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Snapper still on
  |  First Published: June 2015



Winter is upon us again and while you may need a few more layers on and a bit of extra effort to pull yourself out of a nice warm bed, it will be worth it as June is a great time to be fishing Port Stephens.

We’ve had plenty of nasty weather with lots of rain over the past month, so the estuary has had a proper flush out. This is something that will only improve the fishing, especially this month.

The Anchorage and Nelson Bay rock walls as well as Little Beach and Tomaree’s torpedo tubes have been producing stacks of action for the luderick fishermen, and the good news is it will only get better over the next couple of months.

If you can’t catch a bream in Port Stephens at the moment, you’re doing something drastically wrong, as the critters are on just about every chunk of structure between Jimmys Beach and Garden Island. If bait fishing for them, the key is medium sized peeled prawns or live nippers, fish around the high tide with a 6-8lb leader and little or no sinker. For the lure guys chasing bream, all the usual haunts such as the walls around Soldiers Point and the Short Cut will produce this month.

Some big mulloway have come from the bay recently, as they always seem to do around this time of year. Young champion Jackson Butler scored a cracker 20kg specimen off Wanda Head that ate a live tailor just after dusk. There were numerous other big ones taken recently too, and the reports should continue to flow throughout June — particularly around the breakwalls and deeper 20-30m holes.

The beaches will fish well, as schools of salmon start to become more frequent along Stockton, Samurai and Fingal Bay. These are fantastic sportfish on light gear and it’s always great fun sight casting them in the surf on 20-40g metals.

Dawn and dusk periods will see quality tailor coming from Box Beach and around the Spit area at Fingal, with ganged pilchards or garfish the best thing to throw at them.

Another good option this month is to target mulloway from the beach, particularly down Stockton, Samurai and Fingal way. To greatly increase your chances, try live bait such as tailor or even a whiting (legal sized, of course) and make sure you are fishing the deeper gutters.

Off the rocks, and drummer and luderick should be in healthy numbers south of Fingal Bay, all the way down to Boat Harbour. Blue groper will be another popular target from now on through winter, and the best way to catch them is whole crabs cast around the edges of the wash zone. I prefer to let the bigger blues go as they are just so pretty. If I want a feed, I’ll take a smaller brown.

For the diehard LBG anglers, Tomaree will still be a chance for longtail tuna this month. The fish caught this late in the season are often exceptionally big.

There are also plenty of tailor and salmon to be spun up from the rocks around Box Beach, the Torpedo Tubes and Sunny Corner.

It’s also snapper time and plastics have been accounting for plenty of fish over the shallow reefs and bommies around Broughton Island and Edith Breakers. Bait fishing with unweighted baits down a berley trail will also prove productive for reds around Broughton, and closer in areas such as Big, Little and Fingal islands.

As always, if you’re chasing snapper, regardless of whether it’s bait or plastic fishing, prime time will be those low light periods of late afternoon and early morning.

Further offshore, plenty of kings to 10kg are lurking on Almark Mountain, with 300-400g jigs or live baits doing the job, and there’s still the odd striped marlin on the shelf.

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