Barrington Coast for the travelling fisho: Broughton Island to Seal Rocks.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks
Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks

The spectacular coastline around Myall Lakes from Yacaaba headland at the southern end of Hawks Nest beach extending north to Seal Rocks really is a fishing paradise.

Some locations just have all the ingredients to produce consistently great fishing and this section of the rugged NSW coast has so many options.

One huge geographic advantage is Seal Rocks being the second-most easterly point on Australia’s east coast allowing it to catch warm clean water most of the year round.

With the constant current flow comes an influx of baitfish and of course the predators that feed on them.

Out of this world - Broughton Island
Out of this world - Broughton Island

Broughton Island is positioned perfectly downstream from Seal Rocks taking advantage of the swirling current and sits only a couple of kilometres offshore.

This area is internationally famous for its incredible inshore and offshore marlin fishery. It’s the place to be during the warmer months for both the avid game fisherman or the first timer wanting to tick there first billfish off the bucket list.

The inshore fishing is based on the multitude of shallow reef structure along with drop offs and pressure points all of which hold large schools of bait.

Black and striped marlin are the main target species in closer with the blacks being more common.

The continental shelf is a relatively close run compared to some other section of the coastline with all three marlin species available including trophy sized blue’s, yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi.

Tuna, seal rocks
Breaching black marlin

If you really want to pick a fight, the transient and resident populations of yellowtail kingfish that congregate inshore will put the best anglers to the test!

I’d suggest you have a solid breakfast with a few push ups before tangling with the dirtiest hardest fighting fish there is!

They can also be found around pressure points on the inshore and offshore reefs looking for yellowtail scad and slimy mackerel. Kingfish between 80cm and 110cm are reasonably common with much bigger models into the unstoppable class a real chance.

Broughton Island catch: kingfish
Broughton Island catch: kingfish

The most popular inshore fish just has to be snapper!

And let’s face it what’s not to like, they fight hard look great and are exceptionally good to eat.

One of my favourite techniques is to set up a burley trail and cast lightly weighted baits out to slowly sink down through the water column. Pilchards, squid and cut flesh baits will all work, though the old saying fresh is best is worth thinking about so spend a little time catching your own bait for better results.

The peak bite times are early morning, late in the afternoon and around the tide changes, remember to be patient and give the burley enough time to bring the fish in
Michael Guest

If you’re a little more adventurous then I’d suggest drifting across the shallow reef structure casting soft plastics for snapper. This method really highlights their sportfishing prowess with light weight spin tackle and braid line you can feel every bump and head shake.

Fishing for snapping with Michael Guest
Serious sized snapper

Remember to let the big breeding fish go and only keep what you need.

There are so many fishing options in and around the Barrington Coast for the travelling fisho to check out

Catch & release is recommended to keep the population healthy for fishos in the future.
Michael Guest

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