Stinker’s Fishin’ Flathead paradise Myall Coast Port Stephens by News Of The Area - Modern Media - December 20, 2023 Champion charter operator Paul Lennon targets and releases thumping great flathead caught inside the harbour. WITH the summer holiday period upon us, it is time to think about our fishing options. Basically, it boils down to the following: inside the port, off the beaches or outside the port. I have purposefully avoided rock fishing as safety is the main consideration during holidays and as you well know rock fishing is not safe. Give it a miss. You can catch plenty of fish without clambering over the rocks. Look inside the port for a family day on the calm water targeting one of my favourite fish – dusky flathead. The nutrient rich water of Port Stephens is ideal for the breeding and growth of dusky flathead. This system, in comparison with other NSW waterways, is huge. From the mangrove forests in the western corners of the port through to the crystal clear water towards the entrance, conditions are perfect for duskies. The big flathead snuggle down into the sand and muddy shallows and wait in ambush for their unsuspecting prey of juvenile whiting, mullet and prawns. Once the bait fish has been spotted the flathead displays incredible speed from a standing start, opening its wide mouth to enclose the small fish in a frenzied feeding explosion. The same behaviour can be expected when your bait or lure is attacked. More common in the summer months duskies swim throughout the port and feeder streams as long as the water remains relatively warm. Remember, as of last August, all flathead over 70cm in length must be released back into the system. The bigger fish are all females and the majority are carrying a heavy load of eggs. There are many more fishing options to consider. This place never ceases to amaze me. By John ‘Stinker’ CLARKE Champion charter operator Paul Lennon targets and releases thumping great flathead caught inside the harbour.