71 posts in this topic

G'day Raiders,

With the holiday season fast approaching I receive many PM's asking for places to fish LB, ocean, rock estuary etc. I generally respond to all at length and provide as much information as I can to give our members the best possible chance to catch fish.

So what I am writing here is an overview of the area and most of the general locations that are productive year round.

I do not claim that this will guarantee that you will catch a trophy fish or your bag limits, nor do I claim that I am some fishing god of port stephens (far from it), this is merely a summary to assist any member travelling to port stephens, based on my approximately 20years experience of fishing the area.

Estuary and the bay-

Probably the most productive place in the bay would be the breakwall in nelson itself. You can catch many species there from bream, luderick kingfish and even jew. This wall offers land based fishing and those fortunate to have a boat can make the most of the deep channels that run off it.

The wreck at corlette offers the chance of that elusive jew also and can resemble a carpark this time of year. The bay has many places that you can catch flathead and whiting. Drifting any of the beaches within the bay in 2-5m of water around an afternoon high tide is best time to target flathead. LB fishos can do the same thing walking and casting lures. My favourite lure for chasing flatty is a 100mm bloodworm wriggler or 80mm silver fox. When it's warm, a 5inch jerk shad in pilchard is a killer. The whiting are in numbers year round and most are trumpeter whiting which have no legal size limit and taste the same as their cousins. (sand whiting)

Fishing the racks from soldiers point to tiligerry creek will pay dividends on your bread and butter species also. North arm cove is a great spot for these as well, but it may also pay to take a few crab traps when there on as you can be handsomely rewarded. If your trying to hide from the N/E winds can be tough but hawks nest/tea gardens is your best bet and can produce thumping flatty up there, especially with the run of the prawns. I've heard of a few unstoppable jew in 3-4m of water there too around the bridge pylons.

Middle Island adjacent the boat ramp also has some deep holes and many of jew have been caught there too.

Bait: There are plenty of area's in the bay to collect bait. You can pump nippers at corlette or taylors beach at low tide. The wharf at soldiers point often holds slimies, yakkas and garfish. Squid is any weedy patch within the bay but the most productive spot is shoal bay just before the heads. Live whiting for jew in the bay is gun bait.

My theory on fishing the bay is that the bay fishes best 2hrs before low to low. This is when I've caught most of my jewfish especially if it coincides with a low light period. With the exception of the late afternoon flatty session at high tide.

Rock fishing-

First of all I must say that I practice rock safety and there are many places that are fishable but can change at a moments notice. You can fish anywhere between Birubi Point, Fingal Bay and Tomaree headland. These areas hold a variety of fish and constantly changes with the season.

To name a few spots that are the most productive are: cemetery point anna bay, any of the headlands of boat harbor and boulder bay, sunny corner at one mile and of course tomaree headland itself. There are people on this forum with way more experience than me from the stones, so I wont go into methods and techniques but you are able to catch anything from snapper to longtail at some of these locations.

Beaches-

The obvious stand out for this area is Stockton beach and is 39km long and only accessible by 4wd for the most part. You are able to fish at Birubi and walk up but most of the deep channels are further up the beach. The best area is about 7km north of the signa wreck and is where the most channels are. During the winter months, this is a gun spot to chase jewfish on the run of the mullet.

Fingal beach at the spit is a great place to throw lures for flatty and whiting but be cautious with the tide flow and sand banks. Many of tourist have drowned in this area thinking they can walk to the island.

The south end of wreck beach and box beach on low light periods will produce salmon and tailor. You can use a variety of baits and lures and is generally a very quiet area away from the crowds.

Middle rock at one mile will produce almost anything and can be another great area to target jewfish. I've caught a few there and the channels near the rock itself are worth a shot. The other side is Samuri beach which is another great beach to fish from but it comes with a warning as it is a NUDE beach and only accessible by 4wd. (take whatever tackle you want :whip: )

Baits: Beach worms, mullet fillets and pilchards I find are they best baits to use in these areas

Ocean-

During the summer months if you are heading offshore there are many of places you target different species. The islands out the front of the headlands area great place for a not so confident or new to boating destination for trolling or fishing islands and the washes chasing snapper. In saying this, know your limits! The entrance to the headlands can be a dangerous area to navigate and is known as "the rips". That is because you can often be faced with a southerly wind, an exiting tide and an easterly swell, all bouncing off the headlands and makes it like a washing machine.

The islands out front normally hold many bonito and the best method is trolling. The occasional kingfish is caught there, as well as fishing the washes early morning for snapper. Unweighted baits thrown into a burley trail should produce a few.

Broughton Island is the go to place, my favourite spots in this area are, the sisters, cod rock and north rock. Other areas worth mentioning are, the gibber, the little gibber, 21 and airforce reefs, the V and the pinnacles. All of these marks can be found in the GPS section of this forum in which I placed a post GPS Marks Port Stephens.

The landmines or fish traps east from broughton in about 100-120m of water will hold dollies during the warmer months.

Seal rocks is also a great place to fish but remember, it's a long way in a trailer boat and requires a fair amount of fuel.

Marlin: Well if you come here to chase marlin then there is no need for any information because your guess is as good as mine!

Bait:

It is plentiful up here and doesn't require much effort usually. Out the front of tomaree headland 30m near the big crack (mrs murphys) is a great place for slimy and yakkas.

There is also bait station at cabbage tree island. Be cautious as this is a sanctuary zone and bait fishing only. No dropping anchor either.

Notes:

There are many sanctuary zones up here and it is your responsibility to have maps and know the area you are fishing. They are patrolled regulary and my advise to anyone heading offshore would be to have the appropriate equipment as well.

Marine rescue operate 24/7 and it is worth checking in before leaving the bay. Don't forget to check off though.

Well, I hope that has given you some insight into this area. I'm often out and about in the area's I've just described, so please feel free to say hi or come and join me. I'll be in a haines hunter 470 breeze with SCRATCHIE written on the boat.

And please, whether you are land based or fishing from a boat, TAKE YOUR RUBBISH WITH YOU!

Tight lines all,

Cheers scratchie!!!

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What a great detailed and comprehensive report, You really are a wealth of information

Thank you.

Geoff

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Great effort mate :thumbup: & full of info - should go into the articles section.

Cheers

Blood Knot

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Great effort mate :thumbup: & full of info - should go into the articles section.

Cheers

Blood Knot

Yes it is pinned for a start John :)

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Sorry, thought I pinned it. Thank you! :)

and I whacked some more tags on it too :)

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Coming up Thursday arvo mate staying at little beach again chasing big reds and kings, your article could not of come at a better time! Appreciate the genuine effort!!! might see you if around LB ramp over the weekend....cheers Ribs

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Coming up Thursday arvo mate staying at little beach again chasing big reds and kings, your article could not of come at a better time! Appreciate the genuine effort!!! might see you if around LB ramp over the weekend....cheers Ribs

I'll be out all weekend as it is fish comp week!

Look out broughton, here I come!

Hopefully the weather is kind to us! :)

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Spent the weekend at Shoal Bay. Didn't fish as with the family. Helped some kids out on the jetty. They were having a ball catching 15cm yakkas in tthe evening but no one there in the morning at 6am as big bream cruised around the weed and pilons.

Come high tide there were sizeable luderick fighting for position to feed in the storm water outlet on the western side of the jetty. About 1m of water and directly next to the jetty. Don't know where weed is though. Sure scratchie can help with that.

Some bread and fish berley at dusk had some bigger fish coming past the jetty but i think they were just really big yakkas.

Do the maps from fisheries/maritime have the sanctuaries scratchie? Was looking at shark island...

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Great info there, Jeff! Thanks! Hope I can get up there again in Feb. Won't make it before Chrissy and I don't do school hols!

Funny that you mentioned Samurai beach... I spent about a year at Sunshine Beach near Noosa in Qld back in the 80s and sometimes walked around the headland to fish the next beach in Alexandria Bay, which is a nude beach. I remember one time I was kneeling down rebaiting and male voice asked, "Catching anything, mate?" I replied, "Got a couple of tailor so far", looked up and copped an eyeful of another type of tackle! That was a shock to the system , I tell you!

Cheers,

Baz

Edited by Berleyguts

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Spent the weekend at Shoal Bay. Didn't fish as with the family. Helped some kids out on the jetty. They were having a ball catching 15cm yakkas in tthe evening but no one there in the morning at 6am as big bream cruised around the weed and pilons.

Come high tide there were sizeable luderick fighting for position to feed in the storm water outlet on the western side of the jetty. About 1m of water and directly next to the jetty. Don't know where weed is though. Sure scratchie can help with that.

Some bread and fish berley at dusk had some bigger fish coming past the jetty but i think they were just really big yakkas.

Do the maps from fisheries/maritime have the sanctuaries scratchie? Was looking at shark island...

Great addition to the bay that jetty at shoal bay! Spinning for tailor on a high tide is great.

Weed can be found searching the rocks between Anna bay and fishermans. My stash is at boat harbour but don't tell anyone! :)

Yes, the maps supplied by maritime do have the marine parks and you can get them free from any tackle store! DO NOT get caught fishing these areas! There are no warnings and will add some serious $$$ to your trip/holiday.

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Access to ramps.......

The main two ramps are soldiers point and little beach. They are both 12mins from Anna bay.

Soldiers has 3 jetties and is pretty much protected for all winds. It is half way up the bay and closer towards karuaha and tea gardens. It is also 12km to the headlands. Little beach, is a ramp with no jetty but is closer to the heads if your fishing outside. All ramps in the bay are difficult in westerly winds but are not affected by swell.

During the dec-apr period, most afternoons you will encounter north easterly winds.

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Careful with the little beach ramp also - it has a lot of beach goers during the hotter months so just keep an extra eye out when your coming in. Especially if there is a queue and you have to loiter around waiting for your turn.

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Careful with the little beach ramp also - it has a lot of beach goers during the hotter months so just keep an extra eye out when your coming in. Especially if there is a queue and you have to loiter around waiting for your turn.

And it sands up a lot. Got bogged there myself in May. If council just cleared it every couple of weeks, it should be OK.

Maybe they are, Scratchie?

Baz

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And it sands up a lot. Got bogged there myself in May. If council just cleared it every couple of weeks, it should be OK.

Maybe they are, Scratchie?

Baz

They usually are during the holiday season baz!

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They usually are during the holiday season baz!

Good to hear. Hope they keep it up in February & March because I hope to be up there around then!

Baz

Edited by Berleyguts

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Shoal Bay ramp isnt bad but at low tide , it gets a bit shallow and its only a couple of minutes to the heads. We used to launch a 5.2 metre Haines there and had no dramas. I have just bought a Quinnie 4.2 Renegade and will be using Soldiers Point and Lemon Tree Passage ramps.

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Awesome post Scratchie. I head up to Port Stephens every year so will definitely be bookmarking this post for future reference. Thanks again for all the info.

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For all those raiders heading up this way to chase some beaks, the water is super warm in close, blue colbolt only a few miles out and bait everywhere! Good luck to those that venture!

Cheers scratchie!!!

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Thanks for the info. I'll be in Port Stephens in 2 weeks so I'll be sure to put this info to good use.

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Top post- thanks, It's making me want to get myself a boat again!
I am heading up this weekend, and was hoping for any tips on any landbased spots that are fishing well at the moment?

I am staying in Corlette, but happy to drive around to any decent recommendations.
thanks in advance.

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