Late winter fishing rocks!
  |  First Published: August 2016

While August is certainly not the best month of the year to be fishing out of Port Stephens, it’s by no means a write off, you just have to know what to target.

Inside the estuary there, should be schools of tailor busting up on first light anywhere from Shoal Bay through to the Anchorage.

While they are typically not monsters, a few of the better fish will be over 40cm and will provide a good bit of fun for those throwing a 10-20g metal or small stickbait at them on light gear.

Despite being absolutely caned over the past couple of months by pro netters, bream and luderick are still remain in good numbers. Luderick have been thick around Shoal Bay and Little Beach jetties, as well as both the break walls. Bream are also plentiful around the break walls, with anglers having the best success using unweighted baits on a tide change.

If you are fishing for bream from a boat, you can really take advantage of the endless amount of rock bars, oyster leases, rock islands and points that Port Stephens estuary systems offer, all of which will be holding bream at this time year.

Squid are lurking around the moorings at Shoal Bay, and also across the other side of the bay on Jimmys Beach over the weed flats with size 2.5 sized jigs working best. Night high tides can also prove productive on squid, especially around lit up areas that have light reflecting over the water line. Prime examples of such areas like this are Nelson Bay and Little Beach where the lights on the water attract baitfish and in turn squid, as well as other predators.

Off the rocks

The Luderick fishing from the ocean rocks is fantastic at this time of year, with the Torpedo Tubes, Box Beach, Barry Park and Boulder Bay all producing. If you can’t find any weed or cabbage, green weed flies are a great option from the rocks, and at times will be even more effective then the real stuff.

Plenty of drummer are being caught from Boulder Bay right through to Fishermans. Young champ Jack Hammond has been getting stuck into them lately, catching pigs up to a clunking 5.5kg.

There is some great tailor to be caught off the rocks at this time of year, with fish up to 3kg a very real possibility. The most popular spots to get into a few will be around Box Beach, Fingal Head and Sunny Corner.


Some good winter bream are holding at night in the protected corners of some of the ocean beaches like Kiddies Corner, Boat Harbour and Kingsley.

Salmon schools are moving along most of the beaches within casting range of a ganged pilchard or 40g metal.

Just before dark, tailor have been ravenous according to reports coming from anglers fishing the gutters on Stockton, Samurai and Fingal.


Snapper are still the main target for anglers this month, and while the season hasn’t been as good as last year, there’s still plenty around.

The shallow reefs in 10-20m of water off Fishermans Bay and around Broughton Island and Edith Breakers have been working well for those throwing soft plastics. It’s important to not go too heavy or too light on your jighead when fishing for reds over these shallow reefs. I find 1/4oz and 3/8oz heads to give the ideal sink rate that big reds can’t resist.

Unweighted baits down a berley trail has also been accounting for a stack of reds this month around Broughton Island. Other islands out the front have also been producing.
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