Snapper in close
  |  First Published: December 2010

We have some great fishing around this area at long last. Fish are everywhere and the biggest news is the snapper in size and numbers over the close reefs from Redhead to Seal Rocks.

The close reefs have as snapper, school jewfish, mahi mahi and teraglin as well as some huge nannygai and big bream.

A good berley trail and just a small bump on the water of an afternoon seem to combine to produce the optimum conditions for snapper catches.

Reefs such as the Pine Trees, Marble and North Reef are all holding good numbers of fish but you have to get past the school kingfish first. They are in plague numbers over some of the close reefs and unfortunately are just under the 65cm legal size by just a few centimetres. A lot of anglers who have been targeting other species have been ending up with a kingfish per drop.

In the past few weeks things have shaped up nicely on all fronts.

The beaches are firing with sand whiting and good-sized bream taking pipis, worms and peeled prawns.

In the late afternoon some small schools of tailor are turning up in some places, with half-pilchard baits meant for the bream being taken by these choppers.

School jewfish of 9kg to 12kg are exclusively taking live bait, moon or no moon. A few good catches on live yellowtail have come from North Reef and the oyster reef just out from Stockton Wall.


In Newcastle Harbour, flathead, bream, whiting, flounder and chopper tailor are about and blue swimmers are there from Stockton through to Sandgate.

Most fish have been in the Northern Channel with some good catches of bream taken around the first of the mangrove stands up west of the bridge.

Flathead are making a show with a few nice duskies out from Koooragang Island, on drifted pilchards.

Closer to the mouth of the harbour, whiting and squid and chopper tailor are around and if the tailor stay it won’t be long before some good jewfish are there, too, They eat choppers like lollipops so fingers crossed the tailor hang around.

The walls are fishing OK for bream at night and some squid during the days.

The wreck side of Stockton wall is the best bet for those seeking live yellowtail and the odd slimy mackerel for those wanting to bait up for sharks or jewfish in the evenings.

An incoming tide topping off just around dark should see you connect to something.

All the little prawn trawlers start working nights from about now, especially around Hexham. Beware of them and try to stay out of their way because most of them won’t alter course if you’re anchored in the middle of the river.

Around Raymond Terrace a few bream anglers are catching bass as well. The stretch’s of rocks between the twin bridges is worth a try for bream and bass.

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