshore reefs and beaches.

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The author with a nice brace of tasty flathead.

A trip to Ben Boyd National Park with family of friends is a great way to experiment with new fishing methods, techniques and to further hone your skills as an angler. Whether you prefer to soak a bait in a beach gutter for salmon or tailor, flicking a bait into the washes to tempt a hard pulling drummer or twitching small lures for bream and estuary perch, I can think of few better places to do so, than in the waters near Eden.

Benjamin Rennie is 16 years old and a year 11 student from Warrandyte in Victoria. He describes himself as a “mad keen fisherman” and has been a Fishing World subscriber for several years.

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