A Port full of surprises
  |  First Published: June 2011

And you will be surprised at what you can catch at this time of year.

Fishing in the estuary is all about bream and luderick. The rock walls from North Arm Cove to Tomaree Headland are the areas to concentrate on as both species congregate to spawn.

Casting soft plastics parallel to the oyster racks on 1/20oz jig heads is a great way to get connected to a kilo or more of big blue-nosed bream but remember to lock that drag up and use minimum 10lb fluorocarbon leader.

Areas that will be successful this month will be in the lower half of the estuary such as Soldiers Point and Pindimar Bay, with the incoming tide most productive.

The rock walls are always loaded with bream and soft plastics and hardbodies will work well. I recently tested the new Strada Quika crankbait, which to my surprise nailed a 750gram bream on the first cast. Other lures to try include the ever-popular Jackall Chubby and the new Cranka lures.

Rohan from Castaway Charters has been also nailing plenty of bream. His wife, Alison, showed she can mix it with the best of them by nailing two fish over a kilo on the same day.

If your you love your luderick then head down to the Nelson Bay Breakwall or Tomaree Headland because fish up to 1.5kg are schooling in droves and are eager to suck down fresh green weed. It will be standing room only but there is usually enough room between the locals.

Be sure to use fluorocarbon leader of 6lb or less with fine gauge hooks such as the popular Owner Mosquito # 10.

It will also be worth an investigation at the wheelchair wharf at Little Beach but be there early because it can get crowded.

For squid, the beginning of Winter is always a great time to cast a squid jig, especially around Shoal Bay moorings and the weedy flats along Jimmys Beach. Paul had a fantastic session using the Yamashita Live and Yo-Zuri Aurie-Q jigs, nailing 10 squid in consecutive casts. The key to Paul’s success was to downsize to smaller jigs, between 1.5 and 1.8.

There is plenty of surface action inside the Bay and schools of salmon have been hunting down whitebait around Middle Island on the tide change. Metal lures of around 5g to 10g with the treble removed and a single hook added are perfect.

For the ultimate fun try using a 6wt to 8wt fly rod and small Surf Candy flies or Sea Threw Minnows. When the salmon are fussy, fly is the way to go.


Rock fishing is sensational with plenty of black drummer, bream and luderick around the washes. Paul and I recently had a fantastic potholing session with bream and drummer scoffing our peeled prawns on every cast. Try Boulder Bay, Boat Harbour and Fishermans Bay for best results.

Snapper are now in the washes and after a big sea they often feed on floating baits such as pilchards and garfish.

Tailor and salmon are prolific with the headland at Boat Harbour, One Mile Point and Box Beach your best chance early morning or late afternoon.

Beach fishing is great during Winter, especially when the offshore winds start to blow.

June is great for those travelling bream which school in the gutters. Birubi down to Stockton has some sensational gutters and you will do well just on sunrise. Fresh mullet fillets are by far the best bait.

Tailor and salmon will also be in the mix and you can catch salmon practically all day. Just look for the moving mass along the beach and cast small metal lures or blades ahead of the school, it’s a great way to stretch the braid on your bream outfit.


Its snapper time inshore and already reds up to 8kg have been caught, mainly on plastics such as the Gulp 6” Jerk Shad. Areas to concentrate on are the shallow bommies around The Sisters at Broughton Island, Edith Breaker and the back of Fishermans Bay.

Be sure to fish the tide changes and start your drift at least 200m from your target area so you don’t spook any fish that maybe feeding mid-water.

Wash fishing is always productive, with floating baits such as cunjevoi working well on bream, black drummer and groper, while ganged pilchards will attract the attention of tailor and snapper.

Out wider jigging for kings has been ideal as the current has backed off along the continental shelf. Allmark Mountain is most popular but there is one nice reefy area near the FAD that produces some great kingie action.

Bottom bashing in the deep is a Winter specialty with all manner of species to target including bar cod and snapper along the shelf and blue eye, hapuku and bass groper along the canyons. Be sure to check out www.tackleworldps.com

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