Fish flocking to Batemans Bay’s latest FADs

RECREATIONAL fishers venturing out to sea should have a greater chance at fishing success over the holiday period with the deployment of fish aggregating devices (FADs) now complete at 25 locations along the NSW coast. 

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fisheries enhancement manager, Heath Folpp, said FADs were strategically placed at key fishing spots along the coast each year over the warmer months to improve recreational fishing opportunities. 

“Deployment has been completed on the North Coast with FADs in place in the Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Evans Head areas,” Dr Folpp said. 

“Further down the coast FADs have been deployed at Crowdy Head, Forster, Port Stephens and Newcastle. 

“Deployment on the South Coast provides opportunities for fishers in the Batemans Bay and Eden areas. 

“Full details of where each FAD is located can be found online at the DPI fish aggregating device web page.” 

FADs are yellow, spherical buoys with a flashing beacon for safe navigation, which tend to attract surface-dwelling fish such as mahi-mahi and other fast growing pelagic fish. 

“Fish are attracted to the structure of the FAD, possibly for use as a resting place or geographical reference point,” Dr Folpp said. 

“Anglers appreciate FADs because they create new fishing opportunities, while easing the pressure on existing popular fishing reefs and spots. 

“FADs have proven increasingly popular with anglers since they were first installed in 2002.” 

The FAD program is funded through the NSW Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust using monies raised from the recreational fishing licence fee. 


Children eager to learn about fishing during school holidays have the opportunity to get tips from the experts by attending a Department of Primary Industries (DPI) fishing workshop. 

Workshops are planned for January at Batemans Bay, Merimbula, Lake Illawarra and Jindabyne over the Christmas school holiday period. 

DPI education officer Stephen Thurstan said the workshops would provide participants aged between eight and 14 years with the chance to learn basic fishing skills. 

“Children attending the workshops will learn about recreational fishing rules, sustainable fishing practices, native and introduced fish species and aquatic habitats,” Mr Thurstan said. 

“Participants will be taught casting, knot tying, setting up their own rod and reel, and how to play a fish in the morning session. 

“In the afternoon, they get to practice those skills when they go fishing. 

“After the workshop, the kids will have the skills and equipment to be able to go fishing, which is a great activity to keep them occupied over the school holidays. 

“Local Fishcare volunteers will be on hand at each workshop to help the next generation of anglers learn about one of Australia’s favourite pastimes from experienced experts.” 

Fishing workshops will be held from 10am to 2pm at Batemans Bay (January 9), Merimbula (January 10), Lake Illawarra (January 15), and Jindabyne (January 18 and 19). 

The fishing workshop program is one of many initiatives implemented by the NSW Government using funds from the NSW Recreational Fishing Trusts to improve fishing opportunities across the State. 

Each workshop costs $40 a child, which includes a quality rod and reel, hooksafe, tackle box, shirt, hat and a BBQ lunch. 

Parents are encouraged to ensure children participating have plenty of sunscreen, bring along a drink bottle for water and wear enclosed footwear. 

Numbers are limited to a maximum of 25 children a day and bookings are essential. 

To secure a place please call Stephen Thurstan on 0438 245 190. 

For more information on the program, visit the DPI Fishing Workshop Fishing Workshop web page.

See you on the water,

Rob Paxevanos

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