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Port Stephens rocks in July!
  |  First Published: July 2016



Despite July being smack bang in the middle of winter, it’s always a good month for fishing in Port Stephens. If you can put up the cold, there’s some great fishing to be had with bream, luderick, drummer, tailor, salmon and snapper all on the chew.

Estuary

The luderick fishing out off Port Stephens at this time of year, particularly along the Nelson Bay Rockwall, is arguably the best you’ll find anywhere in Australia. The prime time to fish for them is around 1 hour before the tide change through to about 2 hours after. While weed has been a bit scarce locally, you should have no trouble getting yourself a bucket full of cabbage from the ocean rocks. Make sure that when you go collecting cabbage, it’s a low tide and a calm day.

It’s not hard to catch bream in Port Stephens right now and all you need to do is fish around high tide with a unweighted prawn or nipper and you will rack up big numbers of them with some pushing well over 1kg.

A few good areas to target them is off the rockwalls, Inside Nelson Bay Marina and off the Jetties at Shoal Bay and Little beach.

If you have access to a boat, the bream fishing is even better. Just about all the rocky islands, rock bars and oyster leases throughout the port will be holding bream.

Squid won’t be hard to find this month with Shoal Bay, Jimmys and Little Beach great places to catch them in the estuary.

There’s good mulloway to be caught on lures through the winter months with Oyster Cove, Karuah Bridges and the Salamander Wreck all worth a shot.

Off the rocks

Luderick are plentiful off the rocks this time of year, especially around calm bays and gutters that have lots of sea lettuce growing adjacent to the edges of the waterline.

Drummer, which are the bigger meaner cousins of luderick, are also peaking in numbers around the wash zone and will readily take a cunjevoi or peeled prawn. They also respond well to a bread mix berley. The beauty of fishing this way around the wash is you will also pick up plenty of welcome by-catch in bream and juvenile snapper right up to thumping blue grouper that call this area home.

Tailor and Australian salmon are another good option from the stones at this time of year, with early morning and late afternoon fishing around the Points and Headlands very productive.

Off the beach

The beaches often produce good numbers of mulloway with school-sized fish to about 10kg common. The best areas to try for a couple will be along Stockton and Hawks Nest beaches, as well as Samurai and One mile.

Keep an eye out this month for schools of salmon in the surf, which make for fantastic fun when throwing small metals or stickbaits, especially on lighter gear.

Fingal Spit will be worth the walk if you’re casting a few pilchards or garfish around for tailor with quality green backs to 2kg a real chance.

Outside

Regardless if your bait or lure fishing, there will be good numbers of snapper around this month from Fishermans Bay all the way to Seal Rocks. The secret is going to be concentrating your efforts around the shallow reefs during dawn and dusk times and moving onto deeper 30-50m when the suns up.

Al-mark Mountain is accounting for plenty of kingfish with 300-400g jigs doing the job, but if your feeling a lazy, live baits will also get scoffed. If you do go out to Al-mark it pays to have a bottom fish with plenty of tasty critters on offer in the way off longfin perch, snapper, bar cod and gemfish.

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