Recreational fishing gear

There are restrictions on the number and types of recreational fishing gear you can use.

It is the fisher’s responsibility to be aware of the regulations that apply to their method of fishing. Check that all of the fishing gear you use meets legal specifications.

Fishing gear that is not compliant may be seized and forfeited.

Fishing gear requirements

Before fishing with anything other than a rod or handline you must check:

  • that you are allowed to use it for fishing
  • how many of each kind can be used at one time
  • that the gear conforms to legal specifications
  • whether the gear must be registered
  • whether the gear must be marked with buoys and tags.

Permitted fishing gear information.

Registering your fishing gear

The following fishing gear must be registered before use:

Marking your fishing gear

Some fishing gear must also be marked with a tag and/or buoy.

Learn how to correctly mark your fishing gear.

Release weight

A release weight is designed to rapidly send a fish back to the depth from which it was caught.

Recreational fishers are encouraged to carry a release weight on board their vessel in the event that undersized or unintentionally fish are caught.

A release weight is most commonly a 40 oz. lead sinker attached to a circle (barbless) hook that has a loop at the top to attach a heavy retrieval line.

The following approach is recommended:

  • attach the release weight to a rod or handline prior to fishing
  • attach the release weight through the upper jaw/top lip of the fish
  • place the fish in the water and allow for water to run through and over the gills prior to releasing the fish
  • let the attached line run free as the fish is released
  • detach the release weight from the fish by a tug on the line when it reaches the bottom.

NOTE: During the South East water open season (1 February to 31 October) Snapper can only be targeted by those that hold the current year recreational and/or Charter Boat fishing tag. Find out more about Snapper rules and limits for fishing in the South East. Before attempting to target a Snapper the valid tag holder must also carry a release weight.

Page Last Reviewed: 27 Jul 2017
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