Gummy Shark Fishing Seasons Sydney

Gummy sharks (also known as flake) are commonly found in the waters around Sydney, Australia. While they can be caught throughout the year, there are certain seasons when they are more prevalent.

In Sydney, the prime seasons for catching gummy sharks typically run from late autumn through winter and into early spring. This period, roughly spanning from April to October, is considered the best time to target gummy sharks.

During these months, gummy sharks migrate closer to the shore in search of food and breeding grounds. They are more active in colder water temperatures, which is why they are commonly caught during the cooler months.

Gummy shark fishing eason Sydney

Gummy Shark Details

  • Size: 1.2m - 1.5m in length
  • Can grow to 2.5m
  • Weight: 10kg to 40kg
  • Food Rating: Excellent (known as flake)
  • Territory: Close to shore in colder waters, gutters and rocky structures. Shallow waters to 80 metres.
Gummy shark Sydney

About Gummy Sharks

The scientific name for the Gummy Shark is Mustelus antarcticus.

How to Identify a Gummy Shark

To identify a gummy shark, you can look for several distinguishing features. Here are some characteristics that can help you identify a gummy shark:

  • Body Shape: Gummy sharks have a slender and elongated body shape, which is similar to most shark species. They have a streamlined body designed for efficient swimming.
  • Colouration: Adult gummy sharks usually have a uniform grey or brownish-grey colouration on their upper body. The shade can vary depending on their habitat and age. Their underbelly is generally lighter in colour.
  • Fins: Gummy sharks have distinct dorsal fins, including a prominent first dorsal fin located closer to the head and a smaller second dorsal fin positioned farther back. The first dorsal fin is larger and more triangular, while the second dorsal fin is smaller and more rounded.
  • Head and Snout: Gummy sharks have a broad and slightly rounded snouts. Their eyes are medium-sized and positioned laterally on the head.
  • Teeth: Gummy sharks have sharp and serrated teeth, which are well-suited for catching and consuming their prey. Their teeth are larger and more pronounced near the front of their jaws.
  • Size: As mentioned earlier, gummy sharks can grow up to 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in length, although the average adult size is between 1.2 to 1.5 meters (4 to 5 feet).

Where to Find Gummy Sharks

Fishing around Botany Bay, Port Hacking, or the Royal National Park can increase your chances. Look for deeper sections, gutters, or rocky structures.

How to catch a Gummy Shark

Catching gummy sharks can be an exciting fishing experience. Here's a general guide on how to catch gummy sharks:

  • Research and Preparation: Familiarise yourself with local fishing regulations and obtain any necessary fishing licenses or permits. Research the best locations and seasons for gummy shark fishing in your area.
    Gather the appropriate fishing gear, including a sturdy fishing rod and reel, heavy-duty fishing line, hooks, sinkers, and swivels.
    Consider using a wire trace or a heavy monofilament leader to prevent the shark's sharp teeth from cutting the line.
    Prepare bait options such as fresh fish fillets, squid, or other oily and strong-smelling baits that gummy sharks are attracted to.
  • Selecting the Fishing Spot: Look for areas known to have gummy sharks, such as sand flats, rocky reefs, deep channels, or offshore structures.
  • Use local knowledge, fishing reports, or consult with experienced anglers to identify productive spots.
  • Setting Up Your Fishing Gear: Rig your fishing rod with a suitable line, leader, and terminal tackle according to the expected size of gummy sharks. Attach a sinker to the end of the line to help the bait sink to the desired depth.
  • Casting and Presenting the Bait: Cast your baited hook into the desired fishing spot, allowing it to sink to the appropriate depth where gummy sharks are likely to be found. Keep the line taut and be prepared for a bite. Gummy sharks are known for their powerful runs and fights.
  • Hooking and Landing the Shark: When you feel a bite or see the line suddenly tighten, wait for a moment before setting the hook. This allows the shark to take the bait fully. Once the shark is hooked, use a smooth and controlled motion to set the hook firmly. Prepare for a fight, as gummy sharks can put up a strong resistance. Gradually reel in the shark while maintaining steady pressure on the line. Take caution when landing the shark, ensuring your safety and the shark's welfare. Consider using a landing net or having assistance from experienced anglers to handle the shark properly.
  • Releasing or Keeping the Shark: Check local fishing regulations regarding the retention or release of gummy sharks. Some areas have size limits, bag limits, or conservation measures in place. If you plan to release the shark, handle it carefully to minimize stress and injury. Remove the hook gently and release the shark back into the water as quickly as possible.

What bait do i use to catch a Gummy Shark?

Gummy sharks are known to be attracted to strong-smelling and oily baits. Here are some common bait options that are effective for targeting gummy sharks:

Fresh Fish Fillets: Fresh fillets from oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, or tuna are popular choices for gummy shark bait. Cut the fillets into strips or chunks to create an enticing scent and presentation.

Squid: Whole or cut squid, particularly the heads or tentacles, can be effective bait for gummy sharks. Squid has a strong odor and is readily available at most tackle shops.

Eel: Fresh eel is another bait option that gummy sharks find appealing. You can use a whole eel or cut it into sections to maximize scent dispersion.

Pilchards: Pilchards, both fresh and frozen, are commonly used for gummy shark fishing. They are oily and emit a strong scent that can attract these sharks.

Whitebait: Whitebait or hardyheads, can be used successfully for gummy sharks. They are small fish that emits a scent that sharks find enticing.

When using these baits, it can be helpful to attach them securely to your hook using bait elastic or a bait needle to prevent them from easily coming off during casting or when the shark takes a bite.

Experimenting with different bait options can sometimes yield better results, as gummy sharks may have preferences depending on the location and prevailing conditions. It's also worth noting that fresh bait tends to be more effective than frozen bait, as it releases stronger scents.

On all our fishing and deep-sea fishing charters in Sydney, all you need to bring are the right clothes depending on the weather conditions. We will supply everything else including bait, fishing rods and reels and fishing licence. At the end of our fishing trip, you get to keep what you catch.  We have 4 purpose-built fishing boats that have all the facilities and amenities you require. We run afternoon and morning deep-sea fishing charters run all year.