Plenty of mixed bags
  |  First Published: August 2009

It’s been a real mixed bag lately with squire, bigger snapper, tailor and some thumping big bream to boot, along with the usual Winter suspects – salmon, tailor, trevally and leatherjackets.

Luderick and drummer have been around as well, with some huge luderick taken around the Horseshoe Beach area.

Snapper should be moving into the gravel patches to spawn this month, although the water temperature has been fluctuating so they may be a little later this year. Remember if you hit a great number of schooling snapper, of course have some fun but let some go, they are our future and if they’re schooling in the shallows, odds are they are spawners.

My son and I spent a few hours soaking baits under Stockton bridge and a boat came in with some huge whiting. What’s going on? Summer and Winter species around at once and hopefully this month will be the same.

Some big bream have been around Stockton bridge, try worms or peeled prawns around the pylons.

The jewfish have been very quiet with little heard from some of the guns who never usually miss on the right moons.


We have lost a lot more fishing grounds around Newcastle. Now the whole of Kooragang is off-limits and soon the fishable harbour will be just two walls and boat fishing, and if the plan goes ahead with Nobbys light that will be gone, too.

Stockton side fishes well but is snag city. Kooragang Island is a sad loss, a lot of great fish have been taken around the point and down both channels where the river splits. The closure is either from dredging or more construction, I couldn’t find out as I was preparing this article but will let you know.

Offshore, there has been the usual school kingfish hanging around the buoy at North Reef.

Bream and especially tailor have been the bounty of many, don’t worry if you haven’t a huge boat to get out wide, the tailor have been schooling and feeding right at the mouth of the river so everyone can have a go.

Merewether has been plagued with trevally and the odd squire but this month the bigger snapper should move in.

Up a bit further north, the Dumping Ground has been giving up bream, squire and the odd flathead.

Trolling along Big Ben Reef should see you hook some good tailor as well as kingfish. Remember, this area is quite dangerous so stay a little wide, you will still find the fish.

Troll the points off Stockton and Nobbys for some tailor, Don’t forget in the calm around near the Adolph wreck at this time of year many squid hang out, including some big ones.

In the Hunter River, as well as those bream around Stockton bridge, the warm shallows in Fullerton Cove have had heaps of flounder. Flathead hang in the same areas for the same reason – a bit of warmth in the water.

In the harbour itself, those in boats have been flicking soft plastics around the wheat silos as they are loading. You can really clean up here, especially if you’re after yellowtail for live baits. Bream hang deeper and you never know what may show up but please keep out of the way of the work boats.

I have been contacted a few times about recreational fishing boats in the path of oncoming tugs and ships.

Once again I wonder why some people put themselves and their passengers in such danger. If there is surface fish action, let the boats past – the fish nine times out of 10 will return to feed again.

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