Crossover month brings trophy catches
  |  First Published: May 2016

Make the most over the next few weeks because May through to June is always a very productive window of fishing as you have the tail end of the season for some species overlapping with the start of season for others.

This gives plenty of options with fish like bream, luderick, drummer, tailor and snapper on the upswing while longtail tuna, kingfish, dusky flathead and whiting are all still worth targeting.


Inside the estuary, flathead are still very active with the back half of the bay the best section to fish as lizards make their way upstream after coming down to spawn during the warmer months. This will mean anywhere west of Soldiers Point through to the mouth of the Tilligery and Karuah rivers will fish very well, particularly for those working soft plastics or hardbodies over the shallow flats.

It’s travelling season for bream and luderick, meaning big numbers of both of these species will be pushing into the system this month. Luderick from here on through to around September will be a very reliable target from the Nelson Bay and anchorage rock walls along with Little Beach Jetty and Tomaree Torpedo Tubes.

Bream numbers will also be peaking over the next few months, with just about every bit of structure between The Boulders at Yaccabar to the oyster leases at the bottom end of the Karuah River holding fish.

There will be mulloway hanging in 20-40m of water around Soldiers Point with live baits or fresh squid fished on a tide change being your best chance to get connected to one. The Corlette Wreck and both break walls will also be worth a crack at a mulloway this month with again tide changes being the key to success.


May is probably the best month for the entire year to chase a beach mulloway and it’s no surprise why. There’s so much tucker moving along the beaches in the way of schools of travelling mullet, luderick and bream.

If you’re serious about catching one, get yourself some fresh squid or even better, a live bait, and spend the night fishing a nice deep gutter on either Stockton, Samurai or Hawks Nest Beach.

Whiting are still on the beaches and with live worms you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting stuck into a few, and at the same time, pick up a few bream as well.

Early mornings and late afternoons along Samurai, Fingal Bay and Box Beach spent casting garfish or pilchards should result in good catches of tailor with quality greenbacks to 2kg often around this time year.

Off the rocks

As long as there is some good water pushing in, it’s not going to be too late to get yourself hooked up to a longtail tuna with the legendary rock ledge at Tomaree without a doubt the best place to find one.

There’s plenty of fun to be had off the rocks right now for those casting 30-60g lures with good numbers of tailor, salmon and bonito coming from most of the points and headlands anywhere from Middle Rock to the stones at Box Beach.


Offshore, the snapper fishing always steps up a gear or two in May and I managed to get out for a session a few weeks ago and scored some crackers to 9kg, which is a great sign as it’s very early in the season.

While throwing plastics for snapper around Edith Breakers at Seal Rocks is hard to beat for consistency, you don’t need to go anywhere near that far to catch quality reds out of Port Stephens. There’s some fantastic snapper fishing to be had close by at Fingal, Big and Little islands as well as the shallow reefs around Broughton.

The most important thing regardless of if you’re throwing plastics of floating lightly weighted baits down a berley trail is to fish the dawn and dusk periods.

Some big kings are still haunting the shallows around Broughton with live baits by far the best method to hook up to one.

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