It’s all just too easy
  |  First Published: May 2007

If you can’t catch a fish at this time of the year then I think you should consider taking up golf.

May is one of the best months because the water is consistently warm, there are heaps of baitfish about and the weather is generally kind.

Inside the Port flathead are in a frenzy on Shoal Bay Beach, Bagnalls Beach and around Corrie Island.

The bream are also going great guns. Local champion Peter Raymond winched a monster 2.1kg specimen onto the co-op wharf after it ate a royal red prawn. This monster is only the second bream over 2kg that I have reported in over 20 years of writing about Port Stephens fishing.

School jewfish have assembled around the wreck in Corlette. Flounder have shuffled into the sand over the Middle Grounds and crabs continue to rumble around Swan Bay, Tahlee and Carrington.

Bream, flathead, whiting, tailor, jewfish and salmon are patrolling the beaches with the best effort from Stockton Beach champ Glenn Noble, who landed a massive 27.5kg jewfish on whiting gear – a No 4 long-shank hook, worm bait and light line. A pretty fair effort.

Rockhoppers are tap-dancing over the granite from Cemetery Point to Fingal and coming home with excellent reports of jewfish, tailor, luderick and kingfish.

Outside the heads the action has been frantic with the Coles boys bagging cracker snapper around Big Island, with young Matt landing the best reddie at a touch over 6kg. Snapper reports have been rolling in from Little Island, Fingal, Yacaaba and Rocky Point.

Kingfish are zooming around all the headlands from Fingal to Broughton Island and north to Seal Rocks. Teraglin are busy on the Uralla and Gibber reefs.

Sand flathead have gathered in big numbers over all the sandy expanses from Fingal to north of Broughton.

The full moon in May signifies to me the tapering off of the jewfish season. This does not mean that you can’t catch a jewfish for the rest of the year because many excellent big fish are taken into June and some as late as July.

It gets a bit cold and wild for me during the later months and this may well account for fewer fish being caught.


As an ‘old-fashioned’ fisherman, this huge swing away from traditional methods is difficult to accept and when it comes to soft plastics, I must surely be one of the very last cabs off the rank. For quite some time now I have persisted with bait when everyone around me has been tossing plastics.

Well, I finally made the switch! All I can say is that the results since changing have been unbelievable. I have caught a better quality of snapper and more of them at times during the day when I wouldn’t have expected to catch anything at all with bait.

It’s great to drift, saving me the laborious task of anchoring. No bait and no berley means no thawing out and no pilchards and prawns left in my top pocket to swim out in the laundry tub. The house is a happier place – I may even have to change my name!

Since joining the plastics team I have also grown to respect the qualities of braid in comparison with monofilament. Any of the tackle retailers will explain what is required to get started.

There is one thing that you don’t need – you don’t need to be clever. It’s easy, no tricks or fancy moves. Simply toss the plastic out and let it sink, lift it a couple of times then repeat the process. There is one variable that is vital to success and that is to toss the plastic in the right spot. There are a lot of places where fish aren’t.

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