Plenty of action in the crossover period
  |  First Published: May 2017

There is plenty of action to look forward to this month with May being a real crossover period. This is the tail end of the season for many species and overlaps with the start of the season for other fish.

Inside the estuary there are still plenty of flathead on the chew. The best areas to chase them at this time of year will be around the top half of the bay from Soldiers Point through to the entrances of Tilligery and Karuah systems.

Bream will start to enter the estuary in big numbers this month. You should have no trouble getting stuck into them around most of the rock walls and bars, as well as oyster racks spread throughout the system, particularly around Soldiers Point through to the Short Cut. If you’re set up with an electric motor on your boat then casting small 2-3” plastics or shallow diving hardbodied lures around structure will prove lethal on the bream. If not, anchor up a casting distance away from some structure and send some unweighted yabbies or peeled prawns down a berley trail.

Longtail tuna should still be around in the bay for at least a couple more weeks, so it might pay to have a rod rigged up with a metal lure just in case these guys suddenly erupt around your boat.

Luderick are another fish that will start to ramp it up this month, so it will be well worth giving them a go around Tommaree Torpedo Tubes, Little Beach or the breakwalls.

Squid are spread along the weed beds through Shoal Bay and Jimmys Beach, with natural coloured jigs in 2.5 sizes working best.

From the surf beaches there have been good reports of tailor getting caught on first and last light along Fingal Bay up to the Spit as well as Box Beach and Samurai. Fresh garfish rigged up on a set of ganged hooks will no doubt be the best bait to target them with. A pilchard should also do the trick.

Fish with live worms on the beaches at this time of year, especially around the high tides and you should get rewarded with a real mixed bag. There’s plenty of whiting still around, and bream are starting to come on strong.

Bream, mullet and luderick are all migrating north along the beaches this month and will attract plenty of larger predators including mulloway. Large cut baits fished after dark from a mullet or salmon may tempt a big mulloway, but your best chance to get connected to one will be with something live such as a tailor or whiting (legal sizes, of course).

Off the rocks

It has been another good year on the LBG scene with plenty of longtail tuna and a few whispers of cobia being caught. The good news is it’s not over yet. May, especially the first couple of weeks, is still prime time for LBG species.

Plenty of smaller pelagics like mac tuna, tailor, salmon and bonitio are being spun up around Tommaree, Fingal Head and Sunny Corner. Drummer numbers will be on the increase this month and you should be able to pick a few up around Boulder Bay through to Rocky Point on the high tides.


While snapper are an all year round proposition in Port Stephens, May through to August are the prime months for them. Shallow reefs from 10-40m anywhere from Fishermans Bay all the way up to Seal Rocks will produce good reds at this time of year. It’s just a matter of fishing the right methods at the right times.

I recommend fishing dawn and dusk with lightly weighted 5-7” plastics on the drift or anchor up and cast unweighted baits down a berley trail.

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