Ballina is a coastal township set amid sub-tropical northern New South Wales
. It features lush green rural countryside, pristine white beaches on the oceanside and picturesque headlands. The main waterway, the Richmond
River is well stocked with a diverse range of marine wildlife.
Ballina is an excellent place for recreational fishing with plenty of spots on the Richmond
River to choose from. You can target many different fish species
from the rocks, breakwalls or the shores around the township. At Shaws Bay which is a landlocked albeit tidally influenced waterbody, big tailor
, luderick, bream and even mangrove jacks can be caught. The Richmond
River is very clean and well populated with fish and there are good spots around the north and south walls with luderick, bream, mulloway
and the odd mackerel and bluefin tuna coming in close in summer. Further upstream at Burns Point is one of Australia
’s finest bream spots especially when one is fishing around the structures. On the ocean side and to the north of Ballina is a great spot
called Sharps Beach. This spot
has a good hole at the northern end of the beach holding bream and school mulloway
, whilst at the southern end at Flat Rock headland, the rocky gutters attract bream, luderick, trevally, tailor
and the prized rock blackfish
. Further south at Black Head is also a great spot
, bream, mackerel and marlin possibilities during summer.
at South Ballina Beach is a top spot
with really well-formed gutters and holes. This beach is renowned for year-round tailor
, large whiting and mulloway
during spring and early summer. Use the berley technique of luring and catching Beach worms for bait. Shaws Bay produces best results when using floating prawns at dusk.
In the rocky gutters off Flat Rock headland, Rock fish can be targeted. They can be caught with stout rods, 10 to 20kg line and bobby corks to minimise tackle losses. Floated baits which are typically used to keep tackle away from rough sea beds can be loaded with cunjevoi flesh, cuttlefish, abalone gut, bass yabbies, bread, crab or prawns. You may also want to mix up a nice batch of berley consisting of stale bread, chicken pellets and the rock blackfish
’s favourite cuisine - cabbage weed. Since the rock blackfish
is a very strong fighter, diving for the seabed or making a beeline for a cave, double-strength hooks and lines from 6 to 15 kg breaking-strain are necessary.