Snapper Success
  |  First Published: October 2003

The wicked westerly winds of Winter have abated and we’re in the midst of “one of the best snapper seasons for many years”, according to Greg Harrison, local snapper sniffer. Those in the know have been boating some very fine fish as well as being done on heavy tackle over many of the inshore reefs. On a cool, overcast late August morning Wayne Coles snared a trophy 8.5kg red that took so much time and effort that it was hoisted aboard Duffy’s boat Uptha with great relief!

It’s fantastic to see the snapper making a bit of a comeback (many of us thought they could have soon been on the endangered list) but we still need to be careful to only take what’s needed and release the rest for seasons to come.

Flathead are becoming active in the Port. They feed on small squid, prawns and baitfish, so any natural bait that resembles these is ideal – although the best results often fall to soft plastic lures. Many people ask me about the best colour when using soft plastics for flathead but I don’t have a ‘be all and end all’ answer. I start with something darkish in dark-coloured water and something bright in clear water.

October and November are the best months for flathead, with great catches being taken from Karuah, Tilligery and right throughout the Port to the Mile and the Heads.

On the beach

Whiting and jewfish are starting to stir in time for summer. Whiting will be moving along the beaches in what has been predicted great numbers after our bumper year last year. Beach worms are a fantastic bait for most beach spots and are readily available from many of the tackle shops in the area. Worms are also great bait on the jewfish that cruise the deep holes in the dead of night in search of a midnight snack.

Rockfishing scene

Blackfish are still reported to be in good numbers along the rocks and washes from Birubi to Broughton. Greenweed or sea cabbage is the most popular bait, although Anna Bay blackfish angler Steve has been using an artificial weed fly to tempt some quality fish.

Drummer are still haunting the washes, and the best bait option at this time of year is bread. Berley with some old, stale bread and bait up with some nice fresh bread and you can’t go wrong.

1) At the moment Port Stephens is experiencing one of its best snapper seasons for years.

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