Live for Fishing - Fish for Life

Anglers with snapper

A healthy fishing future is in your hands

NSW offers some the world’s most incredible fishing experiences, from chasing Kingfish in Sydney Harbour to fishing impoundments out west for big Murray Cod. With so much on offer, it’s no wonder that for many anglers, fishing is a way of life.

That’s why safeguarding our waterways is so important – by protecting fish stocks and preserving the places we love to fish, we can ensure a positive future for our sport, the next generation and the environment.

If fishing is your passion, here are some simple steps you can take to help build a healthy fishing future for NSW.

Practice catch and release

There’s nothing wrong with taking home a feed of fish but practicing catch and release will ensure future generations get to enjoy the abundance of fishing opportunities that we do now.

For some important tips on how to maximise the survival opportunities of those fish we choose to let go, check out our latest catch and release video on DPI Fisheries YouTube Channel.

Recent research has shown that most fish survive using current catch and release fishing techniques. It’s an important method to adopt when considering bag and size limits, closed seasons and protected species, all of which require certain fish to be released back into the water.

Find out more about catch and release fishing.

Angler releasing fish

Use circle hooks

Circle hooks are highly effective for a wide range of popular species and have shown to improve hook up rates over the traditional “J” hook pattern in game fishing. With their success already proven, these hooks are now used increasingly for many other common recreational species including Bream, Flathead and Kingfish.

Specifically designed to locate in the jaw hinge, circle hooks greatly limit fish from swallowing hooks which dramatically increases their survival rates when being released.

Find out more about using circle hooks

Use fish friendly knotless mesh nets

Using nets in catch and release fishing is recommended to shorten fight time, reduce handling time and to protect fish from harm when handling.

However, not all nets are the same. Fish-friendly landing nets with knotless mesh ensure the best care when landing fish. Traditional knotted landing nets should be avoided as they may damage the fish’s scales, skin, eyes and fins.

For more tips on how to fish responsibly, check out our responsible fishing guidelines.

Download the FishSmart App

Screen shot of Fishsmart app

The FishSmart app provides recreational fishers 24/7 access to essential information on fishing in NSW. The app includes information on bag and size limits, marine protected areas, local tides and weather and allows anglers to keep their very own catch log.

It provides a real-time map to locate your nearest FADs, Artificial Reefs, Recreational Fishing Havens and shows where marine protected areas are. It also includes guides on; spearfishing, fishing safely, trout fishing, regional fishing information and more.

Use the app to contact DPI for reporting illegal fishing, fish kills, pest species etc as well as to contact local Fisheries Offices. You can view our Facebook newsfeed and pay your recreational fishing licence fee using the app too.

You can find it in the iTunes app store or on Google Play.

Your licence fees at work

You can be proud of the fact that your licence fee contribution has a benefit to all anglers and water users. In fact, your NSW licence fees are used for improving local facilities like fishing platforms and cleaning tables, restoring habitat, restocking waterways and enhancing fishing experiences with artificial reefs and FADs in NSW.

Find out more about how your licence fee is funding a healthy fishing future

Releasing kingfish stocking
Your licence fees are helping to improve recreational fishing opportunities with initiatives like fish stocking for popular species such as perch, trout, kingfish and flathead.

Find out more about DPI's restocking program
Mahi Mahi and FAD Your licence fees fund the deployment of 30 Fish Aggregating Devices along the NSW coastline.

Find out more about FADs

Paying the NSW fishing licence fee is a great way for you to contribute to ensuring quality recreational fishing opportunities, now
and into the future.

Find out more about the benefits provided by the licence

Donate your fish frames for citizen science

We need fish frames from recreational fishers to help with the monitoring of Mulloway, Yellowtail Kingfish, Snapper, Dusky Flathead,
Tailor, Black Bream, Spanish or Spotted Mackerel.
There are 28 participating tackle stores, find your nearest drop off location to win yourself some cool prizes while learning all about
your catch. It's a win win.

For more information check out The Research Angler Program

Research Angler Program angler with flathead Research Angler Program angler