The Spit surfaces
  |  First Published: October 2015

October really is a top month for fishing in Port Stephens. The tail end of the season will see luderick, drummer, tailor, and salmon begin to taper off as flathead, jewfish, and whiting numbers surge.

Allworth Flathead Classic

Reports from Taylors Beach through to Mud Island, and from North Arm Cove to the branch in the Karuah River all indicate one thing – estuary flathead are really starting to fire this month. Shore based anglers should also be able to pick up a few flatties by throwing plastics or hard bodies along sunset beach at Soldiers Point. This month the Allworth Flathead Classic is being held again on the 24th and 25th This is a great competition and is well worth attending as there is always a lot of fun to be had, and even better - some great prizes to take home. With the promise of a great month of flathead fishing, this is a comp not to be missed!

firing on the beach

Mulloway should be a high priority on your hit list this month particularly in the estuary with the surrounding deeper water. Middle Island is worth a shot with a live bait or fresh squid during the tide change. The bridges at Karuah and the Corlette Wreck may prove fruitful for jewfish. There are still plenty of squid among the moorings at Shoal and Nelson Bay as well as lurking in the weed beds on the other side along Jimmys Beach. Luderick are proving scarce along the Nelson Bay rock wall, however, make the effort to get fresh weed or cabbage and work the tide changes and you should be able to rustle up your bag limit. Kingfish usually start to make an appearance along the Nelson Bay Rock-Wall this month and the best way to target them here will be with live or very fresh squid. When in the mood, especially around first light kingfish can smack a 90-150mm Stick bait or Popper. Worth a throw!

The Spit

Whiting have started to show up in reasonable numbers around Fingal, Samurai and Stockton. To have the best success on whiting use live worms and fish the deeper gutters on the high tide ideally late in the afternoon or early morning. Tailor have been active on first and last light towards the Spit at Fingal with both Pillies and metal spinners getting results. For the first time in years, the sand at the Fingal Spit has built up enough to allow crossing – something I was fortunate enough to experience. This is a fantastic opportunity to get some great fishing in for species such as; Drummer, Groper, Tailor, Squid, and Snapper.

If you are going to venture across to the island be aware that you are only able to cross it on the low tide. This means you either make a quick visit for a couple of hours, or stay for at least 8 hours until its safe to cross again on the next tide


While the Snapper fishing in September didn’t really live up to expectations, October should be better with bait schools starting to stack up on the inshore reefs this month. This should mean popular areas like Edith Breakers, The Gibber, Broughton Island as well as Big, Little and Fingal Island will be productive particularly in the early mornings and late afternoons. The increase in bait schools this month should also see reports of pelagics like kingfish become more frequent around the islands. A slow trolled live bait will be your best way to connect with this freight train of a fish.

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