If you can’t catch a fish in Port Stephens in April than it’s time to take up golf. The fishing is as good as it gets and the hardest part is often the decision on what to target.
Inside the estuary Soldiers Point has produced some absolute stonker bream around the oyster leases and rocky islands. Young gun Kailah Muxlow showed her dad how it’s done on a recent session casting a lightly weighted 2.5’’ Zman Grub into some gnarly country and wrestling out a 1.6kg monster. Surface lures have been an effective weapon on the bream lately and should continue to be for at least another month with any bit of shallow structure between Pindimar and Tahlee worth a cast at.
Dusky flathead are very active right now in the shallows through the lower end of the system from Soldiers Point back to the Heads, and anglers who throw soft plastics or hardbodied lures have reaped the most reward.
There’s been good numbers of mulloway coming from the deeper water around Middle Island, however you will probably have to weed through a few to find the legal ones as most fish are ranging from 50-80cm. If you’re after a larger model mulloway you will have more of a chance fishing either the Corlette Wreck, or along the Nelson Bay and Anchorage Rock-walls around the tide changes with live baits or fresh squid.
Garfish have taken up residency in among the moorings at Shoal Bay as well as over the other side of the port around Barnes Rock. The trick to catch them is plenty of bread for berley and to fish with a small piece of prawn on a short shank #10 hook suspended 30cm under a float. There’s also been plenty of squid getting around these same areas as well as under the lights at Little Beach with small quality jigs in the 2.0-2.5 sizes working best.
Longtail tuna are regularly sighted busting up through the Bay, especially in the early morning, so it may pay off to have that spin rod rigged up ready to cast if they happen to pop up within range.
The surf beaches at this time of year should still be holding excellent numbers of whiting in the gutters as well as a few bream. Live worms or pipis are the key to success.
Off the rocks, pelagics are in good numbers with tailor, salmon, kings, bonito and longtail tuna all a chance on spin gear from the headlands. Livebaiting under a float will also catch all of the above species as well as a chance of a prized Port Stephens cobia. Luderick will start to come on the chew from the ocean rocks especially from Boulder Bay south to Burubi.
Offshore it’s as good as it gets. If you’re livebaiting around the Islands and inshore reefs this month anything could happen with kings, cobia, black marlin, and longtail tuna all a possibility. The bumper trag season looks set to continue on for at least another month, with all the usual haunts such as the Gibber, Vee, 21 and Uralla reefs holding fish. Snapper fishing will improve with reds to 8kg hunting baitfish around the shallow reefs off Fingal and Broughton Island as well as up around Seal Rocks.
Out wide the current on the shelf has been relentless for most of the season which has made for a below average year on striped marlin – however, it should start to slow up this month and if it does expect to see a bit of late season stripes come through.
Photo courtesy of fishportstephens.comReads: 796