February in Port Stephens is a fisher’s paradise, with a huge range of species to target. The crowds have thinned out from the previous two months, giving both anglers and fish a bit more breathing room.
So far this year we’ve had a great whiting season and this is set to continue, with plenty still being caught. The two best areas to catch them inside Port Stephens are Shoal Bay and Jimmys Beach at high tide, using live worms or nippers. Surface lures fished over the shallow flats from Pindimar Bay all the way through to the mouth of the Karuah River will also be effective on whiting this month.
There are plenty of bream around the Soldiers Point area at the moment that are keen to hit surface lures, small hardbodies and lightly weighted plastics as well. Dusky flathead are prevalent through the lower section of the bay with North Arm Cove, Taylors Beach, Corlette Groins, Wanda Head and Tea Gardens being a few of the better places to find a bite. There have been some absolute crackers caught this year, with a few fish well over the 90cm mark, pushing towards the magic metre. It’s a real shame to hear of some anglers choosing not to release the big girls, as these fish are extremely valuable to the fishery.