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Old fishing pics around Sydney Harbour


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Rock fishermen positioning themselves on "Ben Buckler fishing rocks" at North Bondi using a rope pulley. The practice was outlawed by the Council in the 1970's after several tragedies. (Ern Mc Quillan - National Australian Archives)



A triumphant angler who was an American prolific author of Westerns, Zane Grey who is posing with the tiger shark he caught. He broke the record for the largest shark caught with a rod and reel, weighing 1036 pounds (470kgs). He is surrounded by spectators on the beach and in boats in Watsons Bay on 10th April 1936. Photographed by Percy James Bryant (City of Sydney Archives)



Any Sunday at Watsons Bay in 1966 and a boat has docked at the Sydney Game Fishing Club, with the "catch of the day". Photo by Lawrence Le Guay. (National Library of Australia)



Fishing from the wharf at Neilsen Park in the 1950's had plenty of support, albeit with disruption as the ferry from Circular Quay arrived with more swimmers some of whom would also fish. Those fishing were inconvenienced but unmoved as a good spot wasn't to be given up easily. City of Sydney Archives (Graeme Andrews Working Harbour Archives) 



The pursuits of happy schoolkids during the Christmas school holidays in December of 1938. Young boys fishing at Rushcutters Bay but concensus of opinion requires correction to Rose Bay. The newspaper archive obviously got it wrong. SMH Fairfax Archives.



Coogee Beach 



Gordons Bay




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Awesome photos Donna ! 
I get to see a lot of the photos that they put up on the building sites in Sydney - usually pictures of that particular spot in the early 1900s, always fascinates me how things have changed ! I did hunt around on the archives site but couldn’t  find any pictures of Sydney or fishing in the 20th century - maybe my google king fu wasn’t working 🤔 I do wonder though how that kid got out to that pole without getting wet and if he realised that wearing his cap sideways would become a trend 40 years later 😂

I remember fishos dropping a line at circular quay when I was a kid ( mid 70s) sadly I don’t see them there anymore , it seemed that everyone fished back then !

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Wow these photo's have special significance to me-

The first one is actually 'Bird Island' at Bondi Murk. The cables out were 'privately owned' and padlocks jammed tight on the cables prevented others going out in their own bosun's chairs. There were 'lockers' built into the wall where the gear was stored. Two of the guys from Eastern Suburbs Anglers who fished with us at the Mattens (1km north) told us how they used to go out there and 'bounce' their simple chairs over 2 padlocks so they could fish the spot.

Zane Grey donated much of the gear he used in Australia and it ended up in the now long closed 'Australian Fishing Museum' which was located at Birkenhead Point. I worked there for a year and we'd allow visitors to handle most of the tackle while in the company of a museum staff member. Many of his early reels were like giant 'centrepins' with a leather brake-pad that was applied manually.

First Marlin I ever ate was given out by the game fishers after weighing at Watsons Bay. They cut 2 up and handed out steaks to anyone who wanted some- I was about 12 and there on a family picnic. Went to see the fish being weighed and the fisher's just offered it to everyone on the wharf as they had 3 Marlin on board.

Can lay claim to one of the last people to fish Nielsen Park wharf, my mate Fraser and I spent a cold Autumn night on there after being dropped off by boat to fish a Sydney Metro Estuary Comp. There was no access to the wharf from the land by that stage, after a huge storm had removed the connection to the shore, leaving about a 10mtr gap over the water. Shame they decided to remove the old structure as it was a 'fish magnet' that attracted heaps of fish and a great spot for many species from Luderick to Kingfish.

Gordons Bay Amateur fisho's club were right in the proposed marine park and wouldn't have been able to fish safely close-in if the proposal hadn't been blocked. The bay featured on the news late in 2022 when enormous seas destroyed some of the boat storage area and washed a few boats out. The bay itself is a marine sanctuary and popular with divers.

Thanks for posting these pics Donna, they're great!

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I used to go down to the weigh in at Watsons Bay. Some of the sharks caught were unbelieable.

Ben Buckler is a lot easier to fish these days. It is still dangerous when the big seas are on.

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