Local Fishing Guide

Port Stephens’s waterways and beaches provide excellent fishing opportunities. A deep, natural harbour 2.5 times larger than Sydney Harbour, Port Stephens is located just 2.5 hours north of Sydney and provides anglers with all aspects of holiday fishing.

From estuary fishing to blue water game fishing for a variety of enthusiasts, the Port Stephens area offers excellent beach, rock, estuary and offshore fishing opportunities. Anglers have the chance of catching a wide variety of fish including tailor, kingfish, Australian salmon, luderick, snapper, bream, whiting, leatherjacket, flathead and mulloway. Port Stephens also provides excellent freshwater fishing opportunities with the Myall Lakes offering one of the state’s largest coastal river systems with approximately 40km of river to explore.

The waterways enjoy a pristine environment and the clusters of volcanic offshore islands create ample opportunities for a great days fishing. Fishing the Continental Shelf from Port Stephens offers anglers the opportunity to fish for Marlin, Bill Fish, Hammerhead Sharks, Trag and other fighting fish.

Port Stephens is internationally renowned as a marlin fishing hot spot with many world record catches of marlin and shark made here. It is the location each year for the biggest game fishing competition in the southern hemisphere – The annual interclub competition held in late February.

Fishing Locations

Fish can be caught from many locations but local knowledge is helpful in deciding where to fish. Some of the best spots are Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, Karuah, Lemon Tree Passage, Soldiers Point, Nelson Bay, Shoal Bay, Broughton Island and Tomaree Head through to Anna Bay.

Tea Gardens on the northern arm of the harbour, is famous for the size and quantity of luderick taken in the channels. Black bream are also prolific in this area.

Hawks Nest boasts both beach and estuary fishing. The headland at Yacaaba has top rock fishing for tailor, snapper and jewfish. In the estuary, leatherjacket, bream and luderick may be taken.

Karuah in the upper reaches where the Karuah River flows into the estuary, bream, whiting and luderick are taken in the shallows. Boat anglers will encounter flathead, sole and flounder. Also a good spot for blue swimmer crabs.

Lemon Tree Passage, these sheltered waters are ideal for boat anglers seeking flathead, bream, whiting and luderick. In deeper water, squire and jewfish can be taken.

Soldiers Point is a top spot for whiting, especially from November to January when they are particularly plentiful. Off the tip of the point, Middle Island is a ‘hot spot’ for snapper and jewfish.

Nelson Bay and Surrounds, boat anglers will take plenty of whiting in summer. The rocks at Fly Point are a top bream and luderick location. Flathead, bream and whiting can be taken from Little Beach. Shoal Bay During February and March, Shoal Bay is a base for game fishermen who head for offshore Broughton Island in search of marlin, shark, snapper and kingfish. Shore-bound anglers will take flathead from the beach and bream at Nelson Head.

Broughton Island, at Esmeralda Cove allows fishermen to stay overnight and fish at dawn and dusk, the prime times at the island. Groper, rock blackfish, snapper and kingfish can be taken from the rocks. In the deeper waters around the island, game fishermen can try for marlin, shark, kingfish, bonito, tuna and Spanish mackerel.

Tomaree Head to Anna Bay including Zenith Beach, Box Beach, Fingal Bay and One Mile Beach all offer excellent beach fishing. Whiting in season, large tailor and jewfish from headlands, and top catches of snapper, trevally, rock blackfish (drummer) and bream are made along this coastline.

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