Rock Fishing

Rock fishing is one of the most dangerous sports in Australia. The majority of rock fishing-related deaths in Australia occur in NSW, with an average of eight people losing their lives rock fishing in NSW every year.

Life Jackets

Lifejackets are highly recommended when rock fishing as they provide rock fishers with the highest level of safety when undertaking in the activity. As of 1 December 2016, a new law makes lifejackets compulsory for anyone who is rock fishing anywhere in the Randwick local government area (including children), and anyone who is helping them rockfish, to wear a lifejacket.

Safety Tips

Never fish by yourself and always inform others of your plans;

  • Fish in a group of at least three people and within sight of each other.
  • Always let friends or family know where you are going and when you’II be back.
  • If someone is washed in, one person can stay and help while the other alerts emergency services (dial 000).
  • Mobile phone users can also dial 112 to access emergency services.

Wear lightweight clothing;

  • Light clothing such as shorts and a spray jacket will let you swim easily If you are washed in. Jumpers may be heavy and difficult to take off.

Wear appropriate clothing;

  • Cleats, sandals and sandshoes with non-slip soles suit different surfaces. Use the appropriate shoes for the conditions.

Carry safety gear;

  • Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy vest. Also bring something buoyant that can be easily thrown and held onto, to help you stay afloat.
  • Carry ropes, a float and torches.

Fish only in places you know are safe;

  • Make sure you are aware of local weather, swell and tidal conditions before going fishing.
  • Never fish in exposed areas during rough or large seas.
  • Be aware that conditions may change dramatically in a short period of time.
  • Listen to weather forecasts or visit beachsafe.

Observe first, fish later;

  • Spend some time (at least 30 minutes) watching your intended spot before fishing to get an idea of the conditions over a full swell/wave cycle. Wave conditions can get worse as the tide changes – you should know whether the tides are high or low and coming in or going out.

Plan an escape route in case you are washed in;

  • Stay calm – if you are washed in, swim away from the rocks and look for a safe place to come ashore or stay afloat and wait for help to arrive.

Stay alert;

  • Don’t ever turn your back on the sea – if the waves, weather or swell threaten your fishing spot then leave immediately.