Great fishing from the stones
  |  First Published: July 2017

Despite July being smack bang in the middle of winter, it’s always a good month for fishing in Port Stephens. If you can put up with the cold, there’s some great fishing to be had with bream, luderick, drummer, tailor, salmon and snapper all on the chew.


The luderick fishing out of Port Stephens at this time of year, particularly along the Nelson Bay Rockwall, is arguably the best you’ll find anywhere in Australia. The prime time to fish for them is around one hour before the tide change through to about two hours after.

While weed has been a bit scarce locally, you should have no trouble getting yourself a bucket full of cabbage from the ocean rocks. Make sure, however, you do this on a calm day and on low tide.

It’s not hard to catch bream in Port Stephens right now. All you need to do is fish around high tide with an unweighted prawn or nipper and you will rack up big numbers of them. A few good areas to do this are off the rock walls, inside Nelson Bay Marina and off the jetties at Shoal Bay and Little Beach.

If you have access to a boat, most of the rocky islands and oyster leases around Solders Point through to Pindimar are also fantastic areas to extract bream from this time of year.

There will be plenty of squid around this month with Shoal Bay, Jimmys and Little Beach the best places to target them in the estuary.

There’s good mulloway to be caught on lures in the port with Oyster Cove, Karuah Bridges, and the Salamander Wreck all worth a shot.

Off the rocks

Luderick are plentiful off the rocks at this time of year, especially around calm bays and gutters that have lots of sea lettuce growing adjacent the edges of the waterline.

Drummer, the bigger meaner cousins of luderick, are also peaking in numbers around the wash zones and will readily take a cunjevoi or peeled prawn. They also respond well to a bread mix berley.

Tailor and Australian salmon are another good option from the stones at the moment in the early morning and late afternoon around the points and headlands.

Off the beach

The beaches at this time of year often produce good numbers of mulloway, with school-sized fish to about 10kg common. The best areas to try for a couple will be Stockton and Hawks Nest, Samurai and One Mile beaches. Keep an eye out this month for schools of salmon in the surf, which make for fantastic fun to throw small metals or stickbaits, at especially on light gear.

Fingal Spit will be worth the walk if you’re casting a few pilchards or garfish around for tailor, with quality green backs to 2kg a real chance.


Whether you’re bait or lure fishing, there will be good numbers of snapper around this month from Fishermans Bay all the way to Seal Rocks. The secret is going to be concentrating your efforts during those prime dawn and dusk times.

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