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Swimming in Sydney Harbour


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Hi Fishraiders,

I was wondering how the general Sydney fishing community felt about swimming in the harbour.

I have been dioing it for 30 years or more ( mostly along the inner beaches on south head) but recently, I caught glimpse of a shark in the habour around sow and pigs reef and I am now getting a little paranoid.

The statistic say that its very unlikely... more chance of dying in a car crash on the way to the harbour, not fatal attacks in 50 years... still... I am losing my confidence and I am beginning to hear the jaws music eveytime I take a dip!

Many of you will have heard of the Bull Shark tagging program where more than 30 sharks are tagged and being tracked as they roam around Manly, the spit and up the river as far as Parramatta. Take a look at this map

I wonder how many must be in the harbour becuse they can't have tagged them all. Could there be hundreds?

It is clear that the fish life in the harbour has increased so I guess the shark numbers will follow and the risk will be increased.

Let me know what you think

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A woman was killed the other day not a couple of hundred meters from where I was fishing at the time... I don't trust salt water swimming at the best of times, that just reinforced my paranoia. The only way I will get in the surf aside from knee deep with a rod in my hands is if there is a beach full of swimmers around me so one of them gets munched first. I see sharks all the time when fishing ranging from hammerheads (most frequent) to makos to bronzies to bulls and even a white pointer once which swam on its side right underneath the tinny I was fishing in eyeballing me as he went under the boat. There is no way in hell I would swim by myself in the briney.


Edited by Trout Stalker
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I used to go snorkelling for octopus, spent lots of time doing it, until I saw the spine tingling sight of a very fat 2.5m+ bull shark swim under me (coming toward me).

That was 10+ years ago and my snorkelling gear still sits in the garage at my parents house. The fear stayed with me.

You've probably swam right along side one and not realised it. There was a thing on the news tonight where Kelly slaters go pro cam on his surf board captured this short clip


If you've got doubts, it's probably your gut, and usually the gut is right.


If it's to good to be true, it usually is...

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Swim all the time in the harbour and the parra but usually with friends

My saying if your scared of being killed by a shark you should be scared by getting in a car

I guess so.. But there wasn't any sharks in my car last time I looked. (Sorry , couldn't help that!)

I guess what I am looking for is other opinions to balance out what might be an irrational fear.

Cars are clearly more dangerous but for most, sharks tap into some scary primal predator fear... well certainly into mine anyway.


P.S I enjoy reading your posts and comments . You are a knowledgeable young fisho. Good to see!

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Meh......... Pollution, cancer, a bus, a shark, nuclear winter, reaching into a rock pool to grab a crab and a blue ring gets you, you'll go one way or the other. Live life, worry about it when you have too. Nothing better than swimming out the back past the breakers on a surf beach ;)

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I do belive in fate, but you can also tempt fate, put yourself in harms way long enough and you'll become a statistic

If it's to good to be true, it usually is...

Good Call,

Tempting fate, I suspect, is diving off the wharf on the edge of a dropoff, at dawn when there's a school of mullet nearby.

Might save my early morning swimming for the enclosure at Neilson Park.

Incidentally, never really worried about this until I recently, I guess maybe you get a little more cautious as you get older.


Edited by fragmeister
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