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Port Stephens waterways and beaches provide excellent fishing opportunities.

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 where 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. 


Stinkers tales from Port Stephens.
Explore the wonders of Port Stephens with 1233's Craig Hamilton and local expert John 'Stinker' Clarke.

Stinker's Tales from Port Stephens is a ten-part series exploring the most popular fishing spots in the NSW Hunter region. The series takes us from Stockton Beach right around to Fingal Bay, stopping in at Boat Harbour, Rocky Point, Soldiers Point, the Nelson Bay break wall, Little Beach, Shoal Bay jetty, Barry Park, and the Gan Gan lookout. The locations we visited are part of Stinker's personal 'whirlwind tour' -  the must-see places he takes visitors to best showcase the region. As is always the way with Stinker, fishing isn't just about fishing. While this is technically a series about where most of the region's anglers flock to, it's brimming full of Stinker's charm. He has an unparalleled knowledge of the history of the area, and is a fierce advocate for preserving the natural beauty of Port Stephens.

Episode 1
Stinker and Craig Hamilton Reduced


Boat ramps in Port Stephens

Little Beach Boat Ramp - Lighthouse Road, Nelson Bay is an excellent all craft ramp 4 lanes wide and suitable for use at both high and low tides however at low tide we do recommend using the left or southern two lanes as the right or northern side of the ramp can become sanded up. Little Beach boat ramp has a large free car park for vehicles with trailers and free on-street parking for other vehicles. There are fantastic fish cleaning tables with running water and garbage facilities along with picnic tables, toilets & showers. The ramp has a fixed height jetty which can be a bit difficult to use at low tide. Little Beach boat ramp is a fantastic spot to start you're day no matter whether your heading offshore for a fish or whale watch, or planning to cruise west exploring the bay. 

Soldiers Point Boat Ramp - Mitchell Street, Soldiers Point recently underwent an upgrade and is now a superb facility. There are now two floating jetty's splitting the ramp in to a 2 lane and 1 lane facility. Soldiers Point boat ramp is an excellent all craft ramp located towards the western end of Port Stephens whilst still being only 10 minutes drive by car from Nelson Bay. The ramp is 3 lanes wide and suitable for use at both high and low tides. It has a large free car park, fish cleaning tables with running water and garbage facilities along with picnic tables and toilets. Soldiers Point ramp is a great place to launch if you're out to explore the western reaches of Port Stephens such as Tilligerry Creek or Karuah River or if you just wish to launch and then cruise your way back to the headland.

Shoal Bay Boat Ramp - Shoal Bay Road, Shoal Bay was rebuilt and is now of excellent quality with an elevated design that allows water and sand to flow underneath hence avoiding any sanding over of the ramp. It's a two lane ramp that can be used at either end of the tide. It has excellent expanse of beach to either side, perfect for pulling the boat up on. Parking is free and there are picnic tables, toilets and grassed areas adjacent to the ramp. Shoal Bay boat ramp provides immediate and direct access for those wishing to fish offshore. It's also great for families as Shoal Bay itself is one of the most beautiful sections of Port Stephens.

Lemon Tree Passage Boat Ramp - Cook Parade, Lemon Tree Passage is an excellent high quality 3 lane ramp. The ramp is great for any size vessel at high and low tides. There is a floating Jetty making boarding your boat very easy. There is abundant free parking as well as toilets, BBQ facilities, picnic tables, kids play equipment and fish cleaning tables with running water and garbage facilities. 



dÁlbora Marina Nelson Bay, Teramby Road Nelson Bay 49841333. Located in Nelson Bay surrounded by restaurants, shops and activities.

Anchorage Marina, Corlette Point Road Corlette 49814975. The Anchorage Marina offers 90 serviced modern floating marina berths and six mooring sites. Located centrally, The Anchorage is the perfect launching point for deep sea fishing, sailing, cruising or exploring the Myall Lakes system. All our staff have boat licenses and training in maritime. Berthing Map. 

Soldiers Point Marina, Sunset Boulevarde Soldiers Point 49827445. Built upon our strength of providing a world-class service, Soldiers Point Marina provides extra value-added services other than marina berthing and mooring to residents and visitors of Port Stephens. Marina Berths.


Marine Park Information - updated information coming


Fishing Rules and Licences
When fishing in NSW waters, both freshwater and saltwater, you'll need to carry a receipt showing your payment of the Recreational Fishing Fee. This applies when spear fishing, hand lining, hand gathering, trapping, bait collecting and prawn netting or when in possession of fishing gear in, on or near these waters. You ​can apply for a Recreational Fishing Licence online. The fee is $7 for 3 days, $14 for 1 month, $35 for 1 year and $85 for 3 years. You can pay the NSW recreational fishing fee at hundreds of agents throughout NSW such as over the counter at most fishing tackle shops. You can also pay the fee at some caravan parks, local shops and service stations, many Kmart stores, online or by calling 1300 369 365.

NSW fisheries officers routinely patrol waterways, boat ramps and foreshores advising anglers about responsible fishing practices and ensuring compliance with NSW fishing regulations. Fishcare volunteers can also be found at boat ramps and on the water in dedicated Fishcare vessels, advising anglers about responsible fishing practices and distributing saltwater fishing guides and sticky rulers. Information on bag and size limits, fishing closures and legal fishing gear can be obtained from the website, or by visiting your local tackle shop. When fishing in NSW waters, both freshwater and saltwater, you are required by law to pay the NSW recreational fishing fee and carry a receipt showing the payment of the fee. Detailed rules and regulations. 

Recreational freshwater fishing guide.

Recreational saltwater fishing guide.  


Tide table for 2016/17


Fishing Maps and Spots
A deep, natural harbour, Port Stephens is situated approximately 210km north of Sydney and provides anglers with all aspects of holiday fishing from handlining to superb game fishing. Every type of estuary 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 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.


Tackle Shops

Tackle World Port Stephens, 100 Magnus Street Nelson Bay 49842144 Tackle World is a specialist tackle shop established by one of the leading local fisherman, Brent Hancock. Located in the heart of the Nelson Bay shopping precinct and just around the corner from D’Alboras Marina and caters to the need for superior fishing equipment and fishing supplies. This weeks news.  

Duffs Salamander Bait and Tackle, Coles Express Service Station, 163 Salamander Way Salamander Bay 49820711 for all your fishing needs, from fresh bait to rods, reels and apparel and advice from local fishermen on the local hot spots, tips & hints from a true local fisherman. You can get fuel for the boat, ice, bait & all your fishing needs at the one place! they sell fresh, brined and frozen bait and a long list of fishing accessories. Open 7 days 6am- 6pm (5am Sat. & Sun.)